It’s almost Christmas, which means it’s time for a round of “Santa Claus is a metaphor for fly agaric mushrooms” stories on the internet. Discerning readers will note that it’s always the same few scholars being quoted for these – namely, people like Carl Ruck and John Rush who have nearly made their careers on these tenuous connections.
Magic Mushrooms May Explain Santa and His ‘Flying’ Reindeer by Douglas Main, LiveScience.com (on Yahoo! News)
My favorite quote is at the end:
“People who know about shamanism accept this story,” Ruck said. “Is there any other reason that Santa lives in the North Pole? It is a tradition that can be traced back to Siberia.”
Oh yes, people who KNOW about shamanism accept this – in other words, if you don’t believe that mushrooms were behind this (and nearly every other myth or ritual practice from the last 3,000 years, according to most of these mushroom-obsessed scholars), you must not really understand shamanism.
As one commenter put it, “I think the ‘magic mushrooms’ explains a LOT more about John Rush than anything to do with Santa, OR Christmas…..”