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Ritual-based beauty for your inner shaman. Ceremonie integrates shamanic and other earth spirituality rituals with plant science to offer safe and effective skin solutions and increased well-being.

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Ceremonie offers the latest news and musings on beauty and skincare, shamanism, spirituality, wellness, rituals, vibrational therapy, healing modalities, and other ways to raise our vibration.

SKIN FOOD: CHICKEN SOUP WITH TRADITIONAL CHINESE HERBS

Mimi Young

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People often ask me what I do for my skin, and I’ll be doing a deep dive on how I approach skin at my upcoming workshop, SACRED SKIN + CYCLES, at The Well on Bowen Island on Wednesday, November 21. There, I’ll share:

  • Practical skin science

  • What your skin truly needs through Traditional Chinese Medicine face mapping

  • How to nourish your skin with plant medicine

  • Form practical beauty rituals

  • How to harness the Moon’s cycles to support your skin

  • We will end with a powerful, group shamanic journey


I’ll also be sharing a list of my favourite, most effective skin foods that promote elasticity, clarity, moisture, and radiance. Until then, below is a recipe to my skin food ‘secret’: Taiwanese-style herbal chicken soup. It provides necessary nutrients, but also considers core TCM elements that look beyond the physiology of the skin and into the spirit. Everyone in my household drinks at least a bowl (often more) a day, regardless of time of the year. I may adjust the herbs, but the recipe below is an evergreen one. It functions as a stand alone or a versatile base, such as adding some cooked noodles or veggies to a bowl of the soup.

TAIWANESE-STYLE CHICKEN SOUP WITH TRADITIONAL CHINESE HERBS

  • 1 whole organic raw chicken

  • 2 small pieces of raw pork (such as the kind you use for fast fry pork chops)

  • 1 date

  • 1/4 cup Asian almonds

  • 1 slice of ginger

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 3-4 dried anchovies (the soup will not taste fishy; the umami and depth it offers is incredible!)

  • 1 tsp of chaga powder (chaga can add bitterness; use sparingly)

  • 1-2 slices of reishi mushroom (also use sparingly)

  • 4 slices of dried astralagus

  • 1 piece of snow fungus

  • Optional: 1 tbsp of dried goji berries

  • Roughly 3+ L of alkaline water

Add all ingredients in a soup pot (clay or cast iron pots make the most delicious soups!) and bring to boil. Sieve out the froth and excess oil as it comes to the top. Turn heat to somewhere between high low or low medium for about 3 hours, keeping the lid on pot for as much as possible so as to not allow the soup to evaporate. (If you need to add a bit of water partway through, do so). Turn off heat and allow the residual heat to continue cooking the soup for another 2 hours. Add sea salt to taste.

To register for the upcoming SACRED SKIN + CYCLES workshop, click HERE.

Happy cooking (& sipping)!!

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!



Image credits: Pinterest
Disclaimer: Mimi Young is not a medical doctor. Please consult your medical professional if you have any specific health needs.

CEREMONIE'S CONSECRATED PAPER

Mimi Young

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When I write intentions to be used in ritual or spellwork, I craft them on paper that has been especially designed to support the work. I hold the belief that the paper itself is the sacred container for these intents, and to honour these intentions, the very words’ environment should be held with respect, beauty, and reverence. While early Taoist (Daoist) sorceresses wrote their sigils (an inscribed symbol that contains meaning and power) on rice paper and through ritual, ingested the papers containing these sigils, I follow certain aspects of this ancient Chinese tradition of my ancestors of long, long ago.

The notable parts for me are to:

  • write with intention, choosing my words carefully

  • when applicable, include any symbol or sigil to heighten the energy

  • choose special paper that is consecrated and dedicated to contain these intentions

  • when choosing the paper, to consider the ornaments/decorative elements of the paper, as well as the significance of colour

When I began taking my craft seriously, I searched far and wide for the right type of paper that held that space, and I simply couldn’t find it. I was looking for a specific energy, and even though beautiful paper abounds, none of them felt right. Simultaneously, I was also considering how to package my Ceremonie Skin + Aura care products with the same degree of respect and honour for its contents and in turn, for the people who would be using them in their own daily ritual and practice. Since I formulate, produce, and package each and every jar to order by hand, it was paramount to me that the paper that held it all together was approached with meticulous care, integrity, and purposefulness.

