Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, & Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide

By Christian Rätsch

First published in:

About this book

An examination of the sacred botany and the pagan origins and rituals of Christmas

  • Analyzes the symbolism of the many plants associated with Christmas
  • Reveals the shamanic rituals that are at the heart of the Christmas celebration

The day on which many commemorate the birth of Christ has its origins in pagan rituals that center 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.