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Did Magic Mushrooms Send Santa & His Reindeer ‘Flying’? Investigating Pre-Christian Santa Folklore

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*This article is the first segment in a new series that CE is launching which will explore the expansive topic of psychedelics. We will be chatting with some of today’s most well-respected figures in the field with hopes to broaden our understanding of the remarkable and enigmatic topic that is psychedelics. Stay tuned! 

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*Edit: CE by no means promotes eating wild amanita muscaria. Although very rare, there have been reported cases of amanita posioning so we suggest doing your research before trying to hunt it down. 

As a child, the Christmas season always represented great things. The holiday cheer, the familial celebrations, and most exciting of all, presents. But as I grew into adulthood, the sparkling veil of the Christmas season soon revealed it’s true form – a religious-based, commercial lie meant to perpetuate consumerism and materialism.

I eventually let go of my jaded view of Christmas, and created my own meaning for the holiday season, which now saw the end of the year as a dedicated time to spend with the ones I love, and to reflect on the experiences and lessons of the previous year. Not that Christmas is the only time to do this, but let’s face it, life has a tendency to otherwise keep us preoccupied.

But recently my views on Christmas were challenged once again, after reading up on the pre-Christian history of Santa Claus and his ‘magical’ reindeer. I was shocked to hear a proposed theory of the story’s origins, which explained how Santa may have originally been a northern Eurasian shaman who used the psychedelic mushroom amanita muscaria, and that many of the well known Christmas symbols, such as the tree, the star, and the gifts, were actually inspired by esoteric practices involving the red and white magic mushroom.

A Siberian Shaman With A Bag Of Special ‘Gifts’

ShamanClaus

Could the story of Santa actually be inspired by Shamanistic practices out of Northern Europe and Asia during the pre-Christian era?

In his articleMagic Mushrooms May Explain Santa & His ‘Flying’ Reindeer, author Douglas Main explains how the story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms. Speaking with John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, California, Main learned more about Santa’s story.

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“Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said Rush.

According to the theory, the legend of Santa derives from shamans in the Siberian and Arctic regions who dropped into locals’ teepee-like homes with a bag full of hallucinatory mushrooms as presents in late December.

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,” Rush told LiveScience. “Because snow is usually blocking doors, there was an opening in the roof through which people entered and exited, thus the chimney story.”

The Christmas Tree Connection

Amanita muscaria grows freely around conifers and birch trees. Could the tradition of placing presents under the tree be symbolic of psychedelic fungi's symbiotic relationship to forest trees?

Amanita muscaria grows freely around conifers and birch trees. Could the tradition of placing presents under the tree be symbolic of psychedelic fungi’s symbiotic relationship to forest trees?

In his book, Mushrooms and Mankindlate author James Arthur points out that amanita muscaria, also known as fly agaric, lives throughout the Northern Hemisphere under conifers and birch trees, with which the fungi —which is deep red with white flecks — has a symbiotic relationship. This partially explains the practice of the Christmas tree, and the placement of bright red-and-white presents underneath, which look like Amanita mushrooms, he wrote.

From Northern Antiquities, an English translation of the Prose Edda from 1847. Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge.

Was the Christmas tree tradition based off of ancient Northern European symbology? Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge.

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 … ?” he wrote. “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.”

Author Dana Larsen elaborated on the pre-Christian symbology of the Christmas tree in her article, The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa. She explains how the ancient northern European people, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the “middle earth” of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.

The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this “Pole Star” with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods” wrote Larsen.

“So Up To The House-Top The Coursers They Flew”: Breaking Down The ‘Flying’ Reindeer

Perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of Santa Claus mythology are his co-pilot counterparts, his flying reindeer.

Reindeer are rampant in Siberia, and are also known to include various fungi in their diet, as seen in the BBC Weird Nature video below.

Donald Pfister, a biologist who studies fungi at Harvard University, suggests that Siberian tribesmen who ingested fly agaric (amanita muscaria) may have hallucinated into thinking that reindeer were flying.

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,” Ruck said.

Controversy Over Linking The Pre-Christian Santa To The Modern Day Version of St. Nick

As convincing as the theory may be, many historians and anthropologists disagree with the Amanita shamanic version of Santa Claus, and claim that our current depiction of the jolly old man has in fact evolved from a 4th century Greek-Christian bishop named Saint Nicholas, who was known for his generous gifts to the poor.

