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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: spirits

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

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

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

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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