He has no name, but we know his name all the same. It has changed with time, shifting under the weight of ages, but is most often “Jack.” Jack in the Green, Jack of the Trees. Jack of the Woods. They call him John Barleycorn as well. They call him many things, and of all the small gods, he is perhaps the greatest, for without him, an essential piece of the human spirit would be lost forever. We cannot thrive where the green is gone. We cannot endure in the gray alone. His worshippers are without number, and we are all of us born among the faithful, even if some will inevitably turn away, or turn toward a different verdency, counting coin instead of conifers, bills instead of blades of grass. He loves the lost ones even still, and his wooden arms are ever open to welcome them home, should they choose to come back to him.
He had no name. He has a thousand names. He loves us all. We are all his to keep and champion.
He is very disappointed in many of our recent choices.
We do not want to see what happens should he ever be truly angered.
Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: