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 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!
founder, shamanic medicine teacher + ritualist