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Small Gods Three Times a Week - Ridiculous to Sublime - Lee Moyer (icons) & Seanan McGuire (stories)

Condementia – Small God of Not Cutting the Mustard

[image description: A distressed looking woman looks over a refrigerator shelf of partly-used and possibly-expired mustards (at least 10 different varieties are visible). Text reads, “Batch 122, Condementia, Small God of Not Cutting the Mustard”]

You can find her in cluttered fridges and crowded pantries, flanked by yesterday’s meatloaf and jars of olives so far past their best-by date that they may as well have the right to vote.  Some people assume she must be a god of clutter or hoarding, because of the environments in which she tends to thrive. Others assume she is a god of thrift or poverty, because she never throws anything away.  That upside-down ketchup bottle dripping its last particles of paste into the cap?  That’s hers.  So is that jar of mayonnaise with half a spoonful left clinging to the sides.

All of those people are wrong, as they would know if they spent any time in her company.

She’s a god of indecision.  She’s a god of needing the exact right thing at the exact right time if you want to feel joy, a god of precision and obsession.  And yes, she’s a god of steak sauce, although that one’s almost beside the point.

She is a neutral god.  Her worshippers can be among the happiest in the world, if they know what they want and what to do when they get it; at the same time, they can be among the most miserable if no one helps them find the exact right thing that they long for so completely.  She is a god of cravings and coupons, of hunting forever for the perfect solution.

If you pray to her, pray also that you find it, for once Condementia has her schmear on someone’s soul, she very rarely comes completely clean.

Still, it can’t be denied that she’s delicious.  Her followers are always hungry, never full, and yet their mouths are always filled with the precise right thing, and they never want for more than she provides.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Splunge, Small God of Plumbing – In homage to the brilliant Rien Poortvliet

[image description: A wee bearded chap in overalls and a tall pointy red cap stands on the red rubber of a plunger that’s a little taller than he is. He looks confident. Text reads, “121, Splunge, Small God of Plumbing – In homage to the brilliant Rien Poortvliet.”]

Like all gnomes, Splunge lives in perfect harmony with his environment. Unfortunately for him, his environment happens to be household plumbing. Every unwashed toilet is an affront to his name.  Every untidied sink stands as a reminder that he, once hailed as an unbelievable miracle, is now nothing more than an unwanted chore.

He would call upon the gods of chifforobes and chamberpots, if they were still anywhere to be found; the old god of chamberpots has since transitioned to become the small god of Hospice Care, utterly essential to those who need her, all but forgotten by those who don’t, who would rather not consider her existence.  He would call upon those old and half-forgotten deities, and ask them to remind the world that it could be so much worse than he, with his convenient plunger and his caustic chemicals.

But that power is not his to hold, and there are drains to be cleaned and clogs to be removed.  So he does what he can with what he has in the time that is allotted to him, and he wonders when humanity forgot that he was the iconography of a miracle.  That the lack of shit-buckets and worrying about whose house sat higher on the hill than those around it was his gift to them, and gifts, when unappreciated, can be reclaimed.

Splunge is in perfect harmony with his environment.  He just wishes, on his uncharitable days, that his environment could learn to be in harmony with him.  And then he stops his wishing, because the drain is backed up again, and someone has to take care of business, so that everyone else can keep on taking care of business without complication.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Jeff – Small God of Biscuits

[image description: A smilin’ blue-eyed feller in a dark cowboy hat and a black shirt with white embroideries. Behind him, stacks of biscuits. In front, a banner naming his domain. Text reads, “120, Jeff, Small God of Biscuits.”]

Words mean things. This is unquestionable, incontrovertible, uncontroversial. Words mean things, or what’s the point in having words? They may mean different things in different languages, but when people are speaking the same language, they should be able to comfortably assume they’re understanding one another. That the words they use, identical and clear, should mean the same things.

And then comes Jeff.

