“Obligatory Sunday Off” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day.

No Pagan Pulpit today.  I am taking a day off. I never got to just do this when I was a preacher so indulge me.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Grounded in the Present” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

There is a legend that has some ring of truth that at the battle of Stamford Bridge a single large Viking with a greatsword or ax held off the Saxons for a couple hours on the bridge until someone underneath the bridge stabbed him in the groin and brought him down.  Such a man died for his kin and had little concern for the past and the only view of the future he had was the possibility that his sacrifice would save his fellow Vikings lives as they retreated across the river.

As much as I wasn’t to learn from the lessons of the past and look to the future, the issue is always the present moment as to whether I am acting in a manner that reflects both. There is no guarantee of anything future and the past is irrelevant.  What can be changed is that brief fleeting present moment.  Moment by moment, change by change one develops one’s life. This is why the self virtues of discipline, perseverance, and fidelity. Virtues that are used every present moment.


“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

I think if there was any mistake in the goal here it is was to be too specific about the technique of the Paleo Diet.  The real goal was to lose fat and gain muscle through diet and nutrition and for the most part what I do is actually a combination of Paleo and Keto which really works for me although for next year I want to take it to the next level.  it is said abs are made in the kitchen and I want to put that to the test. How lean can I get?


“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

This goal will be a slam dunk come March.  The question is what to do next year.  other than do it again which seems lame. I need a goal to be training for – bodybuilding? powerlifting?  I don’t know.  I like to be healthy and not take training risks that could lead to injury. More thought required here.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

Some sort of family and freinds goal I think.  I don’t know.  I want to do something for my children as a way of showing my appreciation to them all. more thought again but, I think that this is a good direction.

It should be noted that the first part of my bucket list goal of discovering all the countries of my origins genetically is already coming along pretty well. So far I have cities to visit in Bavaria, The Netherlands, England, and Ireland (yep, I can drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day).  But there are still parts where the legal documents so far are not enough so I am still awaiting the results of my genetics test to fill in after the legal trail dead ends.  But it has been a wonderful journey.  No Scandanavian yet. if there is at least 3% Valhalla awaits.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

The wisdom of the present moment is something I walk with each day.  Plans and goals are great and all but it is the perseverance of discipline that allows one to make progress each day and one’s relationships that allow one to be strong fora reason.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  4. Blogging – Organize, revise, post for the next day.  Write a new post for two days out.
  5. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  6. Writing – 1000 Words

Short but good.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 6

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.
  6. Find a new, better paying job by March 2020.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Happy Valentine’s Day” – Freya’s Chambers – Sex

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.


See the source image

Just a short post here on Valentine’s Day wishing you and your significant other(s) a happy Valentine’s Day.  Have a romantic and sexy time. May your breath be taken away in more ways than one. 🙂

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Learning Lessons from the Past” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Thor’s Day! 

Journal Entry:

In learning from the past what I concentrate on is my mistakes, struggles, and victories. In the area of Business, I have had all three of my goals for this 51st year of my life be crossed off. It has been a good year in that sense although not as successful as it could have been. I have made my mistakes regarding my goals and this is probably reflected in the Foundational and Self areas of my life more than here.

My struggles have usually come from not thinking through a goal or making the means I will accomplish it too specific rather than keep my options open. This lesson will definitely be thought of this time around as I think of what goals should be present for year 52.


“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved when each person is their own master and no one else’s’ .”

Principle: To walk in the spirit of independence by being my own master and no one else’s

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by March 2020.

Bucket List: To be a published author of at least five books by March 2029

This goal was a good solid win for me but next year the issue will be to actually have a job that puts this new degree I have to work. I also, considering all my bills still need a more white-collar job that makes far more money in order to make some headway.


“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019 (achieved)

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published by March 2022.

I might put a writing goal here that involves developing the habits of a writer. Not sure what seeing have this in Foundational but I also might consider additional higher education.


“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

GoalBy March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.  (Goal Achieved

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

I guess at some point I want to start giving back and I think my first charity would be to give back to The Clergy Project once I get myself more established.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

Being fair with myself while being hard on myself is an interesting dichotomy.  But justice is best served when we work hard to gain something for ourselves. I have done this and I feel very much alive for it. The fact that my life is starting to turn around is a testimony to the virtues I seek to follow.

