A few years ago myself and my friend were discussing a guy that was far from genuine and far from nice and very, very sneaky and my friend said “He’s a Trickster”. It got me thinking about the concept of “The Trickster” who he is, what he represents, the symbology and why one would enter your life.
Tricksters often appear at times of Transition and / or at weak periods in your life, when your defences may be down, so to speak. They can often reach out as a Helper with fake allure designed to entrap.
A Trickster wants you to bare your soul. They quickly want to know everything about you. They move fast while you are overwhelmed and unaware. At first they can display great empathy and be a person that showers you with compliments and attention.
They are boundary breakers and they create a false sense of security initially. Once the Vampire crosses the threshold they have you in their power. They have no respect for boundaries. They are also hard to figure out and confusing. You never know where you stand with a Trickster. They can appear outwardly ethical or moral while inwardly they are the opposite and the initial image they represent can be an act and a sham.
They can appear when you are in sorrow over a bereavement, have lost your job or are stuck in a rut. They appear at times of vulnerability. Or at times you feel lost. Sometimes with a Trickster the mask slips at times of need which can shock your previous perception of the individual. Tricksters are game players, cheats and deal in deceit. They can be liars or someone that witholds information that would change your perception of them.
After their initial charm offensive they can display appallingly bad behaviour at times, not being there for you when you need them, abandoning you at your weakest hour or exiting your life only to come back into it again blaming you for the exit. They are game players. They can often be Narcissistic or worse a Psychopath. They are undoubtedly destructive but can also be dangerous and deadly.
This toxic individual can enter your life at times of transition such as moving house, changing career, losing a job, becoming unemployed, breaking up with a partner, having an illness, moving to a new place or suffering a bereavement. They often appear when you are experiencing a sense of loss to fill the void. Or times when you crave emotional support. And they sense it like a predator. They can appear when you are stuck in your life, stuck in one place or stuck in a rut. If you are stuck your life can begin to stagnate. If you do not instigate change, Trickster might appear to do it for you.
Experiencing a death or loss can open the door to a Trickster. Despite appearing concerned, they are not caring, loving or empathetic. Nor necessarily handsome or talented. Though they can be. Their charm and intense initial interest in you can draw you in.
They represent a shallow element and are often drawn to the physical element of a person, rather than their inner depth. They are base. They can hide behind good looks and the illusion of good intentions, yet lack spirituality, ethics or morality, laughing at one’s misfortune and indeed contributing to it.
They can be shallow and cold and without any obvious hobbies or interests of their own. Often motivated by materialism and sexual conquest and power and control. They don’t like to be ignored and they like to be in a power position in your life. They love attention from the opposite sex and to be seen as the good guy.
So lets look at The Trickster Archetype. Why Trickster enters your life and what can be learnt from this. If you reduce Trickster to an archetype or simply to an energy source perhaps then it is easier to expel him from your life and cut attachment with that person. Remember this, keeping Trickster in your life or focusing on Trickster distracts you from yourself or even living your dreams. It keeps you stuck in time. You have to choose to banish Trickster if he is a big part of your life and is draining or hurting you or is a so called love interest.
Jung classified 4 Archetypes: King, Warrior, Magician and Lover. Trickster would fit into the Magician category. However, The Trickster is not strictly the same as The Magician or The Fool, he is slightly different.
As an archetype, Trickster is a masterful, yet unpredictable catalyst of psychological change. Trickster energy challenges old belief systems and old habits by unearthing unconscious assumptions and toppling worldviews that have lost their usefulness. However, there is nothing moralistic about the Trickster. Sometimes to continually grow, things simply have to change.
The trickster is an important figure in folklore. Taking such forms as the Joker or Coyote, he embodies cleverness and wit, but also deceit and irresponsibility. He appears to provide comic relief as a Jester or Clown, but also to humble us, never allowing us to become too full of ourselves. His mischief is most harmful when we take ourselves too seriously, but is neutralised when we learn to laugh at ourselves with genuine, sincere pleasure.
In the beginning you may view Trickster as a Hero or Saviour. He will appear at a time of need and offer you something. He will seem to be a Helper. But there is no such thing as a Free Lunch. Trickster offers you something because he wants something from you.
He is a Player and Seducer. He knows he is not the central character in your play nor the prince in your fairytale. But still he may pretend to be. He is lacking. Trickster causes chaos and will emotionally drain you and play games with you, pulling your strings like a puppet. In the end all he will do is take from you till you have nothing left to give. He is deceptive. He creates illusions. He withholds truths. He tells lies. He keeps secrets. He is outwardly charming but full of empty promises. He is big with words but lacking in action.
