The trickster Gods and Goddesses are famous in different religions and mythology all around the world. People believe in these Gods and Goddesses and their special abilities and powers which they possessed.
Trickster Gods belong to various countries and religions as they hold their control over the minds of the local people. They were known for their ill doings, treachery, deceit, and many other things.
History of Trickster Gods
The trickster Gods and Goddesses are found in various archetypes and cultures all around the world.
From the dangerous Loki to the dancing Kokopelli, almost all the societies have seen or heard at some point of time a deity who was associated with deceit, mischief, treachery, and betrayal.
But history has seen that all these troubles making Gods and tricksters always had a purpose behind their trouble making plans and notorious behaviour.
Their depictions and notorious crimes are listed in various historical texts and mythological sources that are present in different places all around the world.
Alphabetical Order List of Trickster Gods
Given below is a table which contains the alphabetical order list of the various trickster Gods and Goddesses which were present in different religions:
|Name of Trickster Gods
|Amaguq, Anansi, Anrita, Azeban
|Bamapana, Bluetongue Lizard
|Coyote (mythology), Coyote (Navajo mythology), Crow (Australian Aboriginal mythology), Cultural depictions of ravens
|Dancing, Dolos (mythology)
|Ekwensu, Elegua, Eshu
|Iktomi, Indian Tales
|Kaulu, Kokopelli, Kupua, Kutkh
|Manannán mac Lir, Māui (mythology), Maximón, Maya Hero Twins, Mercury (mythology), Monkey King
|Śakra (Buddhism), San Martin Txiki, Sibú, Sosruko
|Ti Malice and Bouqui
List of Trickster Gods
In this article, we have tried to cover the major trickster gods which have made a prominent mark in the history and mythology of various religions all around the world.
The special attributes and their genius crimes are explained in detail in the following paragraphs:
1. Lugh (Celtic)
Lugh was a trickster God who was a Smith and also a craftsman. He was also believed to be a very brave and skilled warrior apart from the role of the trickster, which he played with the people of Ireland.
His tales of wisdom and tricks are very famous in Ireland because he could change his appearance, where he sometimes used to appear as an old man following the people believing that he is very weak.
The famous book, The Druids which is written by Peter Beresford Ellis, has suggested that he was the inspiration for various folktales of mysterious stories in the Irish legend.
He has also offered the theory that the word Leprechaun is the variation of the word Lugh Chromain, which has a meaning of little stooping Lugh.
2. Wisakedjak (Native American)
Wisakedjak was a native American Trickster God whose folklore is present in both the Algonquin and the Cree.
He always showed up as a trouble maker at the particular time when he was alive.
He was the one who was considered to be responsible for creating a very big flood that wiped out almost all the parts of the world after the creator had built it and then used his magical powers for rebuilding the current world.
He is also believed to be a well-known deceiver and shapeshifter.
He has often pranked his friends for the benefit of mankind and also ensured that these pranks do not harm them.
Just like the tales of Anansi, his stories have a very clear pattern and a format that usually begins with him trying to deceive or trick someone or also manipulating someone for doing him a favour and then always giving a moral at the end of the story.
He has also appeared in the American Gods alongside Anansi, which was written by Neil Gaiman. In this book, he was portrayed as a character named Whiskey Jack, which where’s the Anglicized version of his name.
3. Anansi the Spider
Anansi the spider appeared in numerous Western African folktales & was famous for its special ability to shift its appearance in the form of a human being or a man.
It is considered to be a very important cultural figure in Caribbean mythology as well as Western African mythology. The tales of the spider originated way back in the country of Ghana.
Story of Anansi the spider involved the spider getting into some sort of ill-doing or mischief and facing a very horrible fate like being eaten alive or dead.
And then finally managing his way out of the dangerous situation by talking and using his clever wits and words.
These tales originated as a part of the oral tradition and then they were able to travel across the sea to the North American region during the era of the slave trade.
These tales were considered to be serving the purpose of the cultural identity along with providing lessons for the people about how to rise and outsmart those people who could harm or oppress the poor section of the society.
These stories are beautifully illustrated in various books for children.
For the elderly and the grown-up people, Neil Gaiman has written American Gods which has featured the character of Mr. Nancy who is considered to be the spider of modern times.
A sequel was also written by Neil which tells the story of Mr. Nancy and his sons.
4. Veles (Slavic)
Veles (Slavic) was very famous in the parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. These areas contain rich moral stories and history about the trickster god.
He was considered to be an underworld God who was associated with the various souls of the deceased ancestors.
It is also believed that he sends the souls of the dead out in the world of the human beings in the form of messengers.
Apart from the role which he plays in the Underworld, he is sometimes also associated with the storms which happen like the ones in his ongoing battle with the thunder god.
He is considered to be a major supernatural force in the mythology of Slavic. He is sometimes compared with Loki and Hermes of Greece for their similar mischievous behaviour.
Kokopelli is considered to be a trickster God and is also considered to be a Hopi fertility god which one can imagine doing a lot of mischief’s and also the keeper of many legends and stories.
This god is also recognized by his curved back posture and also the magic flute which he always carries with himself wherever he may go.
In one of the Legend, it is mentioned that when he was traveling through the land where he turned the winter into the spring with the beautiful music coming out of flute and also made it rain so that there would be a very successful harvest in the future months of the year.
It is believed that the curved posture of his back is symbolic of the bag of seeds and the various songs which he carries with himself.
He is also believed to be the one who can bring the warmth of the spring and the melting of the snow according to his will.
