Honoring The Trickster Within

A fake mustache, nose and glasses

We are wild ones. The more we pretend otherwise the more twisted things become.

If we try to pretend we are not angry, we blow up when we least expect it. When we try to ignore energies like attraction, they can grow into a giant that drives us into situations that lack grace and integrity. If we instead tap into our wildness we can experience our insights and emotions as they come. We can see things as they are and see ourselves as we are, but we have to be fearless enough to let our wild self out.

Far less appealing than welcoming all aspects of ourselves to the table is to resist this and hide behind a mask of good behavior. When we do this we are prime targets for trickster energy to trip us up at every chance. 

Trickster manifests as an archetype in many cultures. It can be viewed as an external being, like Coyote or Tanuki, or we can see it as an aspect of ourselves.

I believe it is good to work with the concept of both an internal and external trickster.

The External Trickster

Externally, the Trickster is looking for entertainment through educational opportunities—intentional and not. Trickster can show us the wisdom in playing the fool, the intelligence in knowing nothing, and the direction in not knowing where we are going. Trickster is at play when our keys suddenly go missing even though we had them in our hands just a moment ago. It is at play when wires get crossed and the text or email goes right where it wasn’t supposed to. Trickster is at work when we run into something we couldn’t see because we were too busy staring at our phone. Trickster tells us to “pay attention,” one of the most important states of being for us to avoid sleepwalking through our lives. It is also one of the most lacking states of being in our modern culture. How many of us struggle to pay attention for more than a few minutes? This lack of focus is a bigger problem than many of us realize. Trickster is showing us that it is time to wake up and listen.

The Internal Trickster

Internally, Trickster can be seen as the wisdom or warning signs coming through the unconscious, through our dreams, or through the subconscious, the thoughts we neglect in our waking state. When Trickster manifests in our dreams it can show us something we are embarrassed about or an emotion we do not want to ‘fess up to.

In our subconscious, Trickster can be a kind of built-in self-sabotage mechanism that can thwart our best efforts to accomplish our goals. It can be the self that forgets to set the alarm, leaving us racing to make it to the presentation on time; the self that talks us into volunteering for something we know nothing about; the self that says “Well, what is the worst that could happen, right?” It is the mischievous self that courts disaster just for the curiosity of what will result.

There is nothing wrong with any of this; we just need to be aware that these energies are at play and can get the best of us when we are not looking. If we know the Trickster and honor the Trickster, then we can see when it is at play, receive its wisdom, and engage with it in the way that we can most benefit from.

Talk to your Trickster self, leave offerings with a wink for the Trickster in the world, and pay attention to the wild urgings. We don’t have to follow every wild nudge, but we need to acknowledge the nudges are there and value them. It we pay tribute and attention to our wild selves and the Trickster than we remove the need for them to trip us up for attention. They have already received what they need, and we have already received the wisdom they want to share with us.

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