Pagan Christmas Paperback

The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide

by Christian Ratsch; Claudia Muller-Ebeling;

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Pagan Christmas

Full Product Description

The day on which many commemorate the birth of Christ has its origins in pagan rituals that centre on tree worship, agriculture, magic and social exchange. But Christmas is no ordinary folk observance. It is an evolving feast that over the centuries has absorbed elements from cultures all over the world - practices that give plants and plant spirits pride of place. In fact, the symbolic use of plants at Christmas effectively transforms the modern-day living room into a place of shamanic ritual. This book analyses the symbolism of the many plants associated with Christmas and reveals the shamanic rituals that are at the heart of the Christmas celebration. Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling show how the ancient meaning of the botanical elements of Christmas provides a unique view of the religion that existed in Europe before the introduction of Christianity. The fir tree was originally revered as the sacred World Tree in northern Europe. When the church was unable to drive the tree cult out of people's consciousness, it incorporated the fir tree by dedicating it to the Christ child.Father Christmas in his red-and-white suit, who flies through the sky in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, has his mythological roots in the shamanic reindeer-herding tribes of arctic Europe and Siberia. These northern shamans used the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom, which is red and white, to make their soul flights to the other world. Apples, which figure heavily in Christmas baking, are symbols of the sun god Apollo, so they find a natural place at winter solstice celebrations of the return of the sun. In fact, the authors contend that the emphasis of Christmas on green plants and the promise of the return of life in the dead of winter is just an adaptation of the pagan winter solstice celebration.

Pagan Christmas by Christian Ratsch; Claudia Muller-Ebeling was published by Inner Traditions Bear and Company in November 2006 and is our 54398th best seller. The ISBN for Pagan Christmas is 9781594770920.

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Details for Pagan Christmas

Page last updated 24th August 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback
PublisherInner Traditions Bear and Company (November 2006)
Number of Pages224
Thickness14 mm
Height254 mm
Width203 mm
Product Code1180318
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