A Very Mushroom Christmas?




Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Christmas?  Beyond the religious ties to Christianity, or the Pagan traditions, there exsits an ancient tradition that has long been forgotten.


When one thinks of Christmas, one immediately imagines the colors red and white. From the alluring wrapped presents to Christmas sweatshirts and of course Santa Claus and his famous red and white attire. A red and white theme is clear in the context of this holiday and the traditions surrounding it. Saint Nick’s archetypal image can be dated back thousands of years, even found in the most unpredictable places and times.


Since pre-Christian times, this time of year has always been a time of festivities and celebration, with music, dancing, banquets, and gatherings.



Santa or Shaman?


The Santa Claus, and Christmas holiday (of today) have metamorphosised out of many older Mythologies and traditions.


What are present today as icons, symbols, and relics that have managed to find their way into the Winter Solstice celebrations have a commonality that deserves some reflection, study, and perhaps even some reverence.


Understanding these symbols that have been borrowed from ancient traditions (that had nothing to do with modern day Christmas) is central to getting at the root of the true meaning of Christmas.







The Santa Claus (of today) is a metamorphosis of many older Mythologies. Including Thor or Donner (German) who wears red and rides in a “Golden Flying Chariot” pulled by two goats (Cracker and Gnasher). These goats were in a sense the ancestors to the now popular reindeer.


What would the red and gold clad angel be doing with that nice basket?


An Easter basket at Christmas is an interesting concept. And what is that object at the top of Santa’s bag?



“It is well documented By Fundamentalists that the Christmas traditions are Pagan in origin. This simply means that their origin comes from the traditions of the country folk (pagan). The Pagan origins of most of the other attributes of Christianity are usually vigorously denied.

It is also very easy to obscure, overlook and discredit the Hindu, Egyptian, Mithraic, Germanic, Greek and Buddhist roots by lumping all other religions together and labeling them Pagan.

These are certainly not simple country-folk religions. So to say Christmas has Pagan roots is glossing over what exactly those roots are, and discrediting their study as worthless. Many of the Christmas traditions and stories have hidden meanings.

Not apparent at first look, a more thorough investigation reveals there is far more symbolic content which is decipherable than suspected. At the roots of this search is the secret of the Mushroom, its habitat, form, users, effect, and symbolism.” – James Arthur

“It is fairly common knowledge that the Weihnachtsmann (St. Nick) was an amalgamation of older Germanic/Norse gods such as Thor, Donner, Odin and Wotan.

What’s missing here is just as Santa flies through the skies in his sleigh, Odin (as well as the rest) rode through the sky in his chariot, which is depicted in the stars by ‘The Big Dipper’.

The Big Dipper is the chariot of Odin & Wotan, Thor, King Arthur, and even Osiris (of Egypt). The chariot that circles the North Star in a 24 hour period is thus also known as the sleigh of Santa Claus because it circles his mythological home, the North Pole.

It is no surprise that Nordic/Germanic gods have connection to mushrooms in their mythology. As Thor throws his mushroom-shaped hammer to the ground, mighty thunders and lightning cracks cause the real mushroom(s) to appear.

As the horses pulling Odin through the sky in his chariot become over-exerted, their blood-mingled spit falls to the ground and causes the Amanita mushrooms to grow at those exact points.” –James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind

Siberia and Shamans?

According to wikipedia Shamanism is a religious practice that involves a practitioner (shaman) interacting with what they believe to be a spirit world through altered states of consciousness, such as trance.

The goal of this is usually to direct spirits or spiritual energies into the physical world for the purpose of healing, divination, or to aid human beings in some other way.

To this day Siberian shamans dress in ceremonial red and white fur-trimmed jackets to gather the magic mushrooms. First they pick and place the mushrooms to partially dry on nearby pine boughs which prepares them for ingestion and makes the load lighter.

This is why we decorate our Christmas trees with ornaments and bulbs writes James Arthur, because the gatherers would always adorn trees with drying mushrooms. Next the shaman collects his red and white presents in a sack and proceeds to travel from house to house delivering them.

During Siberian winters, the snow piles up past the doors of their yurts (huts), so the red and white clad shaman must climb down the smoke-hole (chimney) to deliver the presents in his sack. Finally the appreciative villagers string the mushrooms up or put them in stockings hung affront the fire to dry. When they awake in the morning, their presents from under the pine tree are all dried and ready to eat.




The Siberian Shaman’s used, and still do today (despite governmental oppression) The Amanita muscaria as a Religious Sacrament, writes James Arthur.


The value of the inebriant is placed highly among the commodities of the natives. Fetching Reindeer pelts and meats in payment and barter.


