There’s been a much disputed theory floating around over the years, involving Santa’s flying reindeer and magic mushrooms.
We all know the annually told tale called “The Night Before Christmas,” written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823. It’s legendary and was responsible for the motif of St. Nicholas in a air borne sleigh:
“I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
“More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
“And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!”
So, where did the writer find the inspiration for such an idea?
Well according to John Rush, an anthropologist at Sierra College in Rockland, California. The fable is based in some truth, witnesses did in fact see flying reindeer, but it was during a serious ‘shroom trip.
The story of Santa and his reindeer is said to come from Siberia and their ancient shamanic culture. Apparently, the shamans would consume a great deal of the fungi, Amanita Muscaria or holy mushroom, as would the wild reindeer native to the area.
They would travel from all around in their herds to partake in these magical toadstools.
Live Science [worth the read!] explored this topic further and spoke to Carl Ruck, a Classics professor at Boston University who said, “Amongst the Siberian shamans, you have an animal spirit you can journey with in your vision quest.
"And reindeer are common and familiar to people in eastern Siberia.”
The connection makes sense and researchers believe that over time many indigenous cultures from around Europe influenced the story of Santa Claus we know today.
Either way, we at loaded will still be listening out for hooves on the roof this christmas.
Ho,Ho, Ho - Holy Mushroom! - Loaded/Dec. 18, 2016
Photo: Mrs. Claus & the Elves