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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 Tag: medicine woman

RESPONSIBLE MANIFESTATION

Mimi Young

responsiblemanifesting

For the last two months, I've been probing the shadow side of the spiritual notion called the 'Manifestation Principle', and the potentially dangerous misuses of the Law of Attraction, particularly by leaders, healers, and teachers in the wellness and spiritual community. (For those who are just joining this discussion, feel free to read April's story HERE and May's story HERE).

I closed last month's newsletter with the question of what does the term 'manifesting' mean to me and what does it look like in my own practice, since I offer an Aura Mist product that is called Transcendental Meditation Mist, set to the frequency of Manifestation. I'd like to use this month's newsletter / blog post to share.

When a practitioner of earth magick and shamanic healing performs their craft, the first commitment is to harm none. The second is to see oneself as part of a greater, vaster expression of Life, some of which are Seen and others Unseen. The practitioner honours both these Seen and Unseen dimensions, and humbly accepts that she cannot possibly be aware of, see, or understand it all. She knows that this Mystery is what makes magick magickal. For this reason, when she sets off to connect with spirits, to do divinatory or healing work, or casts spells (energized intentions done in a traditional or ritualized container), she firstly acknowledges the process and outcome are collaborative, and that she cannot take full credit for the positive or healing that transpires. Put it another way, she knows she cannot succeed alone.

For me, I call in my loving ancestors (named and unnamed), plant spirits and animal spirit allies, the directions and elements, the stars and planetary bodies, archetypes, and sometimes other specific entities when I engage in rituals. I have cheekily called these rituals 'staff meetings'. But in all seriousness, that would actually be incorrect. It's more like me approaching my board of directors. I seek their wisdom, their counsel, their blessing - not the other way around.

We may work together to bring clarity around a certain wound in a client or a situation, and discover ways to restore harmony. We may call for a blessed door to open. We may ask for protection, provision, and prosperity. But whatever we do, it's done in the spirit of the commitment of harming none and always in the context of teamwork.

Which brings me to the idea of the manifestation principle. What's problematic about this spiritual idea is that some use it as a decoy to flex their muscles (delusions of grandeur) or as a disguise to judge or exploit others of lesser means or lesser privilege. This violates both commitments of magick practice.

So what exactly is the Aura Mist formulation I've named Transcendental Meditation Aura Mist, set to the frequency of Manifestation? It's designed to be a tool a committed seeker or practitioner uses to assist with inner clarity. The plant medicines of Lemon and Peppermint offer this wisdom (and yes, all plants offer medicine, not only exotic ones from far away places - stay tuned - I'll be discussing this in another newsletter / blog post). The Aura Mist is designed to promote a sense of bewildered awe of the Great Mystery and consequently a sense of compassion that radiates from the inside out. Frankincense has been used for centuries to support this. Recent studies indicate that Frankincense has a profound effect on Gamma brain waves, the brain waves associated with big picture thinking, compassion, and bliss - what is conventionally accessed via longterm meditation can be accelerated via this plant medicine. The Aura Mist contains Palo Santo, which is the 'networking' or 'social' wood. The smallest drop of mist or smoke has the ability to hail spirits.

Considering the aforementioned, the synergy is designed to provide the necessary conditions and ingredients to participate in the collaborative process of manifesting. The more I work in and with the Great Mystery, the more I realize how little I truly know, and whether I know anything at all. This waking, consensual reality is undeniably a brief and limited taste of something inexplicable and limitless.

As much as we each need to take radical responsibility for the choices and the stories we live out on a daily basis, part of the responsibility is also to realize that we are merely co-creatrixes/co-creators, and not all knowing, absolute beings that can objectively say we have "manifested" our [insert desirable thing / experience / outcome]. This is not to diminish the commitment, the grit, and the long hours of dedication to our goals, but is simply a reminder that if we are using any spiritual principle for self-deceit or misrepresentation, then it would be wise revisit the Golden Rule.


Lastly, thank you for reading and for being part of this space.

Yours,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

This article was first published on my monthly newsletter. If you enjoyed this post, and would like more, please feel free to share with your friends. I also welcome you to follow Ceremonie on Instagram or the email list! My neurofeedback work can be found via Open Minds Performance, also on IG.

Image credit: Iulia Agnew for Ceremonie

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPIRITS AND GHOSTS (AND OTHER THINGS)

Mimi Young

spiritsandshaman

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

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Image credit: Iulia Agnew for Ceremonie

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

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!