Interesting to note that if you aren’t quick enough, you will find only the mushroom stubs, the rest greedily gobbled up by the hungry Reindeer.


The Shaman of Siberia and the Russian Icon St. Nicholas, both play parts in the tale of Christmas.


Including where Christmas came from, and why there are certain Symbols associated with the holiday.



“Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world”, says John, “as the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collect Amanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them, and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice,” according to John Rush, an anthropologist, and instructor at Sierra College.








Wont you guide my sleigh tonight?



Research has shown that reindeer do in fact have a fondness for the Amanita Muscaria.


Deputy editor of the Pharmaceutical Journal, Andrew Haynes, wrote in 2010 that animals deliberately seek out the red and white spotted mushroom in their habitats, as they “have a desire to experience altered states of consciousness” Haynes also wrote, “for humans, a common side-effect of mushrooms is the feeling of flying, so it’s interesting the legend about Santa’s reindeer is they can fly.”


Haynes even claimed that reindeer seek out the mushrooms to “escape the monotony of dreary long winters.”




“At first glance, one thinks it’s ridiculous, but it’s not,” said Carl Ruck, a professor of classics at Boston University.

“Whoever heard of reindeer flying? I think it’s becoming general knowledge that Santa is taking a ‘trip’ with his reindeer.”

One historian, Ronald Hutton, told NPR that the theory of a mushroom-Santa connection is flawed. “If you look at the evidence of Siberian shamanism, which I’ve done,” Hutton said, “you find that shamans didn’t travel by sleigh, didn’t usually deal with reindeer spirits, very rarely took the mushrooms to get trances, didn’t have red-and-white clothes.”



Yet Rush and Hutton disagree.


According to the two researchers (Rush and Haynes), the shamans did actually deal with reindeer spirits and the ingestion of mushrooms is well documented. Siberian shamans did wear red deer pelts, but the coloring of Santa’s garb is mainly meant to mirror the coloring of Amanita mushrooms, Rush added.


As for sleighs, the point is not the mode of travel, but that the “trip” involving the transportation to a different, celestial realm, Rush said.


Sometimes people would also drink the urine of the shaman or the reindeer, as the hallucinogenic compounds are excreted this way, without some of the harmful chemicals present in the mushrooms, which are broken down by the shaman or the reindeer, according to Rush.





“People who know about shamanism accept this story,” Ruck said. “Is there any other reason that Santa lives in the North Pole? It is a tradition that can be traced back to Siberia.”



The Christmas Tree



“The Pine tree is one of the well-known central relics of Christmas. Under this tree is where those who are deemed good find their reward in the form of a present. A big red and white rounded mushroom grows under the very tree we are to look under on Christmas morning to find our gift.” –James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”






All over the world people bring coniferous trees into their houses and place brightly colored packages underneath them.


In Nature, this is where you will find the Amanita muscaria (under coniferous trees).


These particular Mushrooms grow in a symbiotic relationship with these particular trees.


The actual living body is called Mycellium. It attaches to the roots of the tree awaiting the drop of a spore which produces the Fruiting body (fruit). The Mushroom is literally the Fruit of the Tree.


As they grow in a Mycorhizal relationship with the tree, they are not parasitic. The tradition of bringing a tree into the home, and putting presents under it, is a custom that many follow.


James adds that most people dont comprehend the true meaning of Christmas.


Even people that think they know, usually have no knowledge of this.


The Symbolic meaning behind this transcends Etymological and Historical evidence.






Christmas ornaments?





So why do people bring pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice and adorn their pine trees with Christmas ornaments? Placing brightly colored (red and white) packages under the boughs to give each other as a token of their love and as a representation of the Love of God and the gift of his Sons life?





James Arthur writes;


The Tradition of Ornamenting a tree is likely from the tradition of “The Paradise tree” a fir tree decorated with apples (represented the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden).


In Germany during the Middle Ages a popular play was staged on December 24th (the religious feast day of Adam and Eve) symbolic of the Paradise story. Candles (symbolizing Christ), and cookies (originally wafers, symbolizing the Christian sacrament) were also hung on the tree, which is another symbolic connection.


This Ornament is of particular interest because of the association with the Fruit of the tree of knowledge and the Amanita muscaria. James Arthur adds “this indicates that there have always been people “in the know.”


Originally the fruit of the tree of life and the more recently added fruit of the tree of knowledge were one in the same. This according to Apocryphal texts.


Safety Concerns?



According to Newsweek; “magic mushrooms” have been used by human societies for thousands of years, and are featured in prehistoric art in both Europe and Mesoamerica.


The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in America was partially stamped out by Catholic missionaries during the Spanish conquest, but continued to be used in indigenous ceremonies in Mexico.


























  • In 1957, Life magazine published the account of two ethnomycologists, who participated in just such a ceremony (it was revealed in 2016 that their expedition was funded by the CIA’s Project MKUltra). A year later, Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist who first synthesized LSD, isolated the psychedelic compound psilocybin.





Regarding toxicity, a fatal dose of amanitas is estimated to be around 15 caps. Poisoning has occurred with young children and people who attempted to consume the mushroom for a psychedelic experience.


Some books sometimes warn that amanitas are “deadly”, but this is in error and implies the mushroom is more toxic than it is in reality—according to the North American Mycological Association, there were no reliably documented fatalities from eating this mushroom during the 20th century and modern medical treatment is able to assist with the accidental ingestion of this mushroom.


The vast majority (90% or more) of mushroom poisoning comes from eating the greenish to yellowish “death cap” or one of several white amanita species which are known as “destroying angels”.



James Arthur:


James Arthur was known for his writing and lecturing on the topic of mushrooms and religion.  Though it’s unlikely that Arthur will be remembered for his scholarship, many enjoyed his presentations that drew connections between religious historical art and psychoactive mushrooms.



“First hand understanding is through the ingestion of the holy substances, of which there has been so much written, that this brief expose’ merely scratches the surface of. It is this direct communal contact which is truly the means whereby a human being can experience his true spiritual nature. One must take very seriously his /her own spirituality, for this is that which we truly are. As I stated in the opening sentence, ‘This experience is of extremely great value’. So much so, that I feel it necessary to the evolutionary process of each and every individual, and inevitably to all of mankind.” -James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”


“The time has come for this knowledge to be revealed into plain sight. It is no longer the property of those few elite to keep hidden from the general population. The sleepers must awaken”
–James Arthur 1998


Click the image below to purchase Mr. Arthur’s book




Quick Recap:



1. Saint Nicholas is the patron Saint of children in Siberia (Russia)



2. The Mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) grow nearly exclusively under the Christmas (Coniferous) Trees.



3. The Reindeer eat these Mushrooms.. Hence the presumed flight.



4. Santa brings presents in his Bag. Mushrooms are gathered in Bags.



5. The Mushrooms are Red and White.



6. The Mushrooms are typically Dried by hanging them on the Hearth of the fireplace on strings. Just as stockings are hung in the same way



7. The Virgin Birth is Symbolic for the Mushroom. It grows without seed (Spores are microscopic) and it’s appearance was thought to be Miraculous because of this.



8. The very name Christmas.. Is a Holiday name composed of the words …Christ (meaning the Anointed with the Magical Substance) …Mass (a special religious service/ceremony of the Sacramental ingestion of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ.) In Catholic Tradition this Substance (Body/Soma) Has been replaced by the doctrine of Trans-substantiation, Whereby (in magical ceremony) The Priests claim the ability to transform A cracker into the literal Body of Christ.. IE. Substitute/Placebo.






“So, why do people bring Pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice, placing brightly colored (Red and White) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for each other and as representations of the love of God and the gift of his Sons life? It is because, underneath the Pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’ Substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.”


Vintage postcard shows confiers with mushrooms growing under.


“The very name, ‘Christmas’ is a holiday name composed of the words, ‘Christ’ (meaning ‘one who is anointed with the Magical Substance’) and ‘Mass’ (a special religious service/ceremony of the sacramental ingestion of the Eucharist, the ‘Body of Christ’). In the Catholic tradition, this substance (Body/Soma) has been replaced by the doctrine of ‘Trans-substantiation’, whereby in a magical ceremony the Priests claim the ability to transform a ‘cracker/round-wafer’ into the literal ‘Body of Christ’; ie, a substitute or placebo.” -James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”


Anointed Santa bringing gifts to the children
An “anointed” Santa




This article was simply written for educational purposes. I personally do not condone the consumption of “magic mushrooms.” While some states have worked to decriminalize psilocybin for therapeutic use the use, sale, and possession of psilocybin in the United States is illegal under federal law.












































Mushrooms and Mankind by James Arthur | AmanitaShop | Buy Amanita muscaria


A Very Mushroom Christmas — Think Wilder


The Atlantean Conspiracy: Santa Claus the Magic Mushroom


Magic Mushrooms and Mankind: A Quick History | News – Micro Zoomers


Psilocybin decriminalization in the United States – Wikipedia


Magic Mushrooms Guide: Where Shrooms Are Legal and How To Take Psilocybin (newsweek.com)


1957 – Wasson – Life Magazine – Secret of Divine Mushrooms (Web) PDF | PDF (scribd.com)


North American Mycological Association (namyco.org)


Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and … – James Arthur – Google Books


(PDF) Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe | Carl A . P . Ruck – Academia.edu

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