Did Shamans Really Drink Reindeer Piss?

Discussion in 'The Pavilion' started by Macrobius, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Macrobius The Old Usager

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    Via http://stout.weremight.com/showthread.php?10950-Did-Shamans-Really-Drink-Reindeer-Piss



    Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, many of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe.

    The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as "fly agaric." These mushrooms are now commonly seen in books of fairy tales, and are usually associated with magic and fairies. This is because they contain potent hallucinogenic compounds, and were used by ancient peoples for insight and transcendental experiences.

    Most of the major elements of the modern Christmas celebration, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, magical reindeer and the giving of gifts, are originally based upon the traditions surrounding the harvest and consumption of these most sacred mushrooms.

    The world tree

    These ancient peoples, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the "middle earth" of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.

    The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this "Pole Star" with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods. This is the true meaning of the star on top of the modern Christmas tree, and also the reason that the super-shaman Santa makes his home at the North Pole....



    Anyone who has studied shamanism in any detail will have heard statements to the effect that shamans imbibed the potent Fly Agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) in a rather odd, idiosyncratic manner: they would collect the urine of reindeer that had eaten the mushroom and become intoxicated as a result, and drink this urine in order to enter altered states of consciousness.

    But is it true? In his fantastic book Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Amazon US and UK), Andy Letcher dispels many myths about 'freaky fungi', and the reindeer urine story is one. According to Letcher, it is "a modern urban myth that shamans or anyone else drank reindeer urine: an intoxicated deer would be slaughtered and eaten, by which means the effects would be passed on."

    So there you have it: the reindeer urine shamanism story has been debunked. One might think so, except someone has since disputed Andy Letcher's claim: the expert author on mushroom culture, Andy Letcher! Writing on his blog, Letcher tells how a chance meeting with a reindeer herder, who had herds in both Britain and Scandinavia, led to a surprising outcome. Without being prompted on the question of reindeer urine being drunk by shamans, the herder told Letcher the following story:

    Moar at the links....

    @Fitz @FitzMomma
  2. Man Against Time Black Hole Melchizedek

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    Mushroom archetypes in mythology are certainly intriguing ("mushroom mythology"), but I think in this case the shroomheads are getting too far ahead of themselves.

    Was the Grail a mushroom, and King Arthur a day tripper?
  3. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    i got a bag of magic mushrooms for christmas.

    and they're damn good.

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