I believe in Santa Claus. Yes, I’m a middle-aged Witch, whose child-like Christmas twinkle never faded. In fact, it is likely my inherent witchery that feeds and is fed by the Christmas Spirit. You see, I understand magick to be very real. Magick is my first-hand experience all year long. Therefore, all legendary spiritual beings are fair game in my house; Santa Claus, Tooth Fairies and Easter bunnies; elves, brownies, mermaids, dragons, and gnomes are all our inheritance in a culture that I feel is already too bleached of it’s color, as it is. Hail Santa!
Belief becomes Form
“Believing” in mystical beings like Santa Claus is a conscious decision I made a long time ago, because the alternative is bleak and uninteresting. Ok, perhaps we should better define “believing.” I don’t confuse esoteric Is-ness for exoteric literalism. So, we can cease with the physics lessons about the impossibility of reindeer flight. Santa isn’t governed by physics, he is metaphysical.
To be a Witch you’re required to open your mind to all sorts of wyrd possibilities. You have to release the stubborn bah-humbug grip, and play along for the fun of it. I cease to deny myself hope that “reality” is far more complex and exciting than what meets the muggle eye. In witchcraft training, I advise my students to fake it until you make it, and I promise them that once they get in there, all manner of alternate realities and “Mythological Beings” will suddenly get right up in their faces, plain as day, requiring no faith whatsoever. The same applies to our magickal “Christmas” traditions. Apply the same praxis to call upon Santa Claus, and see what happens. I double-dog dare you!
To my mind, Santa is just as likely to exist as any modern incarnation of a god-form. Regardless of the seed of folk-lore about Spiritual Beings that started our stories, once enough people feed that seed through their traditions, that being eventually takes form and gains agency. How? We give them energy through our own imaginations.
Santa’s mythology may have begun with a monk named St. Nicolas 2000 some odd years ago, but has truly evolved into the elf we know and love over the last several hundred years – and primarily thanks to American contributions to this mythos. Almost like Santa’s scripture, we read “Twas the Night before Christmas.” (1) We ceremonially watch his passion-play, A Miracle on 34th Street (2) each year. We sing his songs, and mentally participate in his existence year after year, millions of us feeding this thought form and calling him by name. In occultism we call that an egregore.
Egregore – Santa the Watcher?
from Witchipedia: The word egregore comes from the Greek ἑγρήγορος egrḗgoros meaning “wakeful” or “watching”1 The egregore or egregor is a term used by members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and The Kaballistic Order of Rosicrucians to describe…a sort of thought form being that is formed from the collective consciousness of a group of people, but develops its own autonomy capable of exerting influence on the group’s members… In Abrahamic tradition, the Egregor or Grigori, are the Watchers, a group of angels mentioned in the Book of Enoch and by Elphias Levi in Le Grand Arcane
The Spirit of Christmas
So, an Egregore is a thought-form fed by so many, for so long, that it eventually takes on a life of its own. By this point the name “Santa” is at least a key to unlock a door to immense power in our culture. He is most certainly America’s modern iteration of The Holly King, or a Lord of Winter Solstice. I think he’s as “real” as any Deity or Angel or Guardian Spirit is “real.”
Santa’s magick is portrayed in media almost like spiritual possession, he invokes something tangible within us. People are often said to be”filled with the spirit of Christmas?” Or, overtaken by “the magic of the season?” The Hallmark Channel has a thousand hours of programming that tell the exact same story: of Christmas Magick possessing people to take drastic measures to change their lives, discover their true selves, or their true calling. Thanks to Christmas miracles, they emerge from the darkness a better, more benevolent, more generous person… oh, and find unexpected love and a first kiss by the very last frame. <sniff, sniff…Darn you hallmark! sniff>Santa Claus is many things to me: a feeling, an idea, he is Father of the Winter Solstice, who’s Sabbat mystery is one of hope. If Santa is the embodiment of the Spirit of Christmas, then I think he represents selflessness, and generosity. His purpose is to create happiness in others for the pure joy that altruism brings. He embodies children’s advocacy, family unity, benevolence, whimsy and peace. Santa is equality and brotherhood that crosses all lines of nationality, ethnicity or religion.
Santa is a great character for America, which is a country otherwise drowning in the shallow end of vapid vanity and materialism. I see Santa as our elderly, plump, jolly, selfless super-hero! How often do Americans idolize *those* characteristics? As an icon, Santa says that at special occasions it’s OK to eat a cookie, and dress in a silly sweater covered in jingle bells, and put twinkly colorful lights all over everything – because innocence, joy and beauty are equally important to offset the grim realities of these winters of discontent we are collectively having.
I adore this time of year just like my parents before me – and they were a phenomenal pair of Santa’s helpers. I raised my children with Santa and continue to invoke that Spirit each year – no matter how old we all grow. It is as easy as pumpkin pie for me to integrate Santa with my Witchy Solstice Yuletide ceremonies.
It occurred to me just this week – in my 44th winter – that if the adults of the world don’t CHOOSE to engage in Santa’s power, and BELIEVE in Christmas Magick, it would all but disappear. Despite what Capitalism threatens to taint, Christmas as we know it happens because adults dig deep to unleash and their own inner child, and let them come out to play. Allowing ourselves to be possessed of Santa’s Christmas spirit, every parent becomes a mischievous magicians! It’s not just “presents” or “filling stockings,” it is all the time and effort we take decking the halls, and lighting up the yard in a gazillion tiny lights. It’s taking the time to decorate cookies with our kids, and share a tin of them with our neighbors. It’s brewing up some wassail and going door to door to sing carols. Why do otherwise serious adults do these silly things? MAGICK, I tell you!
Belief is a tool that can take an idea and bring it into reality. Winter Solstice is about introspection and transformation, and that story unfolds within every “Christmas” story. We find the twinkle in the deepest darkness. Santa as the Spirit of the Winter Holidays, adds the lesson to believe in yourself; To believe that YOU can make amazing things happen to improve our society, one inflatable lawn snowman at a time.
Why believe in Santa Claus? Belief is power. In my own Santa way I choose to use my power to transform the darkest time of year into a glimmering celebration of light, hope and whimsy. How will you use your power this season?
- “A Visit from St. Nicholas“, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. Some commentators now believe the poem was written by Henry Livingston Jr.. (wikipedia)
- Miracle on 34th Street (initially released as The Big Heart in the United Kingdom) is a 1947 American Christmas comedy-drama film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. The film has become a perennial Christmas favorite. (wikipedia)