The Amanita muscaria mushroom, commonly known as the fly agaric mushroom, is another symbol of Christmas. Though not as popular as the X'mas tree or the baby Jesus, it is well known in those nations where Christianity is the dominant religion.
The symbol, however, has little to do with Christianity. It has historically been proved that Christmas, despite being a Christian holiday, owes most of its symbols and icons to Shamanism, an occult philosophy of the tribal people of Northern Europe in a pre-Christian era. The Amanita muscaria found a place among the various rituals practiced by these people. The mushroom is thought to contain hallucinogenic compounds that when used, is believed to give illusionary experiences that many ancient people mistook as transcendental visions.
Incidentally, one of the drawings in an ancient Peruvian vessel shows a divine messenger offering a sacred mushroom to a ruler seated on a throne. Inscribed below this is "Teonanactl", an Aztec word that when literally translated, stands as "Flesh of the God".
All these supposedly "divine" associations of the mushroom as also the fact that it is found to grow at the base of the pine tree makes is believed to have made it a symbol for Christmas. The idea gained further strength in 1970, when in his book "The mushroom and the cross", author John Marco Allegro indicated that Christianity and Judaism are based on a cult that worshipped the Amanita muscaria and Jesus Christ himself was the personification of Amanita muscaria.