Having an undergrad in graphic design, I decided to create my own. It would be used for Ceremonie products as well as ritual work. I approached Hemlock Printers, a local family-owned boutique printing house located in greater Vancouver. I chose them because they were the first FSC certified printer (Forest Stewardship Certified) in North America and are known for their exacting standards. They loved my idea. And so I began my design process… and it began not in a sketchbook, but reclined, eyes closed, hands holding stones, and incense burning in the background. That’s right — I shamanically journeyed to inquire about the consecrated paper design process.

It turned out that my spirit allies and the larger plant spirit network also loved my idea. I felt so supported with their excited chatter, each expressing their enthusiasm and blessing. We discussed that we would design two sheets of ceremonial paper together. Each sheet would consist of multiple layers of plant visuals, and much of which would spotlight Fern, the queen of the primordial plant kingdom (or shall I say ‘queendom’?), as well as my personal grandmother spirit. I saw hints and flashes of what the finished papers would look like, and returned back to this consensual reality to begin the work on my computer.

The process was gentle, pleasurable, and truly felt collaborative. I felt the spirits’ presence as I played with gradients, opacities, and pantones. The brown signifies the remembrance and reconnection to Earth and the barely-there copper hue honours my own Chinese roots and uplifts the element of Metal.

The finished sacred papers were two large sheets that can be further trimmed down to suit the exact dimensional needs of each of the specific skin + aura care products. I designed the papers in such a way so that there are 8 different variations I can cut and wrap the papers around the bottles and jars. 8 is a significant number in Chinese numerology - one that symbolizes wholeness, integrity, and prosperity. I wanted the papers to pass on these vibrations to each and every individual who would be using these.

Recently, at the end of a Money Magick workshop, I was tidying up the materials at the end, when most of the attendees buzzing on the energies and plant aromas, had left for the evening. A few were still there and had mentioned how much they enjoyed writing on the Ceremonie papers that I had passed around during one of the exercises, and asked me where I purchased my paper. I hadn’t up until then, shared my story, and proceeded to. I was so touched because the three of them, mouths dropped open from the story I had just shared, then unanimously asked me to tell it again on this blog, saying that such a story of magic and intention should not be kept to oneself.

It is my hope that whether you ever attend one of my workshops, retreats, use Ceremonie products, or none of the above, that if you do practise earth-based magick or forms of ceremony, that you are reminded that the materials you use can be and should be approached with intention, dignity, and deep respect. I say this because the materials themselves are collaborators, and when the relationship comes from a place of honour, the real magick happens.

Below is a simple recipe on how to consecrate any paper you find for your own craft:

  • Find paper (can be found, purchased, upcycled).

  • Light candle.

  • Smudge self and environment with White Sage or a smokeless smudge blend that contains it, such as Ceremonie’s Sacred Smudge Mist.

  • Light incense (preferably Sandalwood or Palo Santo).

  • Invite spirit allies. This can be done with a rattle or simply by spoken word. Be clear about WHY you are inviting them.

  • Smudge the paper with White Sage.

  • Invite spirit allies to bless the paper.

  • Using just a touch of sacred oil (15 ml carrier plus 4 drops of Frankincense or Cedar), apply the oil (you need very little of it) onto your index finger and run your finger on the four corners of the sheet of paper. It is to energetically anoint the paper, NOT to make the paper oily.

  • Say aloud the full intention of the paper consecration ritual. For eg. “May this paper be the sacred container for my written intentions.”

  • Visualize the spirits and the light from the candle supporting this process.Feel the energies increase.

  • When you feel the process is complete, say, “So mote it be.”

Happy New Moon!

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPIRITS AND GHOSTS (AND OTHER THINGS)

Mimi Young

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What is the difference between spirits and ghosts? Let me explain this from two terms used in Mandarin, which I believe can shed some light (pun intended). 'Shen' refers to spirit, which is not only the essence, the soul, but is also the multi-dimensional, energetic expression unbound by 3D physicality. This means that everything has spirit: Animals, plants, goddesses and gods, creatures of mythology, the elements, ancestors and the living, and so forth.

