Whoosh! Issue 62 - November 2001

JOXER: SOULMATE OR STALKER
By Janet Elizabeth Swainston
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
3627 words

Author's notes:

The author does not explore the psychology of whether a soulmate could be a stalker and vice versa within the boundaries of this article. The tone of this article is to present the possibility that Joxer is not Gabrielle's stalker and that he is quite likely her soulmate, though not the only one. As to the question of whether Gabrielle's reciprocation has been proven, the author questions the nature of "proof" of anything given as an individual's personal perspective. If an individual denies a particular perspective, then no proof except physical evidence (such as touch) will ever be enough. In light of all these declarations, the author can only hope that any individual that reads this article will accept the possibility of the statements contained therein.




Introduction (01-08)
More Than One Soulmate? (09-31)
Notes
Articles
Biography



JOXER: SOULMATE OR STALKER



Introduction

This isn't what I meant when I said I wanted stock options!
Joxer is punished by the Amazons for peeking in KINDRED SPIRITS.

[01] In KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517), Joxer is caught in the bushes near a group of naked swimming Amazons. He is sentenced to death for spying. A large segment of the Xena fanbase uses this incident to reaffirm their assertion that he is a stalker.

[02] Earlier in the season during FALLEN ANGEL (91/501), Joxer dreams that Xena and Gabrielle are in trouble. He travels to their aid, with the thought that they might need him. He then reconciles himself to removing their bodies from their grisly end and taking them home to Greece, with a complete disregard for his own safety. A different portion of the fanbase cites this as proof that he is a soulmate of the Bard's and quite possibly the Warrior Princess, as well.

[03] Which is he, soulmate or stalker? Is he an equal, valid, and valuable part of Gabrielle's life or an evil outsider bent on possessing the bard and ousting the warrior princess?

[04] Webster's dictionary defines the soulmate as "one of two persons compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity; someone for whom you have a deep affinity"[Note 01]. In other words, soulmates are two people clearly connected to each other on some spiritual and metaphysical level.

[05] Dr. Brian Stocker, M.A., has this to say on the subject: Soul is "the animating and vital principle in human beings, after being conceived as an immaterial entity that survives death." Mate is "one of a matched pair." A "soul mate" is therefore an "animating, vital eternal match." Think of it as a pair of vases or candle sticks -- they belong together, and being together, give symmetry and completeness. Soulmates understand, however imperfectly, they are the same - more like each other... than either has been to any other person[Note 02].

[06] Based on these definitions, one could argue that Joxer and Gabrielle are soulmates because of their similar personalities. Both exhibit a lack of self-esteem throughout the series: Gabrielle, as she tried to be Xena during THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), as she feared she was not a good mother in MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515), and as she second guessed herself in FORGET ME NOT (63/317); Joxer, as he constantly attempted to cover up his feelings of inadequacy in every episode. Both exhibit creative streaks, Gabrielle through her writings in THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER (56/310), and Joxer through his lyre playing during GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204). Both exhibit the desire to put their family situation behind them, Gabrielle leaving her family to travel with Xena in SINS OF THE PAST (01/101), and Joxer reconciling with Jace during LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510).

[07] On the other hand, Webster defines stalker as "To pursue by tracking stealthily or to go through (an area) in pursuit of prey or quarry. The word stalker comes from the Middle English stalken, from Old English -stealcian, meaning to move stealthily (in bestealcian)".

[08] Some would claim that Joxer's behavior towards Gabrielle indicates that he is stalking her. He is often showing up unannounced, for instance during IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL (72/404), when he appears suddenly out of the woods and insinuates himself into the current situation that Gabrielle and Xena are in. He attempts to win Gabrielle's love through deception and lies during FORGET ME NOT (63/317). By the fourth season, he expands his importance in the daring duo's lives in such episodes as A FAMILY AFFAIR (71/403) and THE PLAY'S THE THING (85/417). Finally, for most of the fifth season he attempts to share his feelings with her in such episodes as CHAKRAM (92/502) when he confesses his love for her and his refusal to hear her response; PURITY (96/506) when he makes sexual innuendoes as Gabrielle attempts to free them from the stocks; BACK IN THE BOTTLE (97/507) when he displays unfounded jealousy over Gabrielle's friendly conversation with Lin Chi; LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510) when Joxer asks Gabrielle out on a date only to have her once again refuse him; and ETERNAL BONDS (103/513) when Joxer takes Gabrielle away from Xena because of his own foolishness in getting injured through his obsession to see her.



More Than One Soulmate?

[09] All this leads to another theory, one that does not exclude the presence of soulmates, but expands upon it. The following quote by Dr. Joshua David Stone, author of the New Age series of books called the Complete Accession Manual[Note 03], relates his theory on the connectedness of souls[Note 04].

