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THE GAIA SCHOOL GRADUATES

Some of our incredible apprentices from the past 16 years...



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"I journey into the world of Sage, a world swirling with green spirits witnessing me, sharing the mystery, communing in deep wisdom of how to be, how to know. The choice to enter this verdant path came as not a choice, but an immediate action. One of those beautiful moments of clarity where all parts of self are integrated for a resounding yes. To walk the healing path for self? yes! To learn to still and silence ego and open up to the messages from the plants? yes! To participate in an egalitarian community of both teachers and learners, experiencing all roles? yes! To become more witchy, making magic with food, with medicine, with ritual? yes! To dedicate self in the spirit of generosity, sharing what I learn? yes! To connect more deeply with spirit, the ancestors, our natural world, the energetic force uniting us all? yes!

I committed deeply in my heart the moment I found this program, and in that commitment I've never faltered. Sage has wrapped me up in the warmest blanket interwoven with mullein leaves, blue vervain flowers and marshmallow root - a soothing, meditative concoction that has gently guided me into the green realm. This sage-infused blanket has served as unconditional support, the openest of hearts, a curious and inquisitive mind, lessons of humility, sharing of power, and the strongest community spirit I've ever witnessed. Sage has introduced me to the mystery of the green world, one that I could never close the door on, one to which I am forever in service. Sage is tapping into our truest nature, our highest selves, and supporting our transformation into healers, of self, our community, the planet. We are a tribe of green witches, here to mend, support, guide, love, and weave together a world worthy of living in."

- Chris Siegriest, Apprenticeship '14 & Adv. Apprenticeship '15

"My heart is full of love after my Summer experience with Sage!
The Gaia school was such a transformational experience for me. I learned how to connect with the plants and create lasting relationships. I am so grateful for the time and care taking in honoring the earth and ceremony with the plant spirits. Sage holds years of knowledge and expertise and at the same time is very humble and kind. Learning with her is easy and fun. From everything to harvesting to medicine making. In my opinion this the most well rounded herbal apprenticeship you could possibly be a part of. Herbal medicine will always be a part of my life. Thanks Sage!!!"
- David Kuhn, Shamanic Sound Healer, Apprenticeship '14


"Sage's plant medicine apprenticeships have been instrumental in shaping who I am today. Each day is held sacred, each plant revered as a living being, and learning becomes a personal endeavor in connecting with the divine, the practical and the world in which they overlay. Sage invites her students to experience the plants first-hand; many teachers emerge, and new discoveries are made regardless of whether a person is already familiar with the plants. It feels as if one is entering a sacred grove."
- Sarah West, Apprenticeship '9 & Adv. Apprenticeship '11


"It has taken me several weeks to attempt to try to put into words the experience of my Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeship. I don't know where to begin or where to end, truthfully. I've fallen in love, and how does one faithfully capture that in words?

I was a keystroke away from signing up for a more clinical herbal studies course when I was compelled to do one more Google search which brought me to the Gaia School of Healing's home page. There you are, I thought. This. This is the one. Plants are revered and students practice communion with Earth. There was a wildness to it that pulled at something deep inside me. This is the one. And yet, I hemmed and hawed at the commitment, and the cost, and whether I really belonged. I read the testimonials and re-read them. And then procrastinated some more. Finally, the thought of not taking the class was more heartbreaking than my doubts were persuasive, and I took a leap of faith. There are moments in life one can identify as crossroads, often in hindsight. This was the crossroads at which I chose to become who I had long wanted to be, and most importantly, who I truly am. This was the crossroads where I turned toward the home that had been calling to me for decades.
My spiritual home, my soul's home.

I found Sage's Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeship through a desire to deepen my knowledge and experience with plant medicine, primarily in support of my family's health and a fledgling herbal products business. I laugh now at the mysterious workings of the universe, because I was truly looking for connection - with myself, the Earth, other herbalists/seekers and my soul's purpose - and while I could not quite verbalize that, I believe my spirit knew what I needed and guided me there. This is so much more than a plant medicine class. Or more accurately, plant medicine is so much more than healing physical health with plants. It is vast, powerful, and benevolent. Its study reconnects us to our animal and spiritual selves, and helps us make sense of and appreciate our time and purpose on Earth. It makes us feel beautiful by leading us into the realm of spirit, where beauty is not judged by our physical attributes or our accomplishments.

Plant medicine has taught me to release my preconceived notions of what I can and cannot do. Despite my frequent declarations that I was not intuitive, the plants showed up and gently lead me along with them. Despite my doubts that I belonged in this circle of very gifted and beautiful souls, Sage opened the doors, beckoned me in and guided me over the threshold. Despite my fear of revealing too much of myself, my classmates taught me through example the astounding growth and healing that can occur from vulnerability and openness. My fears and doubts have been resoundingly dispelled. My connection with Earth has been deepened immeasurably. My spiritual path has been clarified. My resolve to trust and follow my heart's desire has been strengthened. I have learned how to listen, and access the deep well of knowledge available to me via connection with the plants. I have deepened my expertise and comfort level for treating my family's ailments. All of this brings me great joy. I am infinitely grateful to Sage for making this journey available to me, and encourage anyone who hears the plants calling to heed those voices. They have been waiting patiently for us, and welcome us with open arms."

