Yep, the Magician for the Circus Magi is in the house. Geo. Melies, the father of fantastic cinema and an accomplished stage magician in his own right, kindly loaned me the use of his head. In every respect, this is a Frankenstein monster of a card design, sewn together from a wide range of elements. Yes, I know that the tools on the Magician's stand are supposed to relate to the four suits of the minor arcana... but in this case some of the suits are represented symbolically, while other items on the stand are what real magicians refer to as misdirection. Geo. is holding the wand in his Frankenstein hand, and the sword is leaning against the stand... meanwhile cups are represented by the bottle (just as good for holding water and other spirits) and the worldly suit of coins is represented by the globe floating above the stand.
Interestingly, the body I used comes from one of Melies's movies, although it is not Melies himself, and everything about it has been revised.
The minor suits are still somewhat problematic for me, as I'm undecided how "cute" I want to get with them and whether or not it's better to just play it straight. This is intended to be a fully functional deck, after all... I wouldn't want to sink it with too much circusy nonsense. For instance, one of my ideas was to have each suit correspond to a circus animal: Cups/Water = Elephants (which would put my formed design for THE EMPRESS, who was being uplifted by an elephant, right at home as the Queen of Cups), Wands/Fire= Lions, Swords/Air possibly Camels and I never got around to figuring out the coins. Honestly, I think that may all be a little much. What do y'all think?
Design of the card back is in progress and I should have an image to put in front of you within a week or two.
Meanwile -- my next design, THE STAR, will put me just about halfway through the Majors! -- But the hard stuff is still ahead of me!
Tamam Shud, as Stan Lee used to say --