The Amanita Muscaria, a well known mushroom throughout the world, and still a mysterious fungus withhallucinogenic properties.
What i am about to write, may be the origins of the myth of Santa Claus.
Many of the traditions we see across the world that are tied to the Christmas holidays have a suprising similarity to the ancient traditions of the Siberian Shamans. Through the description bellow, you can easily see the role of Santa Claus being filled by the local shaman. His gift to everyone on Christmas (Winter Solsitice), was to give dried out mushrooms that were hung by the fire with care.
In ancient times, our ancestors had a great connection with nature, so it is obvious that this tale starts with something from nature, a mushroom, it was not something that was man-made, far back, humans had a great care, love, respect for earthly things.
The name of the mushroom is Amanita muscaria, also called Fly Agaric. Muscaria is a psychotropic, causing visions and altered states. It is also toxic, and must be handled in a particular manner so as to get the psychedelic effects without the toxic ones, there is no record of someone that has died because of these mushrooms, most animals love them and eat them and they dont die, of course animals have a diferent metabolism then ours and are use to these things, but also human eat it, no one has ever died so far, but yes.. it is dangerous.The shaman would collect the mushrooms in a bag and deliver them to families, who would then often hang them in socks around the fireplace to be dried, the mushrooms would be ready to “share” their revelatory gifts in the morning of the solstice.
Amanita Muscaria grows only beneath a Christmas tree (coniferous/pine tree) in a symbiotic, non-parasitic relationship with the roots of the tree. It used to be thought to be the fruit of the tree.
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 may be why we decorate our Christmas trees with ornaments and bulbs, because the gatherers would always adorn trees with drying mushrooms.
The tradition of the Shaman was to go into the forests and collect these mushrooms that grow under pine trees or evergreen trees. The Shaman would collect enough for the entire tribe and then go to each of the houses, sometimes due to heavy snow the doors would be snowed in and the Shaman would have to enter through the smoke hole in the roof.
I am not telling that Santa Claus is of Red and White in is clothes because of this tradition, because everyone knows his comercial figure is in those colours because of Coca-Cola, this may be acoincidence, because shamans can dress in other colours in this specific day.
Also there is the myth of the flying Reindeers, well, that may be because reindeers love to eat these specific mushrooms, even at winter reindeers dig the mushrooms from the snow to eat them, shamans belive they can talk and interact with the reindeers that are also under the efect of the mushroom.