'Kuei' (‘Guei’), or ghosts, refer to the distinct spirits of the human dead, especially ones who are considered homeless, that is, between this world we call reality, and the realms where spirits dwell. Many times ghosts are not ven aware of the fact that they have passed on, or are lingering because they have not received the closure they are seeking before they leave this plane.

There are many different types of shamans/shamanesses, sorceresses, medicine people, and spirit folk. My work involves interacting with spirits, but not with ghosts. I sense spirits when they visit the living; they know they are only saying hello, bringing comfort or some other message. Much of my work is also working with plant spirits when I make skin + aura care. And of course, I travel to spirit worlds when I serve clients via Remote Shamanic Readings, and can channel their wisdom when I write extensively about the journeys afterwards.

Another thing - as I continue to study shamanism in human history, what I find fascinating is that there are synchronicities that defy culture and time.

  • The female shamaness / priestess came first. She is the Holy Mother. The proportion of the female healer to male was overwhelming.

  • Drums, rattles, bells were (and still) used to call spirits and induce trance states.

  • Possession is not seen as possession; it is seen as ecstasy, communion with Spirit, and this is why sex is often used as a metaphor in ritual.

  • Climbing the Universal Tree / Ladder or flight is the preferred mode of transportation to the Sky / Upper Worlds. Winged or wingless horses and birds are often the allies of choice.

  • The Bridge (sometimes a Rainbow) was often another common symbol for shamans to cross in the course of their journey to the Otherworlds.

  • The shaman’s relationship with Fire and Stone. Fire not only provides light, but is also a transformative agent. It can warm and heat, but can also burn and destroy. Soot, often used to dress a shaman's faces and body, can only be produced by fire. Fire has power over metal (stone), and it was through the merging of these two elements, that metalsmithing and alchemy was first discovered.

So what does this all mean, at least on a personal level? For me, I am reminded of how truly awe-some this connection to Spirit, our shamanic ancestors, and Earth really is. I am also immensely appreciative that I am a woman in general, but also in this practice. Lastly, I am prompted repeat what I have said on many Instagram posts that the ability to spiritually sense and heal is not available to ‘the chosen few’. These powers are very human, and are accessible for each and everyone of us. My personal believe on how to be tapped into this flow of powers is to start with the understanding of where we come from. To go inward and downward; to reconnect to the Earth and ourselves.

Big love,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Image credit: Me, captured by Iulia Agnew

WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN BALANCE

Mimi Young

The damaging pursuit of balance

The exhortation to achieve balance is not only unrealistic, but is an insufferable demand that so many modern cultures impose on women, particularly on mothers. (This is not to discredit the demands made on men, but a) I can only speak from my personal experiences of being a woman and a mother, and b) because my husband and other male friends admit to have NEVER been asked the question I am commonly asked, “How do you find balance?”).

So to answer the question, “How do you run a business, mother two young boys, make time for your relationship with your life partner, manage the house, cook, fit in self-care, practise rituals regularly, hang with girlfriends— in other words, how do you find balance as a modern woman?”

Simple answer is I don’t. I don’t even try. Balance insinuates there is an equal allocation of time and energy to each of those areas of responsibility. It implies a binary 'have achieved balance' (success) versus 'out of balance' (failure) dichotomy. And since it suggests that there is not enough time and energy to juggle it all, the mere idea of balance is a construct that comes from the perspective of lack— lack in self, lack in time, lack in resources.

It makes the assumption that I need to give myself to utter exhaustion in order to achieve the pinnacle of modernity's feminism, that is to REACH FOR EVERY DAMN THING IN SIGHT, and to ATTAIN IT ALL in order to earn the respect and adoration of the world. It speaks of an idealized, even priviledged woman who has everything she can possibly desire, in the form of balanced servings of career, family and marriage, exercise and meditation, pedicures with girlfriends, a chic home, even chic-er vacations, with a cherry on top. Fit this in with a few Instagram posts that say, "You got this, goddess" placed next to a piece of clear quartz and mug of latte. The future is female? This is not what I signed up for.

