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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Mirabella – small god of Vitiligo

[image description: A beautiful black woman stands in a pastoral setting lit by the morning sun, a single blooming rose to her left. She wears a homespun green skirt, a mustard and brown plaid scarf wraps around her shoulders over a white shirt with its sleeves rolled up, and poses with her walking stick over her shoulders. Her face and arms show the symmetrical white patches of nonsegmental generalized vitiligo. Text reads, “127, Mirabella, small god of Vitiligo”]

She is beautiful. She has always been beautiful, throughout all of time, throughout all of space, she is beautiful. But beauty, as they say, is only skin deep, and as she is a god of appearances, she focuses so much on the surface that it can seem like she knows nothing else. 

That isn’t so. 

She knows the innocent delight of a child seeing a person with patterns on them, wondering why they don’t have patterns of their own, wishing at night to see the oracular markings form on their own skin, believing in some abstract way that the swirls and scrimshaw are the badges of age, that puberty will be followed by a second, even more intricate, transformation, skin turning as individual as a fingerprint. 

She knows the heartbreak of a teen whose childhood wishes, made or unmade, are answered by the structure of their skin, who finds themselves mocked and outcast by their peers for being in some way different, for being marked. She knows how often she is repudiated, how often those she touches hate and reject her. She knows every form of foundation and pancake makeup, and how deeply the shadow of the surface can cut. 

She knows she is beloved, and she knows she is unwanted, and she carries both these burdens both gracefully and gladly. She is what she is. She is what she is, and she is the small god of a human condition; she cannot change, even if she wanted to. 

And she does not want to. 

She is a god of beauty and a god of understanding, and she would not change if she were given the opportunity. Her faithful, willing or no, still need her, and as long as she is needed, she endures. 

And she loves.


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/

The Light – The Small God who knows what goodness lives in the hearts of men

[image description: A golden-eyed figure wears a wide-brimmed white fedora with a wide gold hat band and a light golden scarf just below the nose and across the mouth and chin. They sport a white Inverness Cape with its collar turned up over a white double-breasted suit. It’s hard to see them clearly in the bright light. Text reads, “126, The Light, The Small God who knows what goodness lives in the hearts of men.”]

C’mere, kid.  I want to tell you a secret.

Whoa, whoa, not like that!  This isn’t one of those “strange man tells you something that you’re not supposed to share with your parents” situations.  I want you to share this with your parents.  I want you to share this with the whole world.  You wanna be my prophet, you go right ahead.  It’s not like most folks are gonna listen, but every so often, one of you people decides to try, and I’m always grateful, even if I don’t think there’s any point to it.

Okay.  You with me?  You listening?  You cleaned your ears out recently?  Because if you’re gonna be my prophet, I don’t want you to go around telling people I said something I didn’t.  That’s happened to so many of my friends.  They lay out one message, and folks pick it up and turn it into something terrible, into some sort of cudgel to beat people with.  And that’s not what I’m about.

Okay.  You’re good?  Then here you go.  This is the secret, this is the essential thing I wish you over-important primates would hammer through your heads, this is what matters:

People are essentially good, and essentially the same, everywhere you go.  Optimism isn’t shallow, and being a happy person doesn’t make you a fool.  You’re allowed to irrigate and plant flowers in your heart.  That won’t make you weak.  It won’t make you irresponsible, or petty.  Be joyous.  Find your light and nurture it, and once it’s strong and healthy enough to light up your room, open the windows and share it with the people around you.

There’s a lot of shadow in a lot of folks.  A little light can help to beat it back, and can bring us a better world.  All of us, not just the divine, and not just the damned.

Do your part, prophet or no.  Nurture and protect your joy.


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

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

small god OPTIMIST PRIME

[image description: A big friendly-looking red robot with bright green eyes gives you the thumbs up. Text reads, “125, small god OPTIMIST PRIME.”]

Hey.  Hey, our historian isn’t at her desk today—we’re not sure why.  Humans are so soft and fallible.

But not YOU.  No, out of all the humans we’ve ever known, YOU are by far the most [competent|proficient|dependable].  Why, we can’t IMAGINE trying to do this without you!

Now we want you to look in the nearest reflective surface—a mirror if you’ve got one, a shiny pot or the back of a spoon if you don’t—and repeat after us:

I am amazing.

