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Sacred Plant Medicine Courses in California

Apprenticeships begin in September.

Come journey with the sacred healing plants...

Join us for a 10 Month Apprenticeship in Herbal Healing, Shamanic Herbalism, Plant Spirit Medicine, Spiritual Ecology, Holistic Healing, and Journeying with Plant & Earth Spirits.

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The California apprenticeships are taught in Topanga, CA, running from September until June. Each course meets two days a month (22 six hour classes in total) including field trips. Classes will be held on private land in Topanga as well as field sites around the area. We are offering three first year groups ~ two will meet during the week and one group meets on weekends. (Group 1: Sat,Sun; Group 2: Wed, Thurs; Group 3: Tues, Wed) In case of a schedule conflict, you can visit another group.

Our Sacred Plant Medicine Apprenticeships focus on working with plants as medicine for the body and spirit, remembering and honoring the ancient traditions of plant medicine used by healers past and present. Our courses focus on sacred plant medicine, and folk traditions of herbal medicine that have been kept alive by families and rural communities around the world. We focus on local Northeastern American plants as well as some plants that have long traditions of use medicinally and spiritually in other parts of the world. Plant harvesting will focus on local natives and naturalized plants of Southern California. Plants of Europe, North America, Central and South America, Polynesia, Ayurveda, and Chinese herbal medicine are worked with throughout the course.

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.

      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

        Our Plant Medicine Apprenticeship is an intensive journey into green medicine and folk plant wisdom. The apprenticeship is intended to be a spiritual journey as well as a course in medicinal herbalism. Classes include lecture, plant walks, guided journeying, hands-on work with plants, medicine making, journeying with plant spirits, tasting plant infusions and extracts, meditations with nature, earth and body awareness, journal writing, and deep exploration with the spirits of the earth. Students learn to identify and use plants for medicine, form plant allies, and prepare medicinal teas, tinctures, essences, infusions, oils, incense, and salves with plants from around the world. Students will study the systems of the body and chakras, energetics and imbalances in the body as they relate to healing with plants.

         This apprenticeship is both a course in Western herbalism and in Shamanic plant spirit medicine. In each class spirit is blended with science, through meditation, lecture, plant walks, and hands-on learning. We seek to unite Western modes of learning with ancient traditions of learning directly from the earth and from spirit. Focus is placed on healing from the heart, supporting continual wholeness, transformation, and nourishment of the self.

         The course is intended to be a healing journey for each person and towards a deeper connection to the earth. The doorways that are opened and the wisdom gained during class will seep into each apprentices home and everyday life. The plants that each student forms relationships with changes their lives deeply, helping to guide and support them through life- body, mind, and spirit.

         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 from the school in herbal healing and plant spirit medicine. Educational and plant materials as well as tea or snacks will be provided to you in class. We welcome you to join us in a journey back to the earth, with Marysia and the plants! Please feel free to contact us with any questions and we'll arrange a time to speak or meet with you. Please feel free to contact us about California courses at

         The cost for the 10 month 2018 Apprenticeship is $2,100 - $2,700 (sliding scale) for 22 six hour classes. Payment plans are available. Class will meet for 2 full days every month (10:00 am - 4:30pm) , with a couple of additional field trip classes. 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.


REGISTRATION CLOSED. Courses begin September, 2018.

Beginning September 8th & 9th

Beginning September 12th & 13th (Wednesday & Thursday)

Beginning September 18th & 19th (Tuesday & Wednesday)

*** The weekend group (Group 1) is intended for students who must work during the week. If you do not have a traditional 9-5 job, feel free to choose between the Wednesday and Thursday group (Group 2) or the Tuesday and Wednesday group (Group 3).

Please do not send any deposits before this time.
Any deposits received before April 27 will be returned. Putting down a deposit does not guarantee a spot in the apprenticeship. You will be notified of acceptance by May 18th.

