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The Pagans, Christmas and Cannabis

It was originally a winter solstice holiday, which falls on December 21 or 22. The winter solstice is a religious ceremony commemorating the longest night of the year, which occurs between December 21 and 22. Pagans were connected to the seasons and relied on the sun’s return—as well as plant life—to survive during cold months. Despite harsh weather ahead, ancient Europeans celebrated Yule to welcome back the sun after its long absence. 

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Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by David McGinnis

It was originally a winter solstice holiday, which falls on December 21 or 22. The winter solstice is a religious ceremony commemorating the longest night of the year, which occurs between December 21 and 22. Pagans were connected to the seasons and relied on the sun’s return—as well as plant life—to survive during cold months. Despite harsh weather ahead, ancient Europeans celebrated Yule to welcome back the sun after its long absence. 

Dr. Chris Klassen, a religion and culture lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, added that “Yule is the Germanic name for the winter solstice.” (“Germanic” being a broad term that includes most people throughout history of Europe). 

Commemorating the return of the sun  

Because the days get longer after the winter solstice, ancient Yule ceremonies focused on celebrating the return of the sun. “Evergreen trees and wreaths were used to bring greenery—a symbol of spring and summer—into the home to represent life being reborn,” according to Klassen. “And certainly, Yule logs, which for ancient pagans were actual logs burning in the fireplace during the longest night rather than cake.” 

Plants have a long and illustrious history at Christmastime, with evergreens, holly, mistletoe, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, nuts, gingerbreads, potpourri – and even cannabis – continuing to play an important role. Here are some of the ancient customs in which cannabis has been utilized to bring green joy and festive merriment to the darkest days of the year. 

Magic incense  

Before there were the Twelve Days of Christmas—Dec. 25 to Jan. 6—there were twelve “raw nights,” when the pre-Christian god Wotan (Odin or Wodan) and his wild army rumbled across the sky battling a battle between light and darkness, also known as the Wild Hunt. 

Wotan and his legion were not the only ones who took people from their beds on these long winter nights. Other secret demons may surface on these long winter nights, snatching unsuspecting individuals off the ground. Before going to sleep, pagans and early Christians smeared their homes and stables with nine plants including juniper berries, evergreen resins, milk thistle, mugwort, and cannabis in order to appease the gods and ensure good over evil. They also utilized a fortunate number of nine plants like as juniper berries, evergreen resins, milk thistle, mugwort, and cannabis according to Christian Rästch in Pagan Christmas. 

On Christmas Eve, Catholics continue to burn frankincense in their churches. Some people feel that the Wild Hunt is a crucial part of Santa’s reindeer flying through the sky, and terpene-rich frankincense continues to be burned in some Catholic services tonight. 

Pipe dreams  

According to Rästch, the jovial pipe-smoking Santa figure personifies an earlier period when smoking tobacco and baccy was not only popular but also typical, with a rank combination of forest and meadow plants smoked at Christmastime that frequently included cannabis. He stated in Pagan Christmas that Germans had a distinct name for the bursting of cannabis seeds in their Christmas blend, which they dubbed knastert. 

The common German mountain spirit Rastch believes that the pipe-smoking pagan mountain spirit Rübezahl was a precursor to the benevolent St. Nicholas, who later became the punitive Ru-klaus (“Rough Nicholas”) and terrible Krampus. Children today look forward to seeing a happy Santa Claus, who may be kept in good spirits by the chemicals in his pipe due to 19th-century American poets like Moore’s inventive endeavor. 

magic Incense Burner Santa PNG

Beer fest  

Christmas ales and winter brews flavored with herbs and spices are popular today’s craft brewers. This is a centuries-old custom linked to Yule that involves making a limited-edition Christmas ale or winter beer doused with herbs and spices. According to Rästch, Norwegians were particularly fond of Julbeers (Julb = Wotan) and Wodelbeers (Wodel = Odhn), which may be translated as “Hog on Beers”. Dealing with these styles is much easier than dealing with the ones from Germany. They may even make do with less attention when brewing them. Furthermore, certain Julbeers and Wodelbeers (Wodel = Odhn) are permitted to break purity laws because they’re so powerful, according to Rästch! 

Hemp seed soup  

According to The Great Book of Hemp, Rowan Robinson, a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition in Poland and Lithuania is semieniatka, or hemp seed soup, which is given to deceased family members who return for the holidays. According to Robinson’s theory, cannabis was intimately related with death ceremonies and funerals in ancient Scythian culture. 

The Scythians, according to Klassen, were “people of the countryside” who were known by Roman Christians as “those who had not converted.” 

cropped fly agaric childrens holiday card lg

Special mention: Fly agaric mushroom  

Have you ever noticed red and white mushrooms on old-fashioned Christmas images? The fly agaric mushroom, often known as Amanita muscaria, is a psychedelic fungus with historical origins. Many variations of the Wild Hunt claim that Wotan rode through the clouds and created fly agaric mushrooms wherever he went, which sprouted nine months later, from September 21 to December 31. 

On or around the winter solstice, shaman from northern Europe and Siberia are said to have consumed fly agaric mushrooms. According to academics, until recently, indigenous Sami people of Lapland waited in their tents for a shaman to ride in on a reindeer-pulled sled.  

There are no records of the Holy Man’s existence before AD 1500. In this period, he is named as King Parnacki or Asaph Chieselach in some sources and as ‘The Old One.’ He became a well-known figure throughout Middle Europe and was considered to lead people from the world into paradise by believing in his heavenly experiences. The king himself would eat fly agaric mushrooms and offer “gifts” of healing and advice from another plane to his family, who would then feed the holy man for his efforts. These well-fed shamans dressed in red and white to express their respect for the mushroom’s power and magic, which was said to give people the sensation of flying through space. 

