Interviews with people who run the show + inspire us to live well.
Deborah Hanekamp, more commonly known as Mama Medicine, is a Seeress (meaning she can see and read people's auras), a powerful energetic healer, and a grounding mother to the global clients that rely on her for her intuitive Medicine Readings.
While Mama Medicine embodies her role as a healer (from the crystals and sound bowls to her dreamy, ritual baths), she is so much more than her beautiful Instagram image conveys. She is a beacon of light and kindness in a city where staying balanced and centered requires a lot of love and support. We honor wise women, like Deborah, who hold space for our individual and collective transformations.
While this interview took place before COVID-19 become a global pandemic, Deborah’s advice and thoughts ring more true than ever, and we asked her to share a couple of her favorite ritual baths that we can use for self-care while we are home during this trying time.
Q&A for Deborah Hanekamp (Mama Medicine):
Lily: Hi Deborah! Tell us what drip you’re getting today.
I am getting the NutriCleanse because I am on a cleanse, so I want to refresh my energy and cleansing mind, body, and spirit and I am really excited to get this drip. I am doing a very gentle liver cleanse.
LK: Before we dive into all that you do, I’d love to hear a little bit more about the nature of your work, specifically how your work brought you to New York City?
I facilitate an offering called Medicine Readings, and the main focus is empowering people to be their own healers. Whether you come to see me for a 1 on 1 or we do a group session or you come for a retreat, the main focus is you being your own healer.
This is the only thing I have ever done, the only career I’ve ever had, I’ve had side jobs along the way supporting it, but I started doing this work when I was 17. It was called spiritual counseling / energy healing at the time and it didn’t get the name Medicine Readings until a bit later on. I had always been a really mystical person and had always been able to see auras around people and always wondered what else is out there past this third dimensional plane. When I was 17, there was a lot of chaos in my family, and that put me on my own so I really had to get my shit together and fast. I decided to dig deep into this mysticism and spirituality and use that as a way to not let my past become my future in a lot of ways.
One of the first things I did was move to New York, I loved it here. New York really is home, I have been here since I was 17. From New York, I spent 5 years going back and forth to Thailand, and 8 years going back and forth to Peru. I still feel like I have a lot to learn on this whole journey and the ability to ask what else is out there. Not needing to know the answer, but just ask the question.
LK: How do you deepen your learning, your practice and tapping in?
I am on this cleanse right now. I closed my brick and mortar space in December and instead of really taking time to process that, I just dropped into what’s next and focused on the future instead of the present. There was a lot of grief that was there with closing the brick and mortar space. I got some clarity through my meditations in the morning that I have really been hiding in my ego - because the ego puts you in the future all the time - so the best thing to do is put my ego in check. How to put my ego in check? It’s like giving myself a medicine reading basically. First thing is a liver cleanse, and just continue with it as long as is needed. Cleanse my space, cleanse my field, not take in a lot of social media or things that feel harsh. Cleansing mind, body, and spirit is one way where I am learning and growing. Instead of me reaching out to a master or guru, I feel like I have so much to learn from conversations with people, keeping my ego in check, and growing toward being a nicer person.
LK: What is a distance session like with you? And how does it vary from what someone may have experienced with an in-person session?
I am really loving being able to offer Medicine Readings digitally. Someone called from Mozambique, I see a lot of people from Australia, lots of people in the Middle East and all over the states. That is where my work wants to go right now, to be more worldwide. With a distance session, I get to go right from my morning practice into offering Medicine Readings, so I am in a very clear space myself, so what is meant to come through comes clearer. And when you get the Medicine Reading you are in your space and you have to sit with wherever you are, whether it’s your car or a beautiful space you’ve created in your home with crystals, you sit in that. It really follows the be your own healer concept like you now also have to create space for yourself.
We meet through Zoom and you share what you are calling in or clearing out and it’s good if you are specific, because it sets the tone for your entire Medicine Reading. It’s ok if you aren’t, but it's good if you are. I read your aura and I talk about what is coming up, the colors, the shapes, all of it. You lay down, we do a whole healing ceremony. The distance part doesn’t really matter because time and space is kind of an illusion the way we understand it in our third dimensional attachment. We’re very multidimensional. Actually, if you come in person I am still using distance healing. And then I send you on your way with homework and a prescription for a ritual bath.