         To register, fill out the registration form and send it to the address provided. Each student should only miss 2-3 classes during the course, as it can disrupt the circle if people can not make classes regularly. The course will be limited to 18 people. Please feel free to contact Marysia with any questions at

                  This Apprenticeship is open to anyone interested, regardless of their gender, orientation, ethnicity, belief system, past experience, or knowledge of plants. We have both advanced students and beginners as apprentices, men, women, and genderqueer. Though the course does often stress the energy of the Mother present in the earth, both yin and yang energies present in all things is honored. Women tend to be the majority in our apprenticeships but green men, and genderqueer people 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.


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 shamanic herbalism and Plant Spirit 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.

Marysia is thrilled to be bringing the unique and sacred tradition of teaching shamanic and folk herbalism to California by opening a chapter of The Gaia School of Healing in Santa Monica, CA. The spiritual, mystical, and magical nature of Sage Maurer's apprenticeships are like no other in the United States. Marysia will be teaching workshops and courses year round starting in 2014.

Marysia feels so deeply honored to carry this torch from the green mountains of Vermont, and to hold the container for the divine unfoldment of The Gaia School's sacred medicine journeys.


"I had called out to the world, to the universe, to the divine for such an opportunity that would deepen my connection and relationship with beloved plants. I asked Goddesses for the fulfilment of my prayers. I asked Grandmother Ocean for guidance. I asked Mother for a mantra for compassion. They all heard my calls. I received their blessings. I also received the blessings of White Sage for she was my messenger. I continued to receive blessings from many spirits for such an opportunity. It was the divine and perfect time for me to receive the apprenticeship. It almost seems as if it was a burst of energy that led me here to this journey and it is so. If you feel this energy, know that you are being called and guided.

I cannot put into words the beauty of plants as this must be felt in your heart. I can say that they will change you and your life because they are unconditional love of what is the heart and soul of everything. They are our sacred teachers. I had envisioned myself as an apprentice of plants and that I am. However, I also became a sister in our sisterhood and sacred circle. I received healing from and with my sisters. They taught me how to love and open my heart once again to human beings. I see divine light in the eyes of my sisters that I am encouraged and motivated to claim myself as a goddess that I know we all are. I do forget how much I have grown on this journey as I am already her. I still have much more to grow but the possibilities and potentials are already present within my heart. I am thankful and grateful for Marysia as a teacher for following the calling of her heart on her journey. I am also thankful and grateful for her love, support and guidance on my journey. Marysia is a beautiful sister and goddess!" - Vicki Wong, 2015

"Connecting with Marysia and the beautiful plants has been so magical, a truly transformative experience that has been a catalyst for healing on a deep level. Marysia is able to create a space that is both safe and sacred, thus allowing individuals to experience the wisdom and love of these amazing plants and herbs. Marysia brings joy and passion to her teaching that is contagious. I feel like my soul and physical body have been touched with such nurturing and nourishment that my very essence has been affected. My understanding and knowledge of healing has also greatly expanded, which is tremendously empowering!" - Dana Baer, 2015

"It was an amazing experience. I met amazing people and made strong connections. I learned how to relate to plant on a different level through meditation. Every weekend was like a magical retreat in breathtaking Topanga canyon or Marysia's sacred place. I learned so much about medicine making and made so many during class. And I feel very confident and comfortable doing it. I still need more practice with meditation and how to communicate with plants, it is why I am registering to the next class with Marysia and I miss the company of those amazing women/ witches. I was able to share the knowledge I learn with the children in my preschool and made some medicine with the plants we foraged in the garden. I am very grateful with this experience and recommended Gaia school and Marysia to all my friends." - Nicole Bertholet, 2015

"Through this apprenticeship, meditating and working with the plants, I have learned to open up to my internal voice; to listen deeply to my heart. I have stepped out of my own way, allowing blockages to open and my essence to flow magically and freely. I have let go of past judgements of myself, others, ideas, and expectations; knowing that my ancestors, plant spirit allies and guides will support me along the path of my personal passion and creativity... My True Destiny, as a Green Witch and Goddess of Gaia." - Nicole Treadaway, 2015