It is also believed that just by the sound of his flute the various seasons were changed and the various women who danced on the song got pregnant with child.
The various images of Kokopelli, which are thousands of years old have been found in the various rock art around the American southwest.
Loki is a God of the Norse mythology, who is considered to be one of the biggest tricksters amongst the trickster Gods.
He has become a very famous character and pop culture due to the famous Avenger movie series in which his character is played by the British actor Tom Hiddleston.
This particular god is famous for bringing out discord and chaos throughout the world by challenging the different Gods and also bringing the change which is not necessary.
The mysterious God Loki serves the same purpose which a coyote does in the native American tales or the Anansi spider in the African lore.
The main job of this particular mysterious god was considered to be making trouble for other Gods and the rest of the world.
Elegua is considered to be one of the Orishas and a God who is famous all around the world for opening the crossroads for practitioners of Santeria.
This particular god is often associated with the doorways because it is believed that he is the one who will prevent the trouble and the danger from entering the houses of those people who have made him offerings.
It is believed from the various stories that this particular God likes candies, cigars, and coconut in the offerings.
He is often portrayed as an old man in some of the sources while also as a young child in some other sources because he is associated with both the end and the beginning of the lifespan.
He is typically portrayed wearing a dress that is black and red and the majority of the time appears in the role of a protector or a warrior.
Many of the people, who follow this particular trickster or God-like to give offerings to him because they believe that he is the one who is likely to throw an obstacle in the way of their work.
Laverna is considered to be a Roman goddess who is famous for her lies, frauds, theft, and cheats.
She is one of the most famous Gods amongst the list of trickster gods and has managed to get a hill on the Aventine which is named after her.
She is referred to as the one who has a head but nobody or a body that has no head. In the Gospel of the witches, the famous writer Charles Leyland has told a tale about her which states the following lines:
Among the gods or spirits who were of ancient times may they be ever favorable to us! Among them (was) one female who was the craftiest and most knavish of them all. She was called Laverna.
She was a thief, and very little known to the other deities, who were honest and dignified, for she was rarely in heaven or the country of the fairies. She was almost always on earth, among thieves, pickpockets, and panders–she lived in darkness.
A story is also famous about how this particular God tricked a priest for selling her estate and in exchange, she promised that she would build a temple on that particular land.
But instead, the Goddess sold everything present on the land that had any value and finally built no temple.
The priest went to her for confronting but she was gone. Later this particular goddess swindled a God in the same particular manner and the priest and Lord realized that they had both been the victim of the deceptive goddess.
Both of them appeal to the Gods for helping them.
The Gods ordered Laverna to appear before them. The Gods also asked her why had she broken her promise with the two men.
The following lines give the conversation between the Gods and the Goddess:
And when she was asked what she had done with the property of the priest, unto whom she had sworn by her body to make payment at the time appointed (and why had she broken her oath)?
She replied by a strange deed which amazed them all, for she made her body disappear so that only her head remained visible, and it cried:
“Behold me! I swore by my body, but a body has me none!’
Then all the gods laughed.
After the priest came the lord who had also been tricked, and to whom she had sworn by her head. And in reply to him, Laverna showed to all present her whole body without mincing matters, and it was one of extreme beauty, but without a head; and from the neck thereof came a voice which said:-
“Behold me, for I am Laverna, who have come to answer to that lord’s complaint, who swears that I contracted debt to him, and have not paid although the time is o’er and that I am a thief because I swore upon my head–but, as you all can see, I have no head at all, and therefore I assuredly never swore by such an oath.”
This particular instance led to the significant laughter among the Gods which were present there, who also made the matter correct by joining the body with the head and also instructing the trickster Goddess for paying up her debts to the two men.
Finally, this particular goddess was then ordered by Jupiter for becoming the pattern goddess of dishonesty and disreputable people. The people made a lot of offerings in her name.
Eris is a Greek goddess of chaos and is often considered to be one of the greatest trickster gods. She is always present at the times of strife and discord.
She is the one who loves to start the trouble for her amusement and is famous for the incident of the Trojan War.
All this started with the wedding of the Pelias and the Thetis. Once the Gods of the Olympics were invited to the wedding, including the Athena and Aphrodite, but the name of Eris got left from the guest list.
She enjoyed causing a ruckus and left his name deliberately for having a little fun. She floated a golden apple in the air which was known as the Apple of discord into the crowd and said that it was for the beautiful goddess.
Thus, as a result, Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena started fighting over the rightful owner of Apple. Zeus, the god chose a young man from the city of Troy to select the winner.
Aphrodite offered the guy a bribe that he could not resist, Helen, who was the young wife of the King Menelaus of Sparta.
Paris, the young guy selected Aphrodite for receiving Apple and also guaranteed that his hometown would be demolished by the end of the war.
The trickster Gods are present in almost all the religions and are very famous for their supernatural powers and the Chaos which they like to spread on the earth.
In this article, we have tried to cover the main trickster gods along with their special abilities and their folklore. We have also covered the alphabetical list of all the trickster gods with their religion.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Which God is considered to be the God of trickery?
Dolos is considered to be the god of trickery in Greek mythology. He was the son of the Earth and the Hyginus.
Which God is known for creating chaos amongst the people?
Loki of the Norse mythology is considered to be the God who is very notorious and known for creating Chaos among the people.
Which Goddess cheated a priest and a God by breaking her promise?
Laverna is the Goddess who created a priest and God by selling their estate and did not build a temple on it.