Jester

A jester was a person who had achieved high levels of enlightenment and whose destiny was as a destroyer. Thus a jester was/is a person who via his or her destructive actions can purify and rid the world of unwanted rubbish – ideas principally.  They are there to make people rethink, to heal via the removal of bad processes and functions, to clean up via the fire of purification.

Just as the Hindu system has Creators, Maintainers and Destroyers – all of which are necessary to evolution and 'progress', so the jesters also have a role in helping change society.  They might, I suppose be regarded by those they challenge and by those who cling to the old ideas, to be 'bad', but new things cannot be introduced unless old things disappear, so even the most apparently destructive jesters have a key role to play.  They are often feared because their powers can sometimes be greater than the creators.

Kings as creators and jesters as destroyers were natural partners.

Magicians can also be jesters.

Symbolically jesters are often represented  by Red [Fire] and by forked lightning – thunder and lightning.   This role is exceptionally important in the scheme of things and spiritually often further ahead than their creative counterparts.  It is noticeable that the best jesters are given a sense of humour.  The message is not delivered as a diatribe but as subtle allegory and funny story.  They joke, they gently chide but they destroy.  You laugh as your belief system crumbles around your ears.

The humour is of course essential, it is the means by which the person can question and destroy, whist at the same time protecting himself from the antagonism of the rest of the society he is questioning. 

So humour and a certain amount of isolation. 

A really good jester appears to be fooling around, but their satire presents important questions needing solution. They are there to ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say.

Jesters  function as both a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviour to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. In native American Indian society the jesters – called Heyókas  - also had the power to heal emotional pain in others.   They were the releasers of tension.  They provoked laughter in distressing situations of despair.  But they were also the instigators of fear and chaos when people had become complacent,  overly secure,  were taking themselves too seriously, or believed they were more powerful than they were.

No  heyoka, or jester in whatever society - follow taboos, rules, regulations, social norms, or boundaries. By violating them they hope to help people define the accepted boundaries, rules, and societal guidelines.

They act like children. Their principle question is "Why?"

It is worth adding that in any dance or ceremony Native Americans nearly always used  sunwise or clockwise circumambulation.  Occasionally however, the movement was performed counter clockwise and this represented destruction – the jester went counter clockwise.

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.