Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I work with two notable trickster gods, Loki and Hermes. These two are a part of a pretty decent majority of my spiritual work, so it's important for me to talk about them here. Looking around at the seemingly chaotic events of your life and of the world at large, you might wonder why anyone would want to work with deities known specifically for their disorderly conduct. After all, one of the tools our Pagan spirituality gives us is a natural system for organizing and ordering our understanding of the world. But if you haven't dipped your toes into the water of trickster work, you're really missing out.

To me, these divinely “amoral” beings represent two very important and empowering concepts. First of all, their ethics are totally self-generated. Loki and Hermes both engage in acts of theft that almost none of the more traditional pantheonic gods would stoop to do and yet these very same non-traditional acts benefit their holy brothers and sisters in very real ways. Loki delivers Thor his hammer, Odin his arm-brace and his steed. Hermes seems to be forever stealing herds of cattle for his father, Zeus. The message here is: if it works, do it. Our ethics as witches and Pagans should come out of experimentation, keeping the principles which are useful, which help you and your community to move forward, and discarding those that are useless.

The second concept they can offer us is that of liminal existence. Frequently we describe ourselves as being “between the worlds”, a position that these deities occupy exclusively. Their myths allow us to see that by blurring lines of gender, sexuality and personality, we evolve as beings. By accepting that the boundary between yourself and whatever you consider to be “other” is truly arbitrary, you gain that much more self-understanding. So next time you take a shamanic journey or meditate, seek out a trickster, a thief or a fool. Let yourself be led down the rabbit hole for a while. I guarantee you'll discover something worthwhile in the process.

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