I am clever.

I am strong enough, I am good enough, and even if I weren’t either of those things, I would still be ENOUGH, because there has never been anything else like me in all creation, and there will never be anything else like me, ever.  I am a universe unto myself, filled with tiny gods no one else will ever worship or know, and I deserve to feel happiness.

Do you feel better?  Even if you thought that was silly, we have found that humans talk down to themselves far too [often|regularly|reliably].  Speaking words of happiness and love toward the self will make you feel more as if the self if something worth celebrating.

Whatever you want to achieve in this world, we have absolute faith that you can do it.  We only need you to have the faith in yourself that we already have in you.  Together, we can move mountains.  Together, we can accomplish anything.  And we will be with you every step along the way, small friend, because we believe in you.

Now, if you could find our historian, we would really appreciate it.


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

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

Teddy Burial – The Grin Reaper & Small God of Comedic Death

[image description: A brown teddy bear with no mouth stands atop a grassy knoll in front of a field of gravestones. A falling star arcs diagonally across the twilit sky (or is it mourning?) behind him. The scythe he’s holding has bisected his adorable head. Top banderole reads “Dying is easy, Comedy is hard”. Lower text reads, “Teddy Burial, The Grin Reaper & Small God of Comedic Death. #124”]

Humans are such short-lived creatures.  Did you hear about Gerald?  Oh, yes, I did, his poor wife, she must be heartbroken.  They’re born and they die, all in the blinking of an eye, and for the divine, there’s no difference in the death of an infant and the death of a venerated elder.  Time has no meaning on the other side of the hourglass.

Oh, did you get the news about Carol?  Such a tragedy, she was so young, really, and that bulldozer wasn’t even supposed to be in her neighborhood.

Every human death is an inevitable tragedy, and someone will be heartbroken, always.  Even the grimmest of misers leaves someone lost to mourning.  And for all of that, some deaths are…different.  Some deaths fall under a different umbrella, one patterned in polka dots and smiley faces.

Some deaths are, to be blunt about it, absolutely hilarious.

Consider Gerald, devoured by hyenas.  It might not have been funny had he been a zookeeper or a zoologist, but as he was an accountant who had decided to become a tightrope walker in his middle age, and begun his new career by walking the thin rail of the hyena enclosure at the zoo, well…

Even his grieving widow had to see the humor, after she finished crying off her supposedly waterproof mascara, anyway.

Or consider Carol, bulldozed to death in her own apartment parking lot, an ending straight out of a children’s cartoon, flattened like a pancake.  Or Kathy, who fell through the floor of a medieval bathroom while on her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland, only to discover that the castle employees had been using it for its original purpose.  She drowned in effluvia before she could be saved.

Or Charles, pecked to death by ducks, or Margery, or Michael, or…

Wherever a life ends with a giggle instead of a groan, he is there, scythe in hand, ready to close the book on their stories, however ridiculous or rugged they had been.

Because death is funny.  Not always, but often enough to be made manifest. Sometimes, anyway.


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

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

Señor Momenz – ‘I’m the Small God of… I’m sure it was something. Forget my own head next….

[image description: A white haired gentleman with a Van Dyke beard. He wears a brown jacket over his light green shirt and rose red tie. His dark eyes peer out of an old album of photographs. Text reads, “123, Señor Momenz, ‘I’m the Small God of… I’m sure it was something. Forget my own head next….”]

Humans are such transitory things, when compared to gods.

They arrive, they grow, they thrive, they go.

And in between, they may belong to many gods, both large and small, from the wonders of Albright and the joy of Woo Woo to the huge emotional weight of Aphrodite or Hades.  They live, they love, they laugh, they languish, and they lie, and they keep on changing all the same.  No two mortal lives are lived in exactly the same way, no matter how closely they hew to each other, but to all those lived long, he comes eventually.

To some he comes only briefly and lightly; a forgotten errand, a misplaced pair of glasses.  To them, he is a gentle god, a humorous god, worthy of laughter and gentle joking.

To others he comes so completely that he washes away everything else they are or have ever been, replacing it with only silence.

He is neither merciful nor cruel.  He simply is, an epitaph and an ending, and he waits for the chance to visit each and every one of us.  In his time.

And if he can remember the correct address.


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

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

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/