Warning: This content is NSFC (Not Safe For Children…or possibly Christians).
I don’t want to offend anyone, but I just heard about this on Joe Rogan’s podcast. It blew my mind and I had to share. Here it goes. . .
The Arctic and Subarctic areas (otherwise known as The North Pole) are where reindeer live. Reindeer just happen to love snacking on these yummy, hallucinogenic, red and white mushrooms, called Amanita muscaria.
The mushrooms have religious significance in Siberian Shamanistic culture. When people take these mushrooms, one of the hallucinogenic effects is sensations and visions of flying. Flying reindeer.
This BBC video explains the reindeer-mushroom connection.
Adding to the story, Amanita muscaria just so happens to have a symbiotic relationship with pine trees. Christmas Trees! The mushrooms pop up underneath the trees like bright little gifts.
Historically, a Shaman–who dressed in a red and white fur-trimmed outfit and rode in a sleigh pulled by reindeer–gathered these mushrooms in a big sack then returned back to the yurt, which is sort of like a teepee with a big smoke hole (or chimney) in the center of the roof.
I found varying explanations for this, but apparently the Shaman would drop himself and his sack of mushrooms through the hole. Then the people would string up the mushrooms on the hearth to dry in front of the fire, sort of like stockings.
For the religious sacrament, the Shaman would prepare the mushrooms and ingest them and then people would drink the Shaman’s urine (yuck) because the toxic compounds of the mushroom were processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body. People would also drink reindeer urine and reindeer would drink people urine in order to experience the effects of Amanita muscaria. It was a real pee-pee party.
Another fun fact…ish: This ritual is thought to be the origin of the term “piss-drunk“. Hahaha! No thanks.
When Christianity came around, the magical mushroom was woven into their practices. Check out all of the mushrooms in these traditional Christmas scenes in this video.
I did know that most of Christianity was based on Pagan traditions but I hadn’t heard this magic mushroom story until today. Had you ever heard of this before?
No matter what story you believe in, I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and get to spend quality time with your loved ones. I feel like my Christmas experience will be incredibly enhanced with this newfound knowledge of the origin of Santa Claus. Now I understand why the jolly old guy has that twinkle in his eye. 🙂
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