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Have you ever had a gut feeling that you just couldn’t shake? Or maybe your intuition kicked in and you knew you should/shouldn’t do something? Deborah Hanekamp had always had these feelings from the time she was a small child and after suffering three tragedies at 17 years old, she decided to listen to the vibrations the universe was sending her and embraced her calling. Today, Deborah, also known as Mama Medicine, is a Seeress (has the gift of seeing people’s aura’s), an Initiated Amazonian Shaman, Reiki Master and Yogini. She opened her own yoga and healing center and people flocked to her. Vogue, New York Times and Marie Claire magazine took notice and we sat down with the healer to learn more about her practice. Read on…

mama medicine

I asked to be guided to allow love to work through me and I realized I wanted to help people find that all the Medicine they need is already within them. This understanding lead to the birth of Medicine Readings!

You are an initiated Amazonian Shaman. What does that mean exactly?

As an initiated Amazonian Shaman I can lead my own ayahuasca ceremonies (though that’s not something I feel called to do) and sing to the plants. I apprenticed in Mestizo (outside of Pucallpa, Peru) and sat in a ceremonial setting where an initiated Shaman serves you a cup of ayahuasca tea and then sings icaros (healing medicine songs) for at least five straight hours. The Shaman is able to sing for this long because he/she is channeling the plants, animals and spirit guides that he/she is calling in to heal you. I was recognized as a shaman in the first ayahuasca ceremony I ever participated in by the shaman facilitating the ceremony. I spent the next eight years traveling back and forth to the Peruvian Amazon to learn how to facilitate my own ceremonies and channel healing energy through sound from him, and then eventually, from his teacher.

That sounds intense! What else was involved in your training?

My training involved a lot of time spent alone in the jungle, fasting and drinking an infusion of different plants that would give me physical and spiritual strength. During this time I learned about the spirits of the different healing plants in the amazon jungle, as well as learning and channeling my own icaros. In that part of Peru they say that a Shaman’s strength is measured by the amount of Icaro’s they can sing, so that part is very important! After eight years I received my coronation, which is an initiation into being a recognized Shaman by the person who taught you, but more importantly by the spirits of the Jungle themselves. After my initiation, I spent two weeks cooking my own ayahuasca brew deep in the jungle and and began leading my own ayahuasca ceremonies.

How did you create your signature “Medicine Readings”?

After I had my daughter I hit a wall in my professional life. There were many traditions that I learned from and respected, but none of these traditions and practices felt like mine. It didn’t take long at all for me to realize that, after all that hard work and training, I didn’t want to lead ayahuasca ceremonies. I was inspired to sit down and surrender to the universe. I asked to be guided to allow love to work through me and I realized I wanted to help people find that all the Medicine they need is already within them. This understanding lead to the birth of Medicine Readings!

 

I don’t heal you, you heal yourself. By showing up for your Medicine Reading I simply act as a mirror to you that vibrates Love which unblocks and releases anything that you are carrying which no longer serves you.

How would you describe the Medicine Reading experience?

Medicine Readings involve many parts, from a one on one session to group ceremony and retreat which are designed to wake up your inner healer and cultivate harmony and rapture. There is an aura reading and healing ceremony including sound, scent and crystals after which a bespoke ritual bath is prescribed.

What does it feel like to heal someone?

I don’t heal you, you heal yourself. By showing up for your Medicine Reading I simply act as a mirror to you that vibrates Love which unblocks and releases anything that you are carrying which no longer serves you.

Are sessions tiring or energizing for you?

They are a little tiring for my voice and physical body but extremely nourishing for my heart and spirit.

mama medicine

 

What are your tips for finding calm within the craziness of being a working mother?

I try to squeeze in time for myself when I can which usually ends up being a practice of waking up around 5am to begin my morning. I write down my dreams, meditate, breath and drink coffee. By the time my daughter wakes up, I feel ready to devote my attention to her and then begin my work day.

We are so intrigued by crystals. What are some of the main purposes and which ones have healing powers?

