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Thread: trickster aspect

  1. #1
    Jr. Member minty's Avatar
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    trickster aspect

    A questions occurred to me before bed, and I'm curious as to what the answer might be, as well as what you guys might have to say.

    Can a person merely revere an aspect without a specific deity in mind?
    In my case I'm curious about the trickster aspect, I seem to be drawn to the "tricksters" in different pantheons.

    Any thought/opinion/ idea would be most welcomed.
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: trickster aspect

    Quote Originally Posted by minty View Post
    A questions occurred to me before bed, and I'm curious as to what the answer might be, as well as what you guys might have to say.

    Can a person merely revere an aspect without a specific deity in mind?
    In my case I'm curious about the trickster aspect, I seem to be drawn to the "tricksters" in different pantheons.

    Any thought/opinion/ idea would be most welcomed.
    Night guys
    <3
    Yes you can, and this is embodied in the concept of Archetypes rather than individual deities. Archetypes as a modern spiritual concept has evolved from Jung's original psychological theories about archetypes... basically that archetypes can be used to categorise and explore different psychological and behavioural patterns which are linked by the collective unconscious.

    There are a number of 'traditional' Jungian archetypes, some of which have been expanded in modern neo-paganism. Trickster is one of them and is a popular Archetype for people to work with and explore.

    The thing with Archetypes is that they are not an individual being in and of themselves, but a concept that is embodied by individuals, if that makes sense. People who work with Archetypes usually have a pantheistic or soft-polytheistic approach to deities, where they would explore Trickster through exploring the different manifestations of Trickster in mythology and folklore.... or take a non-theistic (not necessarily atheistic) approach, where they explore Archetypes from a purely psychological perspective. It is also possible to explore Archetypes from a hard-polytheistic approach, as the Archetype can be considered a sort of job-title or role-description, with distinct individual deities performing that 'role' within their mythos, but usually then the Archetype work is secondary to the deity work rather than the other way around.

    So while it's possible to work with Trickster rather than a deity... you wouldn't be working with an actual being, but a category. It's a way to categorise deities, other people, internal aspects of yourself, aspects of society, or the way that entities interface with humanity (and humanity with each other).

    Personally, I see Archetypes largely as a system for categorising the human psychological complex, and as a tool to help us interface with non-human entities via role-descriptions. So while Archetypes is within my radar, so to speak, it's not a primary practice of mine. Someone who works more closely with Archetypes may be able to give more insight into how to work with it as the primary focus of your practice.

  3. #3
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: trickster aspect

    A person after mine own heart.

    I've come to realize that Archetypes are more or less what I believe in, so I can divulge a little more here. I haven't studied the texts specifically relating to Archetypes, so I can't tell you the specifics of what has already been written, but I can help where it comes to how I view the topic. For me, the spiritual world exists on a kind of hierarchy. There's the Source, which is an ultimate divinity of sorts. We all come from the Source and we will return to it, and a bit of it is in everything we are. Under the Source, the Archetypes begin. There is the God and the Goddess, the ultimate bipolar between masculine and feminine and almost all deities can fall under one of these two Archetypes, though they can be further divided.

    In my eyes, the Archetype supersedes the deity, or more it is the deity. The deity is the Archetype, it just simply chooses to answer to a name, and that name changes depending on the people/culture to commune with said deity. We are human, our grasp of the spiritual is limited at best and our understanding is therefore faulty, so we do our best to identify what we can, but that's an imperfect identification, even if we do grasp some small part of the truth.

    The Trickster is different, slightly outside the typical Archetypes. By definition, the Trickster is gender ambiguous. Almost always the Trickster can take on the role of either gender, as well as being a shapeshifter. The Trickster typically isn't limited in the way that other Archetypes are, and often their actions are shown to be beneficial to humanity, though in the face of the gods. They have a dangerous side though, in that they are often liars and cheats, and just because they have been helpful to humanity, it doesn't mean they will be helpful to you in particular.

    If you're looking for some research ideas, some Tricksters you can look into: Anansi, from Africa (my personal favorite to the point I have a spider tattoo on my arm among my list of other religious symbols for traditions I've studied). The Monkey, from Africa. Loki. Prometheus. The Coyote, Native American traditions. Googling trickster mythology will give you many good leads, though I suggest reading the primary texts when possible.

    Trickster Makes the World seems to be a pretty popular book, though I haven't read it yet. (I've been working my way through the library's neopagan section in the last year, simply cause I don't have enough $$$ to be buying a ton of books).
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
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