Jeff seems at first glance to be a more pleasant fellow than his British cousin. He has such a lovely smile, after all, and he’s always so generous with the puff pastry and the butter. Such a pleasant fellow. Not like that Geoff, of the frosty silences and the refusal to share if you put a word out of line, oh, heavens, no! Not a bit of that. This is Jeff we’re talking about here, and Jeff is a good all-American god, happy to enrich the table and the tummy…

As long as you never mention desserts, never speak of scones. The phrase “dessert biscuit” is as anathema at Jeff’s table as the word “cookie” is at Geoff’s. How dare you profane the dance of buttermilk and flour, the sweet interplay of heat and moisture? These are not games for pastry chefs, not feasts for children! There should be no sweetness here, and indeed, there is no sweetness in Jeff’s heart. Unlike his cousin, who comes off cold and has a heart of chocolate chip, Jeff comes off warm and has a heart like a hockey puck once the first blush of heat fades, leaving him hardened beyond all reason.

Together, they can both open and conclude the feast. Together, they provide a delicious balance, and a wholeness to be dearly aspired to. But apart, they are incomplete, two pieces of a broken god, and it will take more than whipped butter to bring them back together.

It will take an Easy Bake miracle.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Geoff – Small God of Biscuits

[image description: A ginger offers you a biscuit in a spiral design (which is replicated in the ‘O’ of their name). Both the Small God and the biscuit have haloes reminiscent of the pattern on a famous American biscuit. Text reads, “119, Geoff, the Small God of Biscuits.”]

Words mean things. This is unquestionable, incontrovertible, uncontroversial. Words mean things, or what’s the point in having words? They may mean different things in different languages, but when people are speaking the same language, they should be able to comfortably assume they’re understanding one another. That the words they use, identical and clear, should mean the same things.

Enter Geoff.

Geoff, who will be happy to offer you a delicious treat, still steaming and warm from the oven, soft as a promise, enchanting as a sigh…if you’re only willing to call it by the proper name. Thank Geoff for the biscuit, get showered in sugary joy. Thank Geoff for the cookie, find yourself unfed and uncontented. Because some gods are very regional in their delights. Some gods exist within the lee of a single meaning.

Some gods hold no truck with blue fuzzy monsters, and don’t understand why anyone would choose to do so. “Biscuit is a satisfying word,” says Geoff.  “It has snap and crunch. It feels delicious in the mouth. What is ‘cookie’? ‘Cookie’ is mush, it’s mostly vowels, the consonants it has are all doing the same job, it’s a lazy word. Leave it be, and come and have a biscuit with someone who knows what they’re talking about.”

Geoff is always glad to offer you a biscuit. Just not a hot, fluffy, buttermilk one. Those are for other gods and other hands, and less complicated culinary linguistic climes.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

LIV MARX – small god of BODY MODIFICATION

[image description: Half the face of a smiling being looks out from the left side of the piece. Their incisors are… incisive. Their nose and brow are pierced with silver studs. Their eye is a cat’s eye, their forehead is tattooed in a pattern visible on their neck and shoulder. Their ear is remarkably pointed. Behind them, a sheet of tattoo flash. Very bold and very pointy text reads, “118, LIV MARX ~ small god of BODY MODIFICATION”]

They aren’t frivolous, although many people assume they are.

They’ve been with humanity since humanity figured out what it was to be human, since the first flickers of consciousness and the self invaded the minds of previously innocent and unaware primates.  They never needed to be invited in.

A remarkable number of other gods can be considered their subordinates, if looked at from the right angle.  Patrice Angel, Polly Chrome, dear Tesla Jefferson—they are autonomous all, and yet they serve Liv.  Liv, who says sweetly, “If your body is your temple, decorate it to your liking.  Knock out a few walls, change the curtains, make it something you can live with.  Because no one else gets to decide the shape of your space.  No one else gets to tell you what’s right for you.  Become the person you were born to be, whoever that person is.”

They aren’t frivolous.  Their works can be transitory—the pierced eyebrow that seems like a wonderful idea in college, the drunken tattoo that gets lasered away in sober shame—but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter.

They stand with the preteen staring at the makeup aisle with wide, longing eyes, thoughts of the way his father will react warring with the need to paint his face the way it looks in his dreams.  They stand with the teen who binds growing breasts and sobs, either because they’re growing too big, too fast, and shattering the remains of her fleeting childhood against the rocks of sudden sexualization and inappropriate adult attention, or because adults who believe they know better than anyone else have blocked his access to the hormones that would have allowed him to control the shape of his body as it always should have been.  They stand with the adults those teens become, sitting in white rooms and looking at solemn doctors, begging to be allowed to repair the damage done by other hands.