 

Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by David McGinnis

It was originally a winter solstice holiday, which falls on December 21 or 22. The winter solstice is a religious ceremony commemorating the longest night of the year, which occurs between December 21 and 22. Pagans were connected to the seasons and relied on the sun’s return—as well as plant life—to survive during cold months. Despite harsh weather ahead, ancient Europeans celebrated Yule to welcome back the sun after its long absence. 

Dr. Chris Klassen, a religion and culture lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, added that “Yule is the Germanic name for the winter solstice.” (“Germanic” being a broad term that includes most people throughout history of Europe). 

Commemorating the return of the sun  

Because the days get longer after the winter solstice, ancient Yule ceremonies focused on celebrating the return of the sun. “Evergreen trees and wreaths were used to bring greenery—a symbol of spring and summer—into the home to represent life being reborn,” according to Klassen. “And certainly, Yule logs, which for ancient pagans were actual logs burning in the fireplace during the longest night rather than cake.” 

Plants have a long and illustrious history at Christmastime, with evergreens, holly, mistletoe, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, nuts, gingerbreads, potpourri – and even cannabis – continuing to play an important role. Here are some of the ancient customs in which cannabis has been utilized to bring green joy and festive merriment to the darkest days of the year. 

Magic incense  

Before there were the Twelve Days of Christmas—Dec. 25 to Jan. 6—there were twelve “raw nights,” when the pre-Christian god Wotan (Odin or Wodan) and his wild army rumbled across the sky battling a battle between light and darkness, also known as the Wild Hunt. 

Wotan and his legion were not the only ones who took people from their beds on these long winter nights. Other secret demons may surface on these long winter nights, snatching unsuspecting individuals off the ground. Before going to sleep, pagans and early Christians smeared their homes and stables with nine plants including juniper berries, evergreen resins, milk thistle, mugwort, and cannabis in order to appease the gods and ensure good over evil. They also utilized a fortunate number of nine plants like as juniper berries, evergreen resins, milk thistle, mugwort, and cannabis according to Christian Rästch in Pagan Christmas. 

On Christmas Eve, Catholics continue to burn frankincense in their churches. Some people feel that the Wild Hunt is a crucial part of Santa’s reindeer flying through the sky, and terpene-rich frankincense continues to be burned in some Catholic services tonight. 

Pipe dreams  

According to Rästch, the jovial pipe-smoking Santa figure personifies an earlier period when smoking tobacco and baccy was not only popular but also typical, with a rank combination of forest and meadow plants smoked at Christmastime that frequently included cannabis. He stated in Pagan Christmas that Germans had a distinct name for the bursting of cannabis seeds in their Christmas blend, which they dubbed knastert. 

The common German mountain spirit Rastch believes that the pipe-smoking pagan mountain spirit Rübezahl was a precursor to the benevolent St. Nicholas, who later became the punitive Ru-klaus (“Rough Nicholas”) and terrible Krampus. Children today look forward to seeing a happy Santa Claus, who may be kept in good spirits by the chemicals in his pipe due to 19th-century American poets like Moore’s inventive endeavor. 

magic Incense Burner Santa PNG

Beer fest  

Christmas ales and winter brews flavored with herbs and spices are popular today’s craft brewers. This is a centuries-old custom linked to Yule that involves making a limited-edition Christmas ale or winter beer doused with herbs and spices. According to Rästch, Norwegians were particularly fond of Julbeers (Julb = Wotan) and Wodelbeers (Wodel = Odhn), which may be translated as “Hog on Beers”. Dealing with these styles is much easier than dealing with the ones from Germany. They may even make do with less attention when brewing them. Furthermore, certain Julbeers and Wodelbeers (Wodel = Odhn) are permitted to break purity laws because they’re so powerful, according to Rästch! 

Hemp seed soup  

According to The Great Book of Hemp, Rowan Robinson, a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition in Poland and Lithuania is semieniatka, or hemp seed soup, which is given to deceased family members who return for the holidays. According to Robinson’s theory, cannabis was intimately related with death ceremonies and funerals in ancient Scythian culture. 

The Scythians, according to Klassen, were “people of the countryside” who were known by Roman Christians as “those who had not converted.” 

cropped fly agaric childrens holiday card lg

Special mention: Fly agaric mushroom  

Have you ever noticed red and white mushrooms on old-fashioned Christmas images? The fly agaric mushroom, often known as Amanita muscaria, is a psychedelic fungus with historical origins. Many variations of the Wild Hunt claim that Wotan rode through the clouds and created fly agaric mushrooms wherever he went, which sprouted nine months later, from September 21 to December 31. 

On or around the winter solstice, shaman from northern Europe and Siberia are said to have consumed fly agaric mushrooms. According to academics, until recently, indigenous Sami people of Lapland waited in their tents for a shaman to ride in on a reindeer-pulled sled.  

There are no records of the Holy Man’s existence before AD 1500. In this period, he is named as King Parnacki or Asaph Chieselach in some sources and as ‘The Old One.’ He became a well-known figure throughout Middle Europe and was considered to lead people from the world into paradise by believing in his heavenly experiences. The king himself would eat fly agaric mushrooms and offer “gifts” of healing and advice from another plane to his family, who would then feed the holy man for his efforts. These well-fed shamans dressed in red and white to express their respect for the mushroom’s power and magic, which was said to give people the sensation of flying through space. 

 

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