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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: plant spirit medicine

SENSING IN THE DARK

Mimi Young

shamanic shadow work

This Mercury Rx that has asked us to turn inwards, to swim in murkiness, to let uncertainty take the lead, to lose not in the sense of not winning, but losing in the sense of surrendering to ending cycles and embracing conditions of re-membering, redirection, and re-creation. This work is not just for Autumn and Winter. In fact, for me, this type of inner work often takes place during the Summer. Seasons aren't fixed and our internal landscapes do not just hold one archetype at a time. We can be Maiden, Mother, Wise Woman of varying degrees, of varying expressions, at varying times. Yes, we can enter internal rites of passages and initiations, but embodying archetypes need not be linear. They almost always demand incubation periods that involve some form of loss and surrender.

Many, many of my clients and friends seem to be describing they are fumbling in the dark these past few weeks (even months). A time of questioning identity, meaning, and purpose. I feel that way, too. A LOT. Humbling, disorienting, pulling and stretching. But I need this type of condition to begin envisioning fire and illumination. Darkness can be a form of playing, invoking, conjuring. And because I am there (here!) often, I am so happy to cheer you on.

Remember this: For plants, when they are confronted with environmental demands (over rain, drought, pests), their physiology responds with compounds that overtime strengthens them and lends additional nutrients to those who are fortunate to consume them. This is why Rosemary and Lavender thrive in high altitude, thin, nutrient-sparse soil rather than rich, sea level loam.

Spirit always provides timely messages. On a day when I felt drained from the constant sensing in the dark, this poem appeared to me, like a beacon:


ONE ART by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


With love and in service,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

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.

PLANT SPIRIT MEDICINE SPOTLIGHT: HERBAL INSECT REPELLENT

Mimi Young

image1(5).jpeg

It's camping season. I just returned from a beautiful time away camping in the Cuyamaca Mountains, and though the creeping, crawling, and flying critters offer medicine of their own by asking me to pay attention, my preference is to be able to pay attention to other things by not having to constantly swat at them and itch my skin. For this reason, here's a remedy that I have found to be effective, without needing DEET formulations. I also list energetics of certain plant beings.

Create a formulation of 98 ml of witchhazel to total of 45 drops of essential oil (of any combo):⁣⁣⁣

• Yarrow - long used for its energetics of setting boundaries and restoring balance (particularly of Yin and Yang energies)⁣⁣⁣ 

• Clove - in TCM, Clove has long been relied on for a variety of ailments, including digestive and immune support. It has also been associated with protection and armouring.

• Tea Tree

• Rosemary - associated within earth-based magickal practises for protection purposes as well as cutting through distraction. This also includes protecting one's mind from false memories or forgotten memories. Outside of the esoteric, science understands that Rosemary contains a compound called 1,8-cineole, which has been shown increases alertness and enhances long term memory by 60-75% compared with people who had not been exposed to the oil. I find Rosemary an immensely helpful ally when I want to be able to enjoy the outdoors, remain focused (via its repellent ability), and being able to retain the gift of the experience via my memory later on.

• Patchouli - the plant that governs change, I use the plant when I want to shape shift, including my tendency to be magnetic to mosquitos.

• Basil - can also be applied in 10% dilution (with carrier) to bites, as Basil is anti-venomous. I have found Basil to offer effective relief to wasp stings

• Citronella

• Lemongrass (Do not exceed 4 drops, as beyond this it could irritate your skin

When blending, hold the intention of respecting insects while holding your own boundaries.

Happy time outdoors,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist

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: I took this photo when I was attending a Motherpeace Tarot retreat in Descanso, California, with one of my teachers, Vicki Noble.

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

A LITTLE ABOUT ME...

Mimi Young

mimiyoung

My name is Mimi Young, and I am the owner of Ceremonie and a spirit medicine practitioner. I smell things. People's auras, spirits, messages, warnings, omens, and things I am still not totally clear on. The term to describe this is called clairolfaction. (If you hang around with me long enough, you may find that I sometimes ask those in the room with me if they smell something in particular. I ask this because sometimes it’s unclear to me whether the scent I pick up is actually a physical aroma that belongs to the environment - say smelling coffee at a coffeeshop, or not, say smelling a distinct tree that is tied to specific spirit or ancestor that no one else in the room will perceive). My experiences in shamanic journeying didn’t start until I was well into adulthood while on bedrest while pregnant with my second child. (More on that HERE).

Being a Taiwanese-born Canadian, I grew up with a blended world view of East and West, Old and New, supernatural and natural. This is why my medicine work includes multiple modalities and spiritual practices, including core shamanism, plant spirit medicine, botanical healing, and Chinese divination. I have had an alinear life path that includes careers in graphic design and branding, handcrafted soft goods, literacy and numeracy education for children pre K through to high school, and most recently, as a neurofeedback practitioner to support personal optimization.

There is a common thread here, however. I have always been drawn to healing via learning and appreciating beauty. Whether I am designing wares, am leading a workshop, supplementing a child's education, or helping a client harness their neuroplasticity so they can unblock and access their full potential, the root of it all is through learning and embracing beauty that is all around us and in us. I am passionate about helping others see their own potential to accomplish what they desire. I feel very fortunate to be able to bring in many different languages and disciplines to make this possible.

Other things about me: apart from the work I do above, I am a mother of two beautiful beings who are my greatest teachers. I am also a lover of tea, cooking (and eating), electronic music, and old things with a story behind them. I live with my partner and boys in a historic fishing village called Steveston, about an hour outside of downtown Vancouver.

On a given day, you may find me writing curriculum for an upcoming course or leading an event, at a client's office blessing and cleansing their space, embarking on a shamanic journey on behalf of a client, fulfilling shamanic skin and aura care orders, offering neurofeedback sessions, but also a variety of less romanticized, but equally important activities -- driving my boys to their after school activities, bookkeeping and doing taxes, doing laundry and matching up socks, fiddling with something around the home that needs repairing, picking up essentials, hosting playdates for the boys and other kids in the neighbourhood, chatting with my partner about our weekly 'operations'. I check my smart phone calendar as well as my astrological calender. Call my human friends as well as call on my spirit allies. Clean the house with vinegar and baking soda, as well as frankincense and sage. I'm sharing all this because living a conscious / spiritual life (whatever you want to call it), is rooted in mundane while remaining in awe of it. Paying bills and mopping floors is as much valuable as peak experiences. One does not need to go anywhere to find beauty and love. The TWO most powerful ingredients in any spell or ritual is LOVE and GRATITUDE.

I am also active in my own growth and expansion. These past several months, I have found immense potency in dream analysis and shadow work, as well as my continual love for plant spirit medicine.

Thank you for reading and being here. I hope to serve you and continue to serve you.

Yours,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist


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

CEREMONIE'S CONSECRATED PAPER

Mimi Young

consecratedpaper.jpg

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!

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!
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


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

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

 

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!