A few months ago I published my book, Sheathenry, Volume I: Ritual Practices of Modern Heathen Women, which was based on interviews I conducted with 39 Heathens (women and a trans man) throughout North America and Europe. I was working on a deadline so I decided to divide the material into two books. I’m glad I did since the first book was over 200 pages! I’ve got the bones of the second book laid out and will start tying it all together very soon. In the meantime, my friend Lauren (who was one of the women I interviewed and who is one of the creators and co-hosts of the Heathen Talk podcast) started talking to me about doing a podcast about Heathen women. I thought it would be an interesting idea, so we put together a list of episode ideas and women to talk to.
If you have read my book and if you have ever read some of my previous blog posts, you know I love dance. I was a member of a Middle Eastern dance troupe in Arkansas, Raqs Akia, for several years. I haven’t had the opportunity to do much dancing with other people since I moved away from there nearly five years ago (but I am starting belly dance classes again tomorrow). While I was an active dancer, I performed at many of my old kindred’s Midsummer Moots with one of my troupe sisters. I even reconstructed the Egtved Girl’s clothing and choreographed a devotional dance to Freyja that incorporated the poses of the little bronze figures of women in string skirts (like the Egtved Girl’s skirt).
At the second Carolina Moot, I met Salena Glassburn. Salena is a professional dancer and has been a Heathen for many years. She is one of the few people I’ve met over the years with whom I struck up a conversation which lasted pretty much the rest of the weekend. Salena had also choreographed a devotional dance and had much to say about dance in rituals and in devotional practice. She wrote an article for Hex Magazine a few years ago and also has a blog on dance, Flame in Bloom, though I don’t think she’s updated it lately (it can be hard to keep up with blogging while life is happening and I’ve been guilty of not updating my blogs as much as I should, so I’m not judging that at all). By the way, Salena also made a string skirt like the Egtved Girl’s.
Anyhow, Salena was generous enough to let me interview her for the book and for the first episode of the Sheathenry Podcast! Thank you, Salena. It’s always great to chat with you about dancing and Heathenry.