A 13th-century depiction of St. Nicholas.

A 13th-century depiction of St. Nicholas.

Then, in 1823, a New York City aristocratic academic by the name of Clement Clarke Moore wrote the infamous poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (which later became “Twas The Night Before Christmas“), which was thought to have been inspired by the Christian bishop, and which envisioned an entirely new portrayal of St. Nick.  Throughout the next few centuries, the image of Santa Claus became ubiquitous throughout Western culture, and was re-sculpted and refined by clever marketing organizations such as Coca Cola. Hence the fat, bearded character we know today.

cokelore_santa_toys_cutout

Santa as depicted in Coca Cola commercialism.

But Germanic folklore tells an even different story of the true origins of Santa Claus. Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples celebrated a midwinter event called Yule. With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. The leader of the wild hunt is frequently attested as the god Odin, who bears the Old Norse names Jólnir, meaning “yule figure” and the name Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard.”

An 1886 depiction of the long-bearded Germanic god Odin by Georg von Rosen.

An 1886 depiction of the long-bearded Germanic god Odin by Georg von Rosen.

James Arthur wrote that at the very least, Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are references back to various related Northern European mythology. For example, the Norse god Thor (known in German as “Donner”) flew in a chariot drawn by two goats, which have been replaced in the modern retelling by Santa’s reindeer.

So Where Does Santa Really Come From?

santa2

The true origins of the pre-Christian Santa are convoluted to say the least, however, one can only consider that the version we see of Santa today is a conglomerate of folklore and mythology from multiple Eurasian cultures of the past. Therein lies the issue of tracing Santa’s true beginnings.

That being said, investigating Santa’s past is amusing at the very least, and I think the shamanic version of the story stands as the most fascinating of all. What are your thoughts on the origins of Santa and his reindeer? Do you think the Amanita muscaria legend could be true? Share with us below!

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WHAT?! Marineland Is Officially Exempt From Canada’s Ban On Whale & Dolphin Captivity

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Image: 123RF

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Canada recently passed a bill that bans the capture and captivity of whales and dolphins. Marineland, a huge whale/dolphin entertainment park, has been exempted from the law that makes it illegal to do so.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives human beings the right to hold such majestic, innocent, benevolent and intelligent animals captive? What gives them the right to separate them from their families? Why do we treat other beings on Earth the way we do?

Animal captivity is extremely cruel and heartbreaking. Imagine what another intelligent, benevolent race would think if they came across our planet and observed what we do. My guess is that they’d be terrified to attempt to interact with us simply based on how we treat other sentient, benevolent beings on this planet.

Canada recently passed a legislation that completely bans keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity for entertainment, trade, possession, capture and breeding. The bill (S-203) is also known as the “Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act,” and it was approved by the House of Commons after they voted in favour of the bill, which was first introduced in 2015.

The only time capture is permitted in Canada is for rescue purposes or, unfortunately, for scientific purposes.

According to Green Party Leader MP Elizabeth May, “Canadians have been clear, they want the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity to end… With the passage of Bill S-203, we have ensured that this will happen.”

More than 20 marine scientists and stakeholder organizations endorsed the bill, which quite frankly should have happened long ago. These beings, or any beings for that matter, do not belong in tanks where they are constantly suffering. These are extremely emotional, social, empathetic and brilliant beings. What we’ve done to them and continue to do to them is beyond horrid, to be blunt.

This bill was supposed to phase out this type of captivity in Canada, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Marineland Canada’s whales will remain at the park following the page of S-203. Already captive whales will remain in captivity, which means approximately 60 animals will live out their entire lives at Marineland and at the Vancouver Aquarium.

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Canadian law now states that it’s a criminal offence, as it should be, to keep a cetacean in captivity, but it looks like Marineland Canada has been exempted from this. It does not seem, however, that they can bring more animals into the park, but they’ll more than likely begin breeding programs to keep their business going for as long as they can.

