Listen to this on the Wild Creation Stories Podcast here:
Once there was a god without a name.
He was born without parents or siblings, and there was no one to teach him what he was. So to entertain himself, he became a trickster.
The trickster god did what tricksters do best: he stirred up trouble.
Helios, whose chariot pulled the Sun across the sky, was a favorite of gods and humans. The trickster god replaced the charot’s reigns with licorice that melted in the heat and sent it hurtling off course.
It took the magic of all the gods to return the Sun to its glory.
The trickster god caused such a storm to rage over Charon that he was unable to ferry the dead across the River Styx.
The souls of the lost wailed and wandered for days with no one to guide them, until Hades persuaded Hera to intervene.
Needless to say, these antics did not enamor the trickster god to his peers, and he grew lonely with no playmates.
One day, the trickster god was watching the humans living on earth. While they lived as spirit embodied, they did not know it, for they could not feel emotion. There was no divine spark of creativity in them.
They went about their days listlessly, doing the same things day after day.
The trickster god was seized by an Idea.
What if he gave humans the ability to FEEL the magic of thought, and be inspired, as the gods could do?
Then they would have the power of creation. At the very least, it might provide some decent entertainment.
So the trickster god gave humans the ability to feel thought. He gave them Anger, Sadness, Ecstasy and Peace, and every other named and unnamed emotion.
Each thought that landed in the mind of a person came with its own feeling, and when felt, it urged them into action.
Before, humans were like automatons. Now, their feelings inspired them to create art, chase romance, murder their neighbors and conquer countries.
The resulting drama pleased the trickster god, and for many thousands of years he entertained himself with the chaos he had created.
Still, he always felt alone and wondered about his true identity.
The trickster god petitioned Zeus on Mount Olympus.
“If you tell me my name,” he said, “I promise to cease my pranks upon the gods. I will amuse myself with humankind only.”
The gods were exasperated with the trickster’s constant antics, and Zeus agreed.
“Your name,” he said. “Is Love.”
The trickster god could not believe it. He had given love to humans as an emotion to be felt with the presence of certain beautiful thoughts.
“You must be mistaken,” he said. “I am not a feeling. I am a god.”
“You are ALL feelings,” Zeus replied. “You take the form of emotion to give the gift of creation. You are the gift of both pain and delight. It is the energy that creates worlds. This is what you are.”
The trickster god saw that he had always stirred the passions, for good and ill, and he knew that Zeus spoke the truth.
From that day forth, Love, the trickster god, knew himself as the willingness to play with all energies, and he took his rightful place amongst the gods.