Earth and Spirit



If you're feeling overwhelmed, depressed, unable to focus, disconnected - or if you're feeling like there must be more out there and you just can't put your finger on what...

Take a deep, {low breath.

Remember the feeling of sun on your shoulders and the earth under your feet. The smell of grass and wildflowers. The feel of laying your hand fully on the rough bark of an old tree. The sense of peace.
The golden glow of connection.

Can you feel that? Not Yet? No worries - that's what we are here to help you with.

Maybe you’ve felt a flickering of it around the edges of your awareness. Maybe the sense that there’s something more has been whispering to you since you were a child, but was drowned out by the noise of the world. We hear those whispers too - they get louder when you stop to listen. 

Earth Magic Academy is here to guide you to experiencing a deeper connection with Yourself, Others, the Earth, and Spirit. 

So, if you are...

  • Feeling a pull, a deep longing for something you can’t quite put your finger on -
  • Looking for clarity, purpose and alignment in your life and haven’t been finding it on the usual paths -
    We welcome you.
  • Seeking to expand your intuitive abilities in connection with Earth and Spirit -
    We welcome you.
  • Ready to nourish yourself more deeply with customized nutrition and herbalism -
    We welcome you.
  • Wanting to learn Earth skills, wildcrafting and deep nature connection practices -
    We welcome you.
  • Searching for community with kindred spirits to embrace a deeper connection and awareness with Nature and Spirit -
    We welcome you.
  • The loving parent of a sensitive, intuitive child, seeking support to help them gain confidence in their brilliance and ability to succeed -
    We welcome you.

Meet Vanessa and Rhett Tavernetti

Over the past 25 years, we’ve devoted ourselves to helping adults, children and families tap into the powerful medicine of Nature and Spirit so you can find your missing pieces, calm the overwhelm, lift depression, ground scatteredness, heal, connect more deeply with yourselves, others, and Spirit, and be nourished and whole. 

Our (very different) Approach

  1. WE'RE GUIDED BY INTUITION AND SPIRIT - How we can help each individual, comes from our intuition and connection with Spirit. We also help you strengthen and refine your own spiritual connections to trust your own intuition.
  2. WE BELIEVE THAT THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, THAT NOTHING NEEDS TO BE FIXED - You just need to remember who you are, and your connection with the whole. Then you can see with fresh eyes where your life may be out of alignment with your purpose and how to get back on track.
  3. WE BELIEVE THE MEDICINE IS INSIDE YOU, BECAUSE YOU'RE PART OF NATURE AND NOT SEPARATE FROM IT. You already have access to medicine you need to heal and uplevel, you just need a little guidance to spark the memory and tap into the power of the interconnectedness of all living things.
  4. WE FACILITATE PROFOUND EXPERIENCES WITH NATURE. This isn't 'wilderness therapy' or 'forest bathing' - we aren't constrained in how we can help you by therapy practices and aren't limited by specific methodoligies. We use intuition, nutrition, herbalism, meditation and Earth-based practices to teach you how to access your own truths, clarity, and healing through your connection to Earth and Spirit.
  5. WE SERVE ADULTS AND CHILDREN in group settings and individually to attune themselves to the magic of the natural and spiritual world (and their own inner magic - because it's the same magic).



Vanessa's Story


  1. I was a sensitive child with a strong connection to Spirit (with an uncanny ability to predict future events and pluck uncomfortable facts from adult minds). I felt alone without anyone who could explain and guide me in what I was experiencing with the unseen world.
  2. The running theme of my childhood was being told “you’re too sensitive,” “you’re too much,” “why do you always have to be so intense?”
  3. Growing up in the middle of corn and soy fields in Illinois, I have known many people who died from cancers related to the pesticides used in the fields that seeped into the drinking water.
  4. I’ve always had a profound relationship with Nature. The Earth speaks to me and through me, and people tell me my energy helps them feel more grounded. This connection guides my every decision.

Through my teenage years, on the outside everything looked great: friends, good grades, captain of the soccer team-you know the type. However, on the inside, I willfully ignored my spiritual gifts, turned away from my truths, and turned towards alcohol and drugs to try to fill the void.

I graduated college with a degree in Sustainable Development (before “sustainability” was a buzzword). I tried to work with midwest farmers to help them convert from conventional agriculture to organic practices and, as a young female, that didn’t go over so well.

