The Joker!

As the year rapidly comes to a close, let’s take a closer look at the last day of the calendar, December 31st, the only day in the year represented by the Joker Card. Many of you have heard me joke, “The Cards of Life are for entertainment purposes only” and I follow that up with the comment that “All of life is for entertainment purposes!” Sounds simple enough…yet how many of us can really see the humor in our lives and the lives of people around us?

With so many challenging events happening in our world–from chemtrails to GMOs, from Fukushima Daiichi to solar flare warnings, from typhoons to tornadoes, from corporate greed to political scandals, from forced healthcare systems to ad nauseam, one has to start to see that we are either living in a world gone completely mad or that life has become so ludicrous that one has to wonder if, in fact, that life isn’t really all one big joke. No matter where in the world you look, life is becoming laughable with its obvious absurdity. At some point you realize “This can’t be real!” I remember reading somewhere that “Life isn’t about making you happy, it is about waking you up!” That certainly has happened for me and I am not taking myself so seriously. Maybe it has for you.

As you read the rest of this article, I think you too will see the importance of the Joker and the role it plays to remind us not to take life and ourselves too seriously. We are just souls playing roles and need to lighten up. I hope that during the holidays you will spend more time with the “jokers” in your family or at least someone with a great sense of humor and share a few good laughs. It will be good for you–mentally, physically and spiritually!

December 31st  The Court Jester…Who is this elusive Joker?

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The Court Jester, 1956 musical-comedy film starring Danny Kaye (Paramount Pictures)

Nestled between the Ace of Hearts of December 30th and the King of Spades of January 1st lies the elusive Joker also known as the Court Jester and the Fool. In olden days they could ascend to the throne on ‘Fool’s Day’ each year and impersonate the King, Queen and all members of the kingdom to make fun and folly of their serious natures. Early jesters were popular in Ancient Egypt, and even entertained the Egyptian pharaohs. Jesters were also known to be popular with the Aztec people in the 14th to 16th centuries.

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Keying Up – The Court Jester by William Merritt Chase

In ancient times, courts employed fools and by the Middle Ages the jester was a familiar figure. In Renaissance times, aristocratic households in Britain employed licensed fools or jesters, who sometimes dressed as other servants were dressed, but generally wore a motley coat, hood with ass’s (i.e. donkey) ears or a red-flannel coxcomb and bells. Regarded as pets or mascots, they served not simply to amuse but also to criticize their master or mistress and their guests. Queen Elizabeth (reigned 1558-1603) is said to have rebuked one of her fools for being insufficiently severe with her. Excessive behavior, however, could lead to a fool being whipped.

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“The Fool” card from the Universal Waite Tarot

The Joker is a unique playing card found in most modern card decks, as an addition to the standard 52 cards of four suits (Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades). The often colorful card has a rich history, and varying interpretations depending on specific card games and their rules. The Joker came to be represented as a clown or court jester by the 1880s and is often equated to “The Fool” in Tarot, the first card of the Major Arcana. The tarot depiction of the Fool includes a man (or less often, a woman) juggling unconcernedly or otherwise distracted, with a dog (sometimes cat) at his heels. The fool is in the act of unknowingly walking off the edge of a cliff, precipice or other high place. Another Tarot character is Death. In the Middle Ages, Death is often shown in Jester’s garb because “The last laugh is reserved for death.”

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The Joker portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the film Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)

In the Cards of Life, the Joker holds a place outside both the Master Spiritual Script and the Master Life Script and yet their personality and characteristics can be any or all that lies between the Ace of Hearts and the King of Spades. Youthfully exuberant, entertaining, shape-shifting and independent or hard working, practical and opinionated? People of this card can play their hand any way that suits them and at any time.

Will they play the role of the Ace of Hearts who is eager to express their uniqueness and individuality, focused on self-interests with a deep emotional need for self-exploration and self-expression?

The Joker portrayed by Heath Ledger in the film The Dark Knight (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Joker portrayed by Heath Ledger in the film The Dark Knight (Warner Bros. Pictures)

These qualities certainly can lend its dramatic energy to the Joker, the one who feels into life expression and enjoys being the center of attention. A certain air of youthful exuberance surrounds the Joker who will, throughout life, be invited to access the positive, creative and insightful side of their nature.

