Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Her Story Tour

Alexandra Charauan is visiting today to talk about sacred dancing. Make sure to read on to find out more about Her Story, an anthology by various authors honoring Women’s History Month!

Dance, for me, has always been a sacred expression of spirituality. Dance can define itself as movement without any purpose except beauty. In my religious practice of British Traditional Wicca, dance is an important way to raise energy. Yet, sacred dance is something that is historically difficult to follow. Since the ability to record dance performances is so new, the only way that we have been able to preserve or study historical dance is through depictions in paintings or other visual arts. Sacred movement has always been passed on person to person, in the intimacy of student teacher relationships, friendships or family. In HerStory, I imagined one link in the chain of what we call “bellydance” today.

Today, even though the power of Internet and video brings an infinite expression of dance forms before our eyes, the line of sacred dance is growing weak. Even contemporary Wiccans often do little more than run around in a circle in vestigial tribute to dance when raising energy for worship or magic. Through my fiction, I hope to inspire other women to take up dance. Pass along the art of being present in your body to your sisters and your daughters. Tell secrets without saying a word and share the gift of dance with your world and yourself.

See Alexandra Charauan dance:

Alexandra Chauran is a British Traditional Wiccan fortune teller and the author of several nonfiction works. In her spare time, she dances, raises her children, and manages an addiction to school by working on her doctoral degree. Though branches of her own family tree were cut by the Holocaust, she feels that honoring the memory of ancestors is important. Through her fiction, whatever cannot be remembered, she invents.

Alexandra's story is Z'irah. It is found within the pages of HerStory.

Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month
By: Various Authors

In ancient times, women were regarded as sacred. They were thought to hold the mystical power of creation—responsible for the continuation of our species. With the rise of Science and Religion, these myths were dispelled and their plight began.

HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories from today’s top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.
Grab yourself a glass of wine or favorite hot beverage and get comfortable as you read about the lives of women who will light the fire in your soul.

This anthology features stories by Alexandra Chauran, Angelique Mroczka, Dahlia DeWinters, Danielle Villano, Dianne Hartsock, Dorothy L. Abrams, Gina Tonnis, Mary Terrani, Jodie Baptie, Justine Dee, Laura DeLuca, Lisa A. Adams, Lisa Cerezo, Lisa J. Yarde, Lori Beth Johnson, Lorraine Nelson, Marie Antonia Parsons, Megan D. Martin, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan, Mirella Patzer, Morgan Summerfield, Becca Diane, Lacey Wolfe, Sarah Cass, Shelli Rosewarne, Tara Chevrestt, and Toni Rakestraw.

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From A Pit Story by Shelli Rosewarne
“Who has authorization on-site at the moment then?”
One of the foremen shifted uncomfortably.
“We have two first-aiders underground, but we don’t know if they might be injured too.”
Maud shook her head. “If they’re badly injured, they can go into shock when they get moved. They need a shot first.”
He glanced away. “There’s no one who can do it,” he said simply.
Before she realized what she was saying, Maud replied, “There’s me.”
The yard almost turned as one to stare at her.
The foreman coughed. “Er, ma’am, you know that’s not possible. Women aren’t allowed underground.”
She glared. “Are you prepared to let people die because of that? Robbie Stanham, I knew your mother and God bless her soul, she would be ashamed.”
He flushed under the layer of coal dust and looked away.
“It ain’t safe, ma’am,” he muttered, but she knew he was only saying it for show.
She paused—was she really going to do this? Not only was it dangerous, but even if she made it out again safely, she would be in world of trouble … maybe even lose her job. Harry might be down there … or Danny. Even if they’re not, it’s someone’s husband, someone’s son … you owe it to them.
She squared her shoulders. “Someone get me a helmet.”
By the time she was decked-out in overalls three sizes too big for her with an overlarge helmet weighing down her head, she doubted her sanity. This was crazy—she’d never been underground before. While she supposed she might have been a little curious, both the rules and a well-placed sense of self-preservation had kept it at just curiosity.
She carefully checked her pack—that was the main thing, getting the first-aid supplies down to those who couldn’t be moved safely without them. Focus, Maud. Lives are at stake here … this is what your job is about, remember? She stepped gingerly toward the entrance, where half a dozen waited to go with her. She was grateful, knowing they could be risking discipline as well simply by helping her.
Lord, it looks dark.She peered into the gaping hole in the earth. As though he read her thoughts, one of the men stepped forward and gently flicked on the light on top of her helmet. She smiled a little sheepishly at him and muttered her thanks. The small bulb gave a pale watery glow, only seeming to deepen the shadows. You volunteered for this. No backing out now. She shook herself and stepped into the blackness.
It was like stepping into another world. The darkness was so thick she could barely see a few steps in front of her. The lights from their helmets and the lantern one of the men carried reflected off the gray walls. As they moved away from the entrance, the passages became narrower, the roof lower. Maud could almost feel the dirt and stone pressing in on her. The light of the day didn’t penetrate here and she could feel the cold and damp seeping through the heavy overalls. She tried to take deep breaths, but that just seemed to fill her lungs with dust and she found herself coughing.
The man ahead of her turned back. “Are you okay?”
She forced herself to nod and he smiled briefly at her.
“Always bad your first time down. Turn your collar up and take shallow breaths.”
She did as he suggested and although it helped a little with the dust, she felt the cold settling into her bones. She tried to concentrate on the broad back of the man in front of her.
Lord, she couldn’t imagine doing this every day!
She focused on the monotony, the stepping forward, the lamps set at intervals down the passageway, the stamping of their footsteps and the constant grayness around them. She didn’t even notice the man in front of her had stopped until she nearly ran into the back of him. He turned to her and gestured to a slumped form on the ground. Maud carefully stepped round him, gesturing for the man with the lamp to come forward, as she crouched down beside the fallen miner. The warm glow of the lamp glinted on his blood-stained form and the white shine of bone poking through his shin. She gently touched his shoulder and he turned pain-filled eyes her way.
“Am I dead?” he whispered.
She tried to smile reassuringly. “No, pet. The angels are a great deal prettier than me.”