Sage L. Maurer
Founder & Director - Main Branch Vermont
In 2001, Sage founded The Gaia School of Healing in New England and has trained over a thousand apprentices in the past 18 years. Sage lives and teaches mostly from her home in Vermont, nestled in 10 acres of land covered in nettles, mugwort, violets, and white pine. Sage also teaches retreats and workshops internationally, infusing pagan traditions of earth medicine and magic into herbalism. For the past 25 years Sage has practiced sacred plant medicine, a blend of traditional folk herbalism and plant spirit medicine.
Sage's journey with plant spirits began in childhood, reconnecting to ancient traditions of plant use in Europe, woven together with earth worship and ceremony. Learning primarily from the plants directly, Sage has explored both the sacred and medicinal uses of plants around the world. She was formally trained and certified in traditional herbal medicine at The Blazing Star Herbal School with Tony Lemos and The Boston School of Herbal Energetics with Mary Pat Palmer and Kwah Wa'Adabi. In late 2004 Sage moved to Oahu, Hawaii to study anthropology, ethnobotany, and tropical plant medicine. At the University of Hawaii she trained for two years with native Hawaiian herbalists, igniting her passion for tropical plant medicine. Sage then went on to study medicinal plants of Central America and the Amazon, traveling in the last 15 years to learn directly from plants of the tropics. Though plants continue to call Sage away from home, the local plants of New England remain her greatest teachers and guides.
Sage holds a master’s degree in environmental education, with a focus on New England plant ecology and ecosystems. She is committed to social and environmental justice, permaculture practices, and teaching sustainability. Sage believes deeply in protecting this sacred earth, and fighting colonization by Western culture and ideologies.
Trained in The Wise Woman Tradition of herbal healing passed on from our grandmothers, she seeks to help reawaken our ancient memory of healing with plants, and renew our connection to the earth. Sage is devoted to changing the way natural and alternative health care is provided through increasing access to plant medicine and holistic therapies. She is committed to supporting healing spaces for LGBTQ people and marginalized communities. Sage supports individuals to rediscover their own lineages of healing and plant medicine, honoring the earth-centered traditions of all our elders. When Sage is not teaching or facilitating journeys with plants, you'll find her covered in dirt, clay, water, paint, or piles of books.
California Courses ~ Main Teacher
In 2014 Marysia Miernowska began offering The Gaia School's Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeships in California. Marysia Miernowska is an herbalist, gardener, plant spirit medicine practitioner and cofounder of Flora Sagrada, a line of Sacred Plant Botanicals.
Trained in the Wise Woman Tradition of Healing, Marysia was first introduced to the medicinal properties of native plants by her great grandmother in Poland when she was a child. Drawing on the folk herbalism of her roots and her connection to universal ancestral wisdom, Marysia has traveled extensively studying earth based spirituality and ancient healing practices from different cultures around the world. She has lived with the Zapotec in a mountain village of Oaxaca, tended to tropical medicinals in the jungle of Costa Rica, wild harvested medicinal weeds and mushrooms in the forests and mountains of Vermont, Europe, and California, and designed medicinal and edible biodynamic gardens in Malibu.
Marysia apprenticed with Sage Maurer and the Gaia School of Healing and has been practicing sacred plant medicine ever since. She has studied various form of energy medicine and has learned from many elders, shamans and teachers. Some of her most valuable teachers have been the plants themselves, and Marysia's calling is to support her students and community in deepening their connection to the plant spirits, ancestors, the Earth, and the wise healers within themselves. Marysia is a trained teacher and a flower essence practitioner, with a certification from Star Essences, in Santa Barbara.
Marysia teaches workshops in Los Angeles and has been holding sacred moon ceremonies for many years. She also cofounded The Wise Woman Series at the Giving Garden in Santa Monica and has collaborated with Cross Pollinate in Los Angeles.
Marysia lives in Santa Monica, CA with her magical daughter Flora, grows biodynamic medicinal herbs in Malibu, formulates herbal medicine and creates herbal botanicals, as well as body and cleaning products. She shares her passion for wellness of the earth and her people with her clients, in workshops, ceremonies, in the gardens she tends, as a contributor to Simply Raw, and as the Wellness Expert on the TV show At Home With Didiayer.
Alessandra De Oliveira
Canada Courses ~ Main Teacher
Alessandra has always had a deep thirst and drive for connecting to a higher source for healing and wellness. She began her journey as a Holistic Wellness Practitioner and her experience here transformed her world. Alessandra became highly aware of the importance of plant medicine and how therapeutic their medicine is to the body. She became so fascinated with the plants that she was working with, that applying her knowledge of plants and providing natural wellness treatments became standard in all of the services that she offered. In 2010 her exploration led her to complete 500HR YTT and Ayurvedic Healing treatments.
Native to Brazil, Alessandra was introduced to spiritual practices and plant medicine at a very young age. Her exposure to plants as a child stemmed from Native Indigenous and African roots, merging the two to bring in physical and spiritual healing.
Since studying at Gaia, Alessandra has deepened her connection to plants and works with many varieties daily for support and self care. She runs weekly circles and shares the healing potential that plants carry in her wellness business in Toronto, Canada. She has held space for as many as 150 people in her healing circle and continues to bring forward the importance of respecting the healing medicine of plants and the sacredness of their spirits. Alessandra also runs monthly workshops around plant medicine, integrating and pulling from her knowledge of traditional healing treatments and the wise woman philosophies.