Purim: Enter the Trickster

The Last Purim by Mark Shectman
The coyote, a common symbol of the Trickster, on the left and the full moon on the right. This village in in for a heck of a night. (The Last Purim by Mark Shectman)

Ahh….Purim.  Let’s invite the trickster in and see what havock s/he can wreak!   We think of Purim as the light-hearted, silly holiday, but the trickster sometimes has her own plans.  The month of Adar is the month associated with the Kesilah, the Fool, in the Kohenet model.  Generally, I think of the Kesilah as the light-hearted clown who’s sacred play helps us to break out our normal way of thinking.  There is also the trickster element, which is a bit more mischievous and dangerous than the fool.

I think the Trickster what is what’s at play  in our current economic situation in the United States, and much of the rest of the world.  The Trickster has taken the entire world we know and turned it upside down.  The foundations of our economy have been entirely shaken — and the Trickster is waiting to see if we’ll ask the right questions here.  The Trickster knows that our economy has been  based on a joke.  How can our entire way of life be  built around buying things we really don’t need, can’t really afford, and are so low quality that we’ll have to replace them in a couple of years?  What an amazing joke has been played on us all.

Now it’s Purim.  Now we can sing, dance, laugh, drink and make jokes.  Now we freely invite in the Trickster.  So, what will you do with the Trickster — now that you’ve invited her/him to dance?

Purim is just one short month before Pesach.  I think I’ve realized this year, that Purim is when we take notice of what enslaves us.  Tradition says that the Israelites had gotten to the point they didn’t even know that they were enslaved and oppressed.  It’s just the way life was.  I think we have been in the same place.  We’ve allowed ourselves to be shackled to a economic system that is spiritually bankrupt.   We work so we can have more, more, more.  Quantity has replaced quality in too many parts of our society.

Let’s begin our journey towards freedom by taking advantage of this crisis.  Let’s dance with the Trickster and challenge our assumptions about the way things have to be.   So the stock market is in the toilet — so what?!?   So, you’re not getting a raise this year, now what?!?  Dance with the Trickster and see what’s really important to you.  Dance with the Trickster and find new ways to see the problems.  Dance with the Trickster and find new solutions and ways of living.

Happy Purim — now go bake/eat a Hammentaschen with your friends and family (because that is important).  🙂

p.s. if you really want to see the embodiment of the Trickster, rent Man on Wire. Than Phillipe Petit is, without a doubt, the human embodiment of the Trickster.

p.p.s Check out the Speaking of Faith episode called “Repossessing Virtue” for more views on approaching the economic crisis from a spiritual perspective.

[tags]purim, economy, spirituality, decisions, trickster, pesach[/tags]

11 Replies to “Purim: Enter the Trickster”

  1. Thanks, this was awesome. Very well put. 🙂
    My problem is I'm alone…no family, no friends around me who are Jewish (in any sense) so it's Purim and I'm trying to find a way to celebrate without looking pathetic. lol Any suggestions?

    1. You are not alone, sister. I will raise a glass to your health this Purim

      La vida ki nu ti manki, Con gracia del Dio, Con el nombre del Dio, Bivas, Kreskas komo il pishkado en muestras madres la mar (Ladino: May you be full of life, by the grace of The Great One, in the name of The Great One, May you live and grow like the fish of our mother sea)

  2. adar: month of the coyote. i had never thought about it quite like that, but it's true.

    thank you for your insights.

  3. I suppose the Fox is more of the trickster figure in Jewish tradition. I know there are several stories of the Fox as Trickster in the Sefer Haggadah. I'll have to check on the coyote — hadn't thought to do that.

  4. Ketzirah Carly, thanks for the ideas. Brought me quickly out of my funk. Thanks muchly 🙂

  5. if fox is the trickster, then that explains why i love the month so much, as my hebrew name is shualah.

  6. I like to go out on Purim and see what the spring is doing, and note the ways earth is costuming herself. Finding the Trickster in nature is one way to celebrate.

    You can also go to a bakery and buy a sacred vulva cookie (that is, a hamantaschen)!

  7. I really enjoy your ways of speaking. In thanks of inspiration given this is my own reading. It may inspire or it may just seem really odd. Either way …

    The tarot, has astrological and alphetical associations. In a sense it is a pictoral exploration of the lunisolar cycles of the year. In the Fool's beginnings. He is pictured with a precipice before him, a wolf or wolves at his heels. Here he must recognise his wings and make friends with wolves. To the stars he travels with difficulty. His path one of the embrace of Urania, planet associated with inspiration from 'The All' via the messenger of Arch-Angel … Here we understand that inspiration too far is madness. That we are limited in our understanding for protection but yet we must always seek and this is how we find and tread the way of walking. This is how we begin each journey towards illumination. The Fool is creativity and the will to begin.

    Thus comes the Magician to guide or to trick the Fool. Known by many names and with many faces. He / She will seem to have all elements at their command but if they have not sweetness of soul and kindness of tongue all is nothing but vapour. Yet this illusionist has their place. They tests our foundations and even in their deceptions, removes deeper falsehood and self-deception. The Fool within is asked to laugh at themselves and to dance away from our dellusions. In our responce to the Magician we see more clearly our greater story and our part in things; we see our truth when we dance the dance and laugh our past mistakes away. This is Kesilah, King of illusion.

    So enters the Queen, dressed this time as Esther but also as Vashili. This is the power of women, of the feminine energy to transform. High Priestess; intuitress and balancing force to the illusionist, and the Empress; the mother and nurturer kick ass women who deny the will of others when it offers hurt for many or debasement of their worth. This is the feminine power to see beyond the hatred of war-mongering and ignorance or of greed and selfishness and cherish truth. This is love, hard work and sacfice celebrated in a community sustained and well fed because they have found balance. Here stands, in Adar, Pirum delivered joyously by the arms of great women. Here stands the point of dancing away and through our dellusions and unfirm foundations to find the nurturing ground beneath. Here we drink from the cup of life again.

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