- Jane Cookman Metzger, Apprenticeship '13 & Adv. Apprenticeship '14

"I am infinitely grateful for the time I have shared in Sage's sacred circle at the Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education. I've spent my whole life searching for where my love and curiosity of plants, animals and nature belonged in this world. Then the universe brought me to cross paths with a very wise young woman who began to heal me with her wisdom, knowledge and love. She awoke the ancient wisdom deep inside of me and I heard my heart speak out to me. This was where I belonged. I heard the plants speak out to me saying they had always been there awaiting my awakening. Sage gently guided me to a place of healing through plant spirit medicine and the medicine the earth offers us every day. I am now able to listen to plants and share with others this gift of awakening to the amazing healing powers of nature." - Nina Renshaw Powers, Apprenticeship '13 & Adv. Apprenticeship '14


"We have both a right hand and a left hand. But how often do they come together. In circle we learn simple tools to bring them together to create a beautiful place. We bring together ourselves so that we shine. Our light then heals us, our families, and the earth. Instead of just studying plants we learn from all of nature, even from ourselves. When we walk with someone on their path and are open, we receive wisdom from all that is around us. The time for coming together is here. We can relearn the language of the plants. It is not lost but right in front of us. We learn to take new steps through new doorways. What I got the most from circle was not finding the door nor the key but the courage to turn the key. Through this door I found Sage sitting on the edge of a cliff. Under a full moon with the sky full of stars... all she is doing is taking down in her hands one star at a time. She then brushes off the dust, kisses the star, and then with her breath sends it back to where it came. As the little star begins to shine ever so bright she takes down yet another to repeat this wondrous act of love. She asks nothing of them but to be all that they can be. Would I recommend you share this experience of knowing Sage and being a part of this family? I don't think I need to answer that. Just search your heart."
- James Melish, Apprenticeship '12 & Adv. Apprenticeship '13


"This class wasn't just about learning the different medicinal characteristics of pretty plants. It was a very profound self healing journey for all of us in the circle! While Sage is very knowledgeable in all the technical scientific knowledge, there is a good balance with the integral spiritual elements that are really missing in modern times in working with plants. I realized during the final weekend of amazing ceremonies and such a revolutionary emotionally humanitarian graduation, what a beautiful community had been formed there that is like nothing else! The ability to work with the plants and tap into the true heart of the universe and each other was such a profound event to be a part of! Like a microcosm for the beauty we can envision in the world... So healing and moving... This class is a step not only into the magical world of plant healing, but a step into a new way of existing on Mother Earth!"
- Tiff Dumont, Apprenticeship '12 & Adv. Apprenticeship '13



"Over the course of many years I toyed with the idea of studying herbalism. The first time I saw Sage's website I just knew that it was the right fit for me but the decision to do it, though super exciting, was still fraught with self-doubt. Although, I felt the creeping pangs of doubt, whether or not to trust my intuition, I decided to be bold and say yes to the voice within. I am so grateful that I did. This apprenticeship has meant so much to me and has shifted my life in so many ways. This course has been instrumental in helping me to visualize my own path. It has been a very beautiful piece in what I know will be a very long and exciting adventure. This class has taught me so much. Above all, it has taught me the importance of trust. Trust in myself. Trust in the silence. Trust in surrender. Trust in the plants. Trust in community. Trust in sacred communication. Trust in my own power and divinity. Trust in the interconnection of all living things. I think in life it is easy to be afraid. It is easy to forget these things. This class has helped me to remember that which I have always known but was fearful to acknowledge. Sage has the wonderful ability to create and hold a safe and loving space that has allowed me to reclaim parts of myself I had forgotten that I had lost. She kindly shared of herself and her deep relationship with the plants. This has been such a moving experience for me that writing about it just cannot express all that it has meant to me. The words are fingers pointing at the moon. If you are considering taking this class and you hear the faint whispering within urging you to do it...do yourself a favor and LISTEN. I am so very grateful that I did."
- Amanda Raznick, Apprenticeship '11 & Adv. Apprenticeship '12


"Sage's course speaks to the knowledge of dirt, in her work she gets dirty beyond what the world of academia would ever consider appropriate. It is the most practical, hands on experience one could ever hope for in the world of herbalism, and you will make allies with beings that you might have decided were not important years ago. It's all anyone could ever hope for in an herb class, the return to your roots as both a spiritual being and a physical being. She teaches you how to access ways of knowing and seeing that we have forgotten years ago with our reductionist paradigm of matter, not spirit. She ties these two together and knows what really matters is spirit. This is not a course to be wearing a helmet in but a course to raise your chest and take in all the miraculous beauties of your own love as this is what the plants feed on. The more you feed them with your love the more they will speak to you their mysteries. Sage exemplifies this trait and has many lovers in the plant kingdom which she introduces you to with the utmost sacred respect and caring. Your personal process in this is an unfolding of privilege. Privilege to be able to hold something so dear and close to you and ask to taste its mana for the feeding of others. She is proving the light-worker's way in her explicit creating of a new miraculous world in front of you, one in which the very nature of the way you see reality shifts into a living breathing world full of intrigue and mystery. I can't wait to continue onto level two as I feel her teachings are crucial to my growth and becoming. Thank you Sage, for the Lioness you are, and for roaring mightily the ways of the earth, of the fairies and devas, and of the nature of one with an untempered heart waiting to explode into pure joy upon contact with beloved. Blessings to all who enroll themselves into the mystery that calls them!"
- John Kmetz, Apprenticeship '11 & Adv. Apprenticeship '12



"Since I was a kid, the plants have been calling me. I always had this sense that they are wonderful living beings, always ready to offer us nourishment, protection, energy, joy... But then I went to medical school, and I was taught that herbalism was primitive, dangerous, unsafe, and it took many years until I started feeling that call again... Luckily I found people sharing the same interests, and now, after struggling with my scientific mind, I've been working with herbalism in Brazil for a couple of years. When the opportunity to come to the USA became real, I thought I could improve my knowledge about medicinal plants by taking some classes of herbalism. However, instead of going deeper into chemical compounds, molecules, pharmacodynamics and all that stuff, I was dragged deep inside myself... Sage led us into a journey within our own soul, helping us to know what's inside, and how the plants could help us to deal with the issues we all have. She taught us how to build our sacred space, to feel protected, grounded, connected to the spirit world. And by connecting with the spirits, we could learn directly from them how to use the plants to help us in the first place. After all, I realized that I could only help other people to heal after I healed myself, that my own experiences could be used to understand other people's issues and help them. Now I understand that herbalism is much more than chemicals. It's about connection, energy, emotion, prayers, intention, gratitude, self-knowledge, spirit, love... Thank you, Sage, for showing me that. I'm sending an endless stream of love to you all, folks! Miss you!"
- Fabio Carmona, Apprenticeship '11


"Sage is a wisdom keeper of earth knowledge and plant medicine. She shares her herbal gifts, her bright spirit, her deep insights so open heartedly with her students, and in a way that is empowering for each individual. My year with Sage was a great gift and helped to encourage a fire that was already in me but had needed some new kindling, and a place to grow. I am truly grateful for her class, her teachings and all the experiences she provided so that I could come into a deeper relationship with the plant world. In the apprenticeship circle I felt like I had finally found kindred spirits who shared a similar sense of wonder - and spirituality - around the herbs. The community that we created was nourishing for us all, and allowed us to be in a safe space in which transformation could occur. What we learned of the herbs, medicine making, and journeying was only the beginning - we learned how to listen, too: to our bodies, to our hearts, to the beings all around us. I look forward to studying with Sage again in the future!"

- Stephanie Zabel, Apprenticeship '11



"It's been nearly 3 years since I graduated from Sage's herbal healing course.
What arises for me as I catalog the experiences I had with her and The Gaia School of Healing is something like a home song. My heart beats a little faster; I begin to breathe deeply, slowly and mindfully; I smell jasmine and copal; I sense all the sisters sitting near.... and I'm just smiling, plain and simple.

Learning about the wise woman way of healing, of suddenly seeing the whole world through this lens, has opened me up to myself in a way that is inexplicable. It's vulnerable and powerful at the same time. And Sage herself is akin to a midwife --taking no glory, insisting that you've done it all on your own... What woman wouldn't want some wise woman to guide her to that place in herself that is just waiting for your own arrival... just show up and be present. This is an old lesson -- one that many metaphors can be made of. In this case, look to the wisdom of the plants... You cannot help but feel at peace when this perspective seeps into you as you sip some calming chamomile or lovely lavender. All the better if Sage herself has made this tea for you, infusing it with love and friendship and intuition and joy. And then you pay it forward, just like any wise woman (because that's what you are now, make no mistake), and you make a cup of tea for the sister that sits before you feeling broken or angry or just needing someone to listen. And by this, you remind her of the old knowing. It is a dance of giving and receiving and it is an honor to be a part of it.

Oh, you'll learn the properties of plants and what sorts of healing they are traditionally used for. You'll make tinctures, glycerites, infusions, and salves and face-masks and lotions. You'll discover that healing can happen in many forms. You'll smile till your cheeks hurt, and laugh and cry and all along you'll feel this endless support. And then it's nearing the end, you've identified so many plants you can't possibly say them all from memory, you've hugged more trees than a good 'ole green Vermont activist, heck, you've held a conversation with some of them! And here, you'll re-learn about endings -- again, as we all do. The wheel, the spiral... You'll mourn a bit, leaving this cozy nesting place that Sage has co-created with you and all the amazing people in your group. And then she'll usher all of you ceremoniously (she is a very talented ritualist!) out of the nest, swirling with incense, insisting that even though you think you didn't know how to fly, she could see that you had wings all along. "

- Marybeth Sweeny, Apprenticeship '08

"This is not a class...it is a transformative journey into self, into the ancient mysteries, into the world of the plant spirits and the wisdom of the healers who have come before us. On the journey there are tears and there is laughter. It is profoundly changing. The bonds of love and sisterhood formed in this sacred group are so intense and so strong. I went into class looking for knowledge about using herbs as medicine and came out with a relationship with the plants, a better knowledge of myself, and an opening of myself to let love and healing in. We learned that to be true healers we must take care of ourselves and each other and we must ask and listen to the plants. They are true spirits! We learned to invite them in and to befriend them. It is impossible to express how incredible this journey has been. On our final day, the love in that space.... I laughed, smiled and sobbed more than I have ever in my life. I carry on this journey in my every day life and I carry my sisters with me as well. Sage is an old soul, blessed with ancient wisdom. It is a divine privilege to be guided by her. Blessed be!"
- Liz (Raven) Haynes, Apprenticeship '11

"My personal experience with the first year apprentice course in this school was truly a life changing and amazing experience. It is a great introduction to the energetics and actions of basic herbalism, their ritual and medicinal use combined with a "hands on approach to experiencing" the herbs first hand in a Shamanic setting. This Shamanic approach incorporates healing within one self bringing about personal transformation throughout the course of the apprenticeship as well as giving one a solid foundation in herbal medicine and healing. Sage is truly a gifted, knowledgeable and amazing teacher full of love and compassion, one of the very best I have known and if you are interested in herbal medicine and Shamanic practices where herbalism lies at it's roots."

- Dan Lawson, Apprenticeship '12 & Adv. Apprenticeship '13

"When asked how this apprenticeship has influenced my life, I can only smile, or dance, or laugh. Words escape me. How can I explain what it feels like to be part of a new community... a community of plants and spirits? A realm where magic is mundane, and the mundane is magic. The plants are in everything I do, I feel them in all of my cells, in my spirit, in my being. They speak to me, sing with me, hold me.

Sage is an incredible teacher. As a gatekeeper, she swings the gate open for her students and holds a space where we can dance. Each students journey is her own. The plants are the teachers, and the circle of students is a web of support and love. Being in sacred circle, having this space to learn, celebrate, cry and dream has been one of the greatest gifts. This journey is a return to the sacred. It allows each student to dance in her own sacred garden. For me, the apprentiship has felt like a wonderful love affair with the plant world.
It has been divinely delicious!!"


- Marysia Miernowska, Apprenticeship '09 and Adv. Apprenticeship '10


"The Green Witch Apprenticeship was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was an incredible journey into the plant world, the spirit world, sisterhood, and love. When I first discovered that plants have consciousness and a language I could learn, I cried... Getting to know plants as friends and conscious beings was one of the most important and profound learning experiences I've had. It was fascinating to drink various herbal teas and tinctures and find that some herbs made me giggle like mad, others made me break down in tears, or feel like I was rocking on a boat, or like I was about to float up into the sky. There were herbs that made my tongue numb, herbs that warmed me, cradled me, sung to me. Some herbs made visions float through my head, others made my head feel so heavy I almost fell over, and some filled me with such love I just wanted to HUG them!

One of the unexpected joys of taking the course was bonding with the amazing, wise, magical women in the class. It felt wonderful to be a part of such a warm, supportive circle of friends, sharing our spiritual journeys together. We have remained friends long after the course officially ended. Sage is a gifted, natural teacher, who puts her whole heart and soul into what she does. She is generous and wise and loving, and is adept at facilitating the group bond, while simultaneously nurturing each person's individual journey. What made the classes so fulfilling to me was that they were everything at once - spiritual, scientific, silly, serious, academic, playful, hard work, and involving all 5 senses, and senses I didn't know I had. I loved how one minute we'd be watching a video lecture on the immune system or studying flashcards to learn terms such as "rubefacient" and "galactagogue," and the next minute we'd be covered in herbal mudmasks and giggling up a storm. I learned so much from the course, but mostly what the course brought to my life was Love - love for the plants, the earth, Spirit, my sisters, myself, life. It's a beautiful thing."

- Britta (Chicky) Skye Woman, Apprenticeship '04

"My experiences with the apprenticeship are still singing in the chambers of my heart. The thread that runs through all of us was weaved together to create this tapestry of beauty and mystery. The spirits strong and ready, to drink them,breathe them,to call on them. A sisterhood bond of love and support. All of us changing and growing. This course was more than just a study of the plants and application of them. For me it was a primal call out from the depths, to carry on the ancient ways,to create a new, and heal our mother. The more we work on ourselves, the more change we will see reflected in this world.."

- Tanya Reilly, Apprenticeship '10


"My two years of apprenticeship with Sage have been a journey of the heart like none other I have taken. It has blown the windows and doors off my previous perception and opened me to a wider, wilder world. All her teaching happens in sacred space, which she is masterful at creating. Whether lecturing on the body systems or journeying with plant spirits, the classes are rooted the each students individual experience. She is an intimate in the plant world and generously opens the gates to all who share her classes. Being an apprentice of Sage is a mind altering, heart opening and life affirming experience.

The class is so organic in the effect it has had on me that the only way I can describe it is to say I am like a field that has been plowed and seeded, knowledge and experience with the plants is growing and the harvest will be the rest of my life in the making."


- Mary Reedy, Apprenticeship '09 and Adv. Apprenticeship '10



"It is a great gift to be supported in finding and claiming the place where you belong. It is a gift beyond measure to be invited home to yourself even as you are given tools for nourishing and sustaining your heart's deepest wisdom and passion. Thank you, Sage. Thank you, my fellow herbalistas. We watered the seeds of hope and faith in one another and watched them grow into something none of us could have fully imagined.

For me, our course has been the perfect balance of celebrating my relationship with the earth and herbs; reading incredible books; learning from Sage's sincere devotion to her subject, her well organized handouts, experiential class plans and online resources; being encouraged to explore and take responsibility for my own learning; participating in ritual and play; coming home to the rhythms of the natural world; cherishing the opportunity to give and receive support from a tight knit community; resting deeply; expressing fully all that arises; and laughing almost daily from the sheer delight of really being alive.

I was slightly skeptical at the start, how someone could teach everything that Sage describes on her website, but I felt sure I would learn something worthwhile. I am amazed to say that I learned all of this and so much more than words can communicate. What strikes me the most, though, is the love and joy that contains and carries all of this learning."


- Nancy Turnquist, Apprenticeships '09 and Adv. Apprenticeship '10

"A year of Gaia circles can be compared to a lifetime. There is a sense of coming home as one begins a new life, again able to walk the face of Mother Earth. Then, one gets to know the current cultural ways. There are ups and downs and all-arounds, leading eventually to a feeling and experience of complete unity. As one inevitably approaches death, a definite understanding dawns: there is no end to the indwelling Spirit that pervades this body and the entire cosmos. Our Mother holds all manifestation in complete love, continuously giving it comfort and healing. That love is felt easily when walking the old ways, born of natural purity. So it is with the circle that Sage has created. It revives the spiral journey forevermore, issuing beauty and acceptance into eternity. It beckons us inward. Come home."

- Daniel Morrisey, Apprenticeship '09


"If you're considering taking on the herbal apprenticeship program say yes now.
Say yes if you're wanting a circle of liked minded folks to think and play and move with...
Say yes if you're needing extra tlc and good medicine now.
Say yes if you're in the least bit alienated from our Mother - the source of all.
Say yes if if you know very little about herbs, and you learn experiencially.
Say yes if you know alot about herbs and you learn scientifically.
Say yes if you are drawn to a teacher who is passionate about her observations and offerings.
Say yes if you you're wanting to be in a dream state, a trance state of becoming one with the natural world.
Say yes if you're old or young, male or female, menopausal or just plain grumpy.
Say yes if what you truly want to achieve is a greater sense of connection to all that lives....
Say yes."

- Annie Hoffman, Apprenticeship '09


"Before taking the '08/'09 Herbal Apprenticeship at Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education I had always had a connection with nature. I was avidly looking for the perfect herbal school to learn ways of integrating herbology with my existing massage therapy practice. I came across this Herbal Apprenticeship and was immediately drawn to Gaia and Sage as my teacher. Her introduction to the plant kingdom opened me up to a whole new way of relating to the natural world. Through her training and guidance I have connected with some of my most powerful Allies, and the relationships I've developed with the plants have become a huge support and comfort in my life. I've also learned how to integrate the knowledge of herbs into my massage therapy practice, further addressing client's issues with another modality of support. I have the utmost respect for Sage as a person, a teacher, a "Sage" and a friend, her wisdom encompasses every aspect of the plant kingdom... starting with the spirit and personality of the plant, to the doctrines of the plant, to how this plant can be used for healing in many different ways.

I recommend this course to anyone even remotely interested in nature to the most advanced naturalist. Expect to grow in profound ways during this course. Sage has an absolute passion and unconditional love for the plant kingdom and shows up with an undeniable devotion to her craft and relationship with Gaia. This world is changing for the better since her school came into existance."

- Alaina Rastelli, Apprenticeship '09

"Accepting gradually the invitation to experience the plants, I found myself connecting to the experience of myself in new ways. The supportive, kind-hearted class environment allowed honest sharing of these experiences. This opened the door to further exploration of the plants in between class weekends, slowly building a reliable, intuitive, first-hand knowledge base. Sage's guidance in this process and expertise in plant medicine made for an engaging life experience that is serving me well to this day."

- Jonathan Turnquist, Apprenticeship '10



"This has been a truly magical, transformational journey! I am excited for what lies ahead... the secrets yet to be revealed from the plant kingdom & spirit world, as I step deeper into knowing (myself & the world) on this spiral path medicine walk. I've learned so much... I think the most empowering thing was tapping into the magic inherent in everything, and knowing that its possible to live in the space of blissed out magic all the time! Opening my heart, and opening my eyes to the incredible abundance of healing resources all around us. I1ve felt the power of connecting with a group of incredible women, and the wisdom that we collectively hold... this power is truly transformational, and I am so awed and blessed to have had the experience of holding that space with everyone. Thank you Sage, for the magic that you bring, the wisdom that you hold, and the light that you shine."

- Julie Dokas (24 Karot Cocoa Goddess), Apprenticeship '07 and '08


"On the journey of my herbal apprenticeship, the most important first step was learning to name things-- the feelings and powers within myself, and in the universe of plants, animals, spirits, and people. This course gave me the tools and the language to perceive and express these ubiquitous assets, experiencing a magical, timeless, interconnected world of beauty, power and energy. Along the way, I discovered that plants are incredibly generous and experienced guides and friends. By the apprenticeship's end, the ideas of health and spirituality no longer seem vague or impenetrable mysteries. Instead they are amazing gifts that I can help recognize, accept and share. I emerged from the nine months more truly alive."
- Katherin Innis (Artemesia Queen), Apprenticeship '03


"Reconnecting to the wise women traditions reconnects me to Nature, and I am able to see my own life in its cycles and phases. When we aspire to this wise woman tradition of healing, we become stewards of lands and places, rather than "owners". We work WITH the earth, rather than "on" her. We hold power within ourselves, and we encourage others to claim their own power, rather than holding power over others...

With a world view is holographic, and weblike, not linear and hierarchical, we are charged to think of the whole, and not simply humans, in all of our actions. We know that you cannot pull on one strand of the web, without having other parts tremble and reverberate...