"The model begins with the Monad, Soul and the personality. In the beginning the monads were the divine sparks of the Divine Creator. The monad is the higher self of each person, and is unfamiliar to most of us - most people are not even in touch with their soul. Each monad created twelve souls, through which it was able to penetrate to the coarser levels of creation, and "experience". Each soul in turn created twelve personalities or soul extensions, which were able to take birth on the third-dimensional plane of existence (with which we are so familiar). So there are 144 souls all from the same grandparent Monad. Not all of these souls may be in physical incarnation of this planet - some may not be in the physical state, the energies of some may have been withdrawn back into the soul, some may be in incarnation on other planes or other planetary systems.

As I understand the teachings from St Germain (and it isn't straightforward!), within each soul there are energies of different frequency or spin - positive and negative, if you like. Probably 6 of each(though he doesn't explicitly say this, so it may not be a hard and fast rule). This is the origin of male and female (at the monad level, there is no gender - fully androgynous). Within the soul the frequencies of the male and female are exactly opposite, and these are Twin Flames. All of the 12 personalities are referred to as Soulmates. So each person would have 11 other Soulmates, and 6 Twin Flames, assuming all 12 personalities were in physical incarnation and the soul had divided evenly in to 6 male and 6 female personalities (I don't think this is a fixed law)."

[10] Therefore, according to Dr. Stone, each individual is part of a circle of 12 main soulmates and 144 cousin soulmates. This connection would mean that at any given time in any lifetime we could possibly meet up with more than one soul who is deeply connected to us.
And there goes my career, too!
Joxer risks life and limb to help Amarice recover the bodies of Gabrielle and Xena in FALLEN ANGEL.

[11] According to this theory, the events of FALLEN ANGEL {91/501} and Joxer's "vision" of Gabrielle and Xena in trouble, make sense. This also lends credence to the episode DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN {90/422}, where we find that Joxer has been reunited with his soulmates. Their connection to each other in many lives only shows that they are either one of the 12 soulmates or 144 cousin souls.

[12] This is further illustrated by his presence in important moments of their lives; the appearance of Callisto, Perdicas' death, Xena's body switch with Callisto, and her subsequent return, Xena and Gab's fight at the start of BITTER SUITE {90/422}, Gabrielle's sacrifice fighting Hope, her return, their crucifixion, resurrection, and the final battle before they were entombed in ice.

[13] Ergo, it is uniquely possible that Joxer is one of Gabrielle's, if not also Xena's, soulmates, thus making him an integral part of the bard's life.

[14] Despite the arguments on both sides, defining Joxer's role in Gabrielle's life through episode examples, is akin to using the Rosetta Stone[Note 05] to decipher ancient Egyptian -- it is difficult but it can be done.

[15] Let us begin with the statement, "Joxer is Gabrielle's soulmate". They are truly two sides of the same coin. To illustrate the Joxer/Gabrielle dynamic, we must first compare the Xena/Gabrielle pairing. Despite Xena and Gabrielle's deep connection, the two are very different and almost opposite in every way.

[16] Gabrielle's recent personality change to Warrior Bard [CHAKRAM (92/502)] has come about after she waffled through many life changes. Currently she has again become dissatisfied with the way she has chosen for herself [LEGACY (117/605) and THE ABYSS (118/606)] by examining her recent actions and lack of thought, resulting in the death of a truly innocent man. While Xena has known that there is only one road for her, Gabrielle has found that being the warrior means giving up her humanity. In this way, we see that unlike her soulmate Xena, she allows her conscience to guide her. The Warrior Princess seems to allow no such thing. This marks the deeply essential difference between them. However, Gabrielle and Joxer share a multitude of similarities that complement and complete each other, despite Gabrielle's rejection of this connection and Joxer's desperation to fulfill this part of his soul.

[17] None of this is to say that Xena and Gabrielle are NOT soulmates, but the conclusion could be made that Joxer and Gabby are soulmates of a different sort, different than the connection that she and Xena share. Let us examine the Joxer/Gabrielle dynamic more closely.

[18] There are numerous examples of Joxer's connection to Gabrielle. In CALLISTO (22/122), Joxer refuses to take Gabrielle's life and thus risks his own. While this might be construed as his lack of conviction and squeamishness at killing others, it can truly be seen as the first glimmerings of his "knowing" that she is the one for him. Most kindhearted people would refuse to kill someone in a brutal and senseless fashion, but would they actually sacrifice their life for that person, unless there was some deeper connection that needed to be explored? It is completely possible that he would refuse to kill her because he cares for her greatly, but also possible that he sees her death as the loss of a part of himself. His refusal to cause her bodily harm, unlike Xena's repeated injuries to her soulmate, could be read as proof of that deeper connection. His physical protectiveness of Gabrielle extends throughout his life. In IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE {87/419} Joxer offers his life in place of Gabrielle's when Discord attempts to take her away as justice for murder. In LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE {109/519} he makes the ultimate sacrifice of his life by stepping in front of Eve's sword and thus saving his beloved Gabrielle.