Rumpelstiltskin is a good example of a Trickster in a Fairytale. Rumpelstiltskin seeks to gain a newborn child, and tricks a young woman into helping him achieve this goal. However, Rumpelstiltskin loosely fits the hero archetype because he has the special ability to spin straw into gold and he uses it to help a maiden have a better life.
Golden thread represents the perceived riches and happiness that cause the maiden to make a deal too eagerly. So the theme is not to trust someone too quickly you are unfamiliar with and think ahead carefully with every choice. And do not be blinded by materialism. Still Trickster can appear at desperate times and even offer a way out to those in financial hardship. He can spot a Damsel in Distress but he won’t rescue her from the tower. He may pretend he is paving the way but he will hold the key and she’ll be locked up.
The trickster is an archetype, or fundamental human theme. Appearing throughout world religion and mythology, the trickster causes strife or commotion, seeming to live for chaos. What they really inspire, however, is change; they represent the fickleness of nature and “shaking things up.” While not necessarily evil, they represent a break from the norm or the shared narrative of culture.
Everyone knows a rogue or rebel with an undeniable charisma, one who can cause a fair amount of pandemonium. Yet as much as they turn things upside-down, you may be grateful for them. The trickster is everywhere among us, and the colour they fill our lives with makes them quite extraordinary. It is easier to see the humour in Trickster if you are not for instance, dating him. Dating a Trickster is deadly, dramatic, adrenaline filled, anxiety ridden and unrewarding.
In the animal kingdom, farmers and hunters can easily fit into the trickster archetype as they trick animals all the time. The farmer takes care of an animal only to betray it and send it to the slaughterhouse to be killed. The Hunter uses trickery to trap and catch animals and lure them and kill them. Any animal lover realises this is animal exploitation whereas these people feel justified and see animals as lesser beings. They prey on the vulnerable. The fact that it is legal, traditional or socially accepted does not make it ethical, nor detract from the fact that no animal and no human goes willingly to their death.
As the trickster, the fool reveals to us the ways we lack wisdom making us feel downright stupid. The “trickster fool” has the opposite effect of the “clown fool.” Instead of feeling better about ourselves, we end up feeling worse. That is because the “trickster fool” uses the tools primarily of lies and deception, consciously or unconsciously, taking advantage of us somehow. After an encounter with the “trickster fool” we usually end up feeling deceived, lied to, wounded, bruised, and taken advantage of. Getting fooled in this way can really hurt. It may even take years to recover as our energy, trust in others and life, and ability to honour our own wisdom and judgement is seriously depleted.
1.The Trickster Crosses Boundaries
They break rules and convention. They can be cunning or foolish or both. They can be a mischevious man or creature, who tries to get ahead in life by using trickery and deceit. They can sometimes be their own worst enemy.
2.The Trickster appears at Transition Times
We are most vulnerable to The Trickster when we are in transition states, often during major life transitions. “Tricksters” or “demonic clowns” take advantage of people who feel confused or alienated during times of transitions.
3.The Trickster Stirs Things Up
In order to beat The Trickster you must create balance. And ignore the things he brings as challenges to wind you up. The Trickster likes to create drama and “stir” things up. They come at mundane times and shake things up. Tricksters are hard, because they’re not necessarily “negative” in the sense they have any ill will towards you. They just want to cause mischief.
4.Trickster plays on Victim mode
When you allow yourself to be abused, and are a victim, and are stagnant in your life, The Trickster element of you is in control.
5.Trickster is male and represents lower chakras
Trickster is almost always male. (Though there are exceptions) He represents the lower emotions, lower chakras, that which gets us into mischief. This represents the aggressive side that deals with the lower frequency emotions, fate, jealousy, anger, self destruction, rage, depression and goes to mental illness.
6.Trickster calls you to create Balance
To be emotionally challenged, is to listen to the voice of the trickster and live in a space of drama and negative emotions. To create balance is to live in the so-called ‘god aspect’ of who we are.
7.Trickster wants to break Stereotypes
His energy allows us to break 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 calls us all to work with it before it destroys us, to touch the Trickster as he touches us.
8.Trickster is both Creator and Destroyer
Trickster is at the same time, creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes others and who is always duped himself. He possesses no values, moral or social, is at the mercy of his passions and appetites, yet through his actions all values come into being.
Trickster defies any purely rational or intellectual analysis. He is the Perplexity.
10.Trickster calls us to embrace Saturn
The Trickster challenges us to embrace Saturn the Teacher. This takes Spiritual maturity. Saturn reveals karmic lessons we must experience and overcome.
