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

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

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

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

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/

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/