[19] Xena seems to show much less regard for Gabrielle's physical well-being as demonstrated by her many abusive attacks on her soulmate (THE BITTER SUITE {58/312} Xena attacks Gabrielle in her grief attempting to kill her and does stab her in Illusia, FALLEN ANGEL {91/501} the demon Xena drags Gabrielle off to hell, MOTHERHOOD {112/522} Gabrielle gets Xena's chakram in the head.)

[20] Joxer also shows great care for Gabrielle's emotional well being. During A COMEDY OF EROS (46/222) Joxer is the only one not hit by Cupid's arrows, and after seeing Gabrielle behave as if she were in love with him, he finds himself falling in love with her for real. After realizing that he himself is not the inspiration for her feelings, but the victim of immortal intervention, he feels genuinely anguished. The fact that he does not take advantage of Gabrielle while she is under the influence demonstrates that his conscience prevents him from not only doing the wrong thing, but that her feelings matter to him, both his towards her and any feelings she may have towards him. Despite the fact that she does not reciprocate his love at the end of the episode, he truly believes in his heart that what he feels is genuine. His love for her continues to grow over the years, although she behaves abusively towards him.

[21] Joxer continues to shows his connection to Gabrielle, and occasionally even her to him, through several small moments in seasons four and five.
Hey, make up your minds where you're going!  What are you, a bunch of sheep?
Joxer finds obstacles in his path in A FAMILY AFFAIR.

[22] Joxer first appears in season four during A FAMILY AFFAIR (71/403), bringing Gabrielle's favorite flowers, daisies, to the mouth of the well where she was last seen. He vows to come and bring her flowers every day, and the look on his face lends credibility to the fact that his devotion is real. We can truly believe that he will visit the well everyday until the day he dies. During THE PLAY'S THE THING (85/417) Joxer devotes his free time to help Gabrielle with her play, despite her mistreatment of him. It is very unlikely that anyone who was not completely devoted would put up with the behavior that the bard visits upon Joxer. Only strong ties and connections could make him that tolerant. In THE CONVERT (86/418), Gabrielle and Joxer connect when he loses his blood innocence and she helps him deal with the grief. Her support of him and her pride in his desire to take the news to Criton's son himself, something she herself would do, only illustrate that they are on the same wavelength emotionally. IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE (87/419) shows Joxer vehemently offering himself in lieu of Gabrielle when Discord wants to execute her. Both he and Xena, who is established as Gabrielle's soulmate, make the same offer with the same intent; the Bard's life is more important to them than their own.

[23] The fifth season begins with FALLEN ANGEL (91/501) and Joxer's dream that Gabrielle is in trouble, his sorrow over her death, and his need to lay her body to rest in Greece. During CHAKRAM (92/502), he finally confesses his love without strings. LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510) shows Gabrielle's jealousy of Joxer's attentions toward another woman, which if she was not more emotionally connected to him than a sister, it is unlikely that she would display such jealousy towards his interactions with another woman. Her extremely quick response and failure to look Joxer in the eye when she refuses his invitation for a date makes her supposed "friends only" motivations suspect. PUNCH LINES (101/511) shows Joxer and Gabrielle working together as a team to create a harmonious environment for the expecting mother Xena.

[24] During ETERNAL BONDS (103/513), Gabrielle desperately tries to save Joxer's life and admits her wish to love him the way he wants. It is her line "I do love you. It's just not the way that you want it-- I guess. I wish I did." and the expression on her face, knowing that he cannot see her, that we finally see an admission of a deeper connection. However, by the end of MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515), she realizes that if things were different she could have settled down and loved Joxer, which she rejects when she punches him after kissing him.

[25] What could have happened between these two is interrupted by events in LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE (109/519), as Joxer despairs over Gabrielle's apparent death and disappearance. When she reappears 25 years later in LIVIA (110/520), he leaves his wife to follow his one true love again into adventure, until the events in EVE (111/521) cause him to assert the highest testament of his love, his life to save hers.

[26] These examples show that Gabrielle and Joxer are soulmates: two individuals who are inextricably intertwined through their similarities, enriching each other through their differences. Nevertheless, despite these instances, many still label Joxer a relentless stalker.

