Vanessa Sage, Ph.D. is a Cultural Anthropologist with a doctorate from McMaster University.

She is a trained mindfulness-based coach, teacher, writer, and conscious leadership & business mentor.

Vanessa combines a strong critical mind with a childlike sense of wonder (Kermit the Frog is her hero) to seek to understand multiple perspectives and remain hopeful in a challenging world.

Resilient, determined, and with an incredible ability to step out of her comfort zones, Vanessa is carving a new path for others to feel at ease in their own skins, find joy in the everyday, and live a life of peace and purpose.


Wonder Worth Living In

Utilizing my over 20 years of experience in the personal and professional development realms, I offer creative visionaries strategy sessions, grounded practices, and global online immersive group programming and education.


  • As an anthropologist, my areas of interest include anthropology of religion, pilgrimage, landscape, place & space, urban anthropology, materiality, hope, imagination, aesthetics, art & creative expression, community building, and gender studies.

  • As a writer, poet, artist and all-around creative I have a passion for authentic freedom of expression, living what I call the poetry of life, and using my voice as a thought leader.

  • As a coach, my training includes somatic and mindfulness-based approaches with a focus on positive psychology, resilience, and a holistic view of living a meaningful life.

  • As a spiritual practitioner, I am influenced by Western & Eastern mysticism, animism, contemporary earth-centred alternative spiritualities, and the neolithic and ancient goddess cultures found throughout the world, especially the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.

  • As an entrepreneur, my areas of expertise include branding, marketing, networking, audience building, visibility, project management, multi-level course creation, curriculum development and delivery while doing fulfilling and meaningful work that makes a positive impact in the world.

It is time to thrive.

Select Qualifications

Owner & Creative Director of Sage Life Consulting (a.k.a vanessasage.com). A successful entrepreneur with over 11 years of teaching, coaching, and mentoring experience, and owning and operating a six-figure business (2011-present).

Cultural Anthropology, McMaster University (2006-2013). Arts in the City: Visions of James Street North, 2007-2011. Supervisor: Dr. Ellen Badone

Cultural Anthropology, Memorial University of Newfoundland (2005-2006), Seeking Albion: Crop Circles and Sacred Landscapes. Supervisor: Dr. Wayne Fife

Social Research Certificate, Cape Breton University  (2003-2005). In-depth training and practice in both qualitative and quantitative research methods that apply to both academic research and professional settings.

McMaster University (2006-2011). Teaching Assistant:

  • 3RR3, Sex, Gender, and Inequalities
  • 2R03E Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
  • 2F03 Cultural Anthropology
  • 1A03 Introduction to Anthropology: Culture and Society

Sounds True & LinkedIn (2022-present). Immersion program by industry leaders specializing in humanistic leadership, business academics, managing change, and implementing concepts in real life.

Mastering Your Nervous System & Managing Transitions and Moving Forward, Certificates (2023). Two small group mentorships with Jeremy Hunter PhD, the Co-Founder of the Executive Mind Leadership Institute at The Drucker School of Management, to support leadership skills and effectiveness.

Certificate, Level 1 & 2, The Evolutionary Power Insitute, Julia B Colwell, PhD (2021-2022). Research-based, conscious coaching and leadership skills program, specializing in emotional intelligence and somatic body-centred coaching.

Neuropsychology Coach Training, Level 1, Mandy Wintink, PhD (2011-2012). Neuropsychology mindfulness-based training emphasizing holistic life success, empathy, deep listening, and co-creating lasting and meaningful change.

Peer-Reviewed Academic Articles.

