It was a commonly held belief that heaven resided in the earth and hell within the air. Crops grew from the ground, while fire and smoke rose upwards.
Worms were believed to be new souls struggling to the surface from heaven, and only with the help of the morning birds could they be pulled free and delivered to the newborns that needed them. A child born in the morning was said to be blessed with a good soul.
Upon death, the body was returned to the ground, so as to be nearer heaven. The bodies of the sinful and the condemned were hoisted up and left on the roofs of houses, so that the evening birds (crows, gulls, owls) could pick clean their bones and take not only their flesh but their souls up into the skies towards damnation.
1. Written on August 8th, 2013__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.