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Ritual is Beautiful


I met Mimi Young in Vancouver last fall after discovering her shop Ceremonie. Discovering we had friends in the same circles, and that she lived in my hometown of Steveston, I wanted to meet for tea and pick her brain about her business, motherhood, her spirituality and the special ways she creates her products. I was so glad we did meet up! I instantly felt she was a kindred spirit and it was wonderful having a like-minded soul to chat about life with. I have since kept in touch with Mimi, and find her an inspiration in how shifting your thoughts can turn the mundane into the magical. I interviewed Mimi about her everyday rituals, unique products and her outlook is truly refreshing.

1. What is a shamanic practitioner?

I use the term 'shamanic practitioner' because some groups deem it only valid to call oneself a 'shaman' once they have gone specific initiations from said group, and is biologically from that group. Though I may not agree with this view, I do not seek to offend, either. My personal view is that since 'shaman' as a term is rooted in ancient Siberian, meaning, 'one who sees in the dark', and is one who through altered states, travels to spirit realms and brings back messages, that whether than individual has been recognized by an establishment or not, the individual possesses the gift. Shamanism exists universally, as humans have always related to Nature and the stars to divinate, analyze, forecast weather, invite hunting and gathering, honour seasons and cycles, and bring discovery, insight, and healing to individuals, tribes, and the earth. Many expressions of earth-based spirituality stem from shamanism, including paganism, I Ching, tea leaf divination, various forms of astrology (Chinese, Vedic, Western, etc).

For me, I also find the title 'shamanic practitioner' restrictive to define my work, as though I indeed work in core shamanism, I also work in the tradition of the hedgewitch (green witch), which incorporates plants, spirit beings (plants, animals, mineral spirits) in my creative and work process, as well as am a ritualist at heart. As a modern woman, I also stay current in quantum physics and the study of brain waves and consciousness, which lends an updated language to what has been known in metaphysics and spirituality for centuries. I have also formally studied aromatherapy for skin.

2. Can you tell us a bit about "Ceremonie"?

Ceremonie is a brand I started less than three years ago and its mission is to reconnect us to our most authentic selves and to Nature. She is composed of two arms - a product offering of shamanic skin + aura care, and a service offering that includes workshops and private/semi-private sessions (Remote Shamanic Readings, Aura work, and intimate retreats being the most accessed services).

All Ceremonie products are hand made (without machines) and in shamanic ritual. I follow several shamanic and earth-based spiritual practices of clearing energy, inviting spirit allies, noting special cycles/dates, and being open to their messages. The spirits are very clear on who they like to bless, protect, and give divine guidance, and I don't interfere with their messaging. Whatever messages are being imprinted is private (between the spirit allies and the customer), and is special because it is so customized. I merely facilitate this very beautiful, uplifting, and healing process. The power animals / plant spirit allies sometimes share with me brief messages so I can add that piece of information when I send off the orders with an accompanying handwritten note. By imprinting, it means blessing and creating a vibrational frequency (quantum physics recognizes that everything holds a specific vibration - from matter, to sound, to even emotions) that is then passed onto the products themselves. Careful attention is made to every aspect: from the mood I am in when I am fulfilling orders (I don't work when I frustrated, drained, etc), to the music selected when working (solfeggio music is my favourite) and even how I ship (all parcels are anointed with sage oil and I send protective plant and animal spirits to accompany them). This is essentially applying the discoveries made by Dr Emoto, who made breakthroughs in understanding how consciousness and intention can shape matter, to my process and the products themselves.

I integrate the spiritual and quantum with performance vegan skincare because as mentioned above, we are souls living with bodies as our clothing. Ritual-based clean beauty is a way to honour both these realities; I am of the belief that joy is the safest and most effective beauty ingredient, and as far as I know, no other label approaches this the way I do.

The physical plant ingredients, the mantras that are spoken into the products during the manufacturing, packaging, and even prior to shipping, as well as the spirit allies (animal totems, plant spirits, and crystal spirits mainly) who also bless the products with their shamanic messaging, all impact the products. The result is a sacred skin and aura care product that not only is nourishing for your physical self, but also to your inner self. Intention is everything in healing, magic, joy, and love. Consider this: we all know how to make soup. You take some onions, leeks, spices, and add some bones for flavour. Then you add beans, vegetables, and maybe even some olive oil for drizzle. These are standard ingredients. The restaurant can make it. You can even buy it pre-made at the market. Or you could have the soup that is lovingly made by your grandmother. She makes it with the same ingredients as the restaurant or market, but why does hers taste better than anywhere else? This is what I mean by imprinting and intention. It may be invisible, but it is what makes Ceremonie products so loved by our customers. It is why many say they experience a heightened sense of self-acceptance, self-love, liberation, and an appreciation for their place in life. Experiencing yourself this way will naturally bring a glow to your face that no amount of "conventional beauty products" can, because you now have the greatest beauty ingredient of all - joy.

