My practice revolves primarily around Celtic mythology, with one very important exception. The North American Trickster. I have felt a special connection to the Trickster since childhood and after living in the southwest for many years and learning more about him I have incorporated him into my practices.
The Celtic Gods and Goddesses don't seem to mind.
Many mythological systems include a trickster of some kind. The best known of the European mythologies is probably the Norse God Loki. In European lore the Trickster is often seen as an entity somehow linked to the heroic figures. Sometimes he assists, sometimes he hinders. He sometimes changes shape, changes gender or even takes on the appearance of one of the other Gods. His goals are often unknown and remain undiscovered.
North American spirituality ascribes a slightly different role to the Trickster. While he still sometimes opposes and sometimes aids in a quest or project, he is often more than he seems. The Trickster nearly always has a lesson to teach and it is best to heed his presence. He is included in nearly all ritual as a reminder that there are often secrets and untold meanings around us and we should not accept the world at face value.
The Creator will sometimes take on the persona of the Trickster in order to work more closely with humans. So when dealing with the Trickster it is impossible to know and unwise to question his true identity.
The Trickster is generally depicted as the Coyote, an animal with the ability to blend into its natural surroundings and come and go unseen.
A Shaman with the Coyote for a spirit guide is fortunate indeed, he has been blessed with the greatest teacher.
The Trickster reminds me to step back and look at the world with wide eyes instead of the narrow vision that we tend to develop. Secrets, hidden meanings, dangers and treasures often lurk in the shadows. If you let him, he will point them out and even assist in uncovering what they reveal.
In this depiction by Susan Seddon Boulet, the Coyote is stealing fire.