Saturday, December 22, 2012

Psychedelic Santa

"He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf…
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head…
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread."
- From “Twas the Night before Christmas 

In 1931, the Coka-Cola company, in an early and very successful example of mass media marketing, reinvented Santa Clause into what has become Santa’s modern caricature. You know… jolly fat guy, swigging coke. But as we all know, Santa wasn’t invented by coke. Santa wasn’t invented by Clement Clark Moore, in his classic poem, “Twas the Night before Christmas.” Santa pre-dates the Catholic Church’s invasive “re-branding” of the pagan deity into the 4th century Saint Nickolas. In fact, Santa has been around for millennia, with a twinkling eye and a profound wisdom, adjudicating and separating the naughty from the nice…
Many wondrous and magical properties have been attributed to our “right jolly old elf” …so what were the magical and mystical origins of ole’ saint nick?

“Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, most of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe. The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom.

These peoples lived in dwellings made of birch and reindeer hide, called ‘yurts.’ Somewhat similar to a teepee, the yurt's central smoke hole is often also used as an entrance. After gathering the mushrooms from under the sacred trees where they appeared, the shamans would fill their sacks and return home. Climbing down the chimney-entrances, they would share out the mushroom's gifts with those within … Santa also dresses like a mushroom gatherer. When it was time to go out and harvest the magical mushrooms, the ancient shamans would dress much like Santa, wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots.”
-Dana Larsen, “The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus”
“It is fairly common knowledge that the Weihnachtsmann (St. Nick) was an amalgamation of older Germanic/Norse gods such as Thor, Donner, Odin and Wotan. What's missing here is just as Santa flies through the skies in his sleigh, Odin (as well as the rest) rode through the sky in his chariot, which is depicted in the stars by ‘The Big Dipper’. The Big Dipper is the chariot of Odin & Wotan, Thor, King Arthur, and even Osiris (of Egypt). The chariot that circles the North Star in a 24 hour period is thus also known as the sleigh of Santa Claus because it circles his mythological home, the North Pole.”
 “It is no surprise that Nordic/Germanic gods have connection to mushrooms in their mythology. As Thor throws his mushroom-shaped hammer to the ground, mighty thunders and lightning cracks cause the real mushroom(s) to appear.”

“The very name, ‘Christmas’ is a holiday name composed of the words, ‘Christ’ (meaning ‘one who is anointed with the Magical Substance’) and ‘Mass’ (a special religious service/ceremony of the sacramental ingestion of the Eucharist, the ‘Body of Christ’). In the Catholic tradition, this substance (Body/Soma) has been replaced by the doctrine of ‘Trans-substantiation’, whereby in a magical ceremony the Priests claim the ability to transform a ‘cracker/round-wafer’ into the literal ‘Body of Christ’; ie, a substitute or placebo.”
-James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”
"Santa's famous magical journey, where his sleigh takes him around the whole planet in a single night, is developed from the ‘heavenly chariot’ used by the gods from whom Santa and other shamanic figures are descended. The chariot of Odin, Thor and even the Egyptian god Osiris is now known as the Big Dipper, which circles around the North Star in a 24-hour period. In different versions of the ancient story, the chariot was pulled by reindeer or horses. As the animals grow exhausted, their mingled spit and blood falls to the ground, forming the amanita mushrooms.”
-Dana Larsen, “The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus”

The Amanita Muscaria is not only famous for its appearances in fairy tales; its colours are also linked with Santa Claus, racing through the skies with his reindeer. Is it a coincidence that reindeer eat this mushroom, and that it grows under the trees we seem to largely grow for Christmas tree purposes?
Green, red, and white as Christmas colors comes from the evergreen tree and the red and white mushrooms underneath. The word Christmas originally comes from the Egyptian KRST (oiled/anointed one) and Mes, the sacred cakes annually made/ingested by the Egyptians. This Eucharist was originally made from Amanita muscaria or was the mushroom itself. The tradition existed all over the ancient world, but most of the iconography/symbology recognized today comes from pre-Christian Northern Europe.
- The Atlantean Consiracy 

“The amanita mushroom needs to be dried before being consumed; the drying process reduces the mushroom's toxicity while increasing its potency. The shaman would guide the group in stringing the mushrooms and hanging them around the hearth-fire to dry. This tradition is echoed in the modern stringing of popcorn and other items.”
“Most of the major elements of the modern Christmas celebration, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, magical reindeer and the giving of gifts, are originally based upon the traditions surrounding the harvest and consumption of these most sacred mushrooms.”

 -Dana Larsen, “The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus”

These ancient peoples, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the "middle earth" of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.
The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this "Pole Star" with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods. This is the true meaning of the star on top of the modern Christmas tree, and also the reason that the super-shaman Santa makes his home at the North Pole.
The amanita muscaria mushrooms grow only under certain types of trees, mostly firs and evergreens. The mushroom caps are the fruit of the larger mycelium beneath the soil which exists in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the tree. To ancient people, these mushrooms were literally "the fruit of the tree."
Ancient peoples were amazed at how these magical mushrooms sprang from the earth without any visible seed. They considered this "virgin birth" to have been the result of the morning dew, which was seen as the semen of the deity. The silver tinsel we drape onto our modern Christmas tree represents this divine fluid.
-Dana Larsen, “The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus”

Since before recorded history, Santa… in all his personas… has been a great Bodhisattva to the world’s children. He has been a manifestation of light at the top of the world… instructing the young and young at heart upon the importance… the great dharma... of kindness. In light of the above information, we can now broaden our understanding of this icon… this deity… to include a psychedelic bringer of light… a shamanic power of illumination and good will.
It is amazing how this ancient deity… or at least his outward imagery… has evolved over the centuries. Since before antiquity, the Egyptian god Osiris has morphed into the Norse god Odin… a Christian Saint… a magical elf… even a guy selling soda pop. He has evolved and modernized as he has flown through time… shedding light upon our evolving culture… as he goes.
It will be intriguing to see what cultural changes are in store for Santa, as he travels into the future. Our guess is that in the coming decades, a certain contemporary folk hero, also associated with the magic mushroom, will evolve from legendary cultural icon, to mythic legend… eventually supplanting the commercial Santa of today. This folk hero, though DEAD only a few short years, is already considered a legend… a bodhisattva… by the faithful… by those who witnessed his magical spell-casting powers…
Tidings of Great Joy to you & to yours throughout this Holiday Season...
Have a very Jerry Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year!