Just as every King must have a Court, so every Court must have a Jester. The Jester is another variation of a Jungian archetype, linked inextricably for better or worse with The Fool (Tarot), The Scapegoat (they're everywhere), The Monkey (Buddhist mythology), The Trickster (poor old Carlos Castaneda was a victim of that one!), and to a lesser extent The Black Sheep (say no more). Originally one of the most important pivotal characters of medieval life, History has sadly reduced him to a kind of anachronistic clown-like figure of fun, stripped of all his powers, which apart from his role as entertainer-in-chief, included giving advice and informed opinion on many state and political matters. His very existence was in a constant state of flux, walking a thin red line between total respect or death by execution, depending on his King's whim or mood of the moment. This precarious lifestyle no doubt helped fuel his incessant search for Truth and Wisdom, as many of the Kings were certainly not very bright, being mostly a bunch of inbred aristos, with varying degrees of dysfunctionalism, not to mention subject to the occasional bout of total barking madness. So pleasing some of these demagogic loonies was not an easy task - you know what it can be like - for example being interviewed by someone official (Social Security and Housing Benefit Officers are probably one of the best modern examples), with the knowledge that you almost certainly have more intellectual capacities than them, but have to be very careful not to let them realise this, because it will piss them right off. In other words you have to dumb down simply in order to survive. Closely connected to The Jester is of course The Fool - in Tarot symbolism The Fool is the very first card in the pack - poised and ready to walk blindly over a cliff-edge - this is a metaphor telling us that the search for truth and knowledge starts with blind ignorance - The Fool is an empty canvas, waiting and ready for the first splashes of paint which will eventually develop into a picture, if not A Work Of Art. (To Be Continued).