An Interview with Mama Medicine: Spirituality, Beauty and being your own Healer

New York-based seeress Deborah Hanekamp is often better known by her moniker, Mama Medicine. She is a shaman, a seer and a healer. I first saw Deborah some years back for her bespoke creations, a Medicine Reading.

I found her on Instagram at a time I was looking for guidance in my own life. When I went to Space by Mama Medicine (where she holds her sessions, which are now online and equally amazing - her platform boasts a wealth of knowledge and tools). Her offering of Medicine Readings are hard to know what to expect until you've really experienced it. In plain english, it is her creation of intuitive aura reading, guidance, energy balancing, crystal healing and sound therapy. What I can tell you is that I emerged from that session lighter, after feeling more grounded in my body than I had in years.  Since then I have worked with her many times, and continue to do so to this day.

Your spiritual wellbeing and happiness speaks to your business, your creations in the outer world. When we’re feeling connected to our own power, and to the source of love, our creations are unstoppable.

Below meet Mama Medicine. In this interview I did with her, it was for LPN a few years ago. Here we speak about healing, beauty, spirituality and what is means to Be Your Own Healer. For those of you who already know about Mama Medicine, here are all the questions answered that you wish you could ask her, and for those who do not, I am so happy to introduce you.

As we did this interview for my natural beauty blog, you may be missing the business angle in the questions. What I can tell you, is this woman has singlehandedly created one of the most amazing healing businesses in the US.

An Interview with Deborah Hanekamp, Mama Medicine

Photo Credit: Stevi Sesin

Mama Medicine’s Journey to Healing

Where did your journey into the healing arts begin?

I have always been deeply spiritual with a strong desire to be close to the divine, but I committed to this path when I was seventeen after a series of strong tragedies that made me realize I have a very limited amount of time on this planet and so I must use it wisely. The best way of doing that was to recognize my sensitivity as my strength and use it to help others while I’m here.

For those new to the idea of Shamanism, could you explain what/who is a Shaman?

A shaman is a person who can travel between the realms of the seen and unseen in order to restore natural balance to anyone in needs of healing including places, plants, animals and people.

You also work with the divine feminine and are a seeress, could you describe what that means and why it’s important right now?

We are very familiar with different archetypes of the divine masculine and much less so with the divine feminine, but beyond the face that the divine may take for some, where there is balance you will see both divine masculine and divine feminine working together. The problem is that for the past several centuries respect for the divine feminine has diminished and that’s why we see so much harm caused to nature and her beautiful creatures, [as well as] disrespect for the female body and birth.

I am here to help restore balance and respect for the divine feminine, in this work I must move beyond polarities of right and wrong and have total receptivity. This does not mean being passive (ask my husband if he thinks I’m passive – haha) actually like a mother, I have zero problem with confrontation if I think it could bring about healing that being said though, confrontation is only healing when it comes from a place of  compassion and not judgement. I think I was born into a body at this time because compassion and receptivity are deeply needed right now.

I call myself a Seeress because I can see the aura and so can see a lot about people when I first meet them, and if I rise above judgement into compassion, I can use this gift to help restore balance in the individual and their community. This is why I developed Medicine Readings.

Can you describe what is a Medicine Reading?

A Medicine Reading is a one-on-one, group and retreat experience that I created from a specific formula I use to cleanse, bless and protect the spirit. The process involves a reading of the aura, some spiritual counselling and a healing ceremony engaging all faculties of the senses and distance healing. The result is that clients leave feeling a bit deeper in themselves, clear and most importantly joyful.

Photo Credit: Stevi Sesin

What inspired the creation of MM?

Around the time I realized that I was working with the divine feminine, I also became pregnant with my beautiful daughter so the word “Mama” refers to the work I’m doing in this lifetime all around. The “Medicine” part came from the understanding that the world really needs healing right now and medicine is really anything that soothes, heals and nurtures; so, that is where Mama Medicine came from, just giving a title to the work that I’ve always been doing.

Has becoming MM always been your plan?

I always knew that I was meant to help the world in a major way. I didn’t know that would involve residing and abiding in New York City and getting to travel around the world offering a modality that I created [Medicine Readings]! I still feel myself evolving into who I must be to help our human family as much as possible. I’m looking forward to where that is going!

On Healing and The Work

Can you speak a bit about B.Y.O.H. and why it’s so important?

