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In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Pissing Toward the Sun

 For all that we're no People of the Book, M. L. West's magisterial Indo-European Poetry and Myth comes as close to a one-stop-shop for pagan Received Tradition as I can think of.

 I first discovered the Wonderful World of West while tracking down a purported taboo in Indo-European cultures against pissing toward the Sun.

 Sure enough, in culture after culture, there it is, written not on paper but in the hearts and minds of the people: you don't piss toward the Sun.

Look at the logic here. The Sun, to the average pagan, is a god (or goddess). Now, if you and I were walking in the woods and I needed to take a leak, I'd turn away from you to do it. Not from modesty, but out of politeness. You don't piss toward someone; it's rude, a gesture of contempt.

Well, as we see it, the gods are people too, and the Sun in particular the god (some would say goddess) who sees all. So it's only polite to turn away when nature calls.

I think we can extend this principle. Obviously, you wouldn't piss toward the Moon, either. Or toward any holy person or thing. Not toward the temple, not toward the statue. It just isn't polite; it's not what our people do.

Once stated, it seems obvious. One even asks: for gods' sakes, why don't they teach us these things?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.

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