For Brooke Manning, owner of Likely General, the cannabis ceremony has become part of an ongoing exploration of self and a balm for her soul and psyche.
Ceremony elevates time, marking a moment with spiritual intention. “My favourite way to consume cannabis involves an impossibly long bath. I use herbs, oils, candles, different salts I infuse, and many dim, sometimes psychedelic, lights.”
Brooke invited us into her home, a space she’s decorated with deep intention.
Every artful object has a purpose or a story behind it. In the small, light filled shed at the back of her home, she keeps treasures collected from her outdoor wanderings, dried flowers and stones in balanced arrangements. “I also walk in nature everyday with my dog and often, I will bring my vape along. Each day is different but, what’s most important to me is stillness and aloneness; the ability to breathe deeply, wash the world away for a moment, and gently let it come back to me in slow waves of mindful realizations.”
There are rows of glass jars filled with fragrant herbs, crystals and coloured glass, and small slips of paper with messages she’s written to herself. In her bedroom, sit dozens of candles, waiting to be lit.
Just being in Brooke’s presence feels ceremonial, and her space feels intimate but also warm, and welcoming. “Cannabis, along with therapy, mindfulness, and literature, has aided me in my trauma healing and that is invaluable to me. It has always been very important to me to not put chemicals into my body. I live a very clean life and this includes medications. I always look to plants first for healing.”
Photography by Angela Lewis
In my 15 years of consuming cannabis I've become much more mindful with it. Weed really sets me into myself deeply, which is what I love most about it. It aids my self-awareness; something I highly value in my life and my art. ”
I opened Likely General in 2013, but for nearly a decade before that, the shop had been a quiet, back-burner dream of mine. I am an artist, poet, and musician, but I am drawn to supporting others with my work. I wanted to help grow a multi-functional space connecting rising artists to the public and consumers in an organic, ethical, and transparent way. I am motivated and passionate about responsible consumerism, social change, empathy, and transparency. Our first focus is to provide a home for the artistic work of women, non-binary, and marginalized folks. It’s been a humbling and amazing experience to watch the shop transform, and cultivate a community that continually encourages its growth.
Go online and find a binaural beat that works for you. A binaural beat is the brain’s measured response when hearing the difference between two tones. Each is different in it’s intention. I like to use the 4-7 hertz for ritualistic and personal reasons. This particular frequency focuses on heightened intuition, awareness, and creativity while healing one’s body, lowering stress levels, and promoting clear thinking.
Once you are in a waking state, find a comfortable place free of distractions. This could be your bed but, sit outside of the covers.
Have your stereo headphones handy, stereo headphones are key as they allow separate tones to reach both the left and right ears. As the brain follows this difference, it begins to perceive the tones as an audible beat and therefore will create its own: a binaural beat.
Light a candle in the room you are in. Focus on it. If you don’t have a candle, close your eyes and attempt to clear your mind.
Sit in stillness and begin to play the frequency to your headphones while focusing on the candle. Take a few minutes to quiet your mind; drain it from the tasks of the day ahead and what might have come to you during sleep. Focus on the candle, your breath, the air flowing in and out of your centre, the power you are generating, the tones in your ears.
It takes 7 minutes of active focus in order for your brain to begin to create its binaural beat. I recommend sitting in stillness with this for 30 minutes if you can.
After this time, remove your headphones, blow out the candle gently and return to quiet stillness for as long as you have. Recognize the thoughts that float into your mind, thank and acknowledge them but do not hold them. Focus on your breath, and the air passing through nostrils to parted lips.
Move to whatever practice it is that is your lifeforce. This could be dancing, reading, cooking, listening to music, tidying – anything to move the energy around you to encompass all that is you. Do these acts with intention, deep gratitude, and purity. I typically move to my kitchen table and begin writing. While some days I write nothing, other days I cannot stop. Be grateful for what comes and accept what does not if your action isn’t pooling oceans of creative power around you.
Thank yourself for taking time to listen to your body and spirit and for honouring your stillness within self.