Mushrooms, Santa & The Birth of a Sun

24 12 2010

NPR Morning Edition speaks a couple minutes about Fly Agaric mushrooms and Christmas.

http://www.npr.org

Some extension and commentary:

Fly Agaric mushrooms only grow under pine trees and birch, which is why we use birch branches as Christmas decorations, and why we put a pine tree in our home with brightly colored gifts underneath (the fly agarics are the brightest red you’ve ever seen).  In Lapland Siberia, the village elder or shaman would go out and collect these intoxicating mushrooms to bring good cheer during the cold dark solstice season, like we enjoy a nice schnapps.  He or she would find the bright red mushrooms under the pine trees (like presents), pluck them and place them on the boughs of the tree to dry a bit and go back and collect them all later in his satchel (drying made them lighter and easier to carry more).  This is why we place ornaments on the boughs.  In fact, before Coca Cola promoted the red and white theme, antique, turn-of-the-century Christmas ornaments from Germany and nearby were actually replicas of the amanita mushroom or the head of a man with a white beard and red hat with white polka dots. (140 examples)

Since the front door of the yurt was often snowed over the shaman would enter through the smoke hole / chimney to distribute the mushrooms.  Because these mushrooms are less toxic and more psychoactive when dried, people would put them in stockings and hang them over the fireplace to dry overnight.  If you burned them into black chunks of ‘coal’ you were probably naughty this year but if you were nice you got some happy treats.   This is where the stocking tradition comes from.

As NPR pointed out, reindeer love these mushrooms for their psychoactivity too, and the Siberians have long refered to them as “flying reindeer” because shamanic flight, astral projection, out-of-body experiences go hand in hand with psychedelic plant traditions.  (That guy at the end who dismisses all of this in favor of the Coca-Cola explanation is quite the nincompoop.)

The other aspects of Christmas are largely astrological (tree-top star = Polaris, Spiral of popcorn or candy around tree = Draco) but the great majority of America’s favorite, Christian, family friendly holiday, from red & white candy canes to Rudolf, is almost entirely based on a mushroom cult!

OH, THE DELICIOUS IRONY!!!!  :D

♥ ♥ ♥   Merry Christmas!!!   ♥ ♥ ♥

……………….★
…………….*✱ ♥
…………..*♥- ҈ -*※
………..*✱ *♥*❉**
………¨※ *♥*- ҈ -*✿*
……..*♥**✱ *✿*- ҈ -*♥*
..*8***♥**- ҈ -**✿*♥*※
**- ҈ -*♥**❉**♥**o*✱*♥*
……………__▒__
……………\▓▓▓/

For more information of the astrological and shamanic origins of Christmas check out this excerpt from The Pharmacratic Inquisition:

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7 responses

25 12 2010
Juliano

(((HO{{HO{{{HO{{{{{{))))))MERRY CHRISTMASSSSS ;)))

25 12 2010
anthromes

Christian Ratsch wrote an interesting book called Pagan Christmas, which discusses these issues and others and their relation to Christmas.

26 12 2010
Evan 057

That book is marvelous (as is every book by Ratsch) and it makes a perect Christmas Gift, but it mentions surprisingly very little about the mushrooms.

26 12 2010
emma

great stuff. however, the repeated use of the word ‘bow’ in the copy should be changed to ‘bough’.

26 12 2010
Evan 057

Thanks!

24 11 2013
Dania

Hallo Mieke Willems,Wat een fijne blog houden juille bij! Ik kom graag naar Antwerpen, volgende keer zal ik juille winkel niet voorbij lopen.groetjes van Muriel uit Amsterdam.

26 12 2010
Juliano

Also try and checkout this really cool interview —
“Secret Drugs of Buddhism”

He says how in India even the word ‘mushroom’ is not found in Sanskrit because it was so taboo for the ‘lower-castes’, but not apparently for the ‘high-caste’ Brahmins’ A must-hear interview!

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