Faerie Goddess Mothers of Gabriola
Faerie Goddess Quotes
I come from a long line of impossibly well-bred women and it would never have occurred to any of them, to lounge about on an island naked let alone allow oneself to be photographed while doing it.
Even though I possess a strong feminist orientation, I still have to challenge my own internalized notion of what constitutes corporeal acceptability for women who – according to our culture – are past our best before dates.
Lucky for me, I live in a community that is home to a wonderful cohort of magnificently ageing women.
When I was first approached to be included in the calendar, my knee jerk reaction was to decline. Be naked in front of all these ladies? Isn’t that what happens in nightmares when you forget to dress? But I knew that if I didn’t do it, I would always be disappointed in myself. I want to think of myself as brave, not one to run from fears. So, dressed in my warm yellow housecoat, I joined the beautiful participants. And to my surprise, disrobing in the lush forest amongst my peers felt like the most natural thing in the world. Truly exhilarating. It made me wonder, does true liberation come from exposing what we keep hidden?
Aside from the fact that I liked the Charity aspect, I thought it would be a good giggle and my family would think it so out of character for me.
It was an enjoyable experience. I am someone who feels best working in the ‘background’ so it was a challenge for me.
The hardest part is having to write about it.
Such a joy and honour to be part of this project with these beautiful women.
I am not invisible; I am not slowly disappearing from life as I age, and I am not irrelevant. Nor are my sisters.
Wild old women
naked in the woods
revealing their soulful strength
Wisdom and beauty of their years
such power and love
magical energetic connection
with others and mother nature
A magical Wonder filled experience
filled with Joy and women’s strength
When Dorothy first came up with the idea of the Calendar I immediately thought it was a brilliant project to be part of.
We live in a world where a women’s body has and continues to be held capacitive, used, abused, shamed and measured.
We have been sold the idea that beauty has to do with height, size, colour, or age. For me the calendar is an opportunity for us older women to stand proud, baring our souls for all to see from the inside out and role modeling this power to younger women. To be seen for who we are as powerful, graceful, intelligent, resilient, compassionate, authentic women. Showing others that real beauty is the scars, trials and tribulations held in honour, unity and love; embracing ourselves as well as others for our own perfect beauty that radiates outward from the spirit within.
I am 53 and have spent my entire adult life following rules and doing what was expected of me. I am now retired, and I promised myself that I would live life by my rules and let it all hang out. If it feels good or right, I will claim that experience. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this Faerie Goddess Calendar! It has been a journey of reflection and self-discovery.
I am afraid I don’t have a profound reason for agreeing to be a part of the photo shoot. My friends Nancy and June were planning to take part and I was asked to join them.
The experience was pleasant. It was a beautiful winter day. We traipsed into Elder Cedar. When we arrived at the designated spot everything proceeded quickly and smoothly. It was a respectful process from start to finish.
Well, it was a hoot! and it went so darn smooth. WHY did I do this? Well, it is fun to live outside your comfort zone, life is too short and when given a gift of opportunity to do something different and exciting, take it.
Why did I choose to participate? I love the beauty of the full moon, I like the idea of being part of a personal Gabriola project…an interesting fundraiser.
I like swimming in the ocean in the moonlight within a group of naked women.
I found the project challenging because my tendency to anxiety is definitely bigger during the pandemic…AND I am glad that (despite my anxiety) I chose to participate anyhow.
Thanks for inviting me Dot!
From my earliest memory I have been critical of my body. Never good enough. So much easier to find fault than to appreciate.
What a privilege it was to join this tribe of remarkable Gabriola women ranging in age, size and shape to celebrate our glorious nakedness with joy and laughter.
I was drawn to decorate my cancer surgery scars to highlight and honor my personal experience, and to sing the praises for women throughout the ages who have borne the pain of violation and mutilation in so many different ways. It was strengthening and affirming to compare our splendid variety of scars and briefly share our stories with each other. Wisdom tattoos etched into our bodies through experience.
Just as we were approaching our beach location the weather goddess shooed away the rain and cloud allowing the brilliant sun to shine down upon us, bathing us in joyful warmth.
Tended to with graceful care by our inspirational Dorothy and our extraordinary photographer Deb, and several other thoughtful women supporting us we laughed, we played, we toasted each other. We had bubbles in the air and bubbles in our glasses, Dar serenading us with her accordion. What could have been more delightful!
I feel tremendous gratitude to have joined this wholly liberating happening.
I am participating because a lovely woman who is a valued member of our community asked me to. And I felt honoured to say yes! When we went into the woods, all these amazing women, we talked and laughed and seemed to spread our wings as we shed our clothes. It was a unifying and freeing time. Heck who doesn’t want to prance around in the woods in the buff with a bunch of old(ish) gals!
The photo shoots were playfully fun. It was a privilege to participate with Woman who felt comfortable in their own skin. I feel my body is A Miracle, a Wonder, having sustained me on life’s adventures for nearly 80years. I felt the photo shoot was a way to Honour my Body. Whatever our shape, size, skin colour we should be proud.
Thanks, Dorothy, for giving us this opportunity.
It sounded like fun and a bit of an adventure in a crazy locked down year – to come out into the woods with some other women to support various charities. And being out in the woods all together felt affirming and authentic and really healthy on many levels.
I felt honored to be invited to participate in this fun, adventurous and charitable project. We are celebrating the magic of nature and the beauty of all women, for the benefit our community. The earth is our mother, and we are all part of nature. I aspire to be a tree. Thank you, Dorothy for your creative, playful, and generous spirit that brought all the Faerie Goddess Mothers together.
I did this because it sounded like such a fun project. I mean come on who doesn’t want to be a faerie Goddess with wings and sparkles. It made me squeal with excitement. Then reality hit and it became an opportunity to push through fear. Fear created by self-judgement and lack of acceptance of my body. An oldie but a goodie.
Thank you, Dorothy, for opening a space for this next piece of my healing. May the ripples go far and wide affecting others’ healing journeys, and in so doing I have done what I came here to do. Heal myself and be a mirror for other people’s healing.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this project. I was honoured to participate and be included in this group of fabulous women. I wanted to celebrate my entering into the next phase of womanhood by doing something different and unique. I wanted to celebrate this body that has served me well over the past 54 years and hopefully for many, many more!
I was honoured to be asked.
I participated to support our wonderful community and to show that we are all still very young at heart, while appreciating our bodies and ourselves at this time.
Although I was nervous being with others – I am lucky to have done this before but on my own 10 years ago – I was pleasantly surprised to see that I knew most of the women and how natural and comfortable I felt.
The joy of living on Gabriola is so obvious when participating in things like this.
This experience has reminded me of the importance of community and acceptance that I have always treasured since moving here and that isolation over the past year has come too easily for me!
Thank you, Dorothy, and your assistants, for your vision and determination to make this happen and for allowing us this opportunity to be ourselves.
What an invigorating experience it is to gather together with a bunch of Goddess women in the context of being (just a little) adventurous and provocative and to know that we are all doing this just for fun and to highlight our various communities and focus on gathering together with shared vision and intention. Running naked in Nature doesn’t hurt anybody. And…it’s lots of fun! Thank you so much, Dorothy, for thinking this up, planning it and facilitating this opportunity for playing together!!!
Why I Bared it All…
I bared it all because I never ‘bare it all’ – as a woman I have been taught to hold it in, keep a brave face, take the higher road or any number of cliched sayings that give the message of restraint… to never, ever reveal the stress, the mess, the reality of me… posing for the calendar gave me just a tiny little bit of room to absolutely be me and let myself out… there was so much joy and laughter and releasing during the photoshoots that I came away with a rebuilt sense of ‘I’m going to be okay’…
When I was asked if I wanted to participate in the Faerie Goddess Calendar project, my reaction was a big smiley Yes. And I’m so glad I did say yes, it’s been so much fun. I’ve enjoyed the connection with the other goddesses, great laughter and childlike innocence. Celebrating beauty in each of us is so powerful and luminous. I turned 55 at the April photo shoot, a couple of us ended with a dip in the sea, an evening I’ll remember.
I’m thankful to be part of the project.
Why did I do this? Why not! Dorothy, when I received the phone call from you presenting the project I just had to say YES to your vision!
How did I feel? Loved the feeling of camaraderie with the other women, felt a ripple of nervousness and excitement in the cool air.
I felt the strength of us as women, all of us stepping up and out of our comfort zones. Proud and beautiful!
When Dorothy asked me to be a Fairy Goddess-Mother I almost asked her if she had the right person. I was so honoured to be considered and delighted at the prospect of celebrating my 50th birthday outside with a group of naked women: my rite of passage. I’m ready to welcome this next stage of my life, make some new friends, and maybe even let some things go…
Our lives as women are rich, lively and full of colour. As light shines through a prism, the ray is bent into a rainbow of colour. We are the light. The prism is our life. The rainbow is how we live.