11.Trickster is an Agent of Change
The Trickster can be seen as an Antagonist. And whether friend or enemy, they are an agent of profound change. Ironically, in that sense, they can be seen, sometimes, as one of the best things to happen.
12.Trickster is a Schemer and a Heartbreaker
They are schemers who bring a great deal of heartache. Not motivated by malice but circumstances push them into trickster tactics. It’s a self defence mechanism. They are Cheats.
13.Trickster unmasks people
Tricksters often appear to tear off the masks of other characters. They bring down the arrogant, the stupid, and the self-deluded.
14.Trickster can be a Romantic Figure
Tricksters can be a romantic interest. The male character in a romcom can function as a trickster to shake up a female character who is stuck in a rut.
15.A Mentor can have an element of Trickster
A really good mentor may have an element of the trickster in them, because one way protagonists learn is by extricating themselves from trouble. So mentors might resort to trickster tactics, like disappearing at a crucial moment, or leaving out something vital from the instructions.
16.Trickster wakes you up
Trickster may bite, but it makes you take action that forces you to change and grow.
17.Trickster is Base
Trickster is a figure whose physical appetites and senses dominate his actions and decisions. His thinking does not rise above his belly or his genitals. Not understanding finer feelings, his responses to other people appear crude, self-centred, cynical and unfeeling. Sometimes though, the difficulties of his exploits gradually bring about a transformation and he becomes a man instead of an animal.
18.Trickster is a Devil
Satan is the ultimate trickster.
19.Trickster reveals our Fears
The Trickster is incredibly good at finding what is hidden, unveiling our greatest insecurities and fears.
So what lessons can we learn from Trickster? Here are the key blessings of the trickster archetype:
1. The trickster manifests what we wish for but are too afraid or meek to ask for or actualise. Whether it is changing careers, moving house, relocating or investing more time in a relationship or following our dreams. The trickster breaks what we no longer want and makes room for the new. The trickster makes the time and space for what we’ve secretly been craving.
2.The trickster coming helps identify what is best for our soul and cares little as to what is best for our reputation and pride. He unwraps us from the constant need to achieve and produce and impress. He can lead to soul searching.
3. The trickster is our natural “eject” button that pulls out of a crash course leading us precisely to a life devoid of soul. Even though the trickster’s tricks feel like a crash landing, the trick is a rescue mission bringing us out of our ego and into our soul. Anyone who values humility should befriend this archetype.
4. A trickster experience brings disappointment and elation. The trickster archetype teaches us the divine truth that everything contains its opposite. When we stop trying to frame experiences as either good or bad, we come closer to the sacred.
5.Fun, welcome, liberating and happy accidents are also components of the trickster. Remember to keep an eye out for the mistakes or accidents that delight and inspire. Give thanks to the trickster for at least these or the humour he may bring to your life.
6. The trickster acts as a divine messenger bringing us much needed guidance when we are most blind to our own need. Leading us to cosmic truths, the trickster helps us transcend into the infinite. One of the most common forms the Divine takes to intervene and save us from ourselves, the trickster can be a sacred instrument.
And, what about if you feel like someone has fooled you? How do you overcome the anger, feeling of betrayal, and hurt? Once again, be willing to own up to the fool inside you. Accept the fact that you were naive. Discern how you were unable or unwilling to see the truth. Be compassionate with yourself for any hurt you sustained. Then resolve to be less foolish next time around. Keep your heart open to others, but let your head guide you as well. As you heal, take time to forgive those who tricked or hurt you. After all, by staying in ignorance, they were only fooling, and hurting themselves, even more than you.
And remember, Trickster is a Shapeshifter. It takes a while to see his true colours. When you do, take the lessons, make the changes and move on. See him as a Playing Card, a Trickster Archetype. Cast him aside and let him blow away…. Trickster cannot be a permanent fixture in a happy life. He is filled with Chicanery. He is there to teach you a lesson. He is there to wake you up. He is there to shake you up and break you out of your comfort zone.
He is not your Hero and he is not your Friend. He is the ultimate Game Player. There will be no Happy Ending when the menace of Trickster remains in your life. Your Life’s Fairytale will only begin in earnest once you stop engaging with him. When you walk away from him and see him for what he really is, then he will lose his power over you. One thing is for sure, Trickster will make you open your eyes. He is a Tower of Destruction. But instead of crumbling, rise up, visualise him as a Playing Card and toss him into the wind… Let the Elements take care of him. Karma. You can take care of yourself.