LK: Much like what we are striving for with Clean Market, you offer virtual and in-person services to support and guide individuals on their paths to health and healing. How do you balance the spiritual nature of your work with the more pragmatic nature of running a business?
One thing I am really learning through all this transition and change, is really, really listening and staying true to myself through it. That business part is really inherent to me. My father is a mechanic and I started helping him out at his shop when I was 12, but even before that I always wanted to have a business and think about how you build, how you market, how you build relationships that last, how you take care of people. It’s complicated for me to not get too into the business mind and not do too much of ‘what makes sense’ in my business but more intuition and what feels right lead my business mind.
LK: How do you keep your boundaries and kind of not let other people’s energy in constantly? (I would imagine that, as an energy healer, you run the risk of taking on other people’s energetic ‘stuff’ and suffering. What personal rituals and practices are non-negotiable for your self care?)
The biggest thing is staying true to yourself, and thinking about why I started this work in the beginning. It was me wanting to be my own healer, and wanting to help other people be their own healers, and I thought there were so many different things I needed to be able to do to do that. How do I dig deeper on doing the work that I am meant to do in the world? I have had to look at what feels like an energy leak to me and be really clear on what feels actually draining.
LK: You’re ritual baths are undeniably beautiful, and you’ve just come out with a book dedicated to this practice. Can you tell us a little bit more about your ritual baths and the role they play in your life?
The book is something I have been working on for 7 years, and it's a key way that is approachable and accessible to be your own healer, which is through the baths. The book is about being your own healer through baths, it's called Ritual Baths. Most human beings understand that we feel a certain way when we get in a bath and then we feel a different way after we get out of a bath. We may not understand that as healing or healing ourselves but it really is. It’s kind of like a cookbook for baths - the book is different recipes that you can put healing intention into every bath. There is also some back story of how I came about doing this and also some insight on life.
LK: Now that we are slowly beginning to transition out of winter and into spring, do you have any specific ritual baths (or other rituals) that will help with this seasonal shift?
Seasons really play a part in it too. Right now I would recommend stuff that is really detoxifying and cleansing and putting activated charcoal in the bath, lots of salt, even clay like bentonite clay, these are all really good things to help us clear out.
LK: Do you have any suggestions for those individuals who want to begin tapping into their intuitive and/or connecting to their spirituality in a deeper way?
We are all very intuitive, we really are, but we are all trained to not listen. The first thing is starting to listen to your emotions and your emotions are a good pathway to your intuition. If your emotions are too hard to feel, because a lot of us are emotionally shut down as well, then listen to your body because your body is also a pathway to your intuition. The key is to trust it. We are taught to compartmentalize ourselves and to think a certain way and show up in a certain way, but our bodies and our emotions might be telling us something different so start listening to that and that direct access to your intuition and just this feeling of knowing things will come through more clearly.
LK: How would you recommend people start to protect their energies whether in the workplace or another environment?
I think that staying grounded is really helpful and what I mean by grounded is present and in this moment. When you are in the future, or you are in the past, you are making holes in your auric field, or spreading yourself thin so to speak. When you are present you are held, you are here, now, in this moment. Through presence you are more aware and therefore you are more protected. The best way to get into the present moment is to hold the vibration of love. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you carry that vibration of love with you. For me that is holding the vibration of how I feel when I am with my daughter. I am not with her but I am holding that vibration of deep, deep unconditional love. That helps me to be aware and present.
LK: How has your daughter impacted your work and your Medicine Readings?
I knew about holding the vibration of love before her. Before her, it was focusing on my dogs. It’s pure unconditional love all the time. We just adopted a puppy and I feel that way for her too. When my daughter came in and I held her after she was just born, I remember thinking the one thing I wanted to teach her in life was confidence and being a confident woman. I knew that I would have to set that example of confidence and that is when real boundaries started kicking in. When you don’t have boundaries you feel insecure, that is when I really found the word “no”.
Whether you’re intrigued by Mama Medicine’s ritual baths, her belief that we are our own best healers, or you're curious to explore her medicine readings, visit her here or follow along to dive deeper.