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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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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    8 thoughts on “Trickster Gods: Tricky Ways to Discover the Self”

    1. Pingback: Shadow Dreams: The dark side of the psyche and Carl Jung | dream interpretation

    2. elainemansfield

      I always turn to astrology when thinking of the Trickster, since that’s a psychological language I learned early. I agree that Jung was a Trickster. So was my first teacher whom I met in 1967. Anthony Damiani taught his devoted students meditation, philosophy (we worked our way through many systems in his 17 years of teaching), astrology, and the importance of the Trickster in ourselves and in others. We never knew what he’d come up with next or how he might turn things upside down. He kept us awake, thinking, and engaged. I’m forever grateful.

      1. Wow Elaine, you learned from the best! Thank you for sharing the name of Anthony Damiani, I looked up is website and his Astronoesis – Anthony Damiani
        seems very interesting to me. I will explore this further.

    3. Hi Susanne, I reading love the truth of your words! Great article. I agree, despite the pain and suffering that these tricksters bring, they always push us forward on our spiritual paths.

      I have always respected the butterfly tale and the important of metamorphosis … reminds me of when, after a difficult break up with a trickster, the choice to enter a new relationship arose but I knew if I did, I would never move on, never grieve for the relationship (even though it had been so difficult!) … so with as much wisdom as I could muster in my 30’s I declined the new person’s sudden, and flattering offer to spend the next six months consciously grieving … and focussing on what I did want and not what I didn’t.

      Unsurprisingly, the new person turned out to be a trickster too … just better disguised!

      Anyhow, it would have been all too easy to jump into another relationship (trickster or not) and bypass the agony of true heartbreak, and I’m so glad I didn’t. I haven’t thought about these things for a long time … perhaps it is because I’ve being working closely with the archetypes of theTarot and The Lovers all week! Blessings always, Deborah.

      1. Hi Deborah!

        Those tricksters keep on tricking 😉 What a very sensible and mature decision to work through your break up before you start a new relationship.
        I know that the lure of a new pair of warm and comforting arms must have been tempting.

        It might be a theme that we discover right now together: the lover as trickster in disguise.
        I think that we learn so much about ourselves from the relationships with our partners.
        Thanks for alerting me to that symbiotic relationship between lover and trickster, it is something I will ponder on.

    4. Hi Susanne, this would be such a wonderful course. It reminds me that I need to pay attention to the trickster … I’d be there like a shot if I had the time. But I will get into the trickster – many years ago when we enacted Psyche and Eros (20 years or so ago), at the request of a Jungian analyst up from Cape Town, something happened on the stage, someone giggled in the audience, I heard the giggle, started laughing, tried to stop myself, and the others on the stage all collapsed laughing. Patrick the analyst was furious and called me the trickster when we were back stage rolling on the ground in helpless laughter …

      I love your graphics … they truly make me smile 🙂 (I save all your posts)

      1. It is psychologically strong that Patrick did not join the laughter, it is almost impossible to keep a straight face while someone else is cracking up 😉
        The trickster is aware f the laws beyond this world so being the trickster in Cupid and Psyche is really a compliment in retrospect, hoedje af!

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