Balance, to me, is a corrupt term. A term that feeds into unbeknownst enslavement: to a mechanical sense of time, to pernicious ideals of expectations and using these external ideals as a measuring stick, and to the complete falsehood that we are superhuman. The notion of balance has dehumanized us; when we succeed we are called superwomen (or supermoms), which of course, the pedestal is then raised to an even higher bar of unsustainability, which when we cannot quite lunge there with all our plates intact, we judge ourselves inhumanely. Ask yourself these private questions: What does a 'good' mother must do to merit your badge of 'good'? What do you need to do to also merit this approval from yourself? The fact that there is any badge to me is burdensome, damaging, and squeezing every ounce of life and originality out of each and everyone of us.

When I seek answers, I look to Nature. I believe in seasons and cycles. At the moment, with the last few days of August, I have, with the exception of the commitments I have already made, am relishing in inactivity— in rest, exploration, in spontaneity. (And with those ‘breaks’ from rest, I find even greater pleasure in my work than the usual joy I experience!!). These days, my children are with me basically 24/7. And not every minute is about cuddles, fun at the beach, and Pinterest moments. There are math worksheets, silent reading periods, along with “I-am-not tired-and-don't-need-a-nap-meltdowns” and family gardening projects that not everyone is as passionate about as I am. But I digress— when the regular schedule of the academic year resumes, a different rhythm and cycle begins. There will be crunch times of fulfilling skin and aura care orders, writing deadlines for mystical workshops (yes, even mystics and healers have deadlines!), late night emailing, eating salad out of the tub at my desk, washing my hair as infrequently as when I go camping, all the while taking the kids to their activities, games, appointments, and friends' birthday parties. There will be moments when I may inadvertently place leftovers in the pantry instead of the fridge, wear the same pair of socks two days in a row, when the closest thing to a workout would be lifting the boxes of bottles and jars of glass for my orders, and my most romantic note that I will write to my partner will be a text, “Can you pick up some berries, almonds, and dark chocolate? Thanks! XO”

You would never expect all four seasons to pass through our weather system in a day, so the idea of having an equal portion of activities in a day in the name of “balance” is equally absurd. I am an advocate of cycles because even from year to year, the winter season (or any season) isn’t the same. Some are colder, others are wetter, some are both very cold and very wet, and yet some others are mild as a lamb from November through to March. Yet, from a macro view, the Earth remains the Earth. Strong, real, vibrant, resilient, and very much alive. (This is not to diminish the perils our Gaia faces from the irresponsibility of humans).

And that is the life I believe in living. One where I am in tune with myself, those around me, and the circumstances that shape things, and having the deep knowing to shift as life asks. Resilience is a flexible, undefinable, practical, and personal thing. Balance is an outward focused, mechanical, and very easily unraveled fragility. Balance, as mentioned earlier, stems from the belief that there is not enough time to do everything one believes one MUST do. Resilience comes from a sense of abundance - an abundance of self, the wealth to make innumerable adjustments, and the power to value and prioritize what one CHOOSES to do.
 

Further to the discussion of time, resources, and abundance, I'll be offering the anticipated MONEY MAGICK workshop on September 27 in Vancouver and October 14 on Bowen Island. Click HERE for more info.

Big love,

Mimi Young
founder, plant spirit medicine teacher + ritualist

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Image credit: Me, captured by Iulia Agnew

CANNABIS, HEALING, AND SPIRITUALITY

Mimi Young

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"Only plants have consciousness. Animals got it from them. " -- Dale Pendell

 

Canada and the USA is nearing its end of another prohibition era. The mass public in recent years, has shifted its perception of Cannabis (mainly known as Marijuana prior to 2010, but as the stigma around Cannabis vapourizes - pun fully intended - the name 'Marijuana' had to go through a bit of a rebranding with its more scientifically acceptable, Latin name, Cannabis, the heroic neo super-herb), partly because the West's established shamanic authority - the westernized medical doctor - has now deemed it worthy - when the old world's doctor - the original shamans, have all along considered Cannabis sativa, indica, and ruderalis, along with other plants, to be great teachers.

