The Santa Solution – 2011

celtic spirituality shamanism story

Last year I started a tradition of journeying to Santa Claus at this time of year (first post here). I love the idea of journeying to a spirit that is both an integral part of our modern mythology as well as a figure who likely has his roots in ancient shamanic practices (thanks for that link Lora Jansson!) He is at once deeply intimate to my own spirit as an American, as well as being firmly rooted in shamanic lore (magic mushrooms, flying reindeer, and journeys to the upper world oh my!)

santa claus portrait (sepia)

Santa was very happy to see me this year. As jovial as ever he instantly embraced me and welcomed me into his workshop. The theme of giving and receiving has been up for me, I thought who better than Santa to teach me about this? He was more than happy to set me up as a worker in his shop.
After tying an apron on me and setting a task before me he invited me to begin work. I noticed I could see creative energy flowing through me. Santa let me know that energy didn’t actually come from me. There were many spirits involved in my creative process, it was important that I not get too attached to this as ‘my’ creation. “All creation is a part of something larger,” he said.
In that way, giving was really me receiving creative energy from other spirits. Giving and receiving were one and the same flow.
We then moved on to the all important topic – what was Santa getting me for Christmas? He was still working on it he said, come back later. From what I saw it was very complicated, and had something to do with my heart that would help me to see the world more clearly.
I checked in on gifts I might give to Terry and Tadg in his name. He showed me a gift for each of them that was really an act of receiving on my part.
For Tadg I was to give the gift of listening time. I’ll make him a listening stick to hang on his wall. When he needs me to just listen to him, to not do anything else but listen to him, he can take down the stick and present it to me. This gift was for both of us.
Details of my gift to Terry are still to be worked out, but Santa was very concerned that I become better at receiving my wife as an artist ( you can see her work at ).  In a followup journey this morning he began coaching me further on how I could become more attuned to her creative side.
So far my Sant haul is looking really good. I’ll be sure to post any new info I receive in follow up journeys. Santa always has a gift to offer me when I visit him. Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with the compassion and joy this spirit brings to so many of us.

Santa Claus Portrait by by Vanessa Pike_Russel
From Flickr, used under 
a Creative Commons license

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