Trickster Gods: Tricky Ways to Discover the Self

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Today I like to tell you more about our online course Mindfunda Mythology.

This is the fifth of a six part blog about Mindfunda Mythology, an online course that will make your life easier:

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword

 

Trickster Gods are tricky. They tease you, they obstruct your path, and when you look back at your life you see how much they have helped you.

A trickster breaks the rules. The Trickster Gods have knowledge beyond this world. They can be mean, but they always put the hero on the path of his life.

Let me know in the comments who has been a trickster in your life. Identifying your trickster gods will shine a light on your life’s path.

trickster gods
Roadrunner: Copyright by Warner Brothers, Inc.
Trickster gods: the butterfly

There is one story that will help you understand the function of the Trickster. It is a short story about a man and a butterfly.

A man saw a caterpillar struggling to get out of its shell. It did not seem to work for this butterfly to be.

trickster gods
Photo: Eddy Van 3000 on Flickr

So he decided to help and gently cut away the cocoon. Out came the butterfly. But it was not able to fly…

The struggle of getting out of its cocoon would have enabled it to gain the strength its wings need to fly.

You need struggle in your life to find out who you are. Your trickster helps you to gain strength. Who has done that in your life? Let me know in the comments.

Trickster Gods: My story

When I look back upon my life, I can clearly distinguish my tricksters. One of them is my older sister. She was always more popular, more beautiful and much funnier than I was.

My sister could be extremely cruel to me, telling others how much of a loser I was. And to my great surprise, that did not seem to turn off other people. She was my trickster.

trickster gods
Copyright: Disney

This trickster taught me that I had a path in life. Hers was to be beautiful and charming, mine was to be intellectual. I still like thinking and reading very much.

The lesson about the Trickster in Mindfunda’s Mythology course will tell you stories. Trickster stories. We will analyse them, and learn lessons about ourself.

And ask the daunting question: in what way(s) have we been tricksters ourselves?

Trickster gods: Trusting the Trickster

The first paragraph is about trust. We all get betrayed in our life. No matter how good treat others. Everybody gets hurt. The magic is in healing. Daring to open your heart again after you have been betrayed by a loved one.

No, this paragraph of the course is not about being naive or stupid.  If someone treats you bad, either mentally or physically, you need to get away.

It is about trust that you are going to be alright. No matter what you have been through, to believe that you have the spiritual power to learn and grow.

Trickster gods: Loki the killing prankster

The second paragraph of the Mindfunda Mythology course tells a story about Loki.

Loki is the asshole who kills another god. Baldr, son of Odin and Freya. He does not get away with it. He gets severely punished. But it is apparent that a trickster transcends divinity.

James Hillman says in The Souls Code: “Loki is a Giant, a representation of the forces of nature that are beyond human control”.

trickster gods
Doug Savage

 

In our current society we are held responsible for so many things. Often things beyond our control. It is healthy to acknowledge that some things are trickster – stuff. Using stories and  questions, this course will give you techniques to recognise these patterns in the story of your own life.

TRICKSTER GODS: Carl Gustav Jung

First thing I want to do is to tell you all that I admire the spirit of Carl Jung and all that he has given this world. He had a brilliant mind. But he also was a great trickster.

trickster gods
Artwork: Copyright Funny Times

I do consider him to be a shaman, a magician. And like everybody, Jung himself had a dark side.

In the Mindfunda Mythology course I consider Jung an example of the Know it All Trickster. This Trickster is a boy who has a sense of mental superiority from early childhood on.

A mental superiority that he feels compelled to prove and show off in various ways. The Know It All Trickster knows how to use his charm.

Trickster gods: animals

Exploring Carl Jung’s life in Trickster terms helps us get a grip on the Trickster as theme of the development of the Self.

The Trickster as animal also explores the theme of the Self, coming out of the unconscious darkness and becoming more shrewd,  cunning, and wise along the way.

trickster gods
Artwork: Mark Parisi

This lesson will share stories of the Chinook tribe, indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, to explore this energy in your life.

Trickster Gods: Death the final trickster?

The concluding paragraph of this lesson explores if death is the final trickster in our lives.

One of the themes of the Trickster Mythologies found around the world is to defeat death.

trickster gods
Artwork: Ahley Cooped

In our day and age, the mighty God Google, who knows everything about you and in that sense has gotten god-like qualities, has hired Kurzweil to see if they can defeat death.

Who has been the trickster in your life? Let me know in the comments!

TRICKSTER GODS: Fifth lesson of Mindfunda mythology

All Excited? Mindfunda Mythology is designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:

  • Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
  • You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
  • You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
  • You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
  • All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
  • You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.

 

Click here to find out more: Mindfunda Mythology

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Trickster Gods: Tricky Ways to Discover the Self

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Today I like to tell you more about our online course Mindfunda Mythology. This is the fifth ...
Read More

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Connect Your Inner Strength With The World

Join us now! Spiritual Soul Searching. 

