The Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeship is both a course and a spiritual journey in Western Folk Herbalism and Shamanic Plant Spirit Medicine. Focus is placed on healing from the heart, supporting continual wholeness, transformation, and nourishment of the self. Classes include lecture, tasting plant infusions and extracts, guided meditations and reflection, earth and body awareness, journaling, talking circle, plant walks, medicine making, and Earth based spirituality.

The 10 month apprenticeship begins by rooting us in the Wise Woman Tradition of Healing & Plant Spirit Medicine and continues as a journey guiding students through the seven chakras and the systems of the body associated with each chakra. Each month, students are introduced to new plant healers and work with the medicinal infusions at home, deepening their studies with readings and home practice and diving into the portal each chakra opens one month at a time.  (See the course syllabus)

In addition to gaining the spiritual tools for self awareness, students will learn to identify and work with plant allies to prepare medicinal teas, tinctures, essences, infusions, oils, incense, and salves. Additional hands on medicine making opportunities and Gaia community time are made available outside of class through our Mentor Program.

At the end of the 10 month program, each student will be brought into the inter-connected web of world healers through ritual and celebration, and will be certified by The Gaia School of Healing in sacred plant medicine, holistic healing & traditional herbalism. Each student creates a unique final project as a culminating creation inspired by our journey.

We welcome you to join us in this journey back to the Earth, your Self, and Spirit.

Registration for the annual Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeship opens in late spring each year. Courses fill up very fast. To join our wait list email us at thegaiaschoolca@gmail.com and we will notify you, giving our wait list an opportunity to pre register a week before registration is announced as open. 

The California apprenticeships are taught by Marysia Miernowska, and held on private land in Malibu, CA, as well as field sites around the area from September until June each year. Each course meets two days a month, 22 six hour classes in total. 

We offer three first year groups:

  • Group 1: Sat, Sun

  • Group 2: Tues, Wed

  • Group 3: Wed, Thur

Classes meet for 2 full days every month from 9:30 am - 4:00pm, along with a camping weekend adventure. 

Apprenticeship classes focus on:

  • Folk & Traditional Herbal Healing

  • Growing & Wildcrafting Healing Plants

  • Healing Plants of North America & Tropical Plant Medicine

  • Plant Spirit Medicine

  • Spiritual Ecology & Earth-centered Spirituality

  • Wild Foods & Plant Identification

  • Herbal Actions, Tastes, & Safety Levels

  • Systems of the Body & Herbal Energetics

  • Medicine Making - (tinctures, infusions, salves, etc.)

  • Ethnobotany

  • Shamanic Herbalism

  • Guided Meditation & Journeying

  • Magical Herbalism & Folklore

  • Communication with plant and nature devas

  • Plant Medicine Walks & Harvesting

  • Chakra Healing with Plants

  • Ritual, Drumming, & Prayer

Certification for the 140 hour course in Sacred Plant Medicine will be given upon completion of the apprenticeship. Please take a look at our apprenticeship syllabus for a closer look at what this course offers.

The cost for the 10 month 2018 Apprenticeship is $2,100 - $2,700 (sliding scale) for 22 six hour classes. Payment plans are available.

  • A $100 discount is given to those who pay in full.

  • A $250 deposit (non-refundable) is required to register for the apprenticeship and is subtracted from the total tuition.

  • Full payment is due by the first apprenticeship class meeting unless a payment plan has been arranged in advance.

  • We offer a reduced tuition for low income students as well as partial scholarships.

This Apprenticeship is open to anyone interested, regardless of their gender, orientation, ethnicity, belief system, past experience, or knowledge of plants. Though the course does often stress the energy of the Mother present in the earth, both the yin and yang energies present in all things are honored. Women tend to be the majority in our apprenticeships but people of all genders and orientations are greatly appreciated in our circle.

Before the start of the course you will receive a welcome packet via email with your course syllabus, booklist, course information, and beginning readings. Solitary study, practice, and assignments for the course are highly encouraged. Some home practices, including a final take home exam is required for certification.

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“One of our greatest fears is to eat the wildness of the world.

Our mothers intuitively understood something essential: the green is poisonous to civilization. If we eat the wild, it begins to work inside us, altering us, changing us.

Soon, if we eat too much, we will no longer fit the suit that has been made for us. Our hair will begin to grow long and ragged. Our gait and how we hold our body will change. A wild light begins to gleam in our eyes. Our words start to sound strange, nonlinear, emotional. Unpractical. Poetic.

Once we have tasted this wildness, we begin to hunger for a food long denied us, and the more we eat of it the more we will awaken. It is no wonder that we are taught to close off our senses to Nature. Through these channels, the green paws of Nature enter into us, climb over us, search within us, find all our hiding places, burst us open, and blind the intellectual eye with hanging tendrils of green.

The terror is an illusion, of course. For most of our million years on this planet human beings have daily eaten the wild. It's just that the linear mind knows what will happen if you eat it now."


-Steven Buhner