Existing before Comic Books and Batman, Archetypes such as The Joker could be found in Divination Cards. Looking awfully similar to the Joker card, in Pagan tradition, he is known as the God Pan. To the Hopi people of Arizona, The God Kokopelli also resembles such characteristics. In Native American spirit totems, it is The Fox. In Aztec mythology, the God Heuhuecoytl is the old coyote; spirit of trickery. In Tarot, the Fool card draws a connection with all the above mentioned.
A lover of mythology and divination, I see patterns that repeat themselves in the history of humankind. Passing a tradition of ancient wisdom, many cultures use stories to teach important life lessons. The Joker holds many names and many forms. This character, God, and Spirit bring mystery that influences our modern-day cinema, comics, and even spirituality.
Upon further investigation, The Joker appears to have a profound meaning.
From Divination to comics, let’s dive deep into the meaning of the joker.
Said to be 20,000 years old from Atlantis, the 52 standard playing cards includes 2 Jokers. These cards are based on some of the oldest forms of numerology. When we take a look at the mathematics of these cards, we see a pattern that reflects the cosmological cycles of the earth. The 52 playing cards had a baby, and this baby decided to add 26 cards, birthing the 78 Tarot cards.
Known by a different name, The Joker card evolved into the most universal card of the Tarot: The Fool Card.
The Joker, associated with the Dec. 31st birthday, is in a class of its own. Corresponding to the Fool card in the tarot, the Joker has all the characteristics of the other cards, and paradoxically none of them. According to Sacred Symbols of the Ancients:
“The initiate/teachers of old deliberately concealed much of their wisdom from the ‘profane’ by words or pictures which conveyed opposite, or distorted meanings to all but the serious students who, by meditation and visual impression, could see behind the veil and discover the truth.”
“The fool of the tarot is the pictorial statement of the One Force, the NO THING (0) yet everything to all men — eternal energy, boundless, measureless, and infinite. It is all seasons, all forms, and all activities.”
Destiny cards represent the full year — the number of days the Earth travels around the Sun, to some, measured as the center of our solar system (Tropical Astrology). Four seasons are represented by suits of destiny cards. 13 cards in each suit multiplied by 4 suits make 52 days. The 52 emblems being multiplied by the 7 (visual) planets make the days in the year, less one. There is no ruling card for the 31st of December. The Ancients, therefore, used the 365th day of the year as a holiday, or festival day, doing no work upon that day.
The 1.25 days added to 364 days are represented by the card of The Joker (364 + 1.25 = 365.25 days a year).
The Joker natives, people born every December 31st are a law to themselves. They belong in the “Crown Line.” It is impossible to analyze them; they hold the key to themselves — and guard it.
In Native American totem animals, the fox, the figure of the trickster, is closely associated with the characteristics of the joker and the fool. Bringing clever answers and solutions to questions and problems. Swift and adaptable, blossoming anywhere it goes and in whatever it does. With a sense of humor, jokes, and crazy stories, the fox is an artist, interpreting life with all of its magic. Singing, dancing, associated with love, and all things that show us a side of life far from serious.
OLD MAN COYOTE
Huehuecóyotl, the Old Coyote is the Teotl (God) of dance, song, and mischief; he is the trickster who leads men astray. He is a patron of liars, male sexuality, good luck, story-telling, and hedonism. He appears as a coyote, with human hands and feet. Among the many colorful gods of the Aztec empire, Huehuecóyotl or Old Man Coyote (Huehue =old man), was a shape-shifting god of merriment and magic, and sexual energy.
The Fool Card in Tarot is summarized as addiction, fun, manic, spontaneous, and new beginnings. In Greek mythology, there are major and minor gods just like the Tarot has major and Minor Arcana Cards. The God Pan is not a major god but is however one of the most referenced figures.
Pan is the god of the wild, nature, animals, and music. He was the patron god of Arcadia (22 Major Arcana in Tarot). Pan was often in the company of the wood nymphs and other deities of the forest.
COMIC JOKER, MOVIE JOKER
The Joker, like the Fool, can appear at any time, anywhere, because it is the basis of life’s lessons. Mysterious, unpredictable, and universally placed, we all get a taste. Does this sound like the dancing fox? Enchanting us with life’s savory fruits.
The comic book Joker has a different back story. In fact, if we look at “THE MAN BEHIND THE RED HOOD,” BATMAN VOL. 1 #168 (1951), BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE (1988), and Batman (1989) the Movie from Tim Burton, the back story of The Joker stretches further from the Fool, the Fox, and the Old Coyote.
Each time the story appears twisted further into darkness until it reaches the modern Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix.
The popularity of The Joker may be associated with the fascination of the human psyche. The Joker being a trickster pushes the boundaries of our mental and physical actions. As many geniuses were also considered borderline insane, The Joker shows us that extreme is actions taken upon one’s inner explorations. Maybe we all have our favorite depiction of The Joker.
In many traditions of ceremony in the Americas, Shaman’s welcome the trickster spirit into their sacred space. It appears in many forms, but surely, it finds its way into the circle through the phases of the ritual. This spirit breaks the predictable flow of the ceremony, bringing a new element, a new lesson, a new experience.
In the years I have traveled and lived in the northern and southern hemispheres of America, there is a bridge connecting these two parts of the world.
Native American traditions of the north and south both recognize the Joker, the Fool, and the Fox.
We get a sense that nature is teaching us the same lessons as the cosmos. Through archetypes, gods, animal spirits, and totems, we all experience within ourselves a degree of the Joker, the Fool, and the Fox. We can label it, and call it different names, but deep down, we all enjoy a laugh, a dance, or a melody to keep our journey on its path. For some, this comes at the expense of others.
The modern-day depiction of the Joker is a far cry from its origins, holding trickery as the glue to what the Joker is, was, or will be. From its ancient roots to modern comic books, there is a broad perception of the Joker. We are invested in this joker, and it shows, through film, divination, and our natural curiosity. Like the curious cat, the fox is between a cat and a wolf. The Joker is between sanity and insanity, and the Fool between the past and the future. The “in-between” is the magic of NOW.
These archetypes embrace what lies in the unknown of the present moment. To become the Magician, numbered 1 in Tarot, we must first become the Fool (0) and venture off into the dark woods where our lessons await.
Do you like magic tricks? The Joker surely does.
Thoth Tarot Deck:
The Book of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot):
The Book of Thoth: (Egyptian Tarot)
The Book of Thoth: (Egyptian Tarot): Crowley, Aleister, Harris, Freida: 9780877282686: Books - Amazon.ca
American Indian Myths and Legends (The Pantheon fairy tale and folklore library)
American Indian Myths and Legends (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
American Indian Myths and Legends (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) eBook: Erdoes, Richard, Ortiz…
American Indian Trickster Tales (Myths and legends)
American Indian Trickster Tales
American Indian Trickster Tales: Erdoes, Richard, Ortiz, Alfonso, Erdoes, Richard: 9780140277715: Books - Amazon.ca
- https://www.polygon.com/comics/2019/4/3/18294361/joker-origin-- movie-dc-comics-joaquin — — — phoenixhttps://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/gods/pan/
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