Aestha Titian, Small God of Graven Images

[image description: A serious Black woman in a crimson cape (over a white shirt, crimson skirt, dark grey jacket, and red tie) holds the gold image-border in her left hand, and gestures over her shoulder with her right. Visible behind her, sculptures of ’No Escape’ Claus, Splunge, Elvis Parsley, Über Allium, Eschercargo, Galloping Gertie, Hedjet, and Beyoncé. Text reads, “130, Aestha Titian ~ Small God of Graven Images”]

Some people say that she shouldn’t be a god at all.

Some people say that she’s a demigod at best, and much more probably a muse of some sort, divine, yes, but not worthy of the admirations of godhood.

Aestha knows better.  She inspires nothing.  Her gifts are more prosaic ones.  Her faithful are by nature polytheistic: they go to other gods for inspiration, dally with demigods, marry muses.  They find their creations in other hands, and then they come to her with heads full of images and hands full of needing, and no idea how to put the two together.

She is a historian, of sorts, for in her name, sculptors call forth deities, pin them down in substance so that they may be seen and understood and yes, remembered.  Her hand guides the brush of our faithful illuminator, allowing him to set the images of her fellows—and even herself—down in line and color.  She stands with sculptors, shapes the clay of potters, even guides the needles in the hands of felt artists.  As long as the end result is an image of one of her kin and kind, her hand is there, and her need for worship is appeased.

Among all the gods of the arts, she is one of the least known, and the least appreciated.  The artist provides the talent and skill: neither of them come from her.  The gods themselves provide the inspiration: that is not her doing.  What she brings is the motivation to combine the two in the correct order, the ability to stand the completed work before the world and say “look, see?  This is my creation, behold.”

We are reasonably sure that our illuminator is her most loyal follower remaining in the modern world, outside of the eight dozen people doing illustrated retellings of Hades of Persephone.  But those are large gods, and large gods have less need of loyalty than the smaller kind.

The gods love her.  Her faithful loves her.  And for her, focused as she is upon the next statue for her garden, that has always been enough.

Medusa does not love her.

But that is a story for another scripture.

Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) 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:





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About leemoyer

Lee Moyer creates original artwork, branding and design. His clientele includes: Film: 6 Laurel & Hardy classics, The Call of Cthulhu and Spiderman 2 Theater: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen King and Stephen Sondheim Music: Andre 3000, Tori Amos and John Mellencamp Book: Raymond Chandler, Iain Banks, and HP Lovecraft Web: BET, CareerBuilder and Paramount Pictures Game: Electronic Arts, Hasbro and Sony Education: McGraw-Hill, The National Zoo, and the Smithsonian Institution His work has been featured in Communication Arts, The Society of Illustrators, and the New York Times.

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