Seeking a way back to the earth through the old ways.
The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education founded by Sage L. Maurer in 2001 has offered a variety of courses and workshops in sacred plant medicine in New England and internationally, guiding people into deep connection with the plants. In 2014 Marysia Miernowska began offering Sage’s first year Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeship in Southern California and other advanced apprentices have continued to join us as teachers. Beginning in 2020 Alessandra De Oliveira and Constanza Leal-Woods will join us, offering courses in New England, Canada, and Columbia. Please visit our alumni page to see what all our former students are currently offering!
Blessings & Welcome
Welcome to a community that has been growing for two decades of sacred plant medicine circles!
The Gaia School of Healing was born from a deep devotion to Gaia, a commitment to healing our communities, and love for the sacred nature of plants. After many years of gathering people in sacred circle and communion with the plant spirits, I have been blessed to witness many powerful healing journeys. As we return home to our intimate connection and love for the earth, and the roots that nourish us, an incredible healing journey begins...
The story of The Gaia School began in my childhood, as it does with many of us who fell in love with the earth at an early age. The roots of my love for plants grew from a family of gardeners, nature lovers, environmentalists, and a long lineage of farmers. Growing up in the city in the 80’s, my family spent a lot of time seeking wilderness adventures, forest walks, and time playing in the garden. Nana, a master gardener, used to walk us through the woods sharing the latin names of the ferns, delighting in lady’s slippers and other native plants. My mother became a fierce advocate for the protection of New England native plants, and my father a devoted lover of trees. They gave me small plots of earth in the city to plant, which became sanctuaries for joy, plant connection, and ceremony. My strongest memories of childhood were spending time in intimate connection with nature.
I began partnering with plants spirits at 14 years old, inspired by ancestral pagan traditions of the Celts. Rituals in nature, meditating with spirits of the garden, and the earth-honoring Celtic holy days became the basis of my spirituality and witchcraft. I focused on learning directly from the spirits of plants as wise conscious beings through meditation, ritual, and journeying. For the next handful of years I dedicated myself to partnering with the spirits of the earth as my teachers. On Imbolc night when I was 15 years old, I devoted myself to live in service to Gaia, without understanding where this vow would carry me. That year I received the spiritual name Sage from a beloved old salvia officialis plant I tended, which 25 years later still thrives in my father’s garden in Cambridge.
Through years of sacred partnership, the plant spirits became my greatest support and source of healing. They nurtured me through the struggles of life, tended my heart through loss, and the pain of growing up queer. They were my wise elders, safe space, and my greatest confidants. After going to college for pottery in the late 90’s, the plant allies finally made their way into my tea bowls, and for the first time I considered consuming them as medicine. From there I spent the next 10 years studying the sacred and medicinal uses of plants, through herbals schools, universities, wise herbalists, and of course the plants themselves.
The Gaia School was born from my desire to bring people into greater intimacy with the spirits of the earth. To support others in receiving the medicine they need, listening to the inner realms of the body and soul. My devotion has been to the healers and teachers in all forms who have supported and guided me since childhood, following their wisdom and instructions along the way. My prayer is to honor the gifts they have given me my whole life, and help to keep alive the medicine and traditions all our ancestors have carried through time.
My love goes out to the students who have become my family over many years, you are my inspiration and my hope. Thank you for shining your incredible love and tenderness into the world. May we serve the earth well, and help others remember the medicine they carry.
The medicine plants are waiting for you with nourishment and love, offering the drink of true enlightenment. They will lend you courage and show you the gate, but you have to choose to pass through it. Blessed be your journeys beloveds.
In peace and love,
At The Gaia School we honor the earth as our teacher. Gaia, our earth mother, nourishes and guides us through the healing plants. Through developing a deeper connection to the earth we heal ourselves - mind, body, and soul. Gaia is our guide, her spirit supporting us through the trees, plants, animals, and ecosystems we depend on. All her many voices guide us back to wholeness. We learn from the plants as our most wise elders and grandparents. They bring us wisdom, peace, and ease to our anxious minds. Our green elders teach us how to heal our bodies, to listen to spirit and to ourselves. They help us to to open our dreaming minds and see.
We work with the spirits of Gaia to find our way back to union with ourselves and with all of life. Gaia teaches us the rhythm of change, transformation, and the cycles of life. She helps us remember the spiral dance of life, death, and rebirth that we see in all living things. She teaches us when to be active and when to rest, how to heal through illness, and to nurture ourselves back to health. Gaia teaches us what living medicines we can use to support our mind, body, and spirit as we move through life.
Gaia reminds us of our history as a people, the ancient practices that helped us to flourish on this earth for hundreds of thousands of years - before we began to destroy her earth body. When we lose our connection to the earth mother and take in over abundance we see serious illnesses of mind, body, and spirit result. Through a lost connection to the earth, our nurturer, life giver, and healer, our souls have become sick. It is only through healing our mother who gives us life, that we can heal and create wholeness for ourselves.
At The Gaia School we are seeking to find our home again, our root. A way of living in deep harmony and connection to the earth. We seek a way of healing ourselves and the damage we have caused to the living beings we share this earth with. We are seeking to find the old ways of living peacefully, which support a diversity of life on this earth, necessary for our own survival. We understand that it is only through all beings on earth continuing to live and thrive in health that we will ourselves thrive.
Through learning sustainable ways of living our lives on earth, we return to a life of mindfulness and loving kindness to all other living beings. By understanding how to grow our own food and medicine, to live simply and naturally following the natural cycles of the earth, we come back into a state of harmony with all of life. We end our participation in the killing of our mother, learning to give back to her and take our true place as stewards of the earth. We remember how to use our intelligence and compassionate hearts to care for the living beings we share her land with.
"Sustainability can be described as each of us doing our part to build the kind of world-economically, environmentally and socially-that we want to live in, and one that we want our children and grandchildren to inherit. It means becoming aware of all interconnections-visible and invisible-in which our day-to-day choices affect the intricate balance of social, economic and ecological systems."
- Sustainable Leadership Institute
It is in the spirit of sustainability that we teach about living in harmony with all of life on earth, working to heal ourselves, our families, communities, and Gaia. We practice mindfulness when we harvest our medicinal plants, re-planting endangered and over harvested medicinal plants that have been taken for profit, and teaching respect towards all living beings. We ask permission and listen to the guidelines our elders and ancestors have given us.
We awaken to the impact we have on Gaia and other living beings. We join with others who wish to live simply and sustainably, teaching each other about affordable, local plant medicines and food available to all, supporting sustainable agriculture and business practices. We seek to re-learn and re-educate ourselves in the old ways of living, producing and re-using our own recourses. In the spirit of union rather than competition we learn to serve each other, living not just for ourselves and our own gain, but for the well being and health of all Beloved living beings. It is in this spirit that we seek to grow and learn together at The Gaia School, joining together in sacred community for our collective wellbeing.
Blessed be. Sage L. Maurer