The meaning of the dream symbol: Juggler

The image of the Juggler may involve the balancing of many situations and/or social relationships in the scope of our waking life. As such, we need to observe the relative skill of the performer. If our juggler is adept at what he or she does and displays flare and passion, our Unconscious may be revealing a steady, healthy and exhilarating balance in our life. In such a case, we need to determine to what end the juggler performs. Who are we performing for? Who do we wish to impress, with the mastery of our skills? Is the execution for oneself, or others: perhaps our peers, or love interest?

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Examining this in a real sense, we need to determine if our personal worth is devised to impress others and not in fact, a WORTH true to our own natures. Are we ignoring our own needs to appease the needs of others? If so, why are we martyring ourselves? Do we lack self-esteem? Only the dreamer can know the absolute worth of his or her balanced perception of reality. A well-adapted individual is not tense exploring the ‘rainbow’ of his varied interests. Conversely, if the juggler is failing at his or her craft and balls are flying in every chaotic direction, our dream may be warning us that our hands are over-full. We must now focus our skills and knowledge upon a goal which carries ‘weight’ and ‘meaning’ in our life.

By an extraordinary paradox, a conjuror and illusionist, who builds an imaginary world with a touch of his hands and a word of his voice, opens the suit of twenty-six major arcana in the tarot. A yellow belt round his waist divides into two halves a garment in which red and blue are precisely balanced. He stands with feet at right angles, his left leg blue stockinged and shod in red, his right leg red and shod in blue. The hand holding his wand emerges from a blue sleeve and points skywards, symbolizing the development required of material things, while the hand which holds a coin emerges from a red sleeve and points downwards, symbolizing the spirit which penetrates matter. All these outward signs emphasize the divided nature of a being who is the product of opposing principles, and the balance and supremacy of the spirit which dominates his duality. The Juggler’s hat, yellow with a green brim rimmed with red, is in shape reminiscent of the mathematical sign for infinity. ‘The Juggler’s headcovering symbolically crowns the range of what he can stand for. The lemniscate with a red rim reminds us of the final triumph of the spirit in Unity’.

The Juggler stands in front of a flesh-coloured table - the colour emphasizing his human nature - of which only three legs are to be seen and which ‘might well bear the signs for sulphur, salt and mercury, since they are the three pillars of the phenomenal world’. Lying on the table are such various objects as shekels, cups, swords and wands, corresponding to the four suits of minor arcana and displaying the links which bind the seventy-eight cards of the Tarot.

The Juggler is the dealer who opens the game; but is he really an illusionist playing with us or, under that white hair tipped with golden curls as if its owner was outside time, does there lurk the depth of wisdom of the Magus and knowledge of the secrets of being? ‘Generally speaking, he denotes the consultant and may as easily display personal will-power, skill and drive as imposture and lies. Once again, we discover the ambivalence and the bright and dark side of every symbol’ (Virel).

His place in the pack, and his very symbolism, invite us to delve beneath the surface. One is the number of the First Cause and, while on the planes of psychology or fortune-telling, the Juggler may denote the ‘Consultant’, on the spiritual plane he ‘manifests the mystery of Unity’.

Simultaneously symbolizing the three worlds - God, in the sign of Infinity, Man and all the variety of the Universe - he is the point of departure and all that it implies, with all the two-edged weapons given to the created being to accomplish his or her destiny.