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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn


Tricksters come in all different shapes and sizes. I not only looked at Jung’s article on the trickster (Jung, 1954/1990) but also Tarnas’s (1995) book Prometheus The Awakener. Grof and Tarnas (2002, seminar) see the transpersonal planetary archetype of Uranus as a “higher octave” of Mercury. Combs and Holland (2001) discuss synchronicity and the trickster, while Hyde (1998) examines the creative function of the trickster. Hynes and Doty (1993c), Eliot (1990), and Arnold (1996) discuss a wide variety of tricksters, while others focus on specific tricksters from different cultures: Lopez (1990) discusses Native American Coyote, and Kramer and Maier (1989) explore Norse Trickster Enki; Radin (1972), with commentary by Jung and Kerényi, discusses the Native American Trickster, while Pelton (1980) concentrates on the West African trickster. Jurich (1998) recounts tales of female tricksters, while Friedrich (1978) and more specifically Paris (1986) discuss Aphrodite’s liminal and wily trickster side.

To me, the most beloved trickster of all is Hermes, god of depth psychology. Much has been written about Hermes, be it entire books on him—Kerényi (1976/2003), Lopez-Pedraza (1977/1989), N. O. Brown (1990), or whole chapters—(Doty, 1980), Paris (1990), and Downing (1993), to name a few. Faivre (1995) discusses Hermes’s role in Alchemy, and Jung’s (1948/1983) “The Spirit Mercurius” is a classic. McNeely (1996), in Mercury Rising, gives an archetypal account of Hermes from his trickster nature to the consulting room, and concentrates also on women and evil. Stein (1983) discusses Hermes, in relation to midlife, liminality, and synchronicity. Neville (1992) speaks of the charm of Hermes in the postmodern age, while Hillman (1999) answers back with “A Note on Hermes Inflation.”


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