Be Your Own Shaman


Be Your Own Shaman

For over 17 years, Deborah Hanekamp has studied the healing traditions of indigenous cultures all over the world. In this episode, she shares her tips on how to tap into your innate ability to heal and how  to develop an unshakeable sense of peace and calm. We also talk about auras, plant medicine, and energy healing.

Deborah Hanekamp

Deborah Hanekamp


Mama Medicine is Deborah Hanekamp - “fashion’s favorite healer” (Vogue Magazine). Mama Medicine facilitates Medicine Readings out of her Space in Soho, NYC. These ceremonies integrate over 17 years of experience and wisdom in the healing arts. Her work blends ancient knowledge from across a variety of traditions. Mama Medicine helps us connect to the inner shaman within us all: the power of love.


Maria Marlowe: [00:00:34] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier podcast. Today’s guest is Deborah Hanekamp, a.k.a., a Mama Medicine, who has been dubbed fashion’s favorite healer by Vogue magazine. She facilitates medicine readings out of her space in Soho, NYC, and her work blends ancient knowledge from across a variety of traditions. And she has over 17 years of experience and wisdom in the healing arts. Today, she’s here to discuss shamanism and medicine readings and also how we can gain a sense of peace and clarity and calmness in our own lives by becoming our own healer, by becoming our own shaman.

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Maria Marlowe: [00:02:34] You have a pretty unconventional career as a shaman and a healer. So, what inspired you to take this path and how did you get started?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:02:43] Well, I just really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up at a young age. And so I kind of got started right when I got out of high school. Looking at what can I do to develop my natural intuition? And so instead of going to a traditional university, I went back and forth to Thailand for five years, studied challenge healing, energy healing, crystal healing. And then I went back and forth to the Amazon for eight years studying shamanism there. And so it started very early for me. I just knew that I wanted to be a part of healing well.

Maria Marlowe: [00:03:28]And who introduced you? Because I know personally I learned about shamanism when I was a bit older, so more when I was in college, I had this boyfriend who was like into all of this stuff and Reiki and all this alternative stuff. So he was my first sort of introduction into shamanism and energy healing. But when I was younger, I had no idea what any of this stuff is. So how did you even get the introduction to this? Was there someone in your life or how did you find out about it?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:03:54] I just actively sought it out. Like I wanted to know what is the inside sensations I’m feeling and colors I’m seeing and all of that. And the first pathway I took was practicing Yoga and practicing Zen meditation, which led me to do yoga teacher training in Vancouver. And then from there, I met people who were practicing Reiki and that, you know, it was like one door kind of led to the other. And soon I was open to discovering it and actively seeking it. Yeah.

Maria Marlowe: [00:04:30] Yeah. And that’s usually how it happens, right? You kind of start taking the path a little bit and then more doors start opening up.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:04:37]Exactly. Yeah. It was a bit of a domino effect.

Maria Marlowe: [00:04:41] So I wanted to ask you about one line that you have written on your website. You wrote. “Compassion is my Compass.” So, what do you mean by that and how can we incorporate that sentiment into our own lives?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:04:55] I just think that it’s really important to lead our lives from a place of compassion. A lot of times if we really look, we find that we’re carrying guilt and shame or resentment towards ourselves. Resentment towards others. And we start to live life from a kind of protective, even defensive, reactive place rather than a peaceful, compassionate, proactive place. And so I think it’s really helpful from time to time to go in and kind of put yourself in check. Like, what are those moments in my life where I’m still carrying shame from, where am I still carrying resentment and who am I resenting? And then, how can I have acceptance and understanding and forgiveness and ultimately compassion for my self and for those others. Another big thing that puts us in a place of insecurity, which is almost opposite compassion, is when we’re seeking acknowledgement outside of ourselves and approval outside of ourselves. So, I think another really helpful question, along with putting ourselves in check in order to live a more compassionate life, is to ask ourselves, who am I seeking acknowledgement from and why?

Maria Marlowe: [00:06:26] Yeah. That’s a good one, especially in this age of Instagram, where we’re basing our self-worth on our number of likes and followers and all of that stuff. So to really separate ourselves from that? Actually, I’m curious. I use it because you have a really great Instagram. And actually when I look at your Instagram, your feed, like I just feel a sense of peace, like it really just radiates out of your photos, your captions, everything. So how do we live in this world where there is things are there are things like Instagram and yet still make sure that we’re not putting our worth, you know, on those apps and on those likes and following.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:07:06] Yeah, it’s not to minimise the process of, you know, self worth being put taken from Instagram or taken from outside devices and put back into ourselves. But I do think that, you know, for me with Instagram, it’s a little bit like, what can I do to offer a counterbalance to everything that is out there? Because even if people are well-meaning, there’s a lot of like us and then energy in social media in general, and there’s a lot of kind of righteousness and righteous selling. And then on top of that, it’s sort of an ocean of insecurity and like waves to fix ourselves. And so I think for me personally, it’s like, how can I set an example to show people a sense of like confidence and you’ve got this? You actually don’t need to be fixed. You’re perfect as you are. And I play this message like your own healer like it’s coming up for me because it’s so important that we’re not looking outside of ourselves for solutions or answers, and a lot of times problems we face or challenges or resistance that comes up. It’s really just something to teach us along the way. So I don’t know. I try to use it for good, you know?