"I started this course with a simple desire to connect more deeply with the plants and the local landscape. How this transformation unfolded and to what magical degree I could not have anticipated, and yet undergoing the experience was like a discovery of long lost treasures, an opening of dormant buds, a kind of coming home. I strengthened my relationship to the plant realm and my own mind-body connection; I committed to a life path of healing and plant spirit bonding; I met new plant teacher allies and profoundly deepened my trust in the benevolence of the universe; I witnessed how powerful a group of heart connected women are capable of being. These are all incredible blessings I'm still learning to receive with deep gratitude and a sense of enlivened responsibility that continues to shape and magnify. This course has helped me ground myself in a nourishing spiritual practice. It's opened up new channels of knowing, sensing, and communication. Marysia has a piercingly strong connection to the plant realm and an incredible ability to hold space for others to journey with her. Under her guidance we learned invaluable life tools and wisdoms that are ready to be reclaimed. I'm incredibly honored to have these teachings passed on to me." - Saewon Oh, 2015

"This journey and apprenticeship has truly been life changing. I am so grateful for you, Marysia and the Gaia School of Healing. I feel like I am finally on my path and doing what I was put here to do and learn. The plants, herbs and nature have been the greatest teachers. They are so unconditional with their love and support that it blows my mind. We are all meant to be using the earth's gifts for our well-being but somewhere along the way the information about the plants and plant spirits got lost. I am so grateful that you have restored this knowledge to me Marysia." - Ashley Dudas, 2015

"This apprenticeship has brought to life a beautiful world that I always knew existed, filled with magic, wonder, connection and community. In the foundation of all these wonderful supports, lives the plant spirit world that so graciously opened up to me. The presence I have learned in this course has transformed how I approach life. The friendships I have developed with these beautiful women and these amazing plant spirits has empowered my abilities to intimately connect with the world around me. Moving from the root to the crown was such a pleasure. I was able to dance with the flow of energy that runs through my being and intently connect as a deep relationship with my self grew. Marysia has been the most wonderful guide through this journey. Her energy creates a loving space to freely discover the Beauty of Plant Spirit Medicine. She has the essence of a butterfly, gentle and free flowing, as she inspires transformation. Her spirit sings out like a confident rose, captivating all your senses and bringing you to a space of peace and openness. She takes the journey with you, holding the container with such reverence, growing herself as well. Infinite thanks to what this experience has given to me. Hear the call, and follow your heart! You are a journey worth taking!" - Rhiannon DeStefano, 2015

"I really enjoyed our sacred time together with plant spirits, with elements, with each other. The container of our sacred womens circle was able to hold all that was happening with us through our journey. Seeing my own healing happening and the transformation, blossoming of others was priceless experience in trust. It is not only the knowledge, and we did learn a lot, but the visceral, first hand experience of the communion with the spirit within ourselves and with the spirit of each of our plant family we sat with that is magical about this journey. It restores the trust in life, restores the trust into the possibility of great healing that is so needed for our humanity and our planet. We are truly abundant already, as all is given for each one of us to be thriving in our world. All the healing and joy are within us and Mother Gaia is lovingly providing us with the plant allies to help us embody this truth. We are just the last ones to remember, and this course facilitates exactly that, the return to the truth of who we really are and of interconnectedness and sacredness all the life around us." - Irina Farber, 2015

"I've learned about chakra's! What they are, their role in my physiology, herbs associated to each and how to open them and what it feels like to have them be open. I also learned about spirit, ritual, and gained a much deeper sense of plant beauty and magic. I am now a novice at Wise woman tradition, and incorporating ritual, and meditation. I've learned how to have a home practice of these, and how to bring them into my daily life in a practical and meaningful way." - Sharon Ben-Tal, 2015

"I studied under Marysia Miernowska in a nine month herbal course along with 16 other students. Saying she is great teacher doesn't come close to describing her. Marysia leads by example and she teaches from many modalities. We learned through direct experience and interactions with the plants, through reading and resources, through hands on making of herbal medicines and more. She draws from the wisdom of master teachers in her life as well as the Wise Woman tradition handed down through the ages. She encourages her students to take in the essence of all they come in contact with, to have reverence for nature and to be responsible stewards of the earth. I highly recommend this course to anyone that is ready to step into the magical realm of plants and be guided by this beautiful mentor." - Sherri Delaplane, 2015

