Herbalism & Plant Spirit Medicine for Birth Care Professionals
We invite you to join us in The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education’s new course, Herbalism and Plant Spirit Medicine for Birth Care Professionals. Taught by Nicole Sessions, this course is open to any birth support person: doula, midwife, placenta encapsulator, lactation professional, obstetrician, friend --anyone who has committed to supporting birthing people. This six month journey is a course in herbalism and sacred plant medicine. It is a circle for those who recognize the importance of supporting and empowering pregnant people and exploring and honoring ancient ways of healing.
Registration is now open!
Classes will meet on the following dates from 9:30 - 4:30:
Thursday & Friday September 26-27
Monday & Tuesday October 21-22
Monday & Tuesday November 18 & 19
Monday & Tuesday January 6 & 7
Monday & Tuesday February 3 & 4
We will begin our journey by rooting our practice in the Wise Woman tradition, while understanding the different traditions of healing that influence modern and alternative birth culture today. Students will be introduced to The Gaia School of Healing’s practice of meditating with the healing herbs, learning how to directly receive information and healing from the plant spirits and making herbal medicine in class and at home. Rooting ourselves in the fertile folk traditions of nourishment and fertility, students will work with the healing herbs in their own personal journey of healing their root and sacral chakras, and follow a home practice of daily herbal infusions.
Along this journey of sacred plant medicine we will use lecture, self-reflection, plant meditation, ritual, guided meditation, hands on medicine making, and talking circle as our tools to dive deeper into our roles as folk healers. We will examine what is currently being offered by modern, Western obstetrics and why other more holistic modalities are needed. We will explore our role in creating new power structures. We will work with food as medicine, acknowledge and heal birth trauma, learn to honor the cycles of birth, death and regeneration. We will prioritize self-care for the birth support person, exploring tools for enhancing our own nourishment and longevity and learning how to prevent burn out and depletion.
Each student will complete the course by presenting the medicine they have made during the final weekend presentations, and creating a unique tool-kit for supporting the child-bearing year.
The course consists of five modules, which span the phases of fertility, pregnancy, labor, postpartum and also honor the cycles of pregnancy that do not end in live birth: miscarriage and abortion. Class is held in safe and sacred space, where students connect to the spirit of plants, learn how their magic weaves into the childbearing year, and gain new tools that are both personally healing and will deeply enhance their practice. Home practice outside of class and a private online class group enhance our learning community of support. We accept students who are ready to dive into this magickal, healing, transformative and empowering journey and are committed to their home practice.
Home practice will consist of:
assigned readings & journal prompts
drinking herbs at home
vaginal steam practice and analysis
creating herbal blends for each phase of the childbearing year
medicine making for the final project
other optional and suggested home practices.
We are delighted to offer this course and share the medicine and magick of the healing plants that we hope you will carry into the lives of others and the world of birthing. The plants have always been part of the midwives, doulas, friend’s healing basket of tools and it is our intention to restore their presence in the transformative times of birth, when they are so needed.
We are grateful that you are feeling the call in your heart to join us on this journey, hearing the call of the healing herbs which reminds us that birthing people have the right to birth with support from human and plant allies, in wholeness, confidence, strength, dignity and respect.
Nicole is an herbalist, birth worker, writer and mother. Her path to wellness and healing began 20 years ago when she started practicing Ashtanga yoga. Certified to teach Hatha yoga in 2007, Nicole became a birth doula and HypnoBirthing practitioner after the birth of her first child. This journey into the great cycles of life led her to the lap of the great mother, where she completed the apprenticeship of the California branch of the Gaia School of Healing. Nicole’s passion is the reproductive system, and, as a vaginal steam practitioner and creator of the YoniThrone, she enjoys seeing the miracles that steaming can create for fertility and women’s healing. Reproductive rights, racial justice and female empowerment are issues that are near to her heart. She is grateful to facilitate the activism branch of the Gaia School of Healing.