Maria Marlowe: [00:08:31] You know, and I love that. And I love this whole idea of being your own healer. And I often talk about this on the episode in terms of food, even in that there’s nothing wrong with your body. You know, if you have digestive issues, if you have health problems, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just your body’s trying to show you something. And you can be your own healer if you start to understand and become more in tune with your body you can figure out how to heal. So, let’s talk a little bit about your medicine of readings, because I know that’s what you’re really known for. So what is a medicine reading?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:09:07] Medicine reading is a one on one group and also other enriching experience, that we either do in person or digitally except for the enriching. It isn’t available digitally. That’s only in person where you come. And let’s say, it’s a one on one. You come and we talk about anything that you’re looking to call in or clear out of your life right now. And then, we sit and I read your aura which is an energy field surrounding your body that’s piercing you in different colors and shapes. And I tell you what I see coming up in your aura. That could be hidden talents and gifts or things that could be blocking you a bit. And it’s very much about the present moment. Like I’m not reading your future at all. Like it’s because we don’t know what is going to happen in the future. There’s destiny but there’s also freewill, you know. So we talk about what the tools are that you already have like in you to be your own healers and how you can utilize them. So it’s very like proactive and approachable and accessible, and sometimes honestly can be a little bit intense, that part. And then we finish talking and then I guide you to lie down and breathe in a specific way. And we go through a whole energy healing ceremony using scents and sounds and energy sounds and crystals and things like that. And then I send you on your way with some homework and also a prescription for a ritual.

Maria Marlowe: [00:10:50] Okay, I have so many questions for you so.  So, well.. okay, let’s just go back to the aura reading, because I think this is something that’s been or is a little bit pop culturally, trendy. Like I know in the past few years, sometimes when I go to wellness events, they’ll have some special photograph thing there where they can photograph your aura, and you’ll get this picture and it’s pretty cool. It’s like, you know, it has a different color surrounding you. So I’m curious, is that a real thing or is that more just for fun like the photo is? Is that pretty accurate? And then are you actually seeing the aura just with your own eyes?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:11:28] Yeah. I just see the aura with my own eyes. I feel like we can all sense energy. Most of us feel, like we’ll get chills when we hear something that feels very true or will feel when somebody is like staring at us in a room, even though our back is turned to them. But for me, the strongest way I sense the energy is through sight. I hear, I feel but mostly I see with the challenger photography or the aura photography. You know, when we look at a photograph versus them, we see things in real life. It looks totally different. You know, it doesn’t… it doesn’t read the same at all. So like I’d share a credit or discount the aura photography. All I can say is like, it just it looks different to me. It appears different to me. But I think that there’s a lot that, like a camera wouldn’t be able to pick up on things like that.

Maria Marlowe: [00:12:33] Hmm. And so it sounds like during the medicine reading, you’re also having people reflect, which is, I think, something that we often don’t take the time to do. Right. Because you’re asking them about the present moment. What are you holding on to that you need to get rid of, that sort of thing. So I feel like self-reflection, that sounds like is a big part of the medicine reading as well.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:12:56] It’s super important because if we don’t have that process of self-reflection, we will always seek answers outside of ourselves, unless we won’t be patient with our process and we’ll be patient with ourselves. So we’ll try this thing and if it doesn’t work immediately, we try the next thing. If that doesn’t work out next thing and we get into this like kind of vicious, all consuming cycle of fixing ourselves.  If we reflect, we start to understand that like, it’s all part of the process. Everything that we’ve been through, everything we’ve experienced in life has happened to help us to grow, to help us to get to this exact moment. And now, what are we going to do with the tools that we have received from everything that we’ve been through?

Maria Marlowe: [00:13:50] Right. And I think that we often don’t realize that we’re acting in a way because of something we’re holding onto. Right, or because of a belief that we have, because of something that happened. That’s actually coloring our thoughts and our actions going forward. And until we deal with that thing, until we release that thing, we’re going to continue to just make decisions and take actions from a place that maybe is not serving us to our highest self. And so, it is really important to take that time to reflect, to release whatever it is that we need to release. And then it really feels like you have a weight lifted off your shoulders and a clearer mind and a clearer path of action. Once we just have to stop and take that time to self-reflect.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:14:38] Absolutely, and I think that that time can come through in meditation, just sitting and, you know, feeling and listening. But I also think it can come through when we decide to leave our phone at home and go outside for a walk and to connect to nature. Any time we get time alone to ourselves, completely floods and floods of reflection comes through. For me, my favorite place to reflect is in the bath.