The July photo shoot was a good experience for me as we took our places over and on the bridge above Velsen’s pond.
I didn’t know anyone there, but I was put at ease right away by the comfortable and welcoming presence of the other four faeries, Dorothy, the faerie support team, and the wonderful Deb at the camera.
We shed our hesitancy with our clothes and before we knew it, we were done!
Finishing with a little cold Prosecco and a song that we sang together about our connection with Mother earth made it a very special day.
Thank you Dorothy and everyone else for planning and pulling this off. I can’t wait to see the calendar. Much love my faeries!
Thank you, thank you! I have a wonderful experience participating in this shoot! Beautiful woman and gorgeous scenery! The sunlight streamed in perfectly and we all seemed to feel so comfortable and at home among the ferns. It was lovely liberating and fun!
For me, after some reflection, it was for a couple of different reasons, both political & personal that I participated…
1) My first impulse – without knowing many details about the calendar, was similar to my initial attraction to The Gabriola Raging Grannies in the 90’s. I was not a bona fide grandmother then (still not, just 30 years older) but the ‘spirit’ of the project was similar.
It was an opportunity to portray collectively the, sometimes grave, deeply important issues and concerns of people over 60ish who want to share their ‘learning’, as well as have some fun doing it! The Raging Grannies taught me you can do both at the same time.
2) I felt complete faith in the integrity of Deborah Dallyn and Dorothy for the project’s vision. And when I heard of Danielle Noel’s participation, my dear, beautiful, and immensely talented neighbour, well, that just sealed the deal. I know Deborah as a friend and Dorothy more from a distance from her writing and work/business in the community (better now) but my intuition had no doubt at all. Something in the ‘against the odds’ nature of it working out must have appealed to my quirky nature, nevertheless, I was 100% sure it was love based. It appealed to the hopeless romantic in this old bird. LOL
PS I still don’t know how it is going to work out but NOT WORRIED.
I so enjoyed the opportunity and was grateful to be able to ritualize and honour my connection with my mother—Earth.
The big bonus from this experience has been connecting with other like-minded nature fairies—my sisters. May this calendar spread our message of love, inclusiveness and our connection to Nature.
When Dorothy phoned me and asked if I would like to participate in this event, the first words out of my mouth were, “No, I don’t think so”. She asked me to give it some thought. I did think about it, and the more I did, the more I got excited about it. I had a strong feeling that I needed to do this—I had to do this.
It was so much fun, after the first bit of nerves, laughter and dancing. What woman doesn’t want to dance around a fire in the woods, at night, with a group of other woman who are stepping out also.
Thank you, Dorothy, I did one of those things I would never have thought I would.
I decided to join the Faerie Goddess Mothers project after hearing about one of the first photo shoots. My interest was piqued when I heard it was about celebrating mature women and their well-worn but spectacular bodies. There have been times in my aging process where I lacked appreciation for my sturdy, but voluptuous body and I wanted to change my thinking…what better way than taking off my clothes in a natural Gabriola setting for a calendar!!
Well, I wasn’t disappointed in the process! The photo shoot took place in a favorite park-like setting, it was exciting, adventurous and only minutes long. I was physically comfortable, and enjoyed the cool winter air on my skin as well as sharing the shoot with 3 other daring women… a delightful project that supports women and profits a Gabriola charity.
This project was very fun for me! I believe in Goddesses, faeries and nature. It’s a perfect representation and expression of my connection to the natural world of magic.
The experience of being around a group of women who emanated kindness, love, security, and presence was beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined.
I must admit, I was pretty nervous at the idea of taking my clothing off amidst a group of strangers quite daunting; but everyone else’s kind and gentle spirit eased the way.
When you asked me to participate in this project, I wondered why you asked me, but I’m grateful that I did it because the experience made me appreciate who I am at my age and it made me feel part of this community. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of the Faerie Goddess Calendar. I have always believed that we should celebrate ourselves at every age and body type. I had some trepidations before my first photo shoot, but as soon as we got there everyone made me feel comfortable. It was an exhilarating experience and certainly a moment for my ‘bucket list.’
Why did I do this? That is a great question. Firstly, because it is a fundraiser, but no one was more surprised than I was that I actually did it!
Like many women I have had body image issues all my life and have never liked my body, so I did it because it was so far out of my comfort zone that I felt that I had to do it for me, my daughters and all women who judge themselves too harshly.
In the end I had so much fun, even if it was the coldest day of the year! The energy of all the women lifted my spirits and I felt connected to everyone, which was especially important during a pandemic.