3. How do you find time to make your morning routine a sacred ritual with two kids?

I think it’s the mindset; not all rituals involve incense and spells. Getting myself and the kids ready for the day each morning IS the ritual. I also am a fine tea enthusiast. No day can officially start without a pot of tea.

Photography by  Iulia Agnew

Photography by Iulia Agnew

4. You have such radiant skin, can you describe your morning cleansing routine?

Wash face with Ceremonie’s Cleansing Milk and a cotton washcloth with warm water. Mist with Ceremonie’s Neroli-based HydrosolComfort Cream, and Spaciousness Serum. I also regularly consume Tru Marine Collagen, Nutrasea Fish Oil, herbal teas, fermented foods and kombucha, and Taiwanese-style herbal chicken soup (recipe below).

5. Does your morning ritual have an impact on the way the rest of your day goes? 

I swear by my morning cup of tea. Whether it is caffeinated (my go-tos are oolongs) or herbal (depends on how I am feeling and whether I am drinking for pure pleasure or medicine — which is still pleasure, but with an additional intention). The ritual of heating water, selecting the tea, and steeping the tea to its specifications - along with the actual consumption - are deeply sensual for me. It puts me in touch with my senses, the Earth, and even the spirits, as I share my morning tea with my spirit allies on my altars. The usual routine of showers and getting properly dressed are actually optional.

6. What other rituals do you have throughout the day and why do you do them? 

smudge frequently throughout the day. When I am not formulating and fulfilling orders, I am offering Remote Shamanic Readings, doing one-on-one aura work, or teaching workshops. I am around a lot of people and even more so, a lot of spirits. It's my responsibility to keep my aura clear for myself, my family, and my clients. I smudge between readings, between activities, and soak in hot baths with plenty of sea salt. 

I also track my menses and perform a monthly personal lunar ritual that focuses on overall well-being and prosperity for myself and the family. My Day 1 is typically around the New Moon, so the ritual has this added meaning and benefit. I typically do a prosperity ritual and burn Prosperity Herbal Incense.

7. Do you ever integrate gemstones into your practices? And if so, can you tell me a bit about your favorite ones?

I wear stones. Typically, they include Rose Quartz on my wedding band, Blue Sapphire around my neck, and depending on what supportive energies I am calling, it could include Labradorite, Pearl, Garnet, Tibetan Turquoise, Piertersite, and Merlinite (among others). I wear specific stones on specific fingers / parts of my body for specific reasons. Without going on forever, I'll elaborate on one: Piertersite assists with clarity and sound judgment. Since I have a long list of to dos on a daily basis (what can I say, I am an achiever), it's important for me to not over-analyze or be paralyzed by options / hypothesized scenarios. With Pietersite sitting on my index finger (the finger associated with command and accuracy), I appreciate the alchemy between my intuition, my mind, and the stone. 

I also use gemstones during the post formulation phase of my products, when they have been bottled, but not yet packed and shipped off. The vibrations of the stones add stability and their own unique potencies for the individual orders. I also use crystals when I am on journeys (Remote Shamanic Readings). They ground me and keep my clear so I can observe and take in what the spirits are saying without me adding my own biases to the visions.

Photography by  Iulia Agnew

Photography by Iulia Agnew

8.How did you discover the healing properties of gemstones?

I have always been attracted to all rocks, but I had believed it was only for their external beauty. I was such a skeptic when it came to their therapeutic, vibrational medicine. I feel many crystal healers (at the time when I got into them) lacked the language and grounded practice to speak to the unconverted. I resisted stones for some time, until I met them during my journeys and began sensing their personalities even on this plane of reality. I later discovered that rocks are our ancestors, as they have been here much longer than we have, and have observed our biological ancestors. Stones are in many ways, the scribes of the Earth. They can absorb energies and release energies

Taiwanese-style chicken soup

  • 1 whole organic chicken

  • 2 small pieces of raw pork (such as fast fry pork chops)

  • 1/4 cup mirin (Chinese cooking wine)

  • 1 Chinese red date

  • 1/4 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

  • 1-3 slices of reishi mushroom (reishi can add bitterness; use sparingly)

  • 4 slices of dried astralagus

  • Optional: 1 tbsp of dried goji berries

  • Roughly 3+ L of alkaline water

  • sea salt to taste (you won't need as much as you think because of the dried anchovies)

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 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.