Did 'Shrooms Send Santa And His Reindeer Flying?
by Richard Harris
As we prepared to leave, we turned a corner, and there, in a glass case, was an odd assortment of artifacts: Christmas decorations shaped like red mushrooms with white flecks on them, Amanita muscaria, by name. There was also a Santa Claus, dressed in his traditional red robe with white trim.
While I was puzzling at this display, Pfister turned to a colleague, Anne Pringle, and mentioned that he was planning to make his annual lecture about the link between Amanita muscaria — which happens to be a hallucinogenic mushroom — and Santa.
Flying Reindeer, Or ‘Flying’ Reindeer?
He explained that back in 1967 an amateur scholar named R. Gordon Wasson published a book arguing that Amanita muscaria was used in ancient ceremonies by shamans in the Far East. Other scholars then chimed in, noting that in Siberia, both the shamans — and the reindeer — were known to eat these mushrooms. Man and beast alike hallucinated.
You can see the Christmas connections, Pfister said.
I thought I was pretty much inured to the MSM’s twin annual traditions of Christmas and Easter “debunkers,” but this one is a step beyond my expectations. I wonder if the Greek Orthodox and Catholic Churches knew Saint Nicholas was really a Siberian shaman, not a bishop in Asia Minor … NPR says it, it must be true … right …?