 

And this is where I would like to point out something: Ginseng, Astralagus, Gingko, Reishi, Lions Mane, and so many other healing plants and mushrooms have been exploited and marketed with exaggeration to heal virtually every illness of the human body. Are we any healthier today as we were when certain aspects of Traditional Chinese herbalism made its entry into the West? If we were to fast forward a decade, where will Cannabis leave us? (Hint - if the plant and her medicine story is appropriated and taken out of context, I am skeptical that resolution can take place).

I ask this because I don't think the role of plants have ever been to allow us humans to exploit them. I believe in relationship. The plants support us, and we support them: As we experience the benefits of what plants offer, we support their proliferation, and so forth. However, are the plants here to be objectified, in other words, to "serve" us one-dimensionally? And more specifically, only the active compounds are valued (since that is how the medical community measures validity), and as if the support of our physiology is the only thing that is noteworthy. In other words, are we sick today because illness resides exclusively in our physical minds and bodies? Or even if we are not sick, are the plants here merely to support functioning so we can work longer hours? (Think about caffeine and sugar's roles in keeping the human worker working). Why are plants that can numb pain, decrease anxiety, and give us energy the only forms of socially acceptable medicine? And why are most modern humans resistant to becoming truly intimate with the whole plant - and can value the plant beyond its individual active compounds, or even beyond the mere synergy of compounds?

It is with hopeful optimism, that the future (and the now) of plants are in the examination and integration of their consciousness into human healing. This is why before, when a stoner who claimed their minds are opened is now seen with more of an intellectual appreciation: via euphoria, people objectively see patterns (verbal, behaviour, symbols, etc) drifting into new ones, and increase their creative resilience for problem solving so they can engage in new processes of clarification. In other words, plants can now be valued for their prevention of neurological, emotional, and spiritual atrophy. Though it's paramount to mention the other side of the coin, there are the seekers who are always seeking - the ones who are seeking constant peak experiences that they are reluctant to walk down the proverbial mountain to return to baseline. Even in spiritual communities, there is a hunger that longs for more and more sensationalism. (This is why teachers in exotic places are always seen as "more spiritual" than the ones in your backyard or dramatic experiences are viewed as "more light-filled" than everyday cultivated habits of connection to oneself...) This is the danger of spiritual caffeine - of becoming lost in the powers of a plant's glory.

I ask these questions as I am in the process of writing an experiential curriculum titled, WOMEN, WEED, & WISDOM: Exploring Cannabis in Ritual and Shamanic Spirituality. Where is this 'right relationship' along the spectrum? How can we honour the plant and allow Cannabis to assist us in the areas of consciousness, wisdom, and integration? How does one create ritual and ceremony around consumption? What other wisdom-keeping plants work well with Cannabis, or possibly even can substitute her? And from a shamanic perspective, how do we communicate with and use Cannabis to undress, reveal, and divinate?

If you're in the Vancouver area on Wednesday, July 18 evening I would love to hang with you at outdoors - in ritual, in compassion and support, in plant wisdom. Click HERE for more info.

Big love,

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner / teacher

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

 

SUMMER MYSTIC READS

Mimi Young

recommendedoraclecards

Summer Solstice is just under two weeks away. In honour of the energies of Summer, I am feeling the call to engage in activities that feed me and fuel delight. For me, there is no substitute than being in the company of a good book or divination/intuitive deck. For those who speak the language of StrengthsFinder, I have Intellection as my no. 1; mental activity is my greatest pleasure.

It's been since last winter that I published a post on my recommended readings (and a year between that one and my first one). I've decided to include a few beloved Oracle Decks that I have found to be helpful when I needed a key to assist with unlocking my deepest truths, as well as a book written by a friend that I can't wait to begin reading.

As mentioned before, though I hold the belief that there is no greater truth than our own personal understanding gained through experience, there exists published bodies of work that can assist us as we navigate through life. Books and Oracle Cards can be wise friends and compassionate teachers, and often with these creative works can we ask the forbidden questions or tread dark terrains

Again, the titles below are not in any way comprehensive nor complete; and they may not be new/recent publications. They are simply a list of helpful, even challenging books that have stretched and nourished me in one way or another...

Womb Awakening by Azra and Seren Bertrand ...because we were all formed from the Womb and emerged from there. The book invites us to recognize, honour, and heal from the source of the Divine Feminine.

Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology by Miranda Lundy, Daud Sutton, Anthony Ashton, Jason Martineau, John Martineau ...because the sacred exists within the highly technical. Math has never been so beauty and intelligent.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo ...because the topic of racism is nuanced and complex, and Oluo succeeds in clearly articulating without sacrificing depth.

The Kuan Yin Chronicles by Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay, with Man-Ho Kwok ...because I can't help but ask myself as a WOC of Asian descent, after reading this book, how much of what I believe and what I understand from my own culture is also appropriated, as in the multi-faceted narrative of Kuan Yin's history.

The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel ...because she brilliantly presents the case for complexity in human intimate relationships, as well as the call for understanding and compassion around them.

Hekate: Her Sacred Fires edited by Sorita D'Este ...because I cannot get enough of my muse, the extraordinary, eternal and universal Goddess, and her role as lightbearer, keeper of secrets and the keybearer to access them, initiatrix, world soul, mistress of crossroads, plant medicine healer, witch, and beholder of serpent mysteries.

Wildfire Within by Chantal Russell, owner of The Well On Bowen ...because I hold great regard to this beautiful human inside and out, whom I hold the honour of calling her friend, and the powerful story she tells of her child's birth, the discovery of disease within her, and the restoration of the sacred feminine within her. (Please note I have not yet read this book from cover to cover. It is on my top 3 that I will be diving into this summer!)

Iris Oracle Deck by Mary Elizabeth Evans of Spirit Speak ...because her raw, highly intuitive images rendered without any reservation, offers the same type of immediacy in tuning into your depths.

Rumi Oracle Deck by Alana Fairchild and Rassouli ...because there is never a time when I felt the card I drew, along with Rumi's words, have been untimely. This deck is so in-tune, without exaggeration, it acts as a key to whatever you wish to unlock.

Archetype Cards by Caroline Myss ...because as a plant spirit medicine practitioner and ritualist, my work involves understanding archetypes as universal patterns of behaviour in the tradition of Carl Jung's term, "the collective unconscious".

 

Happy Reading!

All good things,

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

 

image credits: Heather Pennell of The Essence Oracle

JOURNEYING WITH THE DEVIL

Mimi Young

thehornedgoat

It isn't often that we willfully want to meet the Devil, but that is what I did. Last year, I was working deeply with my shadow side and led by the Light, I was told to embark on a shamanic journey to meet the infamous figure, the Horned Goat.

I was at first terrified at the thought. My mother had raised the latter half of my childhood/adolescence in evangelical Christianity, and I was duly part of church life for a number of years. I may have since left that life, but the cellular memory and conditioning, to a certain degree, had remained. What if I died during the journey? What if the Devil tempted me with a nectar so sweet that I couldn't refuse? What if the Devil blackmailed me? What if he threatened to harm my children? What if I decided to cross over and join him in hell? What if, what if, what if?!!

But I knew that I couldn't avoid it. All signs were pointing for me to journey to him: Tarot and Oracle cards pulls, random symbols that reminded me of the Devil, the appearance of horns or goats just about everywhere I turned. The Universe was calling me to, ... and then the New Moon made me do it.

So before I went down the rabbit hole, I lit an extra large black candle for protection, smudged the hell out of my room, loaded my bed with specimens of black tourmaline, aegirine, selenite, and clear quartz, anointed myself with Anointing Parfum Oils, and shook that rattle with some trepidation. Once I arrived in the Lower World, I called on my psychopomp (an astral travelling chaperone), surrounded myself with back up spirit allies, and blurted out, "I wish to meet the Devil." I felt like Dorothy asking to meet with the wicked Witch of the West, half naive, half petrified, holding my breath. I gripped the tourmaline in my hands.

A menacing, majestic black Horned Goat appeared. He had an unruly beard of mystery, worn hooves that were sharp and threatening, and emitted a scorching energy that simultaneously felt deadly cold. His blackness were both piercing and absorbing of any light around, and I felt both repulsed and attracted to his form. His scent can only be described with one word: dank, like Spikenard. His strange light eyes, centred with long, rectangular pupils, had a pull of their own. It was Goat that spoke first, "Why have you sent for me?"

