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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 practitioner

HOW DID I BECOME A SHAMANIC PRACTITIONER? (EXPANDED)

Mimi Young

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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 re-experiencing manifestations of clair-olfaction, sometimes also known as clair sentience (an intuitive gift I have had since my late teens, but had tried my best to ignore it and suppress it), 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. His name means synergy. The birthing experience was beautiful, and dare I say pleasurable (in the same way that Ina May Gaskin describes birthing can be). It was a Thursday, the day of expansive, benevolent Jupiter’s rule, and I was making eggs at the stove, when I felt a pop and an enormous waterfall rushed out of my body, and immediately following that, the pangs and the accompanying sensations. I knew he was ready, and was wasting no time.

This experience was different than birthing my firstborn. With my firstborn, it was all very new and I hadn’t stepped out of the Maiden archetype into Mother energetically, yet, but this time, I had shed my old skin and was a very different person. From a sensory perspective, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be in my cave and no one to bother me. Any amount of reassuring back rub, loving words, helpful cup of water were all rejected. I was channeling Durga and she was sovereign and self-sufficient, and so was I during those couple of hours. I was rewriting man's definition of "labour". I was birthing, and while it was work, it was magnificent.

At one point, when I was overcame by the pressure of him and my own body, I found myself naturally travelling inwards, into my body, into my very womb. There, I was struck by an illuminating orange disc of light - I understood as the second chakra, the energy centre that governs creativity (including the birth of a child). I found Kyo, and it was apparent that he was having second thoughts about leaving the safety and warmth of my womb. I assured him that my arms would very soon be holding him, as well as my breasts, and that we would remain very close. I also shared that his brother, father, and so many others were very excited to meet him and play. With that, it took another 10 or so minutes before Kyo was born. The shamanic journey is a vehicle to meet spirits from the otherworlds, but also to welcome the transition of a baby into this one.

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 is still active in the work. 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. 

What a wild ride, this gift called life, stranger than fiction, and wondrously beautiful. 

Love to all,

Mimi Young
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner

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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.

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)

  • 1/4 cup mirin (Asian cooking wine)

  • 1 Chinese honey date or 2 Chinese red dates

  • 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

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