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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: shaman mimi

2018 to 2019: Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

Mimi Young

happynewyear

Empty glasses are scattered around, evidence of the mirth in our home these past few days. Messes were made; every pan, wooden spoon, and bowl in the kitchen was used. Today, with strong tea, was a cozy day in, the kids out to play since Vancouver is having a mild winter so far, and the adults at home (my partner and I), are transforming leftovers into soup, lazily reading new books, and leisurely packing for some days away in the woods, with the laundry machine's hum as a playlist of sorts.

Being the ritualist that I am, I am also considering how to bring in 2019. Which elements to weave in? Which spirit allies to name and invite? How to write my intentions, held carefully on sacred paper? This can't fully happen until I tune in and contemplate about 2018. 

2018, for me, was marked by a bursting heart and outrageous manifesting. A year full of surprises - terrifying, joyous, fulfilling. It was the year where I said goodbye to my day job, and leapt into the unknown. The year, if I were to define it as the Earth Dog year (not to truly end until the beginning of February to welcome in the year of Earth Pig, or Earth Boar, as some call it), was also defined by an increase of self-attunement, to self-dote and offer tenderness, clarity and breakthroughs, and even some luck. I felt held and seen, and I also had the immense privilege to hold and see others. As a recovering perfectionist, I learned to let go, let be, and let flow. Life is so much better without the strive towards perfection; rather, it’s an openness towards wholeness. Through embracing the whole human of myself, I released impoverished mindsets. In 2018, I danced til dawn to the Full Moon on a number of occasions, made time for what really mattered and continues to matter. And of course, the 'what' that matters are actually 'who's. I softened, and in the areas that were hardened, I discovered that the hardness was pain that turned to gold. 2018 was a remarkable realization of just how much I had outgrown 2017.

And while all the aforementioned centred around me (I can only speak from my perspective, after all), 2018's glory must be credited to people. Right people, right heart-place, right time. People who defy the coldness and the vacancy of unexamined, narcissistic, half-asleep lives. People who understand the value of a 5 minute long hug, who listen rather than who are impatiently waiting to speak, people who lovingly challenge because they believe and refuse to let fear make the final call, people who spread hurt-so-good laughter, people who invited and included, people who smile with every living cell, people who live what they say. Some were family or friends, many were clients, others strangers.

Ceremonie turned 3 a few days ago, on Boxing Day. As she enters into this year of being three, I am reminded of the Empress archetype in Tarot. Her corresponding number within the Major Arcana is three. Combining the fertile, nurturing Empress' energy with the warm, prosperous Earth Pig, I'd like to share my intentions for 2019. I am sharing because my life and my one-woman-company isn't just about me. Ceremonie is about CONNECTIONS - people, spirits, and the mystery of ALL THAT IS. This is why I am here. 

Here goes…

May the year 2019 be salt-of-the-earth good. 

May we be real, and experience authenticity's freedom. 

May luck be waiting for us, and follow us, too.

May the year come with a few happy surprises.

May we learn to be children again.

May we mother and father ourselves in the ways our hearts ache for.

May we honour the Divine Feminine in ALL and also nourish the Divine Masculine in ALL. He is needing Her love. We are needing Their love.

May we ride the beautiful, wild waves of flow.

May we be free to make mistakes - not ones of devastation, but worthwhile mistakes, so we learn and grow.

May we have all that we need, and have some extra to share. Even though abundance mindset says we can have our cake and eat it, too, it's far more meaningful to have our cake, and to share it. A bite of sweetness is more pleasurable than a plateful, when shared with people who ARE the sweetness of life.

May we not get sucked up into social media seduction. Conscious living cannot be defined by popularity, by pretty packages and pretty feeds, by the poetic words, by things and more things, or trips and more trips. May we commit to see and resist illusions. Illusions fuck with our heads and mute our hearts.

May we have the strength to say NO and YES, and the wisdom to know when to say what.

May we know our personal worth — unchangeable and eternal.

May we check ourselves; because there is a BIG difference between deserving and entitlement.

May we meet challenges with courage. And when we don’t understand, lean in with curiosity.

May we not make any more excuses. Let's be radically accountable.

May we attend to our gut's biodiversity AND our communities' diversity. Our health depends on both.

May the loving spirits guides and our ancestors hold us and lead the way. May we honour them and make them proud.

May we make new friends and extend our family.

If you follow this feed, and we haven't yet met in person, I hope we do that in 2019. Better yet - not hope - I look forward to meeting/serving you in 2019. I can’t wait to expand the Universe together.


Ready for 2019.

Yours,

Mimi Young
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist


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Image credit: Iulia Agnew for Ceremonie

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

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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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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!
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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