Santa & His Shadow

Santa‘Tis the Season of Santa Claus, the jolly ol’ soul who traverses the globe with his sleigh driven by reindeer on Christmas Eve to bring toys to all the good girls and boys. The name Santa Claus morphed from Saint Nicholas, a bishop in the 4th century who helped the impoverished. However, Santa is also known as Grandfather Frost and Father Christmas, whose appearance was influenced by the Germanic and Scandinavian god Odin. During mid-winter (Jul or Yule) Odin would ride his eight-legged horse delivering gifts to the people, and thus he is believed to be one of the precursors for the modern day Santa Claus.

Overall, the persona of Santa Claus is that of a kind, giving, and benevolent being. But, like most of us, Santa has his shadow side too, and this should be acknowledged, lest his shadow side unconsciously take over his generous nature. When we suppress our shadows, our “dark side,” and pretend it’s not there, it will try to sabotage us. By acknowledging it, understanding it (this may take some time, of course), and integrating it into our being, that is, once what was subconscious comes to our conscious awareness, we enter into a state of becoming whole, of holiness, and of healing.

Knecht Ruprecht

Santa & Knecht Ruprecht


There are a few characters, known mainly in Europe, who represent the shadow side of Santa. Santa Claus is only concerned with those on his Nice list. Those on his Naughty list are for his dark companions or followers to deal with. There is Knecht Ruprecht, Santa’s servant companion, who may give bad children lumps of coal or broken toys, beat them with ashes or a stick, leave sticks for the parents to beat the naughty children with, or even abduct the children.



Krampus & Santa

Krampus & Santa


There is Belsnickel, a ragged-looking Nicholas (-nickel) who goes to homes to pelt (Bels-) or beat naughty children into being good. And there is Krampus, a demon-looking creature, who may also beat children with a branch, or he may take evil children to eat or kill. On a slightly lighter note, there is also Santa’s servant Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), who might leave naughty children coal or a bunch of twigs instead of gifts and sweets.




Santa Claus

Santa Claus











When Santa is looking over his Naughty or Nice List he must acknowledge his shadow side and toss the list out, for true giving is neither conditional nor judgmental. Santa and his shadow self united as a whole being knows that compassion, love, kindness, and charity for all is what the meaning of Christmas is all about.

About Julianne Victoria

I am a Spiritual Counselor, Shamanic Healer, Writer, & Creator. I hope to help heal, teach, and inspire others on their souls' journeys and in this life. © Julianne Victoria and Through the Peacock's Eyes Press under the Common Law Copyright
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18 Responses to Santa & His Shadow

  1. anitashree says:

    Oh I did love this post!!! I didn’t realise that Santa had a shadow self and now I do! And loved how you brought in that we too should acknowledge our shadow self 🙂

  2. Sorry i missed this in the midst of Christmas. Great post, quite fun and entertaining. I had such a great holidays, I hope you did as well? ❤

  3. Really interesting to hear about the dark side of santa – although I understand why this isn’t as well known as the ‘fluffy’ side! Creepy stuff.

  4. Heather says:

    I guess I am part of Santa’s shadow too 😉 I gave my sister coal one year (it was really rock candy). Happy New Year, Julianne!

  5. Excellent post! Love the contrast between Krampus and Claus.

  6. Soul Fields says:

    That was a refreshing perspective of Santa! Yay for acceptance and unconditional giving (and receiving). Never too many reminders of that in the world, to my mind.

    New fairytales and other stories are being written were “the good” and “the bad” blend in the characters, and the psychologies of them get better understood. What is the bad other than unconsciousness/ignorance (and lack of love)…

    Wishing you unconditional, magical flow for the year ahead and thanking for your blog and lovely presence.

    Love, Deelia

  7. litebeing says:

    Thank you for an unusual twist on the jolly old elf 🙂
    What I choose to take away from this information is that just as light personas have their shadows, dark personas have their lighter natures. I do not agree with the idea of pure evil and think we are all born with love in the center.
    To be honest, the whole naughty or nice idea reminds me of Yom Kippur and the book of life. God like Santa watches over you all year to decide if you will remain in the book of life.

    can we invent some new tales:)

    Namaste dear Julie

    • You’re welcome! Yes, indeed the idea of punishing the naughty and only loving the good is a belief system out of alignment with God. Instead we need to find compassion for those in pain/suffering (the naughty and the nice) and help them find a path to health and wholeness. 😀
      These shadow characters are very much representative of the fear of evil and fear of God of the Medieval period.
      Have a great New Year Linda!

  8. Yikes … Scary Claus! 🙂 I remember a boy who lived next door when I was a kid, whose parents stood in for Knecht Ruprecht and gave him coal for Christmas one year. Also yikes. Happy holy days, Julianne Victoria!

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