Work Day Routine:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  4. Blogging – Organize, revise, post for the next day.  Write a new post for two days out.
  5. Writing: 1000 words/day.
  6. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, job search, other actions, etc.
  7. Check Communications and Email after 4 pm but before 6 pm.

I like this new routine as it puts some things in front of others that I will now probably do because of my habit of blogging being so ingrained and I want to get to it. I do have to point out until my new schedule kicks in fully, the old mixes with the new for another week or so.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Slaying God” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    


I love the sentiment of killing gods when it comes to Star Trek’s Lt. Worf and the Klingons, in general. ‘They were more trouble than they were worth.” is one of the best lines in the whole thing. The idea of killing gods seems far fetched until you realize that the battle isn’t against all-powerful beings of various types or a single omnipotent one, but rather these gods only exist in our minds.  It is simply the process of getting rid of those imaginary beings from the way we think and views the universe.

I am still going through this process.  We tend to use the divine to fill the gaps in our knowledge.  As an atheist will tell you though those gaps are getting smaller and smaller. It is also a famous fallacy of logic to say ‘if I don’t know or understand something, therefore god.”

The god of the gaps fallacy is well documented as just because there isn’t an answer yet or something seems mysterious, that doesn’t mean the explanation fo ‘god or gods’ doesn’t have to prove itself as well. God as an explanation for anything still should be subjected to the same scrutiny as everything else that offers up a solution and not just automatically given a nod simply because it seems at the time to offer the only explanation.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”


My own mind is still dominated at times by theistic thinking.  I find that this is the longest part of the deconversion process, coming to terms with the fact that I cannot assume god after so long assuming his existence.  It begins to permeate your life how many times the ‘god of the gaps’ fallacy is employed to provide a form of lazy answers and lazy morality.  My current state requires that every moral issue and every question now requires investigation rather than the assumption of the divine is a long work in process. My meditation time seems to focus here a lot.


Yes, there are mysteries in life, but no god really can provide a true answer.  To invoke God is not trying to solve mysteries or discover knowledge. rather it closes off inquiry and leaves an empty space in human knowledge that someone will look at later and show that in that empty space is actually knowledge and no god is required.  This probably the reason the belief in the divine and the religions that go with them is more trouble than its worth.  It retards our growth as human beings.  It causes us in our ignorance to fear that which we do not understand and engage in fearful tribalism that leads us to kill one another over what we believe fills the gaps. Mystery accepted as a god rather than an invitation to an honest inquiry will always do this.


Perhaps we should take from the ficitonal Klingons the call to action to kill these gods which have been, in my opinion, more trouble than their worth.  They were at one time our first and worst attempt as a human race to uncover the knowledge around us. But spirituality is not divine, but rather very human and for that, we can only look to ourselves to uncover the truth about it. Given the amount of plundering, raping and killing done in the name of religion, it is perhaps time to revolt in our minds and kill the gods and discard them as more trouble than their worth.


I find that the god I once built in my mind is not so difficult to slay as it is so large and touches areas I hadn’t thought of before. It is more ways and methods of think that need to be changed and having the courage to face my life alone and discover the mysteries of life through following after what I need and want while listening to the caws of reason and wisdom.  The mysteries of life are there to be discovered not feared as some ‘god of the gaps’.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Looking Forward” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Tyr’s Day

Journal Entry:

Before I get back into the cycle of Virtues, Principles. Goals, Bucket List and Routines that I do, I must address a few sundry issues.  the most notable of these is that the purpose of all this is to keep myself grounded in the now, learning from the past and looking to the horizon. Mostly I am now aware that my 51st year of life is drawing to a close and the goals need to be set for 52. This process starts now with a lot of meditation and thinking about what is best for me.

Like an ancient sailor, one can set a goal for a certain place, but the wind and sea require one to be flexible about the execution of how exactly that is achieved.  Life does not always cooperate with ones’ goals. Mostly the next year will be about the following:

  1. Developing the habits of a writer
  2. Launching a better supporting career
  3. To start crossing off more and more bucket list items.


Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).  (achieved)

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by March 2024.

