This archived article was written by: Marsha Jensen
A holiday for giving, loving, sharing and spending time with loved ones; Christmas has been known for many things. However it also has a direct connection with a hallucinogenic adventure that pre-Christian tribal people would experience. These people are referred to as pagans or country folk.
In Northern Europe, mainly Siberia, such pagan people would indulge in the sacred act of eating Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. These fungi would send the person on a hallucinogenic trip that was thought to open their minds and allow them to become closer to their Gods. Also it allowed them to see into the realms of angels, and even become one with the universe and everything in it.
So how do mushrooms relate to Christmas? Have you ever wondered where Santa Claus came from or his eight flying reindeer? Nearly all of the world’s Christmas traditions can be linked back to pagan beliefs and rituals. Here are some facts to think about.
Santa Claus – a man that brings presents to good boys and girls. To the pagans, he was the man that brought the gift of mushrooms. With his traditional fur coat and big boots, this religious shaman would bring “presents” or mushrooms to those in his village. He would enter through the top of the villagers homes called “yurts” (much like a tee-pee). The yurt entrance was most times the smoke hole in the roof, hence Santa coming down the chimney.
Also, reindeer in the region liked the taste of the mushrooms too. The pagans believed that if people could go on a crazy adventure just by eating them, why wouldn’t the reindeer being “flying” high too? Some animals that do eat the mushrooms have been seen “prancing” around in their altered state. Sounds kind of like Santa’s trusty reindeer, huh?
The concept of the Christmas tree even relates to the world tree or tree of life, which people on the drug were said to see. When the effects of the mushrooms take hold, the user sees a cosmic view of a trail to heaven from the tree, under which spawns the mushrooms. The Christmas tree in essence was a heavenly gateway to enlightenment. And to top it off, these fun little fungi grow exclusively under pine, spruce and fir trees during the winter months. Presents under a Christmas tree are a representation of the red and white mushrooms that grow near the trunk.
These tribe people had a strange way of ingesting the mushrooms as not to be poisoned. The poison in these mushrooms is actually toxic. When dried on strings over a fire place (AKA stockings, strung up popcorn, roasting chestnuts) they would feed the mushrooms to the sacred reindeer and let it cycle through the animals’ bodies. After the toxins had passed through them, the tribesmen would gather the reindeer urine and drink this holy concoction. The hallucinogen was so strong that it could be passed from many people and each person would trip just as hard as the others. This was a very common practice back then and is still practiced in certain religious groups in the area.
Although these traditions are frowned upon, their adaptations are still used around the world. The similarities that have been researched and documented are merely a history of where these modern day traditions came from. Christmas is whatever you choose to make of it. Some view it as a sacred religious holiday with a tradition of love and family, so keep it going however you see fit. Whether it be presents and a glass of eggnog or mushrooms and a flask of “holy juice”, be merry and joyous this year!
Nick Melosi contributed to this story