The Small God Ginger

[image description: A lovely woman with freckles, a mass of wavy red hair, a diamond ring as big as the Ritz, a leopard print cocktail dress and scarf, and lacquered nail holds a ginger root. Text reads, “17-1444, The Small God Ginger”]

She didn’t always look like this.  Blame the British for occupying Malaysia in the late 18th century, when they encountered the ginger flower for the first time and came home calling all their redheads gingers.  As if the redheads of the British Empire didn’t have enough to worry about, what with the witch hunts and assorted forms of libel.  But then, the people of Malaysia also had better things to worry about at the time, what with being occupied by the British, who they hadn’t exactly invited to the neighborhood, and maybe we need to move on from the origins of terms, because this is a conversation that could go on all day…

Her image was beginning to shift again when the 20th century rolled around and a television show mirroring the seven deadly sins stranded on a desert island with the Devil Himself began to air, presenting a new redheaded girl to the world.  Her name, of course, was Ginger, and Ginger found herself locked into another century of looking like a pasty white girl, sparking discussions of cultural appropriation whenever she comes to one of the culinary god potlucks and recipe exchanges.  But she doesn’t complain.

She’s here to add a little zing to your life, a little flavor to your savor, and a little joy to your tastebuds.  She only wants you to enjoy what you’re eating.  And if that’s not enough, she has medicinal benefits, too; she’ll help your cold, ease your congestion, and hasten your recovery.  And she’ll do it all with a smile on her face and a red flower in her hair, glorious to the last, forever happy to be here.

The great small god Ginger.  Long may she blossom and grow.


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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