The Seven Gaean Paths℠

The Three Sacred Relationships are supported through seven areas in which human life is engaged on a continual basis. We call these The Seven Gaean Paths℠. They are loosely based on David Holmgren’s “Domains of Permaculture” as described in his book “Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability”.

Gaean Schools

We formalize these domains into seven specific “schools”. In the Tribe, these Schools are organized at the Band level, with each school being organized and led by interested Gaeans from the Band’s constituent Hearths. Each School is tasked with training Gaeans in Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of training.

Every Gaean is expected to develop a certain minimal proficiency in each path at the Basic level, a relatively simple task. Gaeans interested in apprenticing and working proficiently in a particular area enter the Intermediate level; while Gaeans interested in developing advanced skills and mentoring study at the Advanced level (which may include outside training). It is anticipated that most Gaeans will choose 2-4 fields to study at an Intermediate level, and one– or perhaps two– fields in which to pursue Advanced training.

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The Path of Growth

The first Path of The Gaean Way℠ is The Path of Growth. Its color is green, symbolizing the chlorophyll “machinery” of photosynthesis, which converts sunlight, water, and CO2 into the sugars and starches which make plants grow.

On this path, we focus on partnering with Nature to achieve sustainable abundance for us, while creating a healthy, resilient ecosystem through biodiversity and integrated systems design. Intentionally designing our natural environment in harmony with natural systems, we produce plants and animals to support dietary needs, as well as medicines, fibers for fabrics, fuel for heating and power, and materials for building, all while building the soil, promoting abundant, diverse plant and animal life, and creating peaceful, harmonious environments for humans and animals alike.

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The Path of Structure

The second Path of The Gaean Way℠ is The Path of Structure. Its color is the brown of sand, clay, straw, and wood, materials which can be used to build safe, comfortable homes.

It is focused on creating healthy, secure, and stable housing and other structures which serve as shelters for humans and livestock, while also integrating in positive ways into the surrounding land and ecosystems.

It also incorporates intelligently designed earth-works such as swales, dams, hugels (mounds of wood and earth for planting), ponds, etc…

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The Path of Technology

The Path of Technology in The Gaean Way℠ explores the appropriate use of technology in an earth-conscious manner. Its color is red, symbolic of the fire which heats homes, cooks food, and drives machinery, such as pumps, tractors, and cars.

On this path, systems for heating, cooling, electricity, transportation, etc… are examined and carefully considered in a cost-benefit analysis, considering the relative damage/harm that might be done with a certain technology versus the benefit to both humans and the environment.

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The Path of Culture

The Gaean Way℠ also has a path for meeting the needs of education and culture, including the arts, which we call The Path of Culture. Its color is gold, indicative of the incorruptible metal which is shaped and forged into objects of beauty and luster.

This path focuses on the development of individuals and communities through education, promotion of the arts, and establishment of sustainable traditions, replacing the unsustainable practices with which we have been raised by the prevailing Western Culture.

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The Path of Consciousness

The Path of Consciousness in The Gaean Way℠ is all about Heath and Spirituality. It’s color is violet, associated with the amethyst “crown chakra” color from the eastern traditions.

This path has an emphasis on spirituality and holistic health practices, good nutrition, body- and sex- positivity, safe touch, discovery and pursuit of personal meaning and purpose, the development of moral character and value-based living.

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The Path of Productivity

The Gaean Way℠ also embraces financial and economic practices which vary from the Western cultural norm in The Path of Productivity. Silver, the color of common coinage, is its color, as money is symbolic of work, trade, and productivity. The goal is to help everyone feel that their needs are being met and their productive contributions are being appreciated in a fair and balanced manner.

This path includes training in personal and group finance, accounting, and budgeting, as well as collaborative duty-assignment processes. Also includes training in real-estate and tax laws.

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The Path of Leadership

The Gaean Way℠ includes practices of horizontal, participatory leadership and followership. We see every Gaean as a leader, and we train Gaeans to embrace leadership principles and participate fully in the decision-making processes of their Hearth, Band, Clan and Tribe. The color is blue, symbolic of freedom and choice.

This path includes training in consent-based collaborative decision-making and conflict resolution. Also includes training in non-profit business law and principles.

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