Sometimes it's all just trial and error. This lady was originally to have been my design for the Empress card -- but it was pointed out to me (and I agreed) that she wasn't nearly "Earth Motherish" enough for that role. So -- I'm still looking for my Empress. On the other hand, nothing goes to waste: and with a little rejiggering and some thought, the same lady became my Queen of Cups. It was the elephant that helped me decide on the suit. Elephants, I have already decided, will factor heavily in my deck's suit of Cups. Although not a water-bound species, they are reliant upon and connected to water -- and their emotions run deep. These are both Cup elements. Naturally their Queen would be an Elephant trainer. It just so happens that Mirjam Magi -- the character from my novel who is pictured here -- is the Elephant trainer for the Circus Magi.
That's another reason why I couldn't just let this design go: this is one of only three cards so far that actually represents a character from the story, and must be included in the finished book.
It helps, I think, that the blue flowing curtain adds a vaguely waterish touch.
"Duchess" being something of a circus term, I will be using it for all the Queens in the Minor Arcana. The Kings will be called "Governors." I've yet to decide on the naming for the Knights and Pages -- but I can tell you right now that they won't be called Knights or Pages! Likewise, for a while, I entertained the notion of changing the suit name from "Cups" to "Elephants" -- but I think that's just a little too cute, don't you? Also limiting. I don't want to commit right up front to having an Elephant on every card in that suit! So, for now at least, Cups are Cups. Swords will change to Knives and Wands will become Batons. Coins I have not yet decided upon. The proper Circus term for money is "Mazuma," but I again I worry about getting to cute with the deck...
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