According to Marie Holer, a representative from Marineland Canada:

We’ve been working to evolve Marineland for over a year and have made many positive changes to the park, including the new educational presentation on marine mammals, the introduction of the Marineland Express and our Polar Splash pad that will open in July. Since opening day, we’ve seen our largest crowds in years and are thrilled that so many people support us in our work. We’re looking forward to enhancing our education, conservation and research focus in the short term to highlight our commitment to marine mammals.”

Is this truly a good step? As long as these animals are in captivity, there can be no care given to these animals. Why do we as human beings feel we can imprison animals like this is simply for entertainment? It feels heartbreaking, confusing, and makes deeply question the state of our connection to wildlife.

Have we really become that disconnected from life?

It’s not all bleak though! Things are obviously improving, and that’s become quite evident thanks to the vast amount of activism over the years that has finally resulted in the passing of the legislation mentioned in this article, but we still have a long way to go.

Remember, these animals have never really shown any type of aggression towards humans, except in captivity.

The Takeaway

Why do human beings go to the circus? Why do they go to places like Marineland? Is it because human beings are terrible? No. It’s simply because many of us have been desensitized and have not quite questioned this in many ways. Which is OK! That’s part of the process. When it comes to animal captivity, mass marketing and scientific justifications have allowed our minds to be manipulated. They’ve made us think that animal captivity is okay, when clearly we would not like to be confined against our will, so why do it to others?

I believe that we’re all born as extremely understanding beings, and that humans are a very empathetic race. I believe that our feelings and our ability to experience empathy are what makes us special. I also believe that these traits and characteristics left us for a while, but they are now returning and we are beginning to “think” from our hearts again.

This is why awareness regarding animal captivity has increased and will continue to increase around the globe until it is completely banned everywhere, or until people simply stop showing up to these places and providing them with profits.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Video: The Most Significant Leak About Extraterrestrial Craft Just Went Public

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently leaked document has exposed notes taken by legendary scientist Dr. Eric Davis during a meeting he had Admiral Thomas Ray Wilson, who was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, regarding extraterrestrial space craft.

  • Reflect On:

    UFOs used to be a conspiracy, now they are quite mainstream and their existence is backed by tremendous amounts of evidence. The next question is, where are they from, and who made them? Will this information be suppressed too?

A quote I love to use in many of my articles comes from Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell. He said, “yes there have been crashed craft, and bodies recovered.” (source)

The thought that governments and/or rogue agencies around the world have been involved in taking down and even possibly revere engineering possible extraterrestrial craft is nothing new. Available to the public are statements from the highest ranking positions within government and the military, and there are also declassified documents that hint toward the same idea.

For example, former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer once told the public that the protocol with regards to UFOs was to “shoot first and ask questions after.” Dr. David Clarke, an investigative journalist, reader and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in England who was also the curator for The National Archives UFO project from 2008–13 uncovered documents showing that the Royal Air Force was desperate to capture one of these UFOs and reverse engineer it. You can see those and read more about it here.

Most Significant Leak?

Check out our video segment on this new leak, or read more below.

More recently, what some are calling the most significant leak in UFO history has been made public – and it may be one of the strongest documents linking UFOs to extraterrestrials.

The document goes into detail about a meeting that was had between Dr. Eric Davis, and Vice Admiral Thomas Ray Wilson. Who is Eric Davis? He is a very well known scientist, and quite the legend. For many years he was a member of the National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS)(Owned by Robert Bigelow), the Chief Science Officer of EarthTech Int’l, Inc. and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin in Austin, Texas; and he is the Owner/Chief Executive/Chief Scientist of Warp Drive Metrics who consults and contracts for the Department of Defense. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Early Universe, Cosmology and Strings Group at the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research at Baylor University in Waco, TX.

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Admiral Thomas Ray Wilson was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 1999 to July 2002, prior to that he was the Director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The document is in the form of notes that were written by Davis after their meeting that took place in 2002, regarding a series of events that took place during the spring of 1997, when Wilson was Deputy Director of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Since the leak of this document, there has been no denial publicly by Davis regarding the authenticity of these documents, and the focal point of the document is about a meeting (and what happened after that meeting) that took place in 1997 between UFO researcher Dr. Steven Greer, Admiral Wilson, Dr. Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14 astronaut) and other high ranking individuals within the military. This meeting was spoken about by Dr. Greer and Dr. Mitchell nearly four years prior to the leak of these documents, so it’s all very interesting. In the episode, we actually play footage of Mitchell confirming and talking about this meeting as well as Greer.

