The Christmas tree, a symbol of festive joy and tradition, has some fascinating historical ties to ancient rituals involving mushrooms… notably the Amanita Muscaria.
A happy man, wearing red and white robes, carrying a sack of ‘presents’, riding in a sleigh… pulled by reindeer.
The shaman decorated their clothing the colours of the mushroom (red and white), offered a gift of fly Agaric from a large sack and traveled on the Lapland icy terrain in a sleigh… pulled by reindeer who also love the mushroom (‘flying’ raindeer).
Fly Agaric or Amanita Muscaria are seriously toxic! They grow around pine trees, the Shaman would pick them and dry them by hanging them on the branches (as drying them reduces the toxicity). Hanging them in a sock over a fire to dry was another alternative method… sounding familiar?
The link between the Christmas Tree and the mushrooms traces back to ancient practices surrounding the use of these mushrooms in spiritual and ceremonial contexts. Amanita Muscaria, with its vibrant red cap adorned with white specks, grows in symbiosis with coniferous trees… particularly pines.
Some really intense ‘shrooms on the evening of the winter solstice…
In many cultures these mushrooms were considered sacred and were used in Shamanic practices to induce Altered States of Consciousness. Their use was tied to seeking spiritual enlightenment, divination and connecting with the divine. These mushrooms were a part of winter solstice rituals, including gift-giving ceremonies.
Shamans were known to consume Amanita Muscaria during Winter Solstice ceremonies and festive gatherings They were considered potent tools for spiritual transcendence and accessing realms beyond the ordinary… as a means of seeking divine insights, healing and guidance.
The Shaman were seen as conduits between the physical and spiritual realms, using these mushrooms to connect with the mystical forces believed to reside within the natural world.
The tradition of giving these mushrooms as gifts during late December was also attributed to these shamanic practices… symbolizing sharing spiritual wisdom and enlightenment.
The symbolism of the mushroom under the pine tree merged with the tradition of bringing evergreen trees indoors during winter festivals… which eventually evolved into the modern Christmas Tree.
How would freedom from them feel to you?
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