Maria Marlowe: [00:15:14] Yes,I wanted to ask you about the ritual baths because I know that plays a big part in what you do. So you mentioned that at the end of the medicine reading, you do prescribe a ritual bath. So can you explain a little bit more about the ritual bath and also how do you choose? I know there’s a few different ingredients involved in that. So how do you choose what you add to those baths?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:15:35] I think it depends on where the moon is.  I pay a lot of attention to the moon, and then also just like what I’m noticing coming up in my clients through the week, it’s also what I’m experiencing myself. And then I create a bath based on all of that. I’ve studied herbal medicine both in North America and South America and know like the energetic properties of a lot of the plants, as well as the physical properties that I focus a little bit more on the energetics. And so I go, “Okay, what is the plant that needs to go into this bath? What’s the shaman like. All of that. What’s going on in the world right now? What is like the collective consciousness, for lack of a better word, experiencing at this moment? And what can I offer that will help to balance that experience?

Maria Marlowe: [00:16:33] So, you add then it sounds like different herbs and plants. And I believe there’s also crystals involved. Right?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:16:40] Yeah. Herbs and crystals and salts, and sometimes essential oils as well.

Maria Marlowe: [00:16:48] And so I’m a big bath person. I think taking a bath is like one of the most relaxing, like nicest little things that we can do for ourselves. But I know in New York City and nearly everywhere, a lot of people hate taking baths, right. They just want to take a shower, be in and out really quick. And they don’t even want a bathtub in their apartment. So can you speak to a little bit about that? What makes a bath such a powerful vehicle for for relaxation and for healing?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:17:17] First of all, it puts us in the energy of receptivity. Water is the energy of receptivity.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:17:25] And we feel so comforted and so much at home when we’re in the bath because it is re-creating a womb-like experience for us. So before we go into the bath, we’re feeling one way. We’re carrying the charged energy of our day where you know. But then, we go into the bath and we experience a rebirth. And this is even if you’re doing a bath, just walk, right. You go into bath and you are like you’re submerging yourself in the feeling of water holding you, which is very much just like womb-like experience. You step out of the bath, you feel in a completely different way and you’ve done this whole free birthing practice on yourself without even really realizing exactly what you were doing.

Maria Marlowe: [00:18:16] Right. Yeah, it’s it’s you leave feeling or you get out feeling new and refreshed.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:18:22] Exactly. Exactly.

Maria Marlowe: [00:18:25] Okay, so after someone does a medicine reading and then they do the ritual bath. Is this then something would they do medicine readings on some sort of regular basis or just when they’re struggling with something?  Like, when would someone or when should someone seek out a medicine reading?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:18:43] I think it’s a great tool to use at any moment in life when you are having a strong time of self-discovery. That being said, a lot of times people come when they’re processing something really strong and they just they feel like being mean to sound corded with someone and just need a little assistance with that process. So a lot of times people will come with fertility issues, health issues, maybe career transitions, lots of romantic inquiries will come up. But in terms of frequency, you know, you being your own healer, is you deciding when you should come or not.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:19:31] Sometimes when I feel like somebody really needs a lot of help, I’ll be like, OK, I say you should come once a month for a little bit just so we can help get you through this part of life. But most of the time, I tell people, just come whenever you feel like it’s time to. But I ask people not to come more than once a month because I feel like then they’re starting to come to me to heal them and it’s the matter of them doing it themselves.

Maria Marlowe: [00:20:05] Right. Yeah, that was a really important distinction. I think it is easy, especially in this day and age. Everybody wants to look to a guru or wants to just lay their problems on the healer or even the doctor and have the doctor fix them or the healer fix them, not realizing that they do actually have the innate ability to heal themselves. Right, with their thoughts and actions. So, can you share just some tips or advice like how do we really start becoming our own inner shaman? I know you mentioned a couple of things earlier, but what are the rituals or thought patterns or techniques? What are the things that we do to really start becoming our own inner shaman?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:20:44] Well, I think the really big thing is like if you are feeling out of balance, if you are feeling just like off or “stuck” is a word I hear a lot, or blocked. Really, check to see when the last time was that you spent time outside. Like, sometimes all we have to do to be our own healer is just kind of put everything down, and go outside. The reason why is because, you know, and this is true, even if you do live in busy city. Like, I live in New York you know, but you have the sky and we have the people as in nature. But the reason why going outside is such a powerful tool for you being your own healer, is because we really are nature. And, when we get outside and we connect to nature and when we breathe in the air, when we feel the earth under our feet, we feel more connected to ourselves. We feel less alone, and therefore, we start feeling much more healed.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:21:54] Another thing that is really helpful is I think, like kind of tying up loose ends and likes, and trying to stay organized and making sure that we see things through to completion. I think that that’s really powerful and a very simple way to do that is just, you know, when you wake up, you get out of bed, you make the bed. Like, already, like then you’ve made the bed. And, you’ve accomplished something and like for the day and then, anything you do from there, it’s like it gives you this sense as self-assurance and self-confidence. Like, “I can do this. I got this,” you know. So, the more and more you kind of take responsibility and accountability for yourself, your surroundings, your actions, what you say you do, what you eat. The more accountability and responsibility you start to take, the more healed and balance you’ll ultimately feel.

Maria Marlowