The Trickster is an example of a Jungian Archetype. In most traditions the Trickster is often portrayed as a Male Character. One of the few Female Tricksters is Kitsune, the Japanese Shape-shifting Fox. In our Modern world Trickster is portrayed by the Fool, which survives in modern playing cards as the Joker.
In modern literature, the trickster survives as a character Archetype, not necessarily supernatural or divine, therefore better described as a stock character. In Mythology, Trickster is a god, yet is not. Trickster is the wise-fool who rebels against authority, pokes fun at the overly serious, creates convoluted schemes, that may or may not work, plays with the Laws of the Universe and is sometimes his own worst enemy.
One role of the Trickster is to question, and to cause us to question, and not accept things blindly. He appears when a way of thinking becomes outmoded thereby needing to be torn down built anew. He is the Destroyer of Worlds at the same time the savior of us all.
The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects. Often, the rule-breaking takes the form of tricks or thievery. Tricksters, can be cunning, or foolish or both; they are often very funny, even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. In many cultures, (as may be seen in Greek, Norse or Slavic folktales, along with Native American/First Nations lore), the trickster and the culture hero are often combined. To illustrate: Prometheus, in Greek mythology, stole fire from the gods to give it to humans.
Trickster is the teacher attracting to us life lessons. Our lessons then awaken us to who we are, allowing us to explore the true purpose of our soul’s journey. Attempting to bring our lessons into ourselves, our conscious dial a day reality, integrating them while experiencing it consciously and with awareness.
Trickster breaks us out of old stereotypes, whether they’ve been imposed by ourselves, our families, our culture, or circumstance. This is the energy that opens the world of limitless possibilities and it behooves us all to work with it before it destroys us, to touch the Trickster as he touches us.
In mythology the pranks of the trickster seemed almost a compulsion, unconscious perhaps. Tricksters are blessed with curiosity, which often leads them into trouble. Not unlike some experiences I know you guys have had ‘cause you have told me about them. But Tricksters have a cunning wit to get them out of trouble. Tricksters not only play the Game, they often think they are controlling the Game. Humans would forgive the trickster, knowing that when the gods were plagued by the trickster’s wit and arrogance, the side effects can be beneficial to humans, like Raven stealing the Sun, or Raven getting the first humans out of the clam shell.
We seem most accessible to the synchronistic gifts of the Trickster, when we ourselves are at, or near boundaries, or are experiencing transition states – periods of major life transitions seem to be occasioned by an abundance of meaningful coincidence. Personal growth sees not only to facilitate synchronicity, but in turn to be facilitated by it. As an archetype, the Trickster, the boundary dweller, finds expression through human imagination and experience.
For more on the notorious Raven, click here.