  • “Encountering the Wilderness, Encountering the Mist: Nature, Romanticism, and Contemporary Paganism.” Anthropology of Consciousness, Spring Issue 20:1 (2009).
  • “Sitting with Your Own Tree: Pilgrims and Pilgrimages in Glastonbury.” The International Journal of Humanities, Volume. 3 http://www.Humanities-Journal.com (2006)
  • “Revitalization and Art on James St. North in Hamilton, Ontario” (2010). Paper given at CASCA (Canadian Anthropology Society/La Societie Canadienne d’Anthropologie)-AES (American Ethnological Society) Conference. Montreal, Quebec.
  • “Sacred Sites of Hope and Nostalgia within Great Britain” (2008). Paper given at CASCA (Canadian Anthropology Society/La Societie Canadienne d’Anthropologie)-AES (American Ethnological Soctiey) Conference. Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Invited Participant (2008). Ethnographic Dreamworlds, Ninth Annual Sociology Conference at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York.
  • “Writing Fire / Writing Hope” (2007). Paper given at CASCA (Canadian Anthropology Society/La Societie Canadienne d’Anthropologie)-AES (American Ethnological Soctiey) Conference. Toronto, Ontario.
  • “The Country, the City, and the Crop Circle Phenomenon in England” (2007). Paper given at SAR (Society for the Anthropology of Religion) Conference. Theme of Conference: “The Re-enchantment of the World?” Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Invited Participant (2007). “Deus in Machina: Religion and Technology Workshop.”  McMaster University,  Hamilton, Ontario.
  • “Sitting with Your Own Tree: Pilgrims and Pilgrimages in Glastonbury” (2005). Paper given at the International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, at Cambridge University.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Value $15,000 each year (2007/08 + 2010/11).
  • Ontario Graduate Fellowship, McMaster University, Value $12,000 (2009/10).
  • Sally Weaver Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Value $15,000 (2008/09).
  • Ontario Graduate Fellowship, McMaster University, Value $12,000 (2006/07).
  • School of Graduate Studies F.A. Aldrich Fellowship, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Value $20,000 each year (declined) (2006/08).
  • SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship-Masters, Value $17,500 (2005/06).
  • School of Graduate Studies Dean’s Excellence Award, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Value $3000 (2005/06).
  • Raven Black Theatre, Co-founder and main stage manager of a not-for-profit Shakespeare in the Park theatre company that ran for several seasons in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • Reviewer and Copy Editor, Nexus: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology, Volume 19 & Co-Editor for Volume 20
  • Graduate Student Representative on Cultural Anthropology Hiring Committee
  • Writer and Editor for H Magazine, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Volunteer at Hamilton Artist’s Inc.
  • Meditation Instructor at The Yoga Path
  • Co-organizer of REVISE, a Career Event for Graduate Students
  • Coordinator of Graduate Research Group, McMaster University
  • Month-Long Writer’s Residency, Spark Box Studios
  • Board MemberThe Well LGBTQ Centre, Hamilton, Ontario

With Vanessa’s wealth of experience, wisdom, and knowledge, she guides hundreds of brave souls from around the world through immersive and empowering programs.

Business Teaching:

  • Success Visions
  • Business Planning
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Creating Enriching Experiences
  • Communication Strategies
  • Opt-ins, Newsletters & Networking
  • Working with Clients
  • Brand Voice & Values
  • Brand Story & Visibility
  • Authentic Marketing
  • Organic Social Media
  • Self-Paced, Short, Long & Multi-Level Offers
  • Launch Planning
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Sharing Your Voice
  • Time Management
  • Change Making Habits
  • Project Management
  • Leadership Approaches
  • Working with Teams
  • The Science of Happiness
  • Understanding Burnout
  • Working with Blocks

Select Culture & Religion Topics:

  • The Re-enchantment of the World
  • Anthropology of Wonder
  • Pilgrimage
  • Sacred Spaces
  • Rites of Passage
  • Initiations
  • Animism
  • Paleolithic & Neolithic Goddess Cultures
  • Minoan Crete
  • Ancient Priestessing
  • Walking a Mystic Path
  • Witchcraft: Fear & Burning
  • Alchemy & Hermeticism
  • Gnosis: The Grail Within
  • Contemporary Paganism
  • Earth Mysteries
  • Tarot Systems
  • Mythologies of Descent and Return
  • Mythopoetics of Venus
  • Indwelling Spirit: Divine Feminine
  • Modern & Tibetan Buddhism

Select Theory into Practice Topics:

  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Nervous System Care
  • Lovingkindness
  • Compassion
  • Contemplative Practices
  • Circle, Ritual & Ceremony
  • Devotional Practices
  • Working with Elements
  • Wheel of the Year
  • Tarot for Self
  • Mindfulness & Writing
  • Memoir

Program Highlights:

  • Sage Priestess
  • Life Coaching Course 
  • Business Mentorship
  • Creative Mentorship 
  • Devotional Arts 
  • Enchant Your Everyday
  • Intuitive Tarot

Writing Highlights:

  • Without Limit: Poems, self-published
  • “A Hope for Engagement with Spirituality”
  • “Materiality: The Thingness of Things”
  • “Towards and Away from an Anthropology of the Elusive”
  • “Fragility: Finding Spirit in the Material World”
  • “Unbridled Phantasmagoria: Queerly Playing with Contradiction”
  • “At Home: An Exercise in Example and Vulnerability”
  • “Returning, Remembering: A Life in Place”
  • “Narrative Power and Ancient Matriarchy”
  • “Climbing Mount Apocalypse: Cults, Religion and the Illegitimate Other”
  • “Personal Geographies and the Symbolic Sacred Self: Buddhism, Youth and the Western Social Landscape”

Inclusive Programming

I’m body positive and am committed to providing a welcoming space for adults of all ages, abilities, cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, as well as sexual orientations and gender identities in my programming.