The Universality of Trickster

From: Tim Ellis (tim@timellis.demon.co.uk)
Date: Sat 11 Jan 1997 - 23:58:31 EET


One problem with trying to discover Trickster deities, is, as has been
pointed out, there is not ONE universal trickster, and many deities show
trickster like attributes (Peter Michaels posited Zorak Zoran as a Troll
Trickster in Digest 60, and James Frusetta (with tongue in cheek, I
suspect) sugested it was Xiola Umbar in Digest 54). Simon Phipp in
Digest 62 said
>Amongst trolls, there would not be a single Trickster god, but many
>Spirits/Heroes.
and
>Gbaji certainly shows Trickster traits - especially how he fooled the
>trolls and pretended to be part of them to wound Korasting - by the
>way, he did not kill her, merely ripped her womb open with poisoned
>adamantine claws.
I think there is only one Trickster god for any one culture (just like
there is only one sun god. . . oops) though as he is not always
appreciated he does not always get full credit for his works and others
claim his victories for their own (which is why Orlanth, for instance
has some Trickster powers). This means it is always (=85%) possible to
find Trickster somewhere in most Gods if you really want to...

For instance, if the Compromise binds all Gods to there position at the
dawning, and Gods have been born since time then they must have, in some
way bypassed the binding, and trickster, by his nature can not be bound,
so that suggests some Trickster involvement in both Nysalor and the Red
Goddess. (And doesn't the idea of curing the disease you are spreading
sound like a trickster inspired routine?).

And what about Arkat, travelling from place to place, initally helping,
then abandoning the inhabitants as he takes on the aspect of their
neighbors - that sounds like a trickster sort of thing too. And if
Trickster is Nysalor, and Gbaji, and Arkat then it doesn't really matter
who wins in the end!

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| Tim Ellis EMail tim@timellis.demon.co.uk |
| Gods of Glorantha - greg-UR-y stafford, sandy pet-UR-son, ken UR-lston...
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