This is my spiritual base. The Spiral Dance. Going around and around. Greeting each other, again, and again. Missing, sometimes. Meeting, and being met, other times/lifetimes. It is a loving, FORGIVING way of seeing life, the Universe, and Everything."


- Opeyemi Parham (Egyptian Blue Lotus Priestess), Apprenticeship '08


"Sage is truly a magical inspiration. I am consistently moved by her genuine and profound love of the plants, their spirits and Mother Earth. She is so intimately in tune with spirit, and her mystical presence radiates this thoughtful connection and innate understanding of the unseen. She communicates to her students the power and grace that both plant spirit and earth medicine has to offer. Sage's teachings are hands on, solid, wildly entertaining and are sincerely blessed.

The apprentices arrive as strangers, and Sage had created this sacred space for us to gather and get to know one another. Soon we are no longer strangers, but fierce allies, who share, laugh, cry and tenderly heal one another. The power of our circle is heartwarming, and it is safe. I feel such deep gratitude for finding this group of women, and with the magic of the herbs, help me to re-connect with my own soul.

Originally, I wanted to become an apprentice simply because I love herbs and natural healing, and wanted to expand upon what I already knew. I now know I will be a devotee to this path of healing, and it is my hugest hope to continue learning with Sage in the advance apprenticeship this fall. The preceding months of the apprenticeship have developed into a powerful personal journey for me as I have re-discovered an ancient piece of my souls self that somehow was misplaced. I am beyond relieved to say that this reconnection is joyous and playful and crucial to discovering inner peace. This experience has nourished and filled me with such love and gratitude it brings me to tears."

- Cindy Wailer (Mandrake's Dame), Apprenticeship '09 and Adv. Apprenticeship '10


"The folk traditions hold wisdom that can keep us connected to the natural world and to our own innate humanity. Without reverence and intimate relationship with the healing spirits that surround us, we are succumbing to modern day ailments at alarming rates, many of which are due to our own creation... These ancient practices offer us an unbroken lineage that connects us to the web of life, a history of the world that heals, unlike the history that we've been taught which speaks of conquest, and lives broken and destroyed by hatred and disease. The traditions of the healing spirits of plants have healed people for thousands of years...

Plants impart wisdom that has survived throughout the history of the planet and can, therefore, teach us who we are as a species interrelated with all other living things. They are the greatest teachers in existence. A relationship of learning between human and plant spirits is alive and brings us closer to an understanding of our own existance."


- Isabel Williams (Dreaming Woman), Apprenticeship '08



"Sage's classes are absolutely unique among herbal medicine schools. She is the only teacher I know who is able to integrate plant spirituality into her entire curriculum in a very practical and grounded way. Plant spirituality is not a footnote, nor is it an esoteric concept. Her course taught me that a spiritual approach is essential to truly understand the medicinal applications so easily found in books.

Sage's classes brought my worlds together. She taught me things I long felt but never realized were already present. She taught me how all my knowledge was related to what I felt spiritually. She allowed me to bring my scientific background into my spiritual present. She taught me how to talk to the plants. I wouldn't have believed it except I could FEEL something when I talked to the plants, like an internal body massage of energy. She taught me it was real.

Sage introduced me to plants as allies and taught me how to connect with their spirits and guidance. She showed me how to be a more powerful scientist. She brought the plants back into my life.

A biologist by training, I had never reconciled my scientific training with my current spirituality until I took Sage's course. Introducing me to the plants as whole, communicative beings, she bridged my seemingly disparate worlds. Looking back it seems very simple, but what I learned was life changing. It allowed me to return to a career in the sciences, and eventually led to my work with indigenous people in the Amazon. Her classes came at a pivotal time in my life and allowed me to grow in ways I never would have dreamed possible.


- Erica (Amazon Wise Woman) Van Etten, Apprenticeship '04



"I cannot say enough good words about this class!! This wasn't so much a class for me as it was a journey, a process, a reformation of my being, an entrance into a world in which I always knew existed. But until the class began I had never been blessed with such incredibly wise, ancient and loving guidance. This class taught me how to reach into my soul and connect with the plant spirits and the true source of Love. It taught me how to listen to my own inner wisdom in order to nourish myself and those around me. It taught me wholeness of Mind, Body, & Spirit!"

-Carissa Dwelly, Hawaii Apprenticeship '06


"The Green Witch apprenticeship opened my eyes and heart to the depth and beauty of our plant brothers and sisters and rekindled within me a true sense of wonder and awe so often absent in these modern times. I rediscovered Mother Earth (Gaia) as the living breathing nurturing Goddess she truly is and experienced her wisdom and magic emerge in my own life as I progressed through our nine months together. Sage is a beautiful soul, a true wise woman and a wonderful teacher, healer and plant spirit guide. I will always be grateful for the gifts she has shared with me."

-
Andrea Nandaskar, Apprenticeship '06



"The major principles of the Wise Woman Tradition are that there are no right answers, no cures, no good and bad and no perfection. It is a healing tradition that is always changing and evolving with the hearts of the women and men that engage in it. It is a healing tradition focused on balance, wholeness and transformation. In the Wise Woman Tradition we are helping people remember their center and source and return to themselves and unity with nature. We are guides helping seekers connect with the natural world around us. The plants and the animals help us do that and we help people looking to heal remember their connection, find their voice and move towards transformation.

These ancient practices offer us a connection to the collective memory of our people, a memory that relates to us our unity and divinity... Spending time in nature with the energies of the earth helps us create healing and wholeness because we literally came from the dirt, and are children of nature. We are not separate from this universe... in that regard being in nature is like going home. Spending time in nature helps us remember who we are and nourishes our souls... "


-Robyn Hosey, (Growing Green Food Goddess) Apprenticeship '08


"Sage's Herbal Apprenticeship gave me the chance to bond with others ~ people who were strangers became close friends. In the same way, I became close to plants, knowing which plants I could call upon in what circumstance. I looked forward to going to each class; a time to connect with myself, plants, and friends; a time to share, express, learn and have fun. Sometimes, I was not even present to the knowledge that was coming in. Now, a year later I find myself knowing which herbs to use and identifying plants on the sides of streets as medicinal, not weeds! Sage is a very respectful, loving, wise teacher. Her own understanding and connection to plants was present in each moment she taught. All moments of this journey were beautiful and inspiring."

- Supria (Psychic Goddess) Shanti, Apprenticeship '04


"Sage's apprenticeship is an immersive experience with herbs and magic, rather like learning a new language that you feel you knew in a past life. In Sage's classes you don't just learn from books about what herbs do. In the wise woman tradition, you'll form deep personal relationships with green allies that will support you and never fail to surprise you. Sage's vision of witchcraft goes directly to the powers within nature and within yourself. It is radically simple wisdom, deep and transformative."


-Anna (Runic Priestess) Seney, Apprenticeship '01



Hawaii Apprenticeship '06

"Apprenticing with Sage was one of the best things I committed to in a long time. It stretched me personally, taught me about walls and boundaries I had up that I didn't even know about. It was an amazing experience, the presence of all the women in the class and watching their journeys. The best part by far was experiencing physically, mentally, and spiritually all the wonderful plants around us. I left our graduation/initiation wiser and knowing I had a lot more to learn. It was a seed planted and water and now two years later a sprout is forming and I am working with specific plants. Not to mention knowing the plants helped me get through pregnancy much easier, and helped my son tremendously in his first few months. Thanks Sage"

- Marta'elena (Earth Mama) Ochoa, Apprenticeship '04


"I've studied at 'top ranked' universities (Brown, Georgetown) and I have to say that Sage's apprenticeship is hands down the best learning experience I've had. The course is interesting, informative, hands-on and really fun, joyful exploration. Whether you're primarily interested in the nuts and bolts of medicinal herbalism or the more spiritual aspects of earth magic and healing, the knowledge and wisdom that Sage shares will transform your understanding of the plant world and our relationship to it."

- Anneka (Tea Lounge Mama) Kindler, Apprenticeship '02, Apprenticeship '03, and Adv. Apprenticeship '08



      "Sage's Herbal Apprenticeship was by far one of the most life altering experiences I have had the pleasure of moving through. The 9 month journey of developing and deepening my awareness and relationship to myself and the earth was so profoundly transformative that it was nothing short of a 9 month gestation period birthing myself into a richer deeper spiritual being emerging anew with a reverance for all relationships. The wisdom, guidance, and support Sage brings to each experience is that of earth-centered spiritual midwifery. The course was all at once messy, magical, scientific and organic. Sage's unique approach at teaching encompasses a mosaic of experiential learning and practical integration of knowledge and awareness into every experience in a very sacred and process affirming way. Each class is uniquely tailored to honor each students way of learning while taking us far beyond the edge of what we know.

      The 9 month long course will certainly take you through an immensely intense journey of self discovery and reverence for the spiritual and medicinal plant world, the earth, and how the integration of the two is essential for us to deepen our connection and understanding of the delicate balance that we strive to obtain... that is the healing force and light. This course will help you discover your most unique gifts and your ability to help heal the rift between spirit and earth allies by helping you to recognize your divine connection, ability, and innate birthright to commune with nature in order to help heal the seperation that has occured between all that is. Blessed be."


-Heather (Grateful one, Cancer womoon) Ayers, Apprenticeship '04 and Apprenticeship '06






"Sage's class is truly life altering. It gave me the insight to see that my life belonged on a different path and the courage to pursue that direction. Sage is a patient and kind teacher and puts lessons - even the more difficult ones - into an easy framework so that everyone can grasp them. I left each class feeling more centered and blessed than I had when I started. And now that I have made so many green allies, I have the support I need to make my life, and the world I live in, better every day."

- Kelsey Miller, Apprenticeship '03


"This class was nothing I expected and everything I'd ever dreamed of all at once. Each woman in the class opened my heart to a different part of the Earth's wisdom living within me. When I acknowledged that wisdom as my own, the world became a different place. Nothing will ever be the way it was before this class. Sage is an amazing wise woman & guide, but I found out the hard way that you must claim this journey as your own. No one else can do it for you. Prepare for a loving, wonder-filled relationship with the spirit of Gaia as you fall in love with yourself & the universe around you..."

- Krista (Aphrodite, Bleeding Woman) Delaplane, Apprenticeship '01




"Although I had been working with magic and herbs for many years, The Gaia School's apprenticeship opened my eyes to the green world in ways I never imagined possible. Suddenly I was no longer using plants -- I was meeting them, befriending them, and sharing them with everyone in my life. Journeying with Sage is a warm homecoming into the magic of the earth, the power of plants, and the mysteries of the Goddess that unite us all."


