Some designs are difficult, some are easy, and some are just fiddly, fiddly, fiddly. This was a fiddly one. The basic concepts came together nicely, and I think the symbolism comes through an interesting way. But in the earliest version the colors were off and something was missing.I rebuilt the thing to much better result, but have been tweaking it ever since.
My friend Carrie Paris disliked the Acrobats: but to me they are a vital element of the card. The idea behind them is stolen from the opening moments of the Cirque du Soleil movie Alegria (not to be confused with the DVD of the their live show by the same name, which is a completely different animal).
In about equal parts the movie is beautiful, fascinating, and almost unbelievably misguided. It's not something that I would recommend to everyone. It's a kettle into which too many ingredients were thrown, and not all of those elements were good to start with.
But the movie opens with a lovely image that transforms acrobatic performers into celestial bodies whirling through space. And that's the effect that I was going for here. After much fiddling I did remove one of the acrobats (are you HAPPY now, Carrie?) because the uneven number worked better for me than the even one, and because the space was just that much too cluttered.
For me, the acrobats are the one element that connects Alestair Crowley's Aeon version of this card to the Waite-Smith Judgement version. Instead of a single Angel Gabriel blowing his trumpet, raising the dead from their graves and calling them on to heaven, my acrobats are a flight of angels calling on those who have died inside to rediscover that which makes them happy and gives them joy. In the Great Circus of Life, allowing yourself to be reborn and to fly now and again is the whole purpose.
I think I've accomplished a kind of unity between the two diverse modes of symbolism with this card. I hope that it speaks to you.
ONE CARD LEFT IN THE MAJORS!