It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by dave_54
He is a myth. No one really believes in him. But we continue to pretend because we need to. We would all snap from the stress and pressure if we did not have Santa.
Originally posted by DominionOfGozer
I mean does he constitute a mythical creature, an inhabitant of another world, or maybe a viking with a red outfit stranded on the north pole.
Santa Claus, super shaman
Although the modern image of Santa Claus was created at least in part by the advertising department of Coca-Cola, in truth his appearance, clothing, mannerisms and companions all mark him as the reincarnation of these ancient mushroom-gathering shamans.
One of the side effects of eating amanita mushrooms is that the skin and facial features take on a flushed, ruddy glow. This is why Santa is always shown with glowing red cheeks and nose. Even Santa's jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" is the euphoric laugh of one who has indulged in the magic fungus.
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.
These peoples lived in dwellings made of birch and reindeer hide, called "yurts." Somewhat similar to a teepee, the yurt's central smokehole 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.
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.
The psychedelic journeys taken under the influence of the amanita were also symbolized by a stick reaching up through the smokehole in the top of the yurt. The smokehole was the portal where the spirit of the shaman exited the physical plane.
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.
If the Christmas tree is a symbol for life, then could it also be the actual Tree of Life?
The Amanita muscaria is the Fruit of the Tree of Life because the Amanita muscaria cannot grow without the conifer tree. The Amanita muscaria mushrooms are quite literally the fruit of the pine tree because of the chemical relationship that they have with the roots of that particular type of tree.
They are found growing only under coniferous trees in nature. Just as nature needs an apple tree to grow apples, nature also needs a coniferous tree to grow the little red and white Amanita muscaria.
Keep this in mind next time you bring a pine tree into your house and place red and white gifts underneath it.
Santa's Reindeer that most of us know by heart come to us from the same poem 'Twas the night before Christmas, yet they too seem to have associations with mushrooms, both their growth cycle as well as their role in the classic shamanic experience. For example, Donder and Blitzen, which come from the Germanic words for thunder and lightening, may have actually originated in the ancient belief that mushrooms appeared wherever lightening struck the earth. This was considered truth until relatively recently, with the advent of the microscope in modern times, when humans discovered that mushrooms propagate by releasing spores from their gills. In the case of the fly agaric, soaking rains are necessary for a mushroom to emerge out of the ground, hence the association with thunder and lightening....
We have already seen how reindeer have an appetite for the fly agaric, and their names seem to corroborate this fact. For example, Dasher, Dancer and Prancer can be seen merely as slick nick names expressing the athleticism of Santa's showoff reindeer, or these names can be seen to refer to the effects that the fly agaric has upon not only the reindeer, but the shaman as well. Claims of running extremely fast or for very long distances, and trance-dancing for hours on end are not uncommon in reports made by people who have eaten of the agaric. (8)
The word comet refers to a heavenly body in flight. In my view, the flying reindeer named Comet becomes a kind of code word for astral travel under the influence of entheogenic mushrooms. One common sensation associated with the classic shamanic experience is that of leaving one's body and taking flight. A comet is also celestial, the heavens are it's domain, and as we will see time and again, entheogenic mushrooms like the fly agaric can be seen as keys which unlock the doors to heaven.
Cupid is the name of another reindeer on Santa's team. How should this ancient Roman god of love who is normally associated with Valentines Day (another red and white holiday) come to be the appellation of a flying Christmas reindeer? Again, I submit that the best way to make sense of it is through the experience of mushroom entheogens, particularly the fly agaric. Cupid is the messenger of Eros, god of love. Entheogenic mushrooms like the fly agaric have the potential to awaken feelings of love that range from the profoundly spiritual kind of boundless love, to rapture or ecstasy, to the very earthy sensual love that includes the erotic, which in this context also becomes sacred. Clark Heinrich describes the blissful sensuality inherent in the fly agaric experience, "It is as if every pore of the body were a sexual organ in orgasm, and I am not overstating things." (9) The notion of ecstasy is a repeated theme in mushroom shamanism and Christmas alike.
And finally we come to Vixen, the one distinctly feminine reindeer. Today the word vixen means a spiteful or quarrelsome woman, but earlier it meant simply fox-lady. The word sounds a lot like wiccan which of course is associated with witches and witchcraft. Wiccan originally means "to bend," referring to a witch as one who bends or shapes reality and perception. It is not unsafe to speculate on the meaning of vixen in this context as a shape shifter or witch. The "fox-lady" represents women's magic in the very same way Santa represents men's magic. Mushrooms like the fly agaric can allow one to attain shamanic powers such as magical flight and shape shifting. These reindeer names refer to the transpersonal states of mind accessed by witches and sorcerers, initiates and shamans throughout time immemorial.
The active ingredients of the amanita mushrooms are not metabolized by the body, and so they remain active in the urine. In fact, it is safer to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms than to eat the mushrooms directly, as many of the toxic compounds are processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body.
It was common practice among ancient people to recycle the potent effects of the mushroom by drinking each other's urine. The amanita's ingredients can remain potent even after six passes through the human body. Some scholars argue that this is the origin of the phrase "to get pissed," as this urine-drinking activity preceded alcohol by thousands of years.
Reindeer were the sacred animals of these semi-nomadic people, as the reindeer provided food, shelter, clothing and other necessities. Reindeer are also fond of eating the amanita mushrooms; they will seek them out, then prance about while under their influence. Often the urine of tripped-out reindeer would be consumed for its psychedelic effects.
This effect goes the other way too, as reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human, especially one who has consumed the mushrooms. In fact, reindeer will seek out human urine to drink, and some tribesmen carry sealskin containers of their own collected piss, which they use to attract stray reindeer back into the herd.
The effects of the amanita mushroom usually include sensations of size distortion and flying. The feeling of flying could account for the legends of flying reindeer, and legends of shamanic journeys included stories of winged reindeer, transporting their riders up to the highest branches of the World Tree...