They aren’t frivolous.  They only want the house in which you live to feel like a home, no matter what anyone else may think of it.

And they’re always down for a bitchin’ new tattoo.  Because even the more serious of gods is allowed to enjoy themself from time to time.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Serious Lee – the Small God of Questioning Authority

[image description: A skeptical-looking black man with a beard and mustache wears green scrubs and leather bracers. One hand is on his chin, the other on his opposite bicep. Text reads, “117, Serious Lee, the Small God of Questioning Authority – the ‘o’ of ‘Serious’ forms a thought balloon above his head which holds a question mark.”]

People wind up in charge through all sorts of avenues. Sometimes they win elections; other times they’re born into power, or trick or talk their way into it. Only two things are universal: that the people in authority expect to be listened to, whether they’re right or not, and that some of them don’t deserve their positions.

Serious wasn’t initially made that way. In the beginning, they called him Sincere, and he followed the people in authority in all their dealings.  It didn’t last for long. People existing in conditions of near-infinite power will always show their true faces sooner or later, and bit by bit, Serious was born. He is the quiet question and the ungiven answer, the necessary grit in the gears to keep things running honest and clean through his simple presence.

He is always watching, and he is always asking “Why?” and when he doesn’t receive an answer he cares for, he is always willing to ask again. And again, and again, until the answer changes, or the person in authority does.

He has outlasted regimes and administrations and more managers than anyone cares to count, including Seriously himself. But he never loses faith that one day, perhaps, things will change. After all, they’ve changed before.

If he can hold on for long enough, if he can ask sufficient questions, he may eventually find a form of authority that renders him extraneous.  Until that happy day, he’s content to serve as he does, holding the important to account, keeping them from growing too content in their absolute power.

Power corrupts. Serious Lee is always there to keep it from corrupting past the point of all return.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Albright – the Small God of Cosmic Wonder

[image description: A sweet-looking blond child sits on an undefined violet ‘ground’ marveling at the the spiraling galaxies that whirl before them. Text reads, “116, Albright, the Small God of Cosmic Wonder”]

Albright is never more than nine years old.

Albright has been nine years old for millennia, because there’s always something new in the universe to be awed and enthralled and enchanted by, some new nebula or an aurora splashed across the midnight sky, a comet slashing through the cosmos or a meteor shower falling home to earth to rest.

Albright isn’t only in the skies, of course, although that’s the easiest symbol to summarize.  Albright is in the ocean, in the dance of the nudibranch and the arms of the octopus, in the nacreous gleaming of a pearl.  Albright is in the forest, in the flash of a woodpecker’s wings, the shine from a serpent’s scales, the soft cap of a mushroom pushing through the loam.

Albright is in the wonder of the moment, not the meat of it, and that’s what truly matters.

Some who see Albright surrounded by swarms of fireflies or dancing on the shore during algal blooms describe the small god as a little boy, hair cropped short, feet bare, pockets bulging with secret treasures, shells and stones and green glass marbles.  Others describe a little girl, hair in pigtails, skirt soaked with river water or sea spray, mud all the way up to her knees and dotting her cheeks.  Most, though, see a child.  Just a child, of indeterminate gender, because what does it matter, to a child on an adventure?  And childhood is the greatest adventure of them all.

Albright walks with all the children, and with many adults, small hand tucked into theirs, eyes fixed on the sea, or on the sky, or on the stream, or anywhere a miracle might yet be lurking.

Wherever there is wonder, Albright is there.

Albright truly hopes that you can be there too.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Gigi – Small God of the Sports Bra

[image description: A gorgeous day by the sea. A mermaid with dark skin and red-orange scales sits in profile atop a high-dive. She has a tattoo of a crown of laurels on her near shoulder, and wears a 2-tone blue sports bra with a 3 inch zipper and a black band at its base. Text reads, “115, Gigi ~ Small God of the Sports Bra”]

Small gods associated with innovation are the most likely to remember the date they, or at least their portfolio, came into existence.  Gigi has existed for centuries, but was originally the small god of strained corset stays, before she became the small god of punishing lower back pain.  When she felt a change coming on in 1977, she prayed to herself that she was about to become the small god of cosmetic breast reduction or something equally soothing.

