|Photo by Sally Svenningson|
The Sami of Finland and Norway are the last surviving traditional shamanic culture in Europe. Sami legend tells that the world was created by a White Reindeer, whose body became the world, the rivers, the grasses, the mountains.
A few years ago I posted a wonderful article about shamanism and the Samis by Gloria Orenstein.
It's been noted that reindeer and "magic mushrooms" have been important to the "flights" of Sami shamans as well, so much so that the legend of "Santa and his reindeer" may have originated in their legends as well - the short video below is fascinating to watch for that!
My friend Sally Svenningson has Sami ancestors, and when she was in Finnmark, Norway she saw a rare white reindeer. She felt as if this magical encounter was a way of being "welcomed home". Thanks to Sally for sharing her photos here.