Sugar Moon – the small god of Maple Syrup

[image description: A lovely young native woman in a flowing white blouse and green skirt. Her wide hat trails leaves and fruit. Huge autumnal maple leaves whirl around her, and an amber moon of a halo seems to reflect the scene. Text reads “Sugar Moon, the small god of Maple Syrup 231”]

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She has been a god since long before humans knew she was a god.  She was a god of sapsuckers in the beginning, of squirrels and porcupines, of countless tiny insects who courted death for a sliver of her sweetness.  She was a god to all the complicated living web that is a forest, and she could have been content with that, had she not seen the face of the future shining in the sky; a future where she would touch so many lives, know so many tables.  She dreamt of that bright and distant day.

Then came the humans.  The first to find her were those who knew and understood the land where she put down roots, born to walk its tangled lines and open wide its mysteries, and they bled her sweetness into the world and boiled it into something better.  They took Sugar from a small god of maple sap to the small god of maple syrup, and she has remained such to this day.

She is not an animate god.  Hers is not to choose who comes before her, nor who delights in her gifts; she could not stop the second people when they stole the secrets of her worship from the first, and she could not refuse to sweeten in their pots, could not refuse to thicken in their hands.  She would have, if she could.  She is a sweet god, but she is a god of the forest, and like all gods of the forest, her memory is long.  She remembers her first worshippers, and she remembers her second, and she does not always think kindly of her third.

But still, we worship her.  Still, she is sweet on our tongues, still, she is beauty in the sun and sugar for our tables, still, she is a gift of the land.  She will always be beloved, even if she does not love us wholly, not the way she loved the ones who came before us, all the way back to the birds with their quick and clever beaks.  She keeps company with Bonnie, enjoys the antics of Ummibe, and dances in the sparks with Yul Byrner.  She may have the most in common with Pumpkin Spice.

They are both gods of conquest, in their way.  Pumpkin Spice with her dark and bloody hooves, Sugar Moon with her sweet and shining hands.  Sugar Moon has never been the conqueror.  She sweetens their tables all the same.

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Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and  Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern  world:

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