Instead, she became the small god of sports bras, and anyone who tries to say that this is just as good has never tried to do aerobics with a large chest and no underwire.  Compression hides many ills.  It doesn’t cure them.  The two are not the same.

So she went to the small god of body modification and requested a reverse little mermaid.  Not the most common procedure (that award goes to earlobe piercing), but not unheard of, either, and in short order, Gigi was no longer a member of the Busty and Bipedal club.  Her portfolio might not allow her to shed the former, but there was nothing about her that required the latter to endure.

Water forgives many things, including gravity, and breasts are buoyant enough to make her otherwise insufficient tools suitable for the job.  What is a sports bra but a swimsuit with delusions of grandeur, after all?

If you’re looking for the small god of the sports bra, look to the sea.  Unlike the little mermaids who came before her, she isn’t planning to come back onto the land.  Gigi walks on knives for no one.

The bra’s pretty, though.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Daria Ducharme – The Small God of First-Time Fliers

[image description: Twilight. A cheery-looking young woman in a pointy black hat with flowers in its band, a black sleeveless tee, black shorts, and black work boots rides side-saddle on an old wooden broom.  She is very high up, above the cumulus clouds and beneath the stars. She’s waving. Text reads, “114, Daria Ducharme ~ The Small God of First-Time Fliers”]


Some gods are gods for a lifetime, gods you win or are won by and pledge yourself to with all due devotion, serving at their altars from the cradle to the grave.  Other gods are gods of the moment, here to see us through a transformative experience and then leave us on the other side as someone new, someone other than we were before.  They are the gods of the first day of school, the first kiss, the first love, the first loss.

Or, in the case of dear Daria, the first flight.

Because she sits astride a broom, many take her for a god of witches, or of charwomen, but neither of these is quite correct, unless those spellcasters or hearth-sweepers are taking to the air for their very maiden voyages.  Because she is a god of firsts, and young to the eye, many assume that she must be inexperienced, naïve, an easy god to take advantage of.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Daria isn’t jaded, because she’s worked hard to retain the sense of innocence and wonder that makes it possible for her to truly connect with the people in her keeping, to soothe their nerves and laugh away their worries, but she isn’t new here, either.  Daria has been shepherding people through their first flights since the Wright Brothers.  Lovely boys.  Very sweet, very generous with their time in the brief hours they spent together.

Her time with her faithful is never long, but those who have flown with her once will never forget her again.

Daria is always prepared to take to the skies.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/

Len – Small God of the Day Job

[image description: A middle-aged man stands in a garage wearing a wrinkled blue work shirt, with a patch that says ‘Len’. His arms are crossed and he holds a ‘RIGID’ monkey-wrench. Behind him, a sign reads ‘SPEEDY LUBING’. Text reads, “113, Len ~ Small God of the Day Job”]


There is no shame in an honest day’s work.  No reason to lower your eyes and refuse to answer when someone asked you what you did for a living; no reason to feel like wiping a counter or turning a wrench made you somehow lesser, made you somehow inferior.  Len knows all who labor, whatever color their collar happens to be, and he loves them all with equal grace.  White collar, blue collar, the occasional butcher or surgeon who considers themselves blurred all the way into red collar, they are all his children.

He also loves those who aspire to leave his grace, the artists and authors who dream of making their muse their master, riding their passion all the way to plenty; the ones who dream with genuine delight of the day they can marry and retire, staying home to raise a family, doing the hard work of education and nurturing while someone else serves in Len’s temples.  He loves them knowing they want nothing more than to leave him behind, one more forgotten god on a life path littered with unneeded theologies and thrown-aside prayers.

He has room for them all, and he knows there will always be another, because there is always work to be done, and always hands to do it.  He would prefer that all who work beneath his banner be there of their own free will.  He knows that isn’t the case, and those are the only prayers that he regrets.  The compelled.  The captive.  The nonconsensual.  He cannot free them from his temples, must depend on human hands to untie the knots and undo the locks, but he can hope for them, and he can answer them as kindly as his nature allows.

Len loves the workers.  Len loves the union man.  And Len loves an unvoided warranty.  Take care of what you own, Len begs, or be without.

Len loves you, too.


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:

Tumblr: https://smallgodseries.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallgodseries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallgodseries/

Homepage: http://www.smallgodseries.com/