[27] Some who support the idea of Joxer being stalker believe that the following episodes give credence to this theory; THE PLAY'S THE THING (85/417) Joxer latches onto Gabrielle as she attempts to retrieve her scroll and he eventually insinuates himself into producing her play despite her misgivings, FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS {40/216} Gabrielle is left to her own devices and is unwillingly drawn into Joxer's affairs when he becomes the pawn of the gods, THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER {56/310} when Gabrielle is stuck with Joxer as her enchanted scroll forces her to endure his company, and IN SICKNESS AND IN HELL {72/404} where Joxer "suddenly" appears out the woods to enlist the aid of his friends in saving a village from bandits. In each episode, the Bard expresses a sometimes verbal and sometimes physical rejection of Joxer, although she accepts his help. Her behavior seems indicative of some deeper connection. It seems unlikely that if she truly despised him or thought him a threat to her, she would do more than grumble insults or twist his ear. It is also obvious that despite her abuse of him, his feelings for her are so deep that he will suffer anything at her hands. If viewed through pro-Joxer eyes, it would seem that the two display the same chemistry and tension that is often present in romantic comedies.

[28] Another essential episode that some Xena: Warrior Princess fans claim illustrates Joxer's stalker behavior are KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517) and Joxer's "supposed" peeping at the bathing Amazons. A fact that is neglected, however, is that Joxer was delivering a message for Xena regarding the mission on which she had sent him.

[29] In truth, Gabrielle must be aware on a subconscious level that Joxer is her soulmate, as illustrated previously, but her undealt with issues regarding men, and her personal history with men seem to be holding her back. This is not surprising as we have seen her through some abusive (Draco and his unwanted affections LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE {100/510}, restrictive (Herodotus SINS OF THE PAST {01/101}), controlling (Herodotus and Perdicas in SINS OF THE PAST {01/101} and tragic (Perdicas' wedding night murder THE RETURN OF CALLISTO {29/205} and Dahak the rapist in THE DELIVERER {50/304}) events in relation to men. One would also surmise that she rejects the simple homey life of her parents (SINS OF THE PAST {01/101}) when she would much rather be a traveling bard, Amazon, and companion to a powerful, exciting person. Thus she is unwilling to explore a domestic life which could include Joxer.

[30] In all their association, Joxer was never daunted by Gabrielle's refusal of his attentions and lived in hope that she would eventually acknowledge him as her soulmate. In the end, she does accept the fact of their connection is real and deeper than previously assumed (her confession that she loves him in ETERNAL BONDS {103/513}).

[31] Is Joxer Gabrielle's stalker or soulmate? His actions would speak that he is a soulmate of Gabrielle's. From their initial meeting, throughout their association and even in his death, the two are connected. His constant displays of selflessness towards her, and the link they share through their different incarnations is as strong as the Warrior Princess'. It is clear that he is not a stalker, but a true soulmate of Gabrielle.



Notes

Note 01:
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
http://www.m-w.com
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Note 02:
Soul Mate Personals
http://www.soul-mate-personals.com/soul-mate-definition.htm
A short excerpt from an article entitled "How to attract your soul mate" by Brian Stocker, M.A. (Psychology).
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Note 03:
Dr. Joshua David Stone
http://www.drjoshuadavidstone.com/
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Note 04:
Division of Man
http://www.inthelight.co.nz/spirit/arch/division.htm
Return to article

Note 05:
The Story of the Rosetta Stone
http://www.homestead.com/ntalia/rosetta.html
"The Rosetta Stone was the key that unlocked the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Napoleon's troops discovered it in 1799 near the seaside town of Rosetta in lower Egypt, and it eventually made its way into the British Museum in London where it resides today. It is a slab of black basalt dating from 196 BCE inscribed by ancient Egyptians with a royal decree praising their king Ptolemy V. The inscription is written three times, one in hieroglyphic, one in demotic, and one in Greek. Thomas Young, a British physicist, and Jean Francois Champollion, a French Egyptologist, collaborated to decipher the hieroglyphic and demotic texts by comparing them with the known Greek text. From this meager starting point a generation of Egyptologists eventually managed to read most everything that remains of the Egyptians' ancient writings."

Quotation from the web page THE STORY OF THE ROSETTA STONE
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Articles

Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "Subtext or Subconscious" WHOOSH #42 (March 2000)
http://whoosh.org/issue42/swainston1.html

Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "The Joxer Fan Fiction Writer: The Xenaverse's Not So Secret Society" WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)
http://whoosh.org/issue49/swainston2.html

Janet Elizabeth Swainston, "The Outsider: Confessions Of A Joxer Fan" WHOOSH #50 (November 2000)
http://whoosh.org/issue50/contributors50c.html#swainston50



Biography

Janet Elizabeth Swainston Janet Elizabeth Swainston

Janet Elizabeth Swainston is an aspiring screenwriter and publishes her own and other's Joxer fan fiction on her own website, The New Bard Library http://www.crosswinds.net/~kateaofpompeii
Favorite episode: THE BITTER SUITE or everything with Joxer in it!
Favorite line: Joxer: "I love you, I'm in love with you!" CHAKRAM
First episode seen: KEY TO THE KINGDOM (78/410)
Least favorite episode: MOTHERHOOD and everything that came after.




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