Do you think all living things are connected? I think we are connected in much more ways than we are aware of.

When people start to connect, energy changes. For the better or for the worse, but transformation is an inevitable result. We add value to our live and the life of others when we connect. We do not want walls. Even though the may protect us, they leave us feeling alone, depressed and isolated.

This blog connects to Spiritual Soul Searching. If you want to find out how you can add value to your own life by connecting your own inner strength to this world, this is the blog for you.

If you have ever stood on the top of a mountain and looked down, you must have felt it. Every little thing on this earth is connected. Life is build on cycles. There is the cycle of water, there are inner cycles in your body that govern your hormones and glucose levels.

connect

And life is build up this way to maintain homeostasis. Inner balance. Only when you are able to sustain inner balance, you are able to live a healthy life.

Connect with a broader vision

You want to do more than look at yourself as a physical unity, as a “car”. You know you are so much more than a collection of homeostatic cycles. You have felt it in waking life. You have met mythological giants in your dreams. You yearn to have a better sense of your own innate spirituality. You know that it will make you happier. Better equipped to face challenges of life.

Mindfunda offers you an online course to guide you through this re-connection with inner strength. Step by step, during the course of a month we will tune into dreams, meditations and questions about different aspects of spirituality.
We will connect wit our innate sense of spirituality. We will dive into our own shadow. We will carefully analyse dreams to detect the archetypes they represent. And finally you express your new sense of spirituality through art. Because often there are no words to express this inner feeling.

Connect with inner strength

If you think back, what were the circumstances when you looked at your life and recognised how things are connected? Once, I was flying back to Europe after I gave a presentation about dreams in America, I looked out of the window, and admired the beauty of the earth.  I said to the lady next to me: “how gorgeous is this world we are living on”. And she responded: “yes, I feel blessed every day”. Looking downwards upon  the trees, the mountains, the water, I could so easily feel how things are connected. Not only physically. Connected mentally and spiritual as well.

But the world is hard and you are not always on top of a mountain or in a plane. Life gets you down. When you feel depressed, you feel alone. You have lost the ability to connect. This loss happens in your psyche and is reflected in the world around you. Mindfunda Spiritual Soul Searching contains four lessons that will re-connect you with your inner sense of spirituality.

Connect with Your Shadow

“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole”
― C.G. Jung

After we have explored dreams that showed our innate spirituality, it is time to take the next step. We will follow the path of the hero. We will incubate dreams about our own shadow. There is an ancient technique called dream incubation. You write a clear statement that will focus your dreaming mind into receiving dreams about a certain topic. Every dream you remember will be interpreted by you as an expression of the shadow.

connect

This course is not about dream interpretation. It is aimed at enhancing your knowledge so you can make connections. You will discover metaphors that your dreaming mind uses and you will be able to make more sense of your life and the path you have taken so far. The course offers four incubations for you to use to capture your own dreams.

Connect with Archetypes

James Hillman, who coined the term “Archetypical Psychology” in the seventies of last century said: “dreams tell us where we are, not what to do”.
Hillman was the first director of the Jungian Institute in Zurich. An archetype is an innate, universal prototype for ideas and may be used to interpret observations.

connect

 

Mindfunda Spiritual Soul Searching will devote itself to help you look for, and connect with archetypical energy. Not only the archetypical Father, but also the archetypical Mother. We will discover that archetypes represent the origins of life as well as personifying the unconscious.

This might be the most interesting, life changing course you have ever done in your life. If you take the version with personal guidance, you will get four hours of personal coaching. An objective perspective of either me, Susanne van Doorn, or Christian Gerike. You will get one coach, so he/she can mentor your process of personal growth. This way, you can be sure that repeating dream themes are detected and that your dream incubations will be more effective. It is in human nature to perform better with a personal mentor.

The Course: Mindfunda Spiritual Soul Searching

The course consists of 4 weekly blocks. One lesson each week;

Lesson 1 is about your innate spirituality;

Lesson 2  about connecting with your shadow;

Lesson 3 about archetypes;

Lesson 4:  The concluding lesson is about your personal mandala;
a treasure for the rest of your life.

Each block you will also get:

  • Specific dream examples to guide you in re-interpreting your dream journal;
  • Challenging questions to explore your own inner wealth;
  • A dedicated dream incubation to use the rest of that week, or any time you would like to re-discover this aspect;

When you finish the course you will have created a personal roadmap for your Spiritual Self. A valuable asset to obtain inner balance. A way to seek fulfilment within. It will keep you focussed and balanced. 

Add more value to your life exploring your own Spirituality. Come and join us!

An even more personal experience is provided to you when choosing the premium Personal Guidance Plan, with an additional 4 hours of One-on-One consultation.

