(LINK) James Arthur* on the hidden origins of Christmas in the Western world
To even contemplate using mushrooms as entheogens is to incur the wrath of religieux, rationalists, and the policing powers of the state. Why? There is a concerted effort to prevent direct spiritual experience; it must be mediated and controlled by an elite and educated priestly caste, just as in ancient times. The Buddhist shramanas (Pali, samanas, "wandering ascetics") or shamans would not submit to the authority of the brahmanas or brahmins, and as warriors they took up the Quest.
But the history of the "Pagan" European and Norse Scandinavian use of mushrooms (eaten by reindeer and Siberian shamans) is so steeped in Christian-Christmas lore as to seem ridiculously obvious. For example, What is found to the delight of the discoverer suddenly appearing under pine trees in the forests of the great north? Red-and-white Amanita muscaria mushrooms!
What is found to the delight of the discoverer suddenly appearing under pine trees in Christian living rooms? Red-and-white wrapped gifts! It's no mere coincidence occurring at astronomical odds. There are countless examples revealing the connections. Wisdom Quarterly has covered the topic (of entheogens) extensively in past articles.
LINK: "Hidden Mysteries of Christmas Unveiled"
(GnosticMedia) Astronomy has a lot to do with it. The first half covers the reason for talking about Jesus Christ and the Three Kings of the East and myths surrounding them, whereas the second half discusses Santa Claus and the details of our otherwise inexplicable Western Christmas Eve traditions.
*JAMES ARTHUR: Having become fascinated with religions of all types at an early age, James Arthur hurtled into deep study for 25 years. He discovered works by Ethnomycology pioneers R. Gordon Wasson and John Marco Allegro. He set out on a quest to unravel the mysterious meanings and implications of sacramental ingestion of plants in a religious context. In 1976 Wasson told Arthur that, in his opinion, Arthur was the world's leading expert in the field of Ethnomycology as it pertains to Christianity. He also referred to him as his dear friend.
James Arthur has been a long time Student of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Lama Tharchin Rimpoche, Lama Lodro, and many others. Arthur's Tibetan name is Dorje Drolod. He is also an ordained Christian priest and is therefore very familiar with Christianity. (He does not condone the practices of any priests; in fact, he advises against joining any priesthood, religion, church, or organization that requires a sworn oath or blind acceptance of a belief-system). Arthur exposes both faults and positive aspects of religion to break the bonds of our upbringing and indoctrination thereby empowering the individual. He considers study of all religions. valuable.