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The Joker Card by Bicycle® Cards

Or is the Joker ready to rise up and play the role of the King of Spades, the master of all trades with the ability to achieve great things in any profession of their choosing? With this accomplished master on the other side of the Joker, there’s an independent, ambitious and determined quality about them as well. Does the Joker want to take on responsibility, engage themselves with focused self-discipline, set goals and take charge? It is truly their choice how they play the card handed to them for this lifetime.

As though they are both the child and the parent, Jokers bring the vitality and innocence of youth alongside the wisdom and responsibility of the adult. Always faced with a choice to be either the child or the adult, the life task of Joker people may be to embody the divine qualities of both.

Court Jester by Yvonne Kitchen

Court Jester by Yvonne Kitchen

Symbolically, this card also represents the birth of mankind, the Ace of Hearts, and God, the King of Spades. Does the Joker then embody all the gifts and attributes assigned to an incarnation, merely spirit enjoying a physical existence?

Truly, a multifaceted individual, the Jokers in life have a vast and wide personality with huge potential for a dynamic, enriching life or a frivolous one. The choice is ultimately theirs to make.

More about the Joker Card…Celebrity Jokers!

Truly the Jack of all Jacks, the Jokers of the deck can play the role of any of the other cards. Because of their strong creativity, we find many are attracted to the stage or theater and are successful actors, musicians and artists. This same creative energy and mental brilliance can also show up as a dishonest streak as well. However, they have the potential to be deeply spiritual, being the card that is associated with God in the Tarot decks (The Fool Card, Number 0).

Let’s take a closer look to see what some celebrities have done with their natural born Joker creativity and talents:

Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / Photorazzi

Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / Photorazzi

Chandra West (1970- ) became known for her breakthrough role as Liz, Val Kilmer’s character’s wife in the movie, The Salton Sea. (Coincidentally, Chandra and Val share the same birthday and are both Jokers. They must have had a hilariously great time on the set together!)

Bronson Pelletier (1986- ) played the shape-shifter Jared Cameron in the Twilight Saga and infused the character with his own semi-serious attitude.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) French modernist artist whose best-known paintings include “Woman with a Hat,” “The Dance,” and “Red Room.”

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Sir Anthony Hopkins was awarded the Fellowship, the Academy’s highest honour at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2008

Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, (1937-   ), is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television. Considered to be one of the greatest living actors, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Hopkins is renowned for his preparation for roles. He has confessed that once he has committed to a project, he will go over his lines as many times as is needed (sometimes upwards of 200) until the lines sound natural to him, so that he can “do it without thinking.” Hopkins stated that after he is finished with a scene, he simply discards the lines, not remembering them later on. This is unlike others who usually remember their lines, even years later.

Additionally, Hopkins is a gifted mimic, adept at turning his native Welsh accent into whatever is required by a character. Hopkins is also a talented pianist. In 1986, he released a single called “Distant Star”. It peaked at #75 in the UK charts. He has written music for the concert hall, in collaboration with Stephen Barton as orchestrator. These compositions include Schizoid Salsa and The Masque of Time, having had its world premiere with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in October 2008. How appropriate for a Joker who can wear any mask they want!  more…

Here are several Jokers who have taken on the more serious traits of the King of Spades in the areas of responsibility and leadership:

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) physician who wrote one of the most influential books on human anatomy, On the Fabric of the Human Body, and is considered the founder of modern anatomy.

Charles A. Coffin (1844-1926) contributed to the development of the electrical industry; co-founded the General Electric corporation, serving as its first president.

Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

Diane Von Furstenberg (1946-    ) international fashion designer, famous for her womenswear and accessory lines.

Elizabeth Arden (1884-1966) one of the wealthiest women of her time; she built a billion-dollar cosmetics empire.

marshall-georgeGeorge C. Marshall (1880-1959) American World War II-era leader, served as Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State.

Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005) Jewish Holocaust survivor who sought to bring Nazis to justice for their World War II-era atrocities.

Thomas Bramwell Welch (1825-1903) Methodist minister and physician who started a worldwide grape-juice business.

It seems that there are Jokers ready to rise up and play the role of the King of Spades, the master of all trades with the ability to achieve great things in any profession!

(This article appeared in the December 2013 The Cards of Life Newsletter.)


Gina E. JonGina E. Joneses is an award-winning author, screenwriter, producer, Cardologer, Certified Magi Counselor and Founder of The Cards of Life.

To learn more about Gina E. Jones, the Founder of the International Association of Cardology and Cardology Community: The Official International Online Forum for Cardology, go to: Gina E. Jones

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