Each week, after you have collected your dreams and answered your questions you will get one hour of personal guidance on Skype, so you can make a quantum leap in your spiritual development.

Check out the Course page at Mindfunda Courses now, just click the button to read more.  The course can be paid safely with PayPal or CreditCard (Stripe), even in 4 weekly terms.

 

 


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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PS: Get a Free ebook: 10 easy ways to instantly improve your dream memory

 

Descent

Every year around Christmas, I enter a stage of depression. I used to think it was caused by all the lights, cards and presents. I thought it was caused by the abundance of food in a deprived world. I thought it was my bad nature that caused me to get so tired around December. My biggest longing in December is to be left undisturbed in my thinking/feeling process to evaluate the year that has passed. My dreams are more intense, and I found out it is a special time for dreaming.

descent
Artwork: Mary Stubberfield

In the last couple of years I began to study mythology. I studied mythology like it was my life saving medicine. I began to understand that it had been my soul that was calling to me. I needed to tune in and listen.

 

descent
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James Hillman and the Descent to the Underworld

James Hillman, born in 1926, the same year as my father, studied in Zürich with Jung and he was director of this Zürich institute for ten years.
He typified modern psychology as soul-less. Psyche means soul but that is the one thing that therapists never touch upon.  In “The Dream and the Underworld” he says: “Soon we shall be making our own descent to the underworld in detail. I am assuming that its general geography is already somewhat familiar from myths, religions, painting and literature, where the horrors of hell and the sufferings of the deep, the waters one crosses to get there, have been to us through centuries of our common lore.”

Freud and Jung and the descent

In the psychological model Hillman paints the underworld as the touchstone of both of their lives. “Freud writes: Traumdeuting was, I found, a portion of my own self analysis, my reaction to mu father’s death- that is to say, to the most important loss, of a man’s life”.

Jung wrote down his revelations with the underworld in his Red Book.
The dread and resistance which every natural human being experiences when it comes to delving too deeply into himself is at bottom, the fear of the journey to Hades. Carl Jung

Could it be that I resented Christmas so much because I fear my journey to Hades? My descent into the underworld? I always tell myself that I do not fear death, only of the pain that will be involved in the process of dying. I remember the pain I felt when my children were born and it is very tempting to see death as  a birth into another realm. Both processes are accompanied by pain.

“The psychic perspective is focused not only on death or about dying. Rather, it is a consciousness that stands on its own two legs only when we have to put our day world notions to sleep. Death is the most profoundly radical way of expressing this shift in consciousness” says Hillman. So it is not the process of dying per se, but a shift of consciousness…

I know that you all like Stephan Aizenstat. He calls himself “A DreamTender.” He sits with a dream. With its images. And in some mystical way, it works for him and a lot of other people. If I sit with a dream, my mind just gets wandering. About all kinds of things but not about the dream. I need structure, to guide my active mind.

Hillman does not give a dream method. He tells us that dreams belong to the underworld. We should not try to interpret them. But meanwhile, reading his chapter “Praxis” about dreams gives you a lot of information about possible mythological interpretations of dreams. To understand dreams we must enter Hades’ realm. And the only way Persephone got entry there was because of the rape of Hades… So the aggression of the underworld, that plucks away the maiden admiring a flower, initiates the descent into the soul.

My own descent

Just like the sun, who enables our lives, we shine bright. The birth of Jesus, as celebrated at Christmas, symbolizes the return of the light. In Jungian terms: in our dark unconscious matter we will find treasures that can serve as cornerstones for our individualization. We need to bring those treasures up, into the light of consciousness.

 

descent
Diagram: Jungdarwinbook.com

 

The story of Eve, stealing and eating the apple of knowledge against the will of God, symbolizes the quest for knowledge. If Eve had not eaten the apple of knowledge together with Adam, there would have been no original sin. But there would also have been no need for the son of God to be born among man as Jesus Christ. It is a sin, but a Felix Culpa.

In the Grail legend, it is the other way around. Parsifal does not ask the question! Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise for their hunger for consciousness, Parsifal is denied the Grail for not asking the question. So historically, there has been a turn around.

Consciousness has become the Grail of our times. It has become the Grail of Jungians and others who look to depth psychology (and/or mythology to better understand themselves and their personal relationships and to their  (outer) world. I confess, I am one of those people. I do think gaining self-knowledge will make me a more balanced person. And that inner balance will increase my happiness. How has that worked out in my life so far?

Looking back I can say that the most depressing period in my life was when my husband was diagnosed with burn out. While he was sleeping and dreaming his way back into health, I was running round, taking care of everything and everybody, except for myself.

 

descent
Artwork: sacred connections.wordpress.com

One night I had a dream: A big spider comes walking toward me. It bites me in my hand, I feel a deep sharp pain and wake up.

