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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.

Filtering by Category: Rituals

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

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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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HOW DID I BECOME A SHAMANIC PRACTITIONER?

Mimi Young

shamanic practitioner

Many have asked me this question, or how did I choose to be involved with plant spirit medicine. As someone who has remained out of the public's eye, and has stayed quietly behind the Ceremonie brand, I am also beginning to become more visible, adding a distinct personal element to my work that didn't exist before. We learn so much from stories, including our own, and so I share it here:

It's has been a long journey that involves evolving through archetypes to develop an ever-increasing understanding of myself and the worlds (seen and unseen) around me. I come from a home where my mother is a devout evangelical Christian and my father, an equally devout atheist. The paradigm I was raised in was black and white - be it if it was rooted in science and the rational, or religious conditioning and tenets. Deep down, I had always connected with spirits and mysticism - my first friends, as a young child, were the great Cedar tree spirits - Grandma Tree and Grandpa Tree, as I had called them (and still do). I also spoke to fruits and vegetables (I even named a doll Celery). The rational world crept in, pressing me and I naturally lost touch with these allies for some time and became well versed and articulate in more widely-accepted world views. It can be easy to look back at those times as conforming, asleep, or a victim of patriarchy, but I also see those decades as preparatory, as many myths and archetypes that exist in Judeo-Christian were taken from older, pagan practices. In my own story, I simply learned them in chronologically reversed order, as many people today do.

After I gave birth to my first son, the Wild Woman stirred within. Some call her Lilith, some Kali, some gave her the generic name of Witch. I called her Jezebel. She frightened me. She asked all the right questions and didn't care that she didn't have a tidy answer. She was raw, brave, wildly intelligent, could smell lies from miles away, was fiercely loyal to her loved ones, and I was scared  to death to even entertain a cup of tea with her. I was secretly afraid that she would somehow seduce some sense into me and I would lose full control of who I am. I knew that she, as the Destroyer, would kill me. 

Simultaneously, my husband and I were wanting a second child, but had difficulty conceiving and keeping the pregnancies. The timing wasn't right.

The pangs for the shadow and unknown, like contractions, only became stronger. I began experiencing rapidly increasing manifestations of clair-olfaction (sometimes also known as clair sentience), the ability to smell things that aren't physically there, and then associating them with distinct messages from the spirit world. And it was a dark walk in the desert, for I had no teacher in the form of books or workshops. I searched for teachers who have this gift, but none came on my path. So I had no choice but to listen to Jezebel. She said spend time outdoors everyday. She said look for omens and symbols. She told me about Tarot, and I committed to learning the Tarot language, a visual tongue through which spirit allies can speak to me with clarity and precision. By then, we had stopped attending church, and were promptly ostracized for doing so. We kept two couple friends from that network of well over a hundred. They were the only ones who wanted to remain in our lives. (I later released this disappointment and remarkably, I am filled with so much love - even as I write this portion of my story). And so in many ways, certain things died within me - limiting, outworn beliefs, victimhood, the need to be perfect, and like a snake, I shed and emerged. I begun to understand that the Wild Woman is my greatest protector, advocator, and mother. 

Fast forward a bit and I became pregnant again. At week 15, I began hemorrhaging, which only stopped when I reclined in bed. The first day of the bleeding, I heard the doorbell ring. When I opened the door, no one was there, but when I looked up, a large Great Blue Heron flew across me and into the expansive sky. I knew that the baby would live, despite any complications. The midwife sent me for a few medical tests and science couldn't tell me why it was happening. The instruction was to remain in bed rest until the baby reached full term. 

I am a very active person, and to ask me to lie in bed for two days with the flu is a monumental task as it is. To be on bed rest for over 5 months was a demand that challenged me in a way that I had never experienced. The idea of being removed from the physical world was enormously difficult for a type A person like me to 'endure', though by week 2, I had sufficiently wrestled with this internally, that I finally said, "Oh, all right!!!! I'll start meditating, again." So meditating I began - longer and longer sessions each day. I would break them up with an online course on aromatics and skin (essential oils, plant extracts, and other natural compounds in the context of skincare), but I did meditate roughly for 5 hours a day on bed rest. It was an immensely productive and transformative use of time. I now see this as the Universe's gift to me.

One day, during a meditation, I traveled somewhere and met some talking creatures. They said some interesting and truthful things. When I came out of the trance, I knew that something remarkable had happened. I met ancient, powerful friends. I didn't yet possess the language, but I had journeyed to the Lower World and spoke with some spirit allies. It was my first shamanic experience, and though I tried, I didn't know how to return to that realm.

My second son, Kyo, was born in the spring of 2015. The name 'Kyo' means synergy. Back on my feet and enjoying mothering my newborn and 7 year old, I had banked so much energy while off my feet, that I had the momentum to create something that can be best summarized by the Ace of  Wands coupled with the Queen (Mother) of Pentacles. I created a toning oil to help rid water retention and toxins from being immobile for so long, and the moms around me noticed, and asked if they could buy bottles to use it as cellulite oil for themselves. And so Ceremonie was born (then called Trimaran Botanicals, renamed last year). I would begin working with essential oils and enter into a conscious trance and basically was channeling their energies and personalities, and coupled it with my own trained knowledge, began formulating. It was truly alchemical. In the certified aromatherapy world, blends are termed 'synergy'. It is wondrous how Kyo helped me birth this.

