Friday, September 21, 2007

Yulish on “Demonic” “Trickster”

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on Mary as a Trickster for UFO Digest.

(Speculation on Mary as a Trickster.)
What I pondered was: can we consider Marian apparitions not strictly as a religious figure, (and certainly not literally) but as a female Trickster? Stephen Yulish responded on UFO Digest with a piece of his own; he wrote:

Many Apparitions of Mary may be Tricksters but the Real Mary was not!

He and I seem to agree, kind of sort of, on the Trickster aspect, but for the wrong reasons. For example, Yulish writes:
Regan Lee's August 6 article in UFO Digest, "Speculation on Mary as a Trickster" was most fascinating. I would tend to agree with her that many if not all of the apparitions of Mary whether they are on a barn or on a tortilla or in the skies above Lourdes, are examples of tricksters, or what I would call demonic manifestations.

I have never said or suggested the Trickster is “demonic” and I don’t ever consider the Trickster in that context. Yulish, however does. So in that sense, he has misrepresented what I’ve written. Yes, I think Marian Apparitions are a Trickster like phenomenon, but never “demonic.”

This misrepresentation isn’t personal however. It’s caused by his world view, which is a religious one. Yulish considers UFOs “demonic manifestations of fallen angels sent here to deceive people.”

Yulish is correct when he writes “The Catholic Church in it's exuberance to win over native people's often incorporated pre Christian symbols and practices.” He continues that Mary couldn’t forgive sins, that she wasn’t a “saver of souls.” That may be, that’s religious doctrine, and I’m not concerned with that as much. My focus was on the image of Mary and within a paranormal context.

Yulish thinks that at a certain point later on, he “separates” from my views. I say that he’s “separated” much earlier, given his “demonic” viewpoint:
In my mind, these are examples of Ms.Lee's trickster motif. By "tricking" people into believing that Mary can save people or forgive their sins, they are kept from the truth that only Jesus can do these things. To associate these false apparitional tricksters with UFO sightings makes my case that both manifestations are demonic delusions to lead people from the truth.

He agrees, as I said “kind of sort of,” but I can’t agree, for Yulish is coming from a pronounced religious point of view. I don’t think for two seconds “only Jesus can do these things” for I don’t believe in Jesus as a divine being. Nor do I think the Trickster apparitions are “false” in the sense he means, nor “demonic.”

Yulish separates himself from me here:
Where I seem to separate myself from Ms. Lee is in her statement that Mary was not a virgin and might have been impregnated by an angel etc. Scripture is clear that the real Mary was a nice Jewish, virgin girl who found favor with God (Luke 1:27-35) and was immaculately infused by the Holy Spirit (God) not by an angel. The angel just told her what was happening.

Well, we’re just going around in circles. Scripture makes it clear, yes. Christian scripture. That don’t make it so. And this is the point his entire disagreement hinges on: he’s coming from, at all times, a Christian bias, whereas I am not.

One believes what they believe, and if Yulish believes in his version of a religion, in this case Christianity, fine. But he is in error in believing I think the Trickster is “demonic,” etc. for I do not.


T. Sena said...

Hello R. Lee,

Just wanted to say, I read the MARY AS TRICKSTER article and was like, "WHOA!" Because it completely opened my mind to something I never, ever posited before. Where do you come up with this stuff? Brilliant. Thanks for keeping me awake.


richelle said...

I can't believe I missed this post/topic. In reading the other Lilith/Trickster commentaries at Women in Esoterica, and now this, I feel like there is a reductionary/pedestrian view by some readers of what a "Trickster" is, and that may account for some of the opposition. In both comments, something is mentioned about the apparition/figure literally 'tricking' or deceiving us. That is obviously part of it, but far, far from an entire meaning. This simplistic misunderstanding of the Trickster archetype might be part of the argument? Here's something I wrote in a recent Trickster-related article:

"A trickster is an omnipresent mythological and Jungian archetypal character defined as a clever, crafty mischief-maker, whose aim it is to survive in a threatening environment by use of non-traditional, mundane or magical means and pranks."

Perhaps you have a better definition in your arsenal of Trickster writings. I listed a ton of modern day tricksters, to give my mainstream audience at AC an idea. I think writing within an esoteric framework, such examples generally may not necessarily be warranted. But, for the Trickster, it seems it may help to avoid misinterpretation.

Again, forgive me if you have already addressed this elsewhere. But, here are those examples:

"Easily recognizable traditional, cultural, and classical literary tricksters include court jesters and harlequins, Rasputin, the kokopelli, Brer Rabbit, fairies, Parsifal, Pan, skinwalkers, witches, St. Germaine, and Count Cagliostro. Modern incarnations of the trickster continuum include: Amelia Bedelia, Bugs Bunny, Bart Simpson, Star Trek's enigmatic Q, the Borg, Dr. House, Wile E. Coyote, evil clowns, Pink Panther, Aleister Crowley, Andy Kaufmann, Elvis, Gilligan, Lucy Ricardo, John McEnroe, Harry Potter, Britney Spears, and perhaps the Grand Poobah of modern day tricksters, Michael Jackson."

Taking all these personalities into consideration, we can see an aura of the Trickster emerge. Tricksters are just 'trickERS.'

R. Lee said...


Good post. I have addressed some specific examples of Trickster here and there, not to the extent you have, -- and I agree, the idea of the Trickster isn't so simple as some believe, like, say, Yulish, who comes from a constrained religious viewpoint.


R. Lee said...

Tina Sena,

richelle said...

I meant Tricksters are NOT just trickERS.