Trickstergate: School of Shapeshifting

Years ago, during a particularly wandering and vague time in my life, I was looking for a purpose. This is something that used to happen occasionally, and I would spend some time toying with being a “real” artist, or something of that nature. I would look at my life and groan at the mundane things that were keeping me firmly tied on the ground.

I had attended a workshop in Shropshire, the year I moved to the UK, 2005. To be honest I can’t even remember how I found out about it, but I think it was advertised online somewhere. It was an Elemental Workshop. It changed everything. While the work was nothing new to me, having been pagan for nearly ten years by then anyway, the people set a path before me that completely set my world into revolution. Like a cauldron, stirring.

It hit chaos too, as stirrings do.

But somewhere in there, I gained a teacher, and my teacher led me to learn how to journey, to become a Shaman. As Shaman, I found that I could seek so much more than I ever had before and I requested an audience with a Salmon of Wisdom somewhere in the Otherworld. The tea party was held, the discussion had. The words that came to me attached to my “Life Mission” really didn’t have a place to find home until now. That’s how things are though, I find.

It takes time for the pieces to fall into place.

And as the Salmon says- You’ve got your whole life for this…

So what is “Trickstergate”?

The gate is not a gate.

It can be a pool that shows you nothing but your own eyes.
It is a path without an end.
It is a doorway like no other, framed with colour and deception.
The wise fool is one who know the path, who laid the stones each at a time, who climbs the hills to overlook the world and carefully undoes the knots that we have placed there.

Contradiction is key.

Show the beauty and the humour of lies.
It’s all about creation and knowledge.

The Trickstergate is a way of introducing people to Shapeshifting. It is teaching opportunity, which is what Tricksters are all about. You may think they’re the fool of the story, or even occasionally the villain, but the lesson is always there.

Tricksters are teachers.

And my life path has led me to be one too, both in my daily life and now in my Pagan practice.

Just as in teaching, for me it’s always about the relationship and guiding through showing not telling, the stories work the same way. Our myths guide us towards realisations through images and ideas. They don’t tell you anything. They lead.

With the Trickstergate, what I want to achieve is to explore our many selves through building and breaking barriers. It’s the Trickster way. Within the different elements of Trickstergate, I’m going to be leading exploration into Otherworld, practising shapeshifting and bringing back something that can be created as a physical object in this world, a tie to the work that has been done.

This is the life mission brought to life. I am very excited to see where it leads!

~Dan Mercurial

Cover image: Watercolour of Raven 

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