Ten years ago I renewed my interest inside the magical arts and joined the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. A revitalized appreciation for magic and an opportunity to delve into numerous interesting ideas that have, at the least for me, a deep and existential that means are the result. One concept that has special hyperlinks to my studies in intellectual and occult activities is that magicians are sacred clowns, and I would love to investigate that thesis on this essay.
A humorous thing happened all through my magic act at a Society of American Magicians assembly. Using the most important arcana of the tarot, I finished a ‘locate the selected card’ recurring. My assistant chose a card, confirmed it to the contributors, and again it to the deck at the same time as my lower back turned into grew to become. Taking the deck, I seemed via it to find the selected card. Well, it turned into one of those nights and I could not decided which become the cardboard. Embarrassed, I announced my failure to my fellow magicians after which asked my assistant and the alternative contributors if I could try again. They agreed and I did, efficiently this time. When I displayed the chosen card, I noticed a peculiar expression on my assistant’s face and then on some of the alternative members’ faces. The same tarot card had been selected twice. I remarked in a understanding way, ” Isn’t this the same card?” I smiled, appearing as though I had planned it, and bowed to the applause. But of direction I had not deliberate it nor even idea of doing the ordinary that manner. (Some day I may.) Was it danger or the pressure? Coincidence or psychic powers? How can we know? All we can say is that it passed off this manner.
Stage magicians, illusionists, and sleight of hand adepts are much like sacred clowns and fools in numerous ways. Although we may also photograph clowns as circus fun-givers and exquisite buffoons, clowns have had an crucial function in European way of life as a minimum because the historical Greeks. They had dramatic roles in Greek theater, which continued into the Medieval period in thriller plays and travelling minstrels. They frequented Shakespearean drama and have become a fixture in theater, consisting of the Punch and Judy puppet shows. The Harlequin came from Italy, and France provided the white-confronted Pierrot. In the Middle Ages courtroom jesters and fools, who presented sage advice that others have been too nervous to endorse, had been earning their maintain, even though most of the time they furnished amusement and entertainment.
In some societies, just like the Native American, clowns perform in non secular ceremonies and in doing so act as a sacred person. Further, they are more of the mythic trickster and behave in a style opposite to traditional norms. Medicine males and females regularly are regarded on this way, like shamans who turn out to be one with their spirit helper.
A few examples from Native American lifestyle can make clear the concept.
The Hopi, a pueblo people living in northern Arizona, have several distinctive sacred clowns. To outsiders the Koshari and the Koyemsi or Mudhead are the most famous, and they have their counterparts in other pueblos.
Koshari will behave backwards: saying the alternative of what they mean, yes for no and no for yes; mountaineering down ladders head first; complicated elements of a rite or curing ceremony, frequently burlesquing or parodying it. Their remarks on current activities, each within the Hope village or within the world at big, are commonly essential and ironic, poking a laugh on the target, confirming that the Emperor is naked.
If Koshari are more the fools and buffoons, Koyemsi are more worried in linking the sacred and profane and so possess extra strength and are far extra dangerous than Koshari. Actually, the Hopi do now not recollect Koyemsi to be clowns. Healer and sage-Koyemsi bring messages from the Ancients Ones to the people. Magician and idiot-they play video games with the onlookers, magicien annecy impressing all with their sacred electricity. (Interested readers can seek advice from Barton Wright’s Clowns of the Hopi for extra facts.)
Among the Lakota, living on the northern plains, men and women who’ve a imaginative and prescient of Thunderbird are touched by means of sacred electricity and have to end up a heyoka, a contrary; in any other case, they will get sick and perhaps die. Their behavior is contrary or reverse of the conduct normal inside the community. Forwards is backwards: on foot or using backwards and speakme backwards are not unusual practices. Dressed in bizarre apparel, acting silly and ludicrous, a heyoka is all matters that a regular member of the network ought to no longer be. Although a number of the behavior is just like that of the Koshari, one essential difference is that the character appearing as a Koshari does so for a particular ceremonial event, however a heyoka acts in a unusual way day by day, except released via Thunderbird. Heyoka appears to have strength similar to Koyemsi, drawing deeply from the spiritual realm.
The heyoka, Koshari, and Koyemsi partake of the sacred and may be taken into consideration holy or remedy human beings. Anthropologists regularly employ the time period ‘shaman’ for medication human beings and describe them as using the sacred strength for healing and bringing different advantages to the network, like rain, fertility, and ample deliver of sport. Clowns in Native American tradition are always participants of a medicinal drug society, that is, their duties and duties to the community are to deliver benefits.