I really wanted to develop a way to reach more people. I understand that Instagram is a way to do this for me as well, but I wanted to give people something where they could really take time to themselves and realize that I am just pointing out that a lot of the answers are already within. So I developed B.Y.O.H. Be. Your. Own. Healer. to give spiritual seekers a tool in there tool-basket on their path of healing. I understand that not everyone can afford a Medicine Reading and so I wanted to make the price point of B.Y.O.H. really accessible so anyone can do it! B.Y.O.H. works in an accumulative way so the more you participate in it, the more cleansing, blessing and protection you receive.

**Note, BYOH is now part of SPACE by Mama Medicine where you can access this, as well as a great deal of other content.

What does it meant to create space, and what can one do to “create space” in their own home?

“Create Space” [means] honoring a place within or around you as sacred. To do so in your home means to treat your home and everything object in your home as if it is alive so with respect, [for example], put flowers on the table and clear out dust as it builds up. This also goes for your spirit home, your body.

If you could give any advice on how to start one’s own healing journey, what would you recommend?

Start with looking within and asking the question “who am I?”  What have you always known to be true? What have you been called to? This is the path that you can follow and whoever or whatever you come across on this path are simply guides on this journey but remember that you are the only one who can walk your spiritual path, no one else can do it for you.

On Daily Practice and Beauty

Photo Credit: Danielle Guenther Photos

What is your morning ritual/routine like? Has it changed since when you became a mother?

I try to wake up one to two hours before my family so I get some alone time to meditate, practice yoga and journal. If my daughter wakes up before I’m finished then I invite her to join me or I just hang out with her because being a mom is the most spiritual practice I have.  

What keeps you balanced day-to-day?

An active vinyasa yoga practice, meditation and greens are so helpful for me!

Ritual Baths are something you’re known for. If you had to pick your “go-to” which would it be?  
Photo: Stephanie Noritz

Full Circle Ritual Bath

The universe gave me experiences that time after time re-affirmed my need to find the healer within. As I mentioned before I always wanted to be as close to the divine in all forms but in this life I have to learn that the divine isn’t in one human, one place, or one practice in particular but that its in everything, it’s the love in everything, the human heartbeat, the wind, even the constant hum of New York City. But on the journey to this understanding I had to meet many would-be masters and gurus looking for the divine in them, thinking they for sure had it, I even had to experience the feeling of giving my power away to a few of them time, all so I could learn that there is holiness in all of us. I’m grateful for the lessons I learned, I’m a slow learner so it took a while, but I’m glad I learned them.

This bath is meant to invoke awareness around full circle stories we are in the middle of, the light and the shadow of them, in order to come out the other end clearer and more aware.

Both the sweetheart, warming, beautiful full-circle stories and the hard lessons learned are important to acknowledge.


– Orange slices

– Fresh basil leaves

– Elder berries

– One cup epsom salt

– Patchouli essential oil

– Sweet orange essential oil


Burn the smoke of a cinnamon stick around your body

Step into bath and dunk head underwater

Close eyes and take deep breaths

Take a moment to envision yourself in a large circle of all life, take time to see every living being in i

See yourself and the role you play within this circle, without judgement just noticing

Take time time to reflect on the full circle stories that have played out in your life

Sit and soak in the powerful energy you’ve created

What daily / weekly practice can’t you live without?

Honestly? Facilitating Medicine Readings! I get so much from what I give and my work makes my heart happy. I think that’s why I’m often doing four Medicine Readings a day five days a week.

What is your morning skincare routine?

I love Mojave Desert Skin shield products and and do a lot of Manuka Honey masks. The one thing I have as a constant ritual with my skin is washing my face immediately when I get home from offering Medicine Readings. The feeling of water on my face and third eye is so refreshing and cleanses my whole energy field.

And evening skincare routine?  

If I have the time I will do a Ritual Bath and an LED light mask and maybe some facial Gua Sha. I like to drink tea, read Rumi or Hafiz and journal for a bit before I go to sleep.

What are the plants/herbs/stones that you work with on a regular basis?

Black Tourmaline, Rosemary, salt and rose.

What should everyone have in their “medicinal tool kit”?

A selenite wand to cleanse your aura and space, white sage for the same purposes, and roses fresh or dried to remind you of the power of love.

Do you read? If so, what are your top 3 favourite books?

Yes! The Gift by Hafiz, The Book of Love by Rumi,  and in full transparency haha… the Harry Potter and Outlander series! I love a good novel sometimes.

What is your go-to beauty food / herb / supplement?

I really love the Sakara Beauty Water Concentrate it tastes so good and I think the more rose the better!

How can people connect with you if they’re not in NYC?

SPACE is  a great way or schedule a Skype Medicine Reading which can be just as powerful as an in person one!


Connect on Instagram @thisiskatemurphy
Stay up to date with Kate and The Feminine Code. Join the Monthly Newsletter.