Artwork – “Fly Agaric” by Amanda Clark
This past week I had brunch with a dear friend. Over scones, she started talking about how difficult it is for her to get into the holiday spirit. As someone who grew up in a family that never celebrated this time, she shared that she is having trouble really feeling the magic. Now that she has young children of her own, however, who are independently jazzed about Christmas (and begging her to get on board), she asked me point blank “how do you get into the magic of the holidays?”
And my answer was — to become a child once more. In so many ways, our ability to feel that holiday cheer is directly tied into our inner resources of child-like wonderment. As children we believe anything is possible. The world of the invisible, the benevolent, the mystical that is just around the corner. It is flying up in the sky with a team of reindeer, lining our stockings with candy canes and leaving us notes of love next to cookie crumbs. As children it is easy to believe in magic. And, in turn, great magic comes about when we can be in such a state of belief!
So if you are having a hard time feeling the magic of the season, it may be time to reconnect with one of the most magical fixtures of our collective childhood imagination — Santa Claus! One of my favorite meditations this time of the year is to undertake a shamanic journey to meet Santa Claus, and the starry-eyed little girl who believed in him so strongly. When we have a hard time feeling the wonderment, sometimes all we need to do is reconnect with our inner child and her wild, imaginative, untethered connection to the magic of Mr (or Ms. Claus).
I love journeying this time of the year in particular because from reindeer to Fir trees, many of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the earliest Pagan traditions of the tribal peoples of per-Christian Europe. Our traditional Santa Clause, in fact, is an amalgamation of characteristics from the early European Shamans of the far North. With coats carefully stitched and tanned from reindeer hides, these ancient mystic, of the frozen north traveled easily between the between realms. From the tundra of snow to the star filled heavens, these profound mystics were accustomed to truly galactic sojourns.
To undertake this journey I suggest starting with this gateway: Imagine yourself in a gorgeous snowy landscape with a single reindeer (or a whole sleigh if that suits your fancy)! You will begin the journey by approaching the reindeer and asking for a ride and then, just let them whisk you away to Santa’s abode. Be open to how this spirit of the season (known as Santa) wants to appear to you and your childlike imagination. Santa might be a dryad, a Goddess, a stag, a pillar of light. However Santa appears to you, just ask him or her to help you reconnect to the deeply believing child inside of you… and open back up an understanding of what this season is truly about!
For me, every time I undertake this journey, I am shown just how precious this season of gratitude + light truly is— and what magic arises from giving in its purest forms.
Try it for yourself! If you’ve never done a Shamanic meditation before, check out my simple guide to journeying. And say hi to Santa for me…