XVI. The House of God

Two clowns fall from a circus tent that is struck by a lightning bolt, while elephants watch in the background.

Lightning strikes at the big top! As the clowns (and circus peanuts) hit the ground, the elephants look on impassively. Over the years this card has been restricted from the Marseille version to “The Tower,” an icon of destruction. Its broader essence is that of some higher power acting on Earth. I tried to keep the freeing, and even celebratory aspects in this depiction. After all, if there’s one thing a clown knows, it’s how to take a pratfall.

Image Description

A yellow bolt of lightning strikes a tall red and yellow striped circus tent. Two clowns appear to be falling, one completely outside the tent and one with his legs inside, emerging from the tent flap. Red, yellow, green, and blue dots fly in the air, four circus peanuts lie on the ground, and four blue elephants hunch down in the background.

The clown outside the tent grits his teeth as he dives downward, his legs flailing. He wears a blue shirt and green and yellow checkered pants, with white gloves and large red clown shoes. He also wears a red and green jester’s collar with bells and a red and yellow pointed hat with a green pompom on top. His wig is blue and his nose is painted red.

The clown who is half-outside the tent has a neutral expression as he faces directly downward. His shirt is green with red, yellow, and blue polka dots, and he also wears a blue ruffled collar, a tiny red bowler hat, and white gloves. His hair is green and shaggy, his nose is round and red, and he has stubble on his chin.