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Destroyer & Trickster Archetypes
Category: Mythic Quest
Last Updated: February 2011

"A dream to some -
A nightmare to others."
- Merlin, Excalibur

There may be times in life when things get mired down in a muddled disarray of duties and onerous obligations - too much 'you should do this', too much 'you should do that' - until everything grinds to a halt in a cloud of indecision and confusion.

It's at these moments when the Destroyer and Trickster archetypes are needed to clear away some of the 'dead wood', to shake things up a little so that a bit of life and movement can enter back into these pockets of thought and habit. They are perhaps the only archetypes that can reliably disrupt emotionally manipulative life scripts - such as those using shame, guilt, inadequacy and so on as a means of coercion. The Destroyer becomes single-minded and uncompromising whereas the Trickster doesn't really care as long as there's amusement to be had. In both cases they are creatures of instinct, not rationality.

In short, they get things done, but are not always that concerned with the niceties.

Clues for ideas on how to more safely 'modulate' the effects of Destroyer and Trickster archetypes can also be found in myth. The destructive powers of Kali can be calmed by appealing to her role as the 'Dark Mother'. The excesses of Loki can be (slightly) toned down by pairing him with a civic-minded deity whose powers he respects. But then if 'you can't please all the people all the time' then someone will probably get upset whatever you do - so it might as well be for a good cause.

As these archetypes break up old, restrictive conditioning there will be an accompanying release of 'life energies' that could manifest immediately through laughter and/or a feeling of being alive, and which should then be channeled / harnessed. As far as I can tell there is no need to consciously attempt to interfere with, control or even guide this process - any of these 'creative / life energies' that are freed automatically become part of any suitable life-affirming archetype at work in the psyche. However, and this is possibly where the problem begins, our society doesn't tend to equip people with 'life-affirming archetypes', so someone wanting to work with the Destroyer or Trickster will have to build their own using the 'self-Image' technologies discussed in the 'Sort Your Life Out' section.

If there are no suitable 'life-affirming archetypes' then these 'energies' dissipate, which means that the only way that this 'being alive' feeling can be re-experienced is by breaking-up more conditioning. Bear in mind that 'conditioning' in itself is not inherently 'bad', and it's only a matter of time before the 'useless' conditioning is all gone and the 'useful' conditioning starts being disassembled. At this point the person gets locked into a self-destructive downward spiral, addicted to 'taboo-breaking' to get their next fix of 'creative energy' until there is nothing left.