Do you know the real pagan story behind the Father Christmas myth?
July 02, 2021
Many of today's elements of Christmas mask much older pagan or shamanic traditions.
Discover the true story behind the myth of Father Christmas, it will change the way you look at Christmas Day. Most of us in the West celebrate Christmas without realising that much of the rituals and symbolism we use have shamanic significance, such as the use of Amanita muscaria which has given rise to the celebration of Christmas itself.
Amanita muscaria is a toxic psychoactive mushroom that occurs in many parts of the world such as Europe and North America. Considered a divine narcotic or elixir of immortality mushroom, it was used over 3500 years ago by the Aryans in the Indus Valley who praised its energising and intoxicating qualities.
The effects of eating dried or fresh Amanita muscaria include euphoria, clarity of thought and stamina, but also drunkenness, imbalance and nausea.
The shamans and healers of Siberia were individuals who served the community by contacting the spirit world to heal illness, often by ingesting amanitas and using drumming and chanting to enter a trance. Amanita muscaria was also ingested by the common people who became intoxicated with it on a regular basis, in the same way that alcohol is drunk in our culture today.
Recent anthropological work also suggests that the amanita was used to increase endurance to physical labour and to supplement the diet of the area, which was very low in vitamin D.
One of the tasks of these Siberian shamans was to distribute the coveted mushrooms to the tents of the tribesmen by hanging amanitas in those tents as gifts. Many of the negative effects of using the amanita were offset by consuming them dried, which is why shamans and tribesmen dried them by hanging them from pine trees or letting them rest near a fire. It has been inferred that sometimes, due to heavy snowfalls that made access to the tents (yurts) difficult, the shamans would enter through the chimneys with their sack of amanitas and other medicinal plants.
Over the years, this custom has mutated in popular culture, giving rise to the myth of a character who brings gifts on dates close to the winter solstice, a time of little light, magic and seclusion in the Nordic lands.
Much later, when Christianity spread in Europe and expanded its figures over the pagan festivals, it imposed the figure of St. Nicholas, a Russian Orthodox bishop who showed extraordinary charity towards children.
Some scholars suggest that the behaviour of reindeer, sometimes consuming amanita muscaria and showing signs of drunkenness, may have been observed early on by the Indian tribes of northern Siberia, giving rise to the myth of the flying reindeer, which may also have been fuelled by a hallucination stemming from the consumption of amanita.
Did you know this story? If you found it curious, share it with everyone so that they know the true origin of Father Christmas.