"The Gaia School of Healing has rekindled a spark deep inside me. This spark, now lit, only wants to shine brighter and burn deeper. The teachings are more like rememberings, it's as if the knowledge has always been within me and with the sacred space we create with Marysia everything is able to bubble up to the surface reveal itself. The plants are magical allies that yearn to share their medicine with us and help heal us. This journey is one I am so grateful I began. The world that opens up is precious, unlimited, everyday, in the here and now, infinitely conscious, and Divine. Marysia is caring, patient, supportive, experienced, learned, and guides in a powerful and empowered way." - Tasha Rein, 2015

"If I could describe this course in one word it would be: empowered! It has shown me that no matter what, when I feel the most alone or lost, I have the earth and all her gifts to love, support, and provide. If I give to her, she will always give back. I am not alone, we are all connected and there is always hope. I have the power, courage, and strength to provide for myself in anyway I need; through manifestations, energy, and inner power, I can find the solutions to any area of challenge or growth. I can heal myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually." - Laura McNaughton, 2015

"The course reminded me about the beautiful connection between plants and people. I feel more connected with myself and the earth. This magic course helped me fall in love with my kitchen and cooking and to create things with my hands." - Mona Vasquez, 2015

"The Gaia School of healing and Earth education has reminded my soul why I am here. It has provided a safe loving space to unblock my energy points and to allow healing to take place by these plants. This Journey has been so beautiful and life changing. I am so grateful for this knowledge and ancient traditions for it has taught me self love and love that has to be shared with others. These ways are important to pass down to the next generation of kids. So blessed to be apart of this movement here on the West Coast." - Ambar Cruz, 2015

"I have been looking for a school and an inspiring teacher like that for 15 years. I have been taking many classes from many different amazing sources, on line, with renowned herbalists and foragers. I am two classes away for having a Master in Herbology from Trinity School. But I was looking for something more, I was looking for a school where I could have all the experiences together. I wanted more relevant knowledge, exposure to plant and nature, hands on activity of medicine making, and spiritual, shamanism experience. And I got so much more from her classes, they occurred in beautiful places in Santa Monica and Topanga Canyon where you feel very connected with nature, beauty, and spirituality. Every weekend is like a retreat where the world stop and connection begins. My life style has change my apartment is full of plants, tincture, oils, vinegars and cordials. My evenings are filled with meditation and new books and lectures to read. My friends, family and colleagues are drawn to take herbs and try new ways. My connection with plants have deepen and are much more intimate and reciprocal. I learn so much more in only 6 classes, and it just the beginning. I am even thinking of reenrolling for the next year, I just don't want it to end." ~ Nicole Bertholet, 2014

"The Wise Woman Tradition taught by Marysia Miernowska at the The Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education California Branch will not only prepare you with the tools, knowledge, and expertise of becoming a gifted herbalist; the apprenticeship ignites your intuitive abilities to re-kindle, re-connect, and re-member your relationship with the divine energies of plant spirit, yourself, and your greater community. If you are serious about exploring and excelling in herbal healing medicine, then, without question, look no further - you just found the ideal school." ~ Lucia Marano, 2014

"It's hard to explain in writing how happy and grateful I am that I'm in the apprenticeship with Marysia at the Gaia School. For months before our class started, I struggled with whether or not it was the right thing for me to do. I don't have tons of extra money, and my husband thought it sounded really out there. But something in my gut told me I had to try it. It was one of the best decisions I've made in my life! The apprenticeship has changed my life in many amazing ways that I never could have predicted. If you are feeling drawn to the course but have doubts popping up, I encourage you with all my heart to go for it!

Marysia is an amazing woman who radiates magic and love. I feel so lucky to be learning from her! And from all my sisters in the class- we so much learn from each other. Our circle is such a strong support system. These women have inspired me to stand in my own truth, and to embrace and love myself and others. I treasure having a space where I can be vulnerable, and be present so other people can feel safe to be vulnerable. The apprenticeship has helped me deeply connect with the plants, and with all of nature in a way I had only dreamed of. I've always known that nature is alive, and that we are born knowing how to have a real, sacred relationship with the natural world. But our culture has forgotten how to that works, so we aren't taught how to find and nurture that relationship. The apprenticeship will teach you how. It's so fun and so natural and feels so good! It feels like coming home.