I meekly replied, "I did. My name is Mimi Young. I felt such a pull to come see you, I ---"

His impatience did not allow me to finish. With his interruption, the Goat asked me to keep it short with my explanations and spare him the obvious. Of course he knows me. He asked me to present my question, upon which, I nervously replied,

"Is it true that you are the Accuser? The great Liar, as some myths describe you?"

And then the most surprising, freeing words came. The Goat admitted that he is the Accuser and the Teller of Lies, but religion has greatly understood his function, and he became the political scapegoat for crime, social inequality, collapsing economies, disease, and a host of other problems (and eventually anything the Church didn't approve, including witchcraft - will save that for another post). He was once only an archetype, a metaphor to demonstrate duality, and with time and religious agendas, became a spiritual antagonist, the ultimate symbol of an anti-God and source of absolute evil. The very concept of salvation offered by a Christ form requires a Devil. There was no room to disbelieve in a goatish devil and hell as then it would eliminate the need for a redeemer to rescue his sheep.

He did say his true work is indeed to lie - to provoke us, and it is in the accusing that our development as souls experience a catalyst. It is the darkness within each of us, not the perceived darkness external to us, that causes the most personal and universal problems. He said when one heals, the others do as well.

The Devil has power. The archetype dwells in the deepest crevices of our hearts and subconscious, and holds the keys to much of our own power. It is by understanding our perceived 'enemy' that we come to recognize our needs, our vulnerabilities, our triggers, and thus ourselves. The Goat uses his power to get our attention, to invite us to cross the abyss. When we are not conscious of our internal Devil or worse, are actively denying it by claiming it is an external force, we project our individual shadow self onto others.

I was also told that the difference between the Awakened and the Asleep is that the Awakened actively works to be willing to accept the shadow, and learns to heal by walking with the Devil throughout one's entire life. He then asked me if I was willing to go on regular walks with him, walks through fire, through what will seem like unscalable heights, through dark prisons of forgotten memories, of learning how to say goodbye again and again, and to face the greatest rejection of all - the rejection of myself from myself. In many ways, I found this deeply romantic. Not sexually per se, but romantic in the sense that the Horned Goat knows me and sees me, more than any Ascended Master.

Some may know that the word devil comes from the Greek diablos, best translated as "to throw something in your path". The Horned Goat not only throws something in my path, but walks on my path, challenging me, whispering words of doubts and fears, showing me the real, the ugly, the un-photoshoppable. I wouldn't say he's evil, though. Perhaps that's because other sources claim the word devil shares the same root word as divinity - devi (Goddess) or deva (God).

Just as the Devil card in the Tarot deck, I have come to understand that he is an agent for liberation, that is, freedom from our own shackles. I am reminded of Carl Jung's quote (also used on a recent Instagram post):

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

And so, may we make conscious our darkness. That is the Devil's way.

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

For those in the Vancouver area, I would love to see/meet you at an upcoming Ceremonie Workshop!
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Image credits: Pinterest

UNDER THE NEW MOON: DECOLONIZING, GROWTH, MANIFESTING

Mimi Young

Sometimes, my own fears and irrational habits surprise myself. I have internalized oppression of general Chinese/Taiwanese culture (not to mention cultural purging that modern China has experienced) and Christian patriarchy; being a female in a white-centric worldview also adds nuanced complexity. So many painful and limiting layers. So much living small and self-oppression. But I'm hopeful. I think the first step is awareness, then release, and lots and lots of patience and self-love. I find using shamanic and ritual-based practices effective in identifying the limitations as well as work through them. (For those who know me and my work, I’m all about integrating the spiritual with practical, everyday life. Spirituality without real-life application is lip service).

I did a powerful New Moon ritual last month and invited spirits allies I have a relationship with, and my deceased grandfather (who had escaped China during a tumultuous and pivotal time and fled to Taiwan to seek political freedom) to surround me with support. It was as much of a spell to commit to personal growth as well as a surrender of me being comfortable enough to walk with my demons and call them my friends. You’d think my personal and professional work shamanically journeying would make me more open to Spirit, but this lesson of trust, trust, trust, is something I am still learning how to do.

