Today I’m chatting with Rhys Thorvald Hansen, a non-binary artist and storyteller living in the pacific north coast of the US on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people. Rhys and I met in July of 2018 at the wonderful Summer Gathering at the Hollyhock Institute on Cortes Island, and I knew I had to have them on the podcast.

We chatted about all sorts of things – fairytales, Korean naked lady spas, being a non-binary person, fatness and how fat bodies are policed, performing kinship through reciprocity, our mutual background in, and love of, anthropology, tattoos as a way of reclaiming one’s own body and space, creativity, fiber arts and an amazing tapestry project – which you’ll hear about at the end of the episode.

Working in digital and textile media, Rhys enjoys exploring in the mapping of places, visual data organization, queer sacred iconography, and the human relationship with water.

They seek creation in liminality, and have always aligned with stories concerning those in the margin. They enjoy paddleboaring, kayaking, cats and nonfiction autiobooks.

Rhys supports themselves by supporting agricultural, food and values-based enterprises in multimedia design, event planning, and marketing. Rhys uses they/them pronouns.

Enjoy our ramble through the Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon as well as Rhys’ relationship with their body and creativity.

Reciprocity & Appreciation

This is an ad-free self-produced podcast, and I’d love to hire people to do the editing and transcription, and eventually even be able to pay my guests.

If you appreciate the Wild Elixir podcast, please support the show at: or make a one-time donation with this paypal button:    

Also – there are some lovely perks to supporting the podcast on Patreon:

  • a monthly recording of a fairytale for you to listen to
  • access to my Honouring Your Anger ecourse
  • access to my Honouring Your Grief ecourse
  • At the $50 level, a monthly writing circle, in which we work with a fairytale and write and discuss (this is so rich and fun!)

It would mean so much to have you support the show:

Things we chatted about in this episode:

  • the Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon
  • playing with the trope of the princess who needs to be rescued
  • the comfort of a storyline, and inverting it
  • being non-binary – seeking people in stories who were challenging gender expectations
  • looking for stories to find positive futures for oneself
  • symbols of abundance and generosity – overcoming evil through abundance and sharing
  • if you act with excellence you will have nothing to apologize for
  • performing kinship in community through reciprocity
  • relationship with creativity
  • how creativity was hard to focus on when trying to pay the bills and working a lot
  • how, since starting to freelance a year ago, there is so much joy in having time and space to be creative
  • having a dedicated office and studio
  • getting obsessed with fiber arts, knitting, weaving, tapestries
  • how knitting and doing something with hands helps with attention and memory
  • trying to re-centre life in creative ways, feeling like creativity is a precious gift
  • a transgender interfaith storytelling project
  • a queer narrative tapestry project


  • relationship with body
  • having a tentative truce with body/meat suit/flesh bag
  • being AFAB – assigned female at birth
  • being a fat person, living in a fat gender-non-conforming body in this world
  • how partnership with their husband is a support and a gift
  • how fat bodies are policed, feeling the pressure to ‘make up for being fat’ by being excellently dressed and/or high femme
  • asking the question – how much do i need to dress to feel welcome in this space
  • on how much they love Korean naked lady spas
  • Japanese baths/ofuros, Russian saunas/banyas, Tibetan baths and ocean fear
  • concept of ubuntu
  • the old english word for cunt
  • getting tattoos as a way of reclaiming your own space