Since becoming a student at the Gaia School my whole life is more full of joy, love, and gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful, generous plants, for the Earth, for my sisters, for my family and friends, for the gift of being alive! PS- My husband is into it now." ~ Alison Blickle, 2014

"I've attended two of Marysia classes here in L.A. I was naturally drawn to this class because I have always had an interest in plants as healing agents and allies. I have already taken classes that focus on Native Plants and practices. There are a few things I really appreciated about Marysia's class. In particular, I appreciate that she weaves in the wise woman tradition. I especially found her style of teaching valuable. The class feels ceremonial. There is an altar in the center and we are gathered in a circle around it. She first opens the circle to call in the energies of the cardinal directions. This is done collectively as we all participate and contribute with our indivudual intentions. What I value about Marysia's approach in sharing the plant knowledge is that she imparts an emphasis on the how the plants, as our allies, teach us. Marysia guides us to introduce ourself to the plants, and reminds us that through our senses and consciousness we have the potential to tap into the consciousness that the plants have to share. Not only is knowledge shared about the physical health benefits of the the plants but the spiritual benefits as well as she relates them to the chaka system. I've met plants in her classes who I have now integrated as part of my life!" ~ Joy A. Anderson

"Magical. It opened my heart to receive mother-earth's message." ~ Jose Pasio

"I was a stranger in town until I discovered Marysia Miernowska's seminars. The first seminar I attended was held in a sacred garden where Goddesses meet. The experience was so magical. I thought I had discovered a community of the Scottish Sidhe, a magical race of people who guard the natural earth. Recently, I attended my second seminar led by Marysia Miernowska. This herb seminar was held in a meadow as the birds sang among the new green growth of spring. We drank herbs and welcomed the equinox. I drink Marysia's herbs every day because her herbs are better than vitamins. Marysia's seminars are filled with herbal wisdom and can be a soul shifting experience. I try never to miss any seminar that Marysia is leading."
~ Judy coffin Rozzelle

"I've had the opportunity to be in a couple of workshops with Marysia Miernowska and they have been wonderful experiences that helped me remember the magic of nature! Marysia is a goddess able to inspire the most skeptical. Learning about plants and starting to understand the language they speak is a beautiful way to open our awareness to the consciousness that surround us and at the same time, helps us connect with the deepest part of ourselves. I can't wait for the Plant Spirit Medicine Apprenticeship coming this fall!"
~ Isabel Vasquez

"Participating in Marysia's transformative Sacred Plant Medicine workshop has been a beautiful gift. Her workshop has helped me gain a greater understanding of the myriad ways to naturally nurture and heal my body with plants. I feel deep gratitude not only for the knowledge Marysia shared, but for her enthusiasm and passion for these powerful medicinal plants. The sacred space created for her workshop was so full of love, beauty and magic. Savoring damiana tea under the sun, surrounded by majestic trees only enhanced this feeling of fullness and tranquility. As I emerged from the workshop, I felt great joy as I was going home with bags full of herbs and jars full of love." ~ Sara Mangano

"Thank you so very much, once again, for sharing your incredible wisdom! I love the way Marysia provided a complete experience for us to really connect with the plants in a way that I've never done before. How wonderful it is to know that the earth truly does give us everything that we need for healing and to create the life that we desire! I can not thank Marysia enough!"
~ Kelly Kensworthy

"I have had the pleasure of attending one of Marysia's plant medicine workshops where we got introduced to and also tasted four different teas made from the medicinal plants. We sat in circle and had a sensory experience connecting with each individual plant. It was really powerful and informative. I believe and have experienced the effects of these powerful living creations and I love diving deeper into the wisdom. I would highly recommend checking out one of Marysia's workshops. She is a lot of fun to be around and shares her knowledge in a light and effective way. I have adopted the practices she has shared into my everyday and am super grateful for all of it." ~ Brookelin Gottlieb




SYLLABUS '18 - Year One Group 2

SYLLABUS '18 - Year One Group 3