Crystal healing works because they are a natural source that infuse our spirits with the love from Mother Earth. The crystals remind us that we too, are Earth. Humans are the only life form that seems to have forgotten this truth. Crystals encourage us to feel our natural selves again and feel harmonious with all life, which brings joy. A good gateway crystal is Rose Quartz.

Burnout can happen pretty easily when you are juggling work, life and motherhood! What are some things we can do to prevent and relieve that?

Prioritizing is key for me! Honestly, it can be so hard to keep up and working mom guilt is one of the worst feelings I’ve experienced to date, but I love my work and my family and getting in personal time or dinner with friends. I try to be fully present with what I’m doing by prioritizing and getting all the work I need to do done before I spend time with family, friends or on my own in a ritual bath!

mama medicine

Why is a bath so healing? What’s the best time to take one?

Water holds the ancient memory of love and so it grounds us as it cleanses us. I recommend taking one in the evening right before bed, and they are especially healing on the new and full moons!

Can you share a healing bath ritual and how we can do it at home?

A radiant spiritual body equals a radiant physical body at any age. In my experience, the closer I get to living my truth, the more glowing my aura becomes and the more beauty I see within me and around me. My Luminous Mama Ritual Bath is designed to gently relax you into your truth, resulting in an experience of beauty. It’s okay if you don’t have all the ingredients!

INGREDIENTS

BODY SCRUB: coffee grounds, pink Himalayan sea salt, local honey, frankincense powder, rose absolute essential oil, lavender flowers and Turquoise crystal.

BATH:

-Jade, lapis, Rose Quartz and carnelian crystals

-Coffee, nettles and green tea

-fresh sage, calendula, white roses, basil to cover surface

-coconut milk

-a prayer of clarity

RITUAL:

-Body brush with a dried cedar and white sage wand

-burn the smoke of white sage and cedar around your body, bath & scrub

-step into bath dunk head under water

-lightly tap the area around your throat, shoulders and heart center

-visualize a glowing turquoise light igniting at the base of the throat, spreading all throughout the physical and then auric body

-sit and soak in the energy you’ve created

What do the different colors of a person’s aura signify?

The different colors represent different physical, mental, emotional and spiritual phases we are in on any given day combined with the essence of who we are.

 

I think clear communication and being open and honest with how you are feeling is key. We can sometimes feel ashamed to ask for help, but as a new mama we really need it!

What color is new motherhood?

It really depends on the Mama and how she is processing this powerful right of passage, but a lot of times I see a light iridescent turquoise around them which tells me they are coming into a powerful understanding of their truth.

Does our baby have the same color?

No, babies have their own energy even though they are so incredibly connected to their mama!

Having babies can sometimes be a stress to a relationship. What can we do to stay connected to our partner and keep our relationship energy connected?

I think clear communication and being open and honest with how you are feeling is key. We can sometimes feel ashamed to ask for help, but as a new mama we really need it! Try to connect with your partner in a way that has nothing to do with parenting and/or chores. My husband and I like to enjoy a cup of tea together at the end of a long day and simply take time to honor and share with each other from our hearts.

Do we all have natural intuitions? Can we heighten and develop these?

Yes, we all have intuition, and the best way to connect to it in the beginning of a spiritual path is by trusting and listening to your powerful female body. For example, you come down with the flu on the day you were supposed to go to a job interview – this is your intuition’s way of telling your body that it’s not the right fit for you. Eventually with time, we learn to listen to our intuition immediately with the information having to reach our physical body to get us to pay attention.

What does your daughter say when asked what you do?

She says I meditate and heal people.

How do you share your learnings and insight with her?

I involve her in all of my self care practices at home. We self heal with sounds and crystals and tell each other about our dreams.

3 pearls of wisdom

1.

Playing with my kid is just as fun for me as it is for her.

2.

Keeping my spiritual practices going by letting them fit the shape of my busy working mama lifestyle.

3.

Connection through creation. When I've been missing my daughter throughout the work week I really look forward to Sundays. Spending a full day of painting, baking and interpretive dance helps us connect and celebrate the time we have together.

xx Deborah Hanekamp

mama medicine

Photos by Stevi Sesin

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