I then wrote down some goals - all of which were completely impossible to achieve in my rational mind. They were (in my mind) lofty goals - some likely would take a year to achieve. I had deliberately put down ambitious goals because it was a challenge to live big - to show up in a way where I am not downplaying who I am, where I can embrace where I came from. What's incredible is that I just reviewed my goals these past couple of days (as I prepare for a New Moon ritual tomorrow), and all but 2 goals (there were 8) - have manifested - shifts in how I relate to work, to my relationships, to my health. I am overwhelmed with breathless awe and inexplicable gratitude. I am also pinching myself ever so often wondering why I waited so long to show up fully. What was I so afraid of? How can I call those demons ‘bad’, when the devil’s work in whispering lies is to invite us to explore our greatest truths? Releasing duality, layer by layer, is so liberating. As I let go of what I cling to, my hands are freed to invite new, prosperous, and loving realities in.

Happy New Moon, beloved tribe.
 

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

For those in the Vancouver area, I would love to see/meet you at an upcoming Ceremonie Workshop!
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Image credits: Me, taken by Heather Pennell of The Essence Oracle

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NUMBER FOUR IN MYSTICISM

Mimi Young

 Photo credits: Me taken by Heather Pennell

Photo credits: Me taken by Heather Pennell

The number four holds important meanings to the shaman and mystic.

There are 4 ages: the child, the adolescent, the adult, the elderly.

There are 4 winds, 4 seasons, 4 divisions of time: day, night, month, year.

There are 4 key phases of the Moon: New, Waxing, Full, Waning.

There are 4 elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. In Taoist and Feng Shui traditions, the correspondences of Winds/Directions/Element/Sacred Creatures (thereby another 4) connect the following: The Azure Dragon of the East represents Wood, the Vermillion Phoenix of the South represents Fire, the White Tiger of the West represents Metal, and the Black Turtle of the North represents Water. (Some also hold the belief of a fifth principle Earth/Qi /The Void, which would be represented by the Yellow Dragon of the Center).

There are 4 parts to green things: roots, stems, leaves, fruit.

There are 4 core faculties (in Tarot, it is expressed in such a way that relates to the elements): To Know, to Will, to Feel, and to Materialize.

4 is seen in Wiccan ritual, in mandalas, in contemplative labyrinths, at crossroads, in shamanic prayer.

Anyway, why all this analysis of 4? The simple answer is because it’s the foundation of the Earth’s power and grace. The slightly longer answer is because when I am “stuck”, I often find resolution by allowing the potency of the number 4 to teach me; that is, the orderly expression of Gaia to speak to me. The number 4 invites us to manifest our goals by taking practical steps. It reminds us to integrating our wisdom into the whole of our lives. 4 invites all of us to befriend the bright side of King/Yang energy to support the vigour of our dreams and plans while still honouring the dark, mysterious power of Queen/Yin potencies.

I should also mention that many Asian cultures (including my own Chinese and Taiwanese background) view the number 4 as 'bad luck', as the word 'four' share similar phonetics of the word 'death'. (In many parts of Asia, the fourth floor of buildings are skipped, much like the thirteen floor of many buildings in western countries). I personally think the homophonal qualities of four and death is actually very beautiful, as the fourth holds the end of a cycle, the unknown, and transformation in the most mundane of mathematical quantifying. That said, I do not disrespect the symbol of 4 in those cultures, in fact, I recognize just how much Asia, no matter how secular it has become, still reveres the power of symbols in their every day lives.

Bowing to your light (and darkness),

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

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INTERVIEW WITH A SHAMAN

Mimi Young

shamanic plant medicine interview

As mentioned on Instagram, I've been a regular listener on Julie Parker's The Priestess Podcast for quite some time. She curates beautiful, relatable content on mysticism, alternative healing modalities, the Divine Feminine, conscious business, and so many other topics that I care deeply about. It was an IMMENSE honour to be interviewed by Julie on shamanism, plant spirit medicine, and my work here at Ceremonie. We had such a fun time chatting (including my interpretation of how Adam and Eve from the biblical story of Genesis is rooted in shamanic expression, my childhood, and even the unusual name for my favourite doll), that I completely lost track of time!

To listen to the podcast, please click HERE.

Big love,

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

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