by Zero Hedge
As we pass the winter solstice, so begins our end of year rituals. Ritual celebrations convoluted over time, only to fit in with the society today. The traditions of our popular culture (Christmas, New Years, etc.) actually find their roots in early Pagan ceremonies that guide us to the closing of a chapter, to be reborn in a new year. The cultural Zeitgeist tells a story that during Christmas time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, however we are actually following astrological patterns, celebrating the balance with seasonal cycles and the precession of the equinox. This is the finite choreography of the stars, and the winter solstice is special occurrence that allows dreams to manifest in the year ahead.
While studying the origins of Christmas, specifically in relation to the Santa mythos – there has been a lot that seems to be lost in the ground that the “root” of the story takes place in. Many people have studied this, and it’s been revealed that the origin of Santa is actually the spirit of the Kamchadales and the Koryak Shaman from Siberia. These Shaman wore red clothing, with white accents in homage to the Fly Agaric mushroom. This hallucinogenic mushroom can be found beneath only specific trees, like the fir or pine, which they understood as the Tree of Life. The Mushrooms are the literal “fruit” of those trees, and grow from the roots. The Shaman would collect these fruits, and bring them to the homes of the tribe. They would dry them over the fire, or hang them on the pine tree inside their homes. This specific mushroom played an important role in their end of the year rituals, because astrologically there is something consistent and special happening. The energetic vortex of the winter solstice provided a gift that allowed humanity to connect with a higher power to gain insight.
These traditions were passed down, and found their way into the rituals of civilized societies like Denmark and Great Britain. With that, they lost an integral piece of the puzzle that was the soul of these rituals.
Mankind tends to seek a better definition, even if the root of the story is lost beneath the soil. So, eventually we find an opportunity to anthropomorphize the spirit of the shaman, which is where St. Nicholas comes into play. Jolly old St. Nick is the patron saint of the weary traveler, and the poor. This is one of the most important parts of the story, because with St. Nick, there is the importance of “making a list”, which is actually a Pagan ritual that will allow the manifestation of intention. This tradition was brought to Great Britain by the druids. Children are powerful, and using their energy to perpetuate something negative like capitalist gains, only further degrades our current society. The secret is not to make a list of material things that we desire – which is absolutely perpetuated by consumerism – but make a list of needs met with good intention. Whether for the self, of the better of humanity or the environment, it is important to understand what it is you truly need.
St. Nicholas also embodied the ethos of “giving to others in need”. This is the most significant part of the interpretation of this mythology. As the Shaman gave the psychedelic experience to those stuck in their homes during Siberian winters…this awoke their spirit, and gave them an understanding that could never be explained. It’s a sacred experience, and it was ritualized. St. Nicholas on the other hand, took what he could, and gave it to the poor. That is the tradition we need to perpetuate. It’s not about family gifting. It’s truly about spreading joy, and bringing joy.
While this time of year can be daunting due to the cold, it is a time for reflection, hibernation, empathy and gratitude. The darkness of winter, only brings forth the light of the spring…your intentions during the dark of winter should lay in positive actions, that will bring forth a positive future. In keeping to the concept of Karma – you reap what you sow. It’s a time of year, where we plant the seed of our intentions, into the soil of the universe. Life is beautiful, and it’s the season to reflect and embrace it. Give what you can, and the universe will respond positively in the year that follows.
1. Arctic shamans gave out mushrooms on the winter solstice.
According to the theory, the legend of Santa derives from shamans in the Siberian and Arctic regions who dropped into locals’ teepeelike homes with a bag full of hallucinogenic mushrooms as presents in late December, Rush said.
“As the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago, these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collectAmanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice,” Rush told LiveScience in an email. “Because snow is usually blocking doors, there was an opening in the roof through which people entered and exited, thus the chimney story.”