The trumps traditionally begin with a Juggler, a street performer or mountebank. Whatever tools they carry, this is a tricky character who lives by wits and eloquence. Hourglass in hand, our Nightjar-Juggler bends time into a lemniscate – the shape of infinity. With her binoculars, she can discern what is far away, and see without being seen. Smiling, she performs a disappearing-appearing act. Like the birds she blends into the winter leaves, or she is miraculously “born into open air.”
The three birds surrounding the Juggler are recurring characters on the album Divers (see also the Suit of Swords). In the song, they are united in some covert operation. They are enveloped in the warm grays of a misty winter day, where those of us less discerning than these scouts can easily become lost. The picture is meant to evoke the feeling of hearing a birdcall without being able to discern its source, the feeling of being tricked – pleasantly, but tricked all the same. If this card occurs in a reading, one must determine whether the querent is using the cleverness of the Juggler themselves, or taken into one of the Juggler’s illusions.
Just as the hidden provenance of “Anecdotes” is revealed at the end of Divers, the rest of the trumps arrange themselves to show the elusive Juggler’s place in the cycle.