Nathalie Kelley

orcas island

It hard for me to write about the fateful and serendipitous events that comprised my journey to Orcas Island without diminishing some of the magic of this story.

How to possibly describe the deep knowing in my soul when I met a twinkly blue-eyed wood sculptor while dancing in the Nevada desert? How to deny the work of fate when he said he was from a little island just hours from my new home in Vancouver?

And so the situation unfolded. On my first ferry ride to Orcas a late summer storm deepened the colors of the already breathtaking sunset. I went out onto the deck to fully experience this daily miracle, eyes barely processing the beauty, when I noticed another young woman also braving the rain to enjoy the view. “Mila!” I cried out! My sweet soul sister whom I had met at the Spirit Weavers Gatherings. Only a couple of days before I had paid my deposit to attend a drum making and singing workshop on the little island she called home… of course it was Orcas!

Magic and fate were aligning. I was being called to this island in the San Juan archipelago. A week later all my dearest soul sisters would arrive and would set up camp for the Heartbeat Retreat: a journey into the heart of the mother through song and drumming. My loves Mila, Baelyn, Mea, Renata, Shiva, Melissa, Talia and many more would soon sing under those stars with me. Just minutes away from the wood carving shed where a new love was blossoming and bearing fruit…

Aleph’s woodcarving shed and home on the island were further proof that I had stumbled onto some serious magic. His work took my breath away. Observing his mastery of his craft, and all the the patience and love he infused into every piece he carved left a profound mark on me. Up until that moment the last couple of months had been a blur of movement and travel and madness… but it wasn’t until I spent time in his world, observing his stillness, feeling the sweetness of slowed down island time, that I realized how much my soul had been craving this next phase in life. For the first time in a long time I just wanted to stay put.

The next couple of months unfolded in perfect balance and beauty. After shooting all week in Vancouver I would drive down and catch the ferry to my little island paradise. My love would be waiting for me with tequila and a new playlist for us to groove to in the carving shed. Carving, dancing, slowing down, doing easy. Effortless. Which is how I’m told it should be…

The deal was sealed for me the night we came across a sweet fawn that had just been hit by a car. She was no longer breathing but still warm and Aleph expressed a desire to go back for her body. “Yes!” I said “We should totally do a ceremony to honor the body!” “To honor the body we are going to eat it Nat!” was his reply. Gutting a deer was not what I had imagined we would be doing that night, but I didn’t want to look like a wimp so I summoned all my Aussie courage and assisted him in stringing up the fawn and cutting out the entrails. Even though our Orcas date night had taken a turn for the bizarre, I felt oddly comfortable with the whole process, and extremely impressed at the love and reverence with which my new love cut open this sweet animal. When he got to the heart he cut off a slice and offered it to me to eat. This was apparently a First Nation tradition. “You said you wanted to honor the animal!” Again, I called on my inner badass and I ate the deer heart without flinching. And to my surprise it tasted lovely. It was sweet, and warm, tender and slightly gamey – just as you would imagine a little fawn would taste. But more than the taste, the feeling of ingesting the powerful medicine of deer moved me to my core. All night we would feel that loving gentle beast working its medicine inside the both of us. It was beyond any psychedelic plant medicine… We were tripping on deer, high on love and tenderness.

The following pictures were taken over the last few months during some of the most cherished moments of my life. During my last weekend on Orcas my other favorite people, Jasper and Julia, came to visit from Vancouver and I got to share the island’s beauty with them. Seeing their love deepen while here only confirmed my belief in the power of this place.

Sweet, sweet medicine. The deer, the island, my love. I am saying goodbye to the Pacific North West until next year. But until the day I return I am carrying the sweet magic of Orcas in my heart.

























  • cadencia

    beautiful images…

    • Nat Kelley

      Thank you so much for your support. x

      • Chris Watters

        Nat, you are an amazing woman in so many ways. I love how you have this
        natural ability to get your message across without compromising you or
        yourself. I am a back to basics person living in the wrong genre. I only
        recently discovered you…the real you not the movie star. I just
        wanted to tell you how refreshing it was to read all the wonderful
        things you have accomplished and how much you give back. Truly amazing
        woman with a beautiful heart & spirit.

  • vidyacleanse

    Pure magic. There’s some serious heart medicine in those lands.

    • Nathalie Kelley

      Thank you darling!

    • Nat Kelley

      Thank you sweet sister! x

  • Dellal

    Wow Nathalie… Such a sweet sweet tale; so poignant and touching, it went straight to my heart!
    In relaying this story, you have become the deer and opened your own heart and offered your experience.
    In reading the story, we have tasted the sweetness and are reminded that Love does not die like the corporeal elements, it transmutes!
    Love flourishes as it weaves it’s way into being, imbuing it’s essence into existence, for we are Love. I often like to think of us humans as walking orgasms, conjured up by two people sharing one heartbeat. I wish you all that your heart desires, sweet sister, as you gently navigate this blessed Earth, being blessed in return.

    P.s. I totally get DE!! I call it Autopilot because I totally surrender my body and completely relinquish control to Spirit, which does things with way more grace and beauty!

    • Nat Kelley

      Wow, this blows me away. Thank you for your profound insights – you totally get it! I am beyond touched… Hope our paths cross on this earth my sister. xxx

  • Tamiris Lima

    *.* Beautidul pictures and amazing history…It touched my heart, it’s incredible to see that when we”re “open” to the world and the oportunities magic things happen! I really love this!! you inspire me so much! AND these songs! OH MY GOD… they are magical… i spend the morning listening to this, it really made me feel great and happy…and i was so inspired by you that i draw you based in one of your pics that i found on google….i posted it on instagram for you to’s one of my favorite pics of you…i hope you like it!!! ;) kisses, blessings and lots of energy from Brazil!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nat Kelley

      Obrigada irma!!!! Beijos y abracos. xxxxxx

  • MikeyT

    Your site is just fantastic! You live a very rich life and I enjoy reading about your experiences

    • Nat Kelley

      Well thank you very much!! xxx

  • niykeenova

    Truly inspiring Nat. I watched an interview you did and you said that your reasoning for posing nude in your photos is a sort of radical movement and how your body is a representation of your journey through life. You also said how you didn’t want to wear clothes made by child labor. That really stuck with me and I have now since then been really conscience and practice that too. I too also feel that “energy” when I would wear material made by child labor. Thank you so much for sharing. I think you would be such a great role model for young women out there. I only hope more people are able to see your photos and read your words. <3

    • Nat Kelley

      So happy that you found inspiration in the things i shared. And thank you for following my journey on here. Your sweet comments mean a lot to me. x

  • Breann Lathrop

    This is pure magic! Every word! Every photo!

  • Julia Turski

    Omg wow!! Can you please tell me, which filters you used on this pictures? Is it a app? Xoxo