24 December 2013

Flying Reindeer and Elves

The U.S. Forest Service website explains how we got flying reindeer and elves - it's is thanks to a special mushroom that grows under evergreen trees in Europe and Asia.
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/mindandspirit/flyagaric.shtml

Santa Claus - the origin

"In the “old world”, the psychoactive fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) has been closely associated with northern European and Asiatic shamans and their rituals. Researchers have documented its use or presumed use by numerous cultures throughout Europe and Asia. In Siberia, its use predates the crossing of the Bering Straits into North America."

The fly agaric is a favorite food of reindeer - you'll recognize it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkCS9ePWuLU
Drink that reindeer urine for a special holiday treat!~


When fly agaric mushroom fell out of popularity, it was replaced by the liberty cap mushroom.
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/mindandspirit/flyagaric.shtml
"During the Pleistocene, the use of fly agaric entered Alaska, spread out across North America, and eventually south into Mesoamerica. However, the use of the fly agaric mushroom fell by the wayside in the “new world” due to the availability of liberty cap mushrooms (Psilocybe spp.). Liberty caps became the preferred psychoactive fungi as they were more easily tolerated and produced more intense experiences."



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