-Lauren (Snake Charmer, Goddess Worshiper) Hall, Apprenticeship '01



"I had always thought that Herbalism and its variants were things for Aging and Neo Hippies (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just neither) wearing tie-dye and dripping with pointy crystals. But still, I wanted to learn more about working with herbs and seeing what they could teach me. Sage's teachings respect the unique individuals in her group, while giving us a very definite, ancient, tangible experience with the Plants. And really, what's more punk rock than being able to find your own remedies for free or really cheap without having to ask someone else? Or realizing that you can find your own answers to the bigger questions by just stepping outside? It's an amazing tradition; thank you for helping all of us remember, Sage!"

- Shawna (Dandelion's Dame, Powered by Hekate) Lee, Apprenticeship '04


"Be forewarned: no matter what you want to get out of the herbal apprenticeship, you will get more than you expect. It is a transforming experience. I came into the apprenticeship wanting to learn about herbs and plants, not expecting a total change in the daily patterns of my life. The herbs are sneaky, Sage introduces you to them, and they find ways to hide in the corners of your life and work their way in. Going through the apprenticeship has allowed me to integrate the changes and new ideas slowly, so gradually I didn't even know I was changing until I looked around my house at the end of it and realized that my bookshelves and cabinets were filled with dried herbs, my first thought at any friend's complaint of unhappiness or ill health was a list of herbs running through my mind, I was making teas and cordials as holiday presents, my chemical cleaners were gone, my food was all organic, my paper products all recycled and that I was so much happier with my new green allies.

        The apprenticeship is a powerful journey into herbs, green allies, healing, responsibility, spiritual awakening, respect, and, most importantly, into yourself. Sage is an excellent guardian and guide along the way, and part of the power of the journey for me was the deep bonds I formed with the women so very different from myself who shared the experience with me and enriched it with their multiple perspectives. Ultimately, however, your path is your own; the apprenticeship is just a formal beginning of a relationship with the green world that will continue the rest of your lifetime."


-Michael (Butterfly Woman, Shrine Digger) Haynie, Apprenticeship '01



"It's about relationships.... to me that's what the apprenticeship with Sage was about. I deepened my relationship with 'The Green', with myself, and with the other women in the class. I walked into the first class naively thinking that everyone was going to have their heads in the clouds and only be able to talk about herbs and nothing else. I walked out having a spiritual/herbal connection with a group of smart, centered, helpful, loving Wise Women, including the Wise Woman Gaia Earth. As we explored the magical meaning and medicine of plants, we went through changes that mirrored the energy of the plants. My mind and heart got soaked in the dark, moist roots of Burdock, I matured due to the stings of Nettles, and I blossomed with Jasmine flowers. In this apprenticeship, I learned an abundance of practical knowledge about herbs, and I learned how to meet the world face to face, petal to petal.

As a nurse, I am now more able to utilize the medicine of herbs in my practice. As a Buddhist, I opened to a sacred green world. As an intuitive healer, I carry the plants with me in order to heal others. The class was bittersweet, like the taste of a honeyed blue vervain tea, because by the time it was over, I had learned things I wish I had known from birth. All the plants, the dark ones, the wild ones, the tame ones, the stinging ones, the blossoming ones, are waiting for us to touch them. Each person in the class did that in a special way. We touched the plants and were touched by them. This kind of relationship with the green world, a mysterious, wild, earthy, passionate, blissful, bittersweet relationship is there for anyone brave enough and tender enough to enter. Sage's classes are a way to enter."

-Melissa O.(Kali Tigress, Image Weaver) Silva, Apprenticeship '01





Copal smoke billowing from our camp site.
Offering the ocean jasmine, lavender, and our skin, lit up by firelight.
Speaking with the city weeds, learning their medicine.
Papaya hand rubs, Seaweed goddess bodies, Jasmine hair soaks.
Casting spells on the top of a mountain.
Tasting Nettles, Red Clover, and Oatstraw infusions for the first time.
Collecting sap for drying from evergreens in the Arboretum, our hands and feet covered.
Circle of women and jars of herbs, in a field with only the moon to light up each other's eyes.
Journeying into the medicine wheel in the middle of the city.
Smoking Elder, Motherwort, and Lemon Balm in Melissa's tent.
Keeping the cauldron lit in the rain.
Eating our magical cooking creations, finding the stones in our food.
Rocking with Blue Vervain, giggling with Kava, dreaming with Mugwort.
Dancing in the Nettles fields.
Cleanses with Burdock, Banishing with Wormwood, Finding peace with Oatstraw.
Sage's stones weaving their way through each woman's life, getting lost and found.
Hibiscus and Jasmine glycerites dripping from our mouths.
Beautiful women covered in raspberry, honey, and amaranth.
Spirit journeying with our plant allies.
Wolves, Ravens, Ground hogs, Hawks, Snakes, and Jaguars, following us around.
Covering each other in flowers and leaves as our essences steep.
Sharing pain and tears, birthing each other, journeying deeper into self
Touching each other's hearts and soft green centers.
Crying at the site of our beauty
Power, magic, and love, spilling forth
from each other's smiles, laughter, and red hands.