Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 



Canada

604-338-4177

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.

banner_blog.jpg

BLOG

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: wildwoman

HOW DID I BECOME A SHAMANIC PRACTITIONER? (EXPANDED)

Mimi Young

Mimi-Ceremonie-shaman.jpg

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 the modern Christian world view 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, 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.

WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN BALANCE

Mimi Young

The damaging pursuit of balance

The exhortation to achieve balance is not only unrealistic, but is an insufferable demand that so many modern cultures impose on women, particularly on mothers. (This is not to discredit the demands made on men, but a) I can only speak from my personal experiences of being a woman and a mother, and b) because my husband and other male friends admit to have NEVER been asked the question I am commonly asked, “How do you find balance?”).

So to answer the question, “How do you run a business, mother two young boys, make time for your relationship with your life partner, manage the house, cook, fit in self-care, practise rituals regularly, hang with girlfriends— in other words, how do you find balance as a modern woman?”

Simple answer is I don’t. I don’t even try. Balance insinuates there is an equal allocation of time and energy to each of those areas of responsibility. It implies a binary 'have achieved balance' (success) versus 'out of balance' (failure) dichotomy. And since it suggests that there is not enough time and energy to juggle it all, the mere idea of balance is a construct that comes from the perspective of lack— lack in self, lack in time, lack in resources.

It makes the assumption that I need to give myself to utter exhaustion in order to achieve the pinnacle of modernity's feminism, that is to REACH FOR EVERY DAMN THING IN SIGHT, and to ATTAIN IT ALL in order to earn the respect and adoration of the world. It speaks of an idealized, even priviledged woman who has everything she can possibly desire, in the form of balanced servings of career, family and marriage, exercise and meditation, pedicures with girlfriends, a chic home, even chic-er vacations, with a cherry on top. Fit this in with a few Instagram posts that say, "You got this, goddess" placed next to a piece of clear quartz and mug of latte. The future is female? This is not what I signed up for.

Balance, to me, is a corrupt term. A term that feeds into unbeknownst enslavement: to a mechanical sense of time, to pernicious ideals of expectations and using these external ideals as a measuring stick, and to the complete falsehood that we are superhuman. The notion of balance has dehumanized us; when we succeed we are called superwomen (or supermoms), which of course, the pedestal is then raised to an even higher bar of unsustainability, which when we cannot quite lunge there with all our plates intact, we judge ourselves inhumanely. Ask yourself these private questions: What does a 'good' mother must do to merit your badge of 'good'? What do you need to do to also merit this approval from yourself? The fact that there is any badge to me is burdensome, damaging, and squeezing every ounce of life and originality out of each and everyone of us.

When I seek answers, I look to Nature. I believe in seasons and cycles. At the moment, with the last few days of August, I have, with the exception of the commitments I have already made, am relishing in inactivity— in rest, exploration, in spontaneity. (And with those ‘breaks’ from rest, I find even greater pleasure in my work than the usual joy I experience!!). These days, my children are with me basically 24/7. And not every minute is about cuddles, fun at the beach, and Pinterest moments. There are math worksheets, silent reading periods, along with “I-am-not tired-and-don't-need-a-nap-meltdowns” and family gardening projects that not everyone is as passionate about as I am. But I digress— when the regular schedule of the academic year resumes, a different rhythm and cycle begins. There will be crunch times of fulfilling skin and aura care orders, writing deadlines for mystical workshops (yes, even mystics and healers have deadlines!), late night emailing, eating salad out of the tub at my desk, washing my hair as infrequently as when I go camping, all the while taking the kids to their activities, games, appointments, and friends' birthday parties. There will be moments when I may inadvertently place leftovers in the pantry instead of the fridge, wear the same pair of socks two days in a row, when the closest thing to a workout would be lifting the boxes of bottles and jars of glass for my orders, and my most romantic note that I will write to my partner will be a text, “Can you pick up some berries, almonds, and dark chocolate? Thanks! XO”

You would never expect all four seasons to pass through our weather system in a day, so the idea of having an equal portion of activities in a day in the name of “balance” is equally absurd. I am an advocate of cycles because even from year to year, the winter season (or any season) isn’t the same. Some are colder, others are wetter, some are both very cold and very wet, and yet some others are mild as a lamb from November through to March. Yet, from a macro view, the Earth remains the Earth. Strong, real, vibrant, resilient, and very much alive. (This is not to diminish the perils our Gaia faces from the irresponsibility of humans).

And that is the life I believe in living. One where I am in tune with myself, those around me, and the circumstances that shape things, and having the deep knowing to shift as life asks. Resilience is a flexible, undefinable, practical, and personal thing. Balance is an outward focused, mechanical, and very easily unraveled fragility. Balance, as mentioned earlier, stems from the belief that there is not enough time to do everything one believes one MUST do. Resilience comes from a sense of abundance - an abundance of self, the wealth to make innumerable adjustments, and the power to value and prioritize what one CHOOSES to do.
 

Further to the discussion of time, resources, and abundance, I'll be offering the anticipated MONEY MAGICK workshop on September 27 in Vancouver and October 14 on Bowen Island. Click HERE for more info.

Big love,

Mimi Young
founder, plant spirit medicine teacher + ritualist

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Image credit: Me, captured by Iulia Agnew

INTERVIEW WITH A SHAMANIC PRACTITIONER

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!

WINTER RITUALS + CELEBRATIONS

Mimi Young

winterrituals

 

Yule may be the most magickal time of the year. The divine Crone rules the Earth and invites the people of the land to honour and appreciate the darkness of Winter and wildness, and to hold space for mystery and the transformations that will soon emerge in the Spring. In Shamanic cultures, the medicine woman/man may wear antlers to invoke the forest deities or the respective animal totem, insuring a season of abundance and peace for the upcoming year. In modern times, we may no longer belong to a coven or have a Shaman near us, but we can clear debris, set intentions, and manifest our dreams through private practice knowing when we tend to ourselves, we are also raising the collective vibration. 

We may have forgotten how to live with the Earth's natural ebb and flow of seasons, but we can consciously choose to quiet ourselves this winter season, dim the lights (physically and metaphorically), and hibernate. We can choose to live simpler, to choose a holiday season that may look less materially, but be far richer in all other measurements. We can spend time letting our gardens rest, sweep the dust that deludes us, and dare to give permission to wear the sense of uncontainable beauty that lives in us all. Can we be brave enough to create an inner monastery so we can finally face and learn from our demons? This is the season of Yule. It is the season of darkness that is brighter than any light we are familiar with. The way there is Death; death of our egos, death to our agendas, death to our defaulted, desensitized selves. We enter this sacred place of Mid Winter, by claiming the wild women and wild men, light workers, witches and Shamans that is our natural birth right. 

As a way to support your practice, CEREMONIE is now offering 20% OFF our entire shamanic skin + aura care collection until 27, 2017.  Enter promo code WINTERSOLSTICE. 

"Gather we as old year ends
together here with knowing friends
as the New Year passes by
open up our magic eyes.

Ancient mother of Midwinter,
watcher over life and death,
the one who rebirths the world,
be with us on this longest night!
See us through the dark hours
and stand with us
as dawn births the promise of new life.
So mote it be!" -- Susan Peznecker


Stay free,
Mimi Young
founder + shamanic practitioner

Please note that orders placed after December 5 will be fulfilled the week of January 2, 2017. 

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!