The energy and “ritual bath” healer says that sensitivity is one of our fiercest strengths.
– KEYS SOULCARE
On the day of our interview with energy reader, medicine healer, and author Deborah Hanekamp (a.k.a., Mama Medicine), a tropical storm touched down — for three tree-twisting, and wifi-cancelling hours — in her Brooklyn neighborhood. We’d prepped a ton of questions about the signature ritual baths she’s prepping for the holiday season (to quote Alicia Keys, “they’re fire!”), and how to incorporate them into our own soulcare routines. But something about the downed power lines and eerily quiet streets sent our convo in a deeper direction, and we’re so thankful it did.
What are your medicine readings like?
The main focus is you being your own healer. It’s all about you keeping your power, and then everything that happens within our time together kind of guides you down your own path.
I’ll ask you to get specific about what’s going on and what brought you. I read your aura and tell you what I see — the different colors, shapes, what it all means in relation to whatever you told me. I use a lot of sound elements. And then I send you on your way with some homework and a prescription for a ritual bath.
What initially drew you to energy work?
I always saw auras, I always saw colors around people. I had a very chaotic upbringing, so I needed to use my intuition and sensitivity to stay safe. It was a gift that intuition was heightened in me from a young age. My mom was bad with drugs and alcohol, and my dad was never around. It was just my brother and me on our own. That also led to me moving out of the house when I was really young.
How would you describe your healing style?
The moment that I come into a space where I’m like, “I’m right and you’re wrong” is a dogmatic space — and one of the main causes of ignorance. In the wellness world there are so many [dogmas] — around food, meditation practices, doing things in an exact wayto be an exact type of person if you “just follow these steps…”
I really tried to make my work dogma-free and keep reassessing all of my own dogmas. For example, at the end of a medicine reading, I’ll give you homework. But if you don’t do the homework, nothing bad happens! There’s no detention or anything like that.
How does energy work affect one’s body?
We’re always taught to show up with our game face on — essentially [to be] as people need us rather than as we are. The first thing that happens [with energy work] is that it sensitizes you. It can sometimes feel like too much! A lot of people cry or have a massive release. It’s a very transformative experience. But that’s what leads you to awareness.
It often feels like we’re good at ritualizing NOT taking care of ourselves.
One thing people have in common when things really transform for them is an inner remembrance that they are loved and self-embodied. You’re not going to be able to pay attention and feel yourself embodied in the power of your love when you are trying to also desensitize yourself and shut the world off and be like, “Ah, it’s too much. I’m just gonna watch Netflix all the time.”
How do you advise people to get out of their busy lives and make time for a “piece of peace” as Alicia likes to say?
My daughter is young, so she’s into everything. Lately I’ve been teaching her about the power of offerings. If you go climb a tree, say thank you to the tree… [because] you can speak to nature, that kind of thing. Yesterday on our walk, she said, “You know Mom, I can speak to dogs!” And I laughed, but I thought about the point of what I’m teaching her. And she’s right.
What keeps you feeling safe right now?
Awareness. It comes from not distracting ourselves from the love that lives within us.
If you focus on big mistakes from the past, were you really paying attention? Were you truly embodied in that moment? I think of it the way a mother wolf might — being aware on a level that keeps herself and her children protected. We owe that to ourselves, too.
What makes you a lightworker?
In order to work with light, you have to not only know it, but own your shadow side. So, everything that I see in the world that I want to shift, I need to embrace within me first. I think that a lot of lightworkers have seen a lot of shadow, and know shadow, but then go in grace and choose to share light.
Wishing you all the grace and all the light today.