The Spider Goddess bit me in the hand, as if to say: “Take care of yourself first”. Hillman says about the spider: “Although most natural spiders live in the earth, dream spiders usually appear in the air, a nightworld air like the chthonic, pneumatic underworld. There is an underworld intellect, a chthonic mind of nature that must spin out its patterns, constructing networks that can catch and hold any winged fantasy flying by.” The spider, in many ancient cultures the symbol of the Great Mother Goddess weaves the threads of the web of life, connecting realms and energies.

Like everyone who takes good care of him/herself, I started to plan lonely activities. Walking, every day. Me with my train of thoughts. My way of clearing my head. Embracing my solitude has helped me to survive. Loving the time I spent alone with myself has brought back balance. Like the spider weaves its connective web, my loneliness has taught me to see connections. How things of my past re-play in my current life. How I can be a better mother. Not only to my children, but also to myself. Is it the descent in the darkness that brings out the light?

Descent and Berserkers

Christmas time is family time. A time for old arguments and irritations that pop out just when you are ready to have a Christmas snack. Things can boil up into a heated argument. In a rage, your unconscious just throws out words that, even though they are true in your eyes, can hurt the one they are screamed at, to the core. The bear inside all of us can turn into a berserker: someone in a state of destructive rage. But things that are said can not be easily taken back. Going berserk is one of the expressions that still reminds us of the heritage of the Bear Goddess. The Bear used to be honored as a special deity. A representation of Loosing all grip of reality, in a rage of “telling someone like it is” you can turn the brightness of a Christmas Eve into the darkness of a nightmare.

descent

Almost all of us have been there, at such a family event, biting our tongues, or smiling politely when feeling offended by a family member.
Hillman has got this practical advice when you encounter such a situation:
“Our human person is shadowed by an archetypical image in the likeness of a God, and the God appears as the shade of a person”.
So just be gentle at the Christmas table. Don’t rage out, if a family member insults you, just acknowledge the fact that he/she represents the shadow. And without light, we would not be able to recognize a shadow as part of our own persona.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Remember: Christmas is a very special time for dreaming, so join Mindfunda for the Holy Night Dream Incubations.

Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 24 and January 6 I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient belief says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.

Literature

Marie Louise von Fransz, The Feminine in Fairy Tales, Spring Publications 1974
James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld, Harper & Row Publishers 1979

 

What does my dream mean? Four ways of looking at a dream.

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
– Albert Einstein

Is in our modern era the question “What does my dream mean?” still a valid one? Let’s explore.

The latest scientific research of our dreaming minds states that dreams are just images our brains construct out of the continuous firing of neurons during the night.

But having worked with dreams I want to invite you to put that notion aside for a while and dive into your dreams. See, after you played with your dreams for a while, if you still think that they are just random electric impulses.

James Hillman, psychologist, gives in his book: The dream and the underworld” a list of approaches to dreams that is still valid today.

James Hillman: The dream and the Underworld

There are three dominant views of the dream:

    1. Romantic: the dream contains a hidden but important message from another world. In today’s world, this view still pertains in films and television series, where a character receives important warnings through dreams and visions. For example, in the series Merlin (BBC) the Lady Morgana has several precognitive dreams and in Once upon a Time,  an American fairy tale drama series about a contemporary vision on Snow-white, Prince Charming has this dream about his daughter. (Yes, in this series he and Snow White have a daughter)
    2. Dreams are a worthless jumble of nonsense (however interpretable by a good psychiatrist). Because psychotherapy becomes out of fashion, analyzing dream on the canapé, like Freud once did, is not regularly used anymore.
    3. A dream reflects the physiological process going on while the body is asleep. This approach has been researched thoroughly, most of all by Vasily Kasatkin who collected data from all of his patients. Kasatkin was a psychiatrist working in several hospitals in and around Moscow. He analysed the data and wrote a book about it: A theory about dreams.
Vasily Kasatkin: A theory about dreams

4. Dreams are an invitation to get creative. This one you can not find in James Hillman his terrific book. It is my own. If you do remember a dream, write it down, draw it up, google it, associate symbols, re-write dream-stuff. There are so many cool ways of working with dreams: music, dancing, acting, painting, writing haiku’s… It really does not matter so much if they are nonsense, as long as you have fun with your dreams. They can give you a new sense of self. Dreams have led me into new ventures:

  • I studied the tarot because of a dream I had.
  •  I once dreamed about a one-eyed wanderer, and years later I discovered there is a one eyed God called Odin in Norse Mythology. This opened up a new way for me to explore Norse Mythology, and helped me to dive in ancient stories telling me more about the archetypical challenges life has to offer.
  • I made a couple of real nice clay works inspired by my dreams.
  • I had several real remarkable precognitive dreams about important things months and sometimes years before they manifested in my life: for example about meeting my husband.

So my advice to you is: dreams can be a guide into your own creative depths if you allow them to mean things.

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