While this was happening, I asked the Universe, almost as a joke (because I didn't believe it would happen), for a shaman to show up in my life to teach me. I knew it was highly unrealistic to travel extensively to Peru with two babes (and a mortgage) in tow, so I had asked Jezebel to send  someone here in greater Vancouver where I live. And she did, one week later. My formal teacher was a female shamanic practitioner, named Leona De Lang Boom. She is a second generation modern shamanic practitioner. She began when she was 18 years old, and her mother still practises it. Their specialty is in past life work and have taught me how to work with psychopomps (a spirit/creature/angels that are travel companions to afterlife as well as former lives). What's absolutely incredible is when I met mine for the first time, I fell so in love with him. He's a red crown crane, and is adorable yet strong. I didn't know it at the time, but later learned that many psychopomps are cranes. 

Ceremonie began as a clean beauty label that is focused on shamanic skin and aura care. I make the products in ritual (a blend of trance work, shamanism, hedgewitch magick, crystal therapy and moon cycles). About a year ago, I also began offering Shamanic Beauty Sessions, which are shamanic readings in the context of beauty, as well as general shamanic readings. My greatest passion, though, are my conversations (online and offline) with my clients and other members in my tribe. This sisterhood of women (mostly women, but some men, as well), ignites me to never compromise on my deepest truth, to love myself with as much vigour as a Mother Wolf, and to see the incorruptible good in others (AND THEN TELL THEM!!!). In fact, later this week, I will be offering my first spirituality/plant spirit medicine workshop series at Nectar Juicery (a wellness hub here in Vancouver, Canada), titled 'Walking The Fragrant Path: Integrating Essential Oils with Crystals, Chakras, Mantras and More'. What a wild ride, this gift called life, stranger than fiction, and wondrously beautiful. 

 

A spirited Samhain to everyone,


Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

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CELEBRATING MABON, FALL EQUINOX STORIES + RITUAL

Mimi Young

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It's been a while since I've been active on the blog, and how I have missed everyone! What better way than to resume than near Fall Equinox, a time of gratitude, reflection, and release.

 

There are many facets to the autumn story. Bounty and gratitude would likely be the most common, but the Demeter (Mother), Persephone (Maiden), Hecate (Crone) is one this autumnal ritual will be centred around. These three archetypes are aspects of the Great Goddess, and can be found in each of us.

The Guardians, a separate Druid-based story, involves three sacred trees that grow together, and act as protectors and preservers of our well-being (physical, psychic, energetic). In varying versions of the tale, the trees differ (including their interpretations), though the ones called upon today are Birch, Hawthorne, and Elder. These three guardians act as the sacred goddess trinity with Hawthorne as Mother, Birch as Maiden, and Elder as Crone.

The intention is to be mindful in recognizing the abundance this past year (from last Autumn), but also to be brutally honest with ourselves and name what we have lost (the connection to Demeter's loss) and give voice to that grief. Lastly, we give great honour to Crone, as wisdom and evolution always awaits regardless of the kind of experience we may have. In this way, we identify with the radically transformative potential of pain, and see the autumn and winter seasons as cycles that feed the greater wheel of life.

From your Ritual Tool Kit:

  • Hawthorne berries
  • Birch essential oil (Wintergreen will also do)
  • Elderflower cordial
  • Broken twig in a dish
  • Any one of these essential oils: rose, sage, peppercorn, cedar, fir, or basil
  • Carrier oil

*If three Guardian objects cannot be obtained, find any other object from three different trees.
 

Mabon Ritual:

  1. Light a candle and make space for your breath.

  2. Smudge yourself and altar (or sacred space). (As always, those with smoke sensitivities, our Sacred Smudge Mist is an effective alternative).

  3. Invite your spirit allies to join you.

  4. Say aloud your intention (what you wish to accomplish via this ritual).

  5. Place the dish with broken twig on altar. Without over-dwelling on your loss in this ritual, name the pain and visualize the broken twig representing it.

  6. Place the Hawthorne berries around the twig, followed by pouring some Elderflower cordial on the twig and berries, and ending with drops of Birch essential oil. Do this meditatively and with intention, acknowledging how one can gestate something very meaningful and precious, experience pain, and then surrendering control (a form of death), which in turn is what regenerates life.

  7. Visualize the type of regeneration that you seek, always giving room for your spirit allies to move you and support you. (Sway, dance, cry, sing, or whatever manifests!)

  8. The eight step, the step of completion and a closing of a perfect loop, involves belief that the regeneration/restoration will come. Winter may follow Autumn, but Spring always follows Winter. Anoint the top of your head with a dilution of the essential oil, speaking tenderly to yourself, "Spring follows Winter. I trust the creative Goddess within."

    End the ritual with a bow of gratitude to the spirits and send them away. Leave the dish on your altar for the remainder of the day and respectfully dispose the dish's contents in your compost bin / bury it in your garden the following day.

** An especially powerful day to perform this ritual is on Friday, September 22, this year's Fall Equinox.

 

Happy Equinox and stay free,
Mimi Young
founder + shamanic practitioner

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Image credits: @MoonandQuartz