Just when you thought a friendly fat man with a knack for sled-travel and a cookie addiction couldn’t get anymore outrageous… in comes a psychonaut twist on a folklore classic.
Let’s take into consideration that for most of our youth we swore legitimacy on Santa being a real man delivering real gifts, and with that reminder let’s get in touch with our inner children and believe in this new tale that any adult could get a proper kick out of. So folks, fill up your eggnog cups, pop a mushroom cap and hear me out!
Although the origins of Santa can be traced back to a few different religious and historical portrayals (including the infamous Coca-Cola portrayal), we must tap into the one that really matters. For this specific genre of article we land in the Siberian regions where shamanism holds resemblances of its own, relevant to the Christmas traditions many of us know of today. The term shamanism, coming from the Manchu-Tungus word šaman, quite literally translates to “one who knows”, and we all know Santa “knows when you are sleeping.” Not to mention the North pole has been moving at a steady pace in recent years, straying from Canada and drifting back towards Siberia. All this being just the tip of the Arctic iceberg, adding verification to the speculation that Santa might just be a psychedelic-loving Shaman from Siberia.
Santa’s jolly attire may be recognized as a familiar color palette for many psychedelic enjoyers, resembling the red and white Amanita mushroom. On the more factual side, it is said that Arctic Shamans gave out these mushrooms on the Winter Solstice. Although the Amanita mushroom is rather picturesque, they are indeed toxic. One way to reduce their toxicity is to dry them, which is why upon picking them, people would spread them along the trees to dry before gifting them— emulating what we now know as tree ornaments. At the end of the tree-hung drying session, the jolly Shaman would go around and collect the Amanita’s and place them into a large burlap sack… Ring any bells? Better yet, once all the mushrooms were collected, the Shaman would go around to people’s doors and offer them as gifts, where they would continue their drying inside a sock over the fireplace. Hmm…
Now, let’s not forget Santa’s psychedelic reindeer sidekicks! If you’ve ever known the feeling of an intense mushroom trip, you may have endured feelings of soaring or flight. Reindeer, coincidentally, love Amanita mushrooms, so much that they actually hunt them in the wild. Not only does this explain the origins of reindeer flying powers, but also tells us how Santa was able to stay high and alive on his psychedelic endeavors: psychedelic reindeer pee. Thanks to the filtration system of toxicity being passed through the liver, the reindeer were essentially able to filter out the toxicity of the mushrooms while leaving the psychoactive elements intact well enough to be consumed and enjoyed by… you guessed it, Santa. Another somewhat spiritual element of this is that because of the reindeer’s ability to give these safe trips for those who drank their urine, the reindeer were subsequently viewed as guides, with the ability to defy space and time as a result of their psychedelic nature.
The more you read into the tale of Santa’s shamanic origins, it begins to make more and more sense. Sure, Coca-Cola did a great job of designing a warm and cozy well-fed man to keep kids excited on Christmas Eve, but as a well-adjusted adult, I fully believe Santa was given his magical roots by being a Medicine Man from the frigid north of Siberia. Not to mention, we evidently associate Santa with generosity, togetherness, magic and miracles — traits that we can utmost associate with shamanic entities.
The evidence of these Christmas ridden claims are up for debate, BUT there’s one thing we know for sure: Christmas is about believing in what you wish to believe. Why? Because what really matters is the time spent with your loved ones, and allowing the inner child that peeks out of our grown souls every Christmas a day or two to simply flourish. In our world, magic is always something to believe in. Not only is it scattered all around us, but also within us, even on the days we struggle to locate it ourselves. From all of us to you, we wish you a holiday full of happiness and glowing light.
Remember to spread as much kindness as you can this year…you never know what Santa might leave under the tree.