At the age of 23, I was in a car wreck and suffered a traumatic brain injury, among other serious injuries, and was in a coma for a week. The doctors were certain that - at best - if I woke up, I would function like a 4-year-old for the rest of my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

I woke up.

It was a miracle. The doctors proclaimed that I had “died” and defied all scientific reasoning for being alive. Coming out of this experience, I was given a very clear message that I was to help people connect to the Earth and Spirit. 

That’s when I fully embraced the life I was meant to live.

I switched to the other side of the supply/demand chain and started working with children in school gardens in the Chicago Metro Area, thinking that if I could help change what children wanted to eat through connecting them with the Earth, then the food supply and system could be changed.

I‘d heard of Alice Waters’ School Garden Movement and traveled to California. I successfully ran a model school garden program, worked with Alice Waters, and helped to set up hundreds of school gardens around the San Francisco Bay Area and country. Doors opened up for me in this field, as they tend to do when you’re on your path!

At the same time, I (finally!) sought training for the spiritual gifts I’d tried to ignore for so long, spending 5 years developing, attuning and deepening my abilities as a mystic.

For the past 20 years I’ve trained thousands of educators worldwide through the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s School Garden Teacher Training Program, various workshops, and different colleges and universities on best practices for connecting people to the Earth and developing science curriculum. Currently, I have the honor to teach in the Contemplative Education and Environmental Studies Departments at Naropa University.

I’ve worked with many great teachers and mentors, but my relationship with the Earth has been my biggest teacher. Through living on multiple organic, biodynamic farms and homesteads in the US, Europe, Central and South America, and Africa, and through spending much time being still in Nature, I cultivated a deep relationship with the Earth, fine-tuned my spiritual skills and accelerated healing multiple times in my life.

In fact, a couple of years ago I had a brain scan, and the neurologist was in disbelief at what he saw: There was no sign a traumatic brain injury had ever happened!! I’m a case study for doctor residency programs of a successful epigenetics patient.

Earth Magic Academy grew from the desire to work with people of all ages to help them reconnect with Earth, Spirit and the magic in themselves.

Our programs and intuitive readings for children, teens and adults help them overcome their fears of being themselves and step into their own gifts more confidently.

Vanessa’s Credentials, Certifications and Training: 

  • BA in International Studies: Sustainable Development and Water Rights from Trinity College
  • Graduate Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Illinois
  • Multi-Subject Teaching Credential, Sonoma State University
  • Co-Founded School Garden Network of Sonoma County. Served as Board President and Secretary
  • Jack London Teacher of the Year Award
  • Permaculture Certificate, The New College
  • Certificate for Clairvoyance, Meditation, and Intuitive Studies, Crystal Rose, Petaluma, CA
  • Certified in Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Medicine and Nutrition with Master Ayurvedic Practitioner Deanna Batdorff of the dhyana Center
  • Occidental Arts and Ecology Center: Instructor for School Garden Teacher Training
  • Naropa University: Adjunct Faculty in the Contemplative Education and Environmental Studies Departments

Rhett's Story

As far back as I can remember, I’ve experienced nature and spirits in ways other people couldn’t understand.

For me, there was this whole other world that was so real and felt so right to be part of, but the pressure to disconnect from it, and the fact that nobody else could see it, made me feel crazy.

Throughout my teens, I felt like I was in a constant fight to keep the spiritually connected part of myself alive, when society, my school and my parents wanted me to go with ‘the program.’ The message was clear: This is how you need to see and fit into the world, and you need to forget about everything you feel and know is true.

Hopeless and depressed, I shut down, numbed myself, and withdrew. I barely made the grades to graduate high school, struggled with drugs and alcohol, and got arrested multiple times. I was prescribed medications for ADHD and anxiety, but they didn’t address any of my issues.

It got to the point where I said “If this is all life has to offer, then I’m not interested.”

In the midst of this, I was driving down the highway and I got the message very clearly that it was “no mistake” that I was here, that the Earth itself wanted me here, and that it was important for me to stay.

I bawled my eyes out.

I took that message seriously, and began to take my life seriously, acting with hope and intention for the first time.

I started to take care of myself by developing a meditation practice, changing my diet, growing my own food and foraging for wild edibles. I studied herbalism and wildcrafting like it was my job. I exercised regularly and sought out indigenous teachers and experts on traditional skills - men and women who were also connected with nature on a deep level.

I went back to school, earning nearly straight A’s and successfully graduating college with a degree in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainability with an emphasis on Ecological Agriculture. My goal was to continue to deepen and expand the Earth stewardship practices I’d learned.

I lived and worked on organic, biodynamic farms, and homesteads; I worked in gardens and in schools teaching children organic gardening, ecology, nutrition and cooking. I went on to start my own ecological landscaping and permaculture design company, Elemental Gardens, to design and build physical landscapes that would, I knew, move towards rebuilding Earth’s spiritual landscapes.

And I continued to deepen my understanding of Spirit and the experiences I’d had throughout my life, through years of formal clairvoyant training and energetic healing programs.

When Vanessa and I had the vision to start Earth Magic Academy to help others reclaim their connection with Spirit, with the essence of who they are and their unique gifts, I saw there was a larger role for me to step into. 

I could be the rolemodel I’d never had. 

To present a different kind of masculinity that isn’t defined by career status, competition and sports knowledge - but a more sensitive, spiritually open strength that’s grounded in connection and skills that bring us closer to Earth and our own natures.

Rhett’s Credentials, Certifications and Training 

  • Studied with indiginous and other expert instructors, learning bird language, basket making, tracking, weaving, fire-by-friction, hunting and trapping, animal processing, cordage, shelter, water purification, wildcrafting, wilderness stewardship and traditional cooking methods
  • Studied Survival and Traditional Skills from Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School
  • BA in Humanities: Culture, Ecology and Sustainability (emphasis in Ecological Agriculture + Permaculture Certificate), with a thesis project on Urban Agriculture, from The New College of California
  • Cultivated a 2-acre edible/medicinal/ethnobotanical garden for the Indian Health Project Diabetes Prevention Program at Yakama Indian Reservation
  • Taught ecology, ancient technologies, cooking, nutrition, sustainability and organic gardening in public schools in Oakland and Petaluma, CA
  • Licensed Ecological Landscape Contractor and Permaculture Designer (owning and operating Elemental Gardens for 5 years)
  • Certificate for Clairvoyance, Meditation, and Intuitive Studies, and Hands-on Energetic Healing Medicine, Crystal Rose, Petaluma, CA


  • Rhett likes coffee, Vanessa likes matcha with nettle, rose, lemongrass, oat straw, and red clover (of course!)
  • The most common mammal in our backyard is Moose.
  • We both communicated with our daughter separately before she was conceived, and asked her politely not to come until we got married.
  • Our first date was surfing in the Pacific Ocean and we knew we were destined to be together when a four day date included: whales, aliens, shooting stars, an eclipse, and cooking collard greens with kids.

Our perfect day together...

Waking up in the morning air after a night of camping; silent time for prayer, meditation and tea while Paloma is still asleep; exploring the forest, wildcrafting and communing with forest friends; swimming in a lake, river or ocean; sharing fresh, local, seasonal food with friends; a night of games, music, dancing, and a fire under the stars. And cuddling. Always cuddling.

Acknowledging our Ancestors

Vanessa is grateful to her Italian, German, and Irish (originally Finnish - Vikings!) ancestors who have greatly influenced her life and informed her approach. A resilient love of life, growing and cooking food, community and connection to the land and sea comes from her paternal side and from her maternal side a diligent strength, connection to the elementals, and zest for fun and storytelling contributes to the skills she has acquired in this lifetime.

Rhett’s family lineage comes through Germany and mostly through the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. In the late 1800’s they settled in the Salinas Valley of California, farming and ranching until his parents were the first generation of their families to leave for college and settle in the San Francisco Bay Area. His deep connection to the Earth, our dependence on the land, the cyclical nature of time, and the importance of bonding over our food was fostered through all of the time spent on the family farms and ranches.

At Earth Magic Academy, with the help of Spirit, we bring our magic and the magic of Nature to help you find the magic that’s in you.

The magic, the medicine, the interconnection, Spirit - it’s what heals our bodies and minds, grounds us, and connects us.

This is a very different approach to healing and finding purpose than you’ll find anywhere else.

If this sounds like that whisper you’ve been hearing in your soul, 

Join us for one-on-one sessions, intuitive
readings, group programs and workshops

We welcome you.

Feel grounded, focused and nourished through deepening your connection with the Earth and Spirit so you can have clarity in your purpose, step forward confidently, and find community with magical humans just like you!


to }econnect and }egenerate