As I look at what is crossed off here this was about taking stock of myself to maintain a progress toward honor. I am thinking that next year’s goals will involve blogging as well – maintain the habit.  but also coming to terms with my new YouTube channel being a new pulpit for myself.  Being an honorable social media personality might be the issue here.


“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st.

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation by March 2029.

My goal here will be much the same I think.  But might raise the stakes and require two things to be crossed off my bucket list instead of just one.


“Truth is the willingness, to be honest, and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Honestly Pursue, Accept and Speak Truth to All who will Listen.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Read 52 books (one per week) in the year 2020.

This is the most likely goal to fail this year so I might simply renew it with some changes.  Like, make it more basic – Write a full book this year instead. I want to learn from my struggles as a writer this year in order not to struggle next year as much.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I think I am about to make a decision that will be a major victory for me learning to love myself. The downside is there is no way to not to probably get some pushback from others who love me but won’t like what I have decided.

Morning Routine:

  1. Stretching / Yoga
  2. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  3. Meditation – 5 min.
  4. Check Communications and Email.
  5. Paper Journal: Update To-Do List.
  6. Work Days: Dress in Gym Clothes: Go to Gym – Weightlifting / Exercise
  7. Shower, Personal Hygiene, Get Dressed for the Day
  8. Breakfast, Morning Meds.
  9. Rest Days – Morning Walk (weather permitting)

The changes here reflect what will happen when I am at the 6-3 schedule.  This week and next I am going back and forth from 4-1 and 6-3 so this becomes more negotiable between the old routines and the new.   Good thing, as I am working on a lot of changes.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“The Good, The Bad and The Grey” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 28

Happy Mani’s Day!


Yes, I know this is another week without a proper “Of Wolves and Ravens” post Yes, I also know this is two weeks in a row of “The Grey and The Wayfarer” after like a month and a half of nothing before that. Just imagine me like Odin sitting on my throne and brooding at the things that trigger my depression and realize that there are about three things right now that are doing it. My Ravens are tired of cawing in my ears and my wolves are hungry for relief which makes them irritable and aggressive, and that leads me to a situation where despite good things happening and bad things happening, I don’t give a shit either way.  That my friends is what ‘The Grey’ is in a nutshell and what it does to my life.

The Good:

A lot of good things have been happening:

  1. I got promoted at work and that translates into more responsibility, more hours and a pay raise which translates into more money.
  2. I am expecting my fifth grandchild and my second grandson and the first grandson with the Raby last name. Lucas Edward Raby will add another fine strong name to the family tree.
  3. Speaking of family trees, mine on ancestory.com is growing and I am getting it more and more fleshed out.  My roots are a tangled mess at times but I can’t say they are not strong ones.
  4. I have made a more final decision about my career long term and I think it is a solid and good one.

The Bad:

  1. My wife’s best friend was involved in a car accident that nearly killed her and has left her in a very critical state.  So much so this weekend my wife headed own to see her in the hospital. I didn’t have to work this weekend except for one day, but it meant I was home alone for a couple days with nothing really to do.
  2. Right now social media is risky, I keep seeing Miss Salty’s name not only in reactions to memories Facebook gives me, but also she is in the comments a lot. This, of course, gets me to thinking about her a lot more.
  3. The weather has turned grey with snow and cold.  I am so over it.  Ice in my veins and all, my joints don’t take the cold as well as they used to and the lack of sunshine depresses me.

The Grey:

  1. The temptation level to alleviate the stress of all this has not overwhelmed me but it has caused me to shell up.  I have to shut down my emotions right now a lot or my empathy and desires will get the best of me. My wolves don’t like this.  My ravens see it as a necessary evil.
  2. I miss having a person in my life who understands this as part fo who I am and my way of thinking/feeling and who could get through it and make me feel human again. I had that a couple years ago with Miss Salty and that thought bothers me too.  What was it about that trainwreck of a relationship that made The Grey seem so weak and distant?


Whatever it was, it is gone now.  I am left like a brooding god sitting on his throne wishing he didn’t have the gift of foresight and could enjoy the good things that are happening more and could empathize about the bad.  I just can’t do either.  It hurts too much either way so I walk The Grey instead.  I can only hope this storm passes soon.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.