Deborah Hanekamp, Mama Medicine
Vogue may have dubbed Mama Medicine "fashion's favorite healer," but we feel strongly Deborah Hanekamp could turn anyone on to her energy and ceremony work. In the center of Manhattan, you can find Hanekamp reading auras, calling in blessings and centering those who've sought out metaphysical healing. Sakara's co-founder, Danielle, began seeing MM when she found out she was pregnant, to become her most aligned with baby-to-be. Her presence, both incredibly calming and reassuring, left Danielle walking away from every session more in tune with her highest self and on the right path. Her sessions are hard describe but Danielle had this to say: "She is this beautiful combination of ethereal and angelic while also being firmly rooted to the Earth and tradition. My advice is to just go with an open heart and let her take you where she feels you need to go." Read on for a glimpse into her thoughts on becoming a "wisdom keeper," how turning plant-based aided in her awakening, and what it means to take a ritual bath (hint: it's far from your typical tub time).
Can you share your journey with us, big moments that helped shape who you are and your path to becoming “Mama Medicine”?
I had a really tumultuous upbringing which I’m so grateful for because it taught me compassion above everything, giving birth to my daughter empowered me, gave me so much confidence and taught me even more compassion and deciding to move back to NYC where my work was needed more and where divine will was guiding us from Peru where our personal will wanted to be. When we came back to NYC my work, Medicine Readings started doing really well.
Were you always enlightened and awakened? Or when was the shift for you and what was that experience like?
I’m still working on it! I still have so much to learn, clear and heal within myself; it’s a lifelong journey! I’ve always had a strong pull towards the divine and spirituality in all forms but I did have a really strong moment of awakening after a series of three strong tragedies when I was 17 years old, where I had to decide to either let the pain of my past become my future or take accountability and responsibility for what happens in my life— choosing the latter resulted in my becoming vegetarian, practicing meditation and learning yoga.
Take us through your process as a healer, and how you’re able to intuit what someone needs?
I look at everyone who comes to see me as a dear friend or family member who I want the best for. Sometimes we have to be a little firm with our family but it comes from a place of love and support. Through this lens and seeing the aura of my client I’m able to give them a dose of Medicine that will make sense because it’s usually just me saying out loud things they’ve already been thinking about and that’s why I can see it in their aura.
Can you share with us what Medicine Readings and the customized bath recommendations entail? What some of your favorite herbs and crystals are to work with?
When you come in, we sit down and talk about anything you are wanting to call in or clear out of your life, then we meditate together for a moment and I read your aura in depth. Then, you lay down on a crystal bed biomat, as I take you through a healing ceremony engaging the senses through sound and scent as I call in clearing, blessings and protection for you aura. After I give you some spiritual homework and prescribe you a ritual bath so you can really be your own healer. I love Rosemary and Rose Quartz for almost everyone because they are so nurturing.
What was your first Medicine Reading experience like?
Medicine Reading’s evolved over the course of of many years, I’ve always been able to see people’s energy and want to help them making Medicine Readings official helped to give me a positive channel for that energy, a place for it all to go.
What is your morning routine and evening routine? What are your rituals that help ground you, and some that help you reach that spiritual, higher ascension?
I try to wake up about an hour and a half or two hours before my family. In that time I drink tea or coffee, meditate, practice yoga, oil pull, body brush and shower. At night, after our daughter is sleeping, I like to share a cup of tea with my husband and talk about our days, journal and get my legs up the wall.
My favorite ritual and strongest way to be my own healer is ritual baths, they definitely give me that feeling of spiritual ascension as well as grounding and clarity.
Are there foods or practices you incorporate everyday that help you feel spiritually centered?
Hot water with lemon first thing in the morning makes my insides feel squeaky clean!
How can we all awaken our “inner shaman”?
Try to let go of blame, this helps us learn valuable lessons of understanding, forgiveness and compassion that initiates wisdom. The Shaman is a wisdom keeper; you are a wisdom keeper.
What is inspiring you right now?
WOMEN. I’m so proud of us coming together and building each other up. I want to see our whole human family doing the same!
What are some of your favorite wellness escapes, in the city and beyond?
In the city I love going to Pratima for an abyhanga massage out of the city I really get so much medicine from the powerful earth energy around Mandali Retreat Center in Italy, where I do my yearly retreat!
How do you access your highest vibrational self in a city as frenetic and crazy as NYC?
It’s definitely harder to do it here, but I try to remind myself in the middle of all this busyness and noise that the people are nature, we are nature! We are filled with water and crystals. We are always growing; here we grow from each other.
What is the best thing you've learned from your daughter? What teachings do you pass on to her?
My daughter is really into everything I do, so I try to include her in all of my practices and encourage her to do them for herself. Right now she’s five and making her own ritual baths and giving me Medicine Readings it’s amazing! From her I’ve been able to remember my own innocence. If I can teach her one thing in this life though I want to teach her confidence and the only way we can teach anyone anything is through example so I’m doing my best to be a confident woman.
What’s next for Mama Medicine?
So many exciting things! But in the middle of all this growth staying focused on Medicine Readings and Medicine Reading Ceremonies being the most important work I can do in a day.
What do you hope you’re legacy will be, and how do you hope to leave your mark on this world?
I wake up every morning feeling very aware that I have a very limited amount of time here on this planet to effect my human family in a positive way. It takes me releasing my fear of being seen, it takes me being open and having strong boundaries but I hope I leave this world a more compassionate place by the time I’m done with it even if that’s just through raising this one really loving kid.