The documents point towards a program that involves the crash retrieval of extraterrestrial craft, that are “not made of this earth, not made by man.”

You can view the entire document here.

if you missed the video embed above of myself and Joe Martino having a discussion about these documents in detail, you can watch it here.

The Takeaway

“There is a serious possibility that we are being visited and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, from other civilizations.” – Lord Admiral Hill-Norton, Former Chief of Defence Staff, 5 Star Admiral of the Royal Navy, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

The fact that we are not alone has huge implications from science to technology, to history and possible metaphysical/spiritual implications as well. It really opens up Pandora’s Box, and it is one out of many examples that are allowing us to see how humanity has been conditioned to think a certain way, limit our reality, despite all of the evidence, that conflicts with long held belief systems.

At the end of the day, the idea that there are other highly advanced, intelligent lifeforms in the universe, or multiverse, and possibly other dimensions that are and have been visiting our planet, and others, for a very long time is most likely just the very tip of the ice-berg.

This is not a new discovery. We have had this type of knowledge of UFOs and ETs for a very long time, culture and elites have simply suppressed this knowing.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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British Home Secretary Has Signed Extradition Order To Send Julian Assange To US

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    British home secretary Sajid Javid has signed the extradition order to send Julian Assange to the US. This now leaves the final decision to the courts. It's likely that the extradition decision process will take many months to decide in court.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this another step in harming the freedom of press? The freedom of revealing truth to citizens? Is this government overreach whereby they feel it's OK to pretend to the public that their knowledge of truth is not important?

The British home secretary, Sajid Javid, has just signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces an 18-count indictment, issued by the US Department of Justice, for charges linked to computer hacking and revealing government secrets in collaboration with Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning. The charges all fall under the Espionage Act.

“He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.” – Sayid Javid

Officially, Assange is accused of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer. “It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts,” said Javid.

If you were to look entirely at the law, you might say “yes, technically if he did these things, there is a case to be made.” However, was Assange involved enough in this process to prosecute him? Did he do something that was a disservice to the people? Or did he do something that was a disservice to the powerful elite?

That is something for you to decide, ideally without the manipulative rhetoric from the powerful elite and the mainstream media they own. Attempts to suggest he threatens the patriotism of the US and the national security of the US might be something to observe as a clear sign of bait and switch: get upset at this, instead of looking at what he revealed about the powerful elite in the totality of the leaks he has put out.

Swedish courts had just recently rejected an extradition request for Assange to be sent back to Sweden for an alleged rape case dating back to 2010. Assange denies the accusation and has since the beginning. The decision out of Upsalla to deny his request was fueled by the claim that Assange did not need to be detained.

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Assange is currently in jail for 50 weeks for skipping bail after he spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was recently too ill to appear at a hearing at Westminster magistrates court in relation to the US request. The hearing has been rescheduled for Friday, June 14th, 2019.

Thomas Garner, an extradition lawyer at Gherson Solicitors, said Javid’s certification of the request was “an important though merely procedural step” to start the extradition process.

“I would expect the court to set a preliminary timetable for the extradition process tomorrow,” he said. “It is likely to be many months before any hearing at the magistrates court and of course either side may then seek to appeal that decision in due course. Despite this, the Swedish authorities will be monitoring the process carefully as the further down the line the US proceedings get the harder it might become for the home secretary to give precedence to any competing request.”

The Takeaway

From a systematic standpoint, this is a necessary procedural step in extraditing Assange to the US and it has been granted. It could have been blocked but Javid felt it was necessary for ‘justice to be served.’

As we can see, this is an example of a spot where someone could have stood up and said “no I don’t support this given what it does to protect the powerful elite and given what it does to journalism and the maintenance of secrecy.” Obviously, Javid would have faced much criticism if he had stood up, perhaps legal problems too, we were not able to confirm that, but we are seeing a system play entirely along with the power elite in this case.

In the video below, there is an important discussion on some of the ‘Qanon’ ideas in relation to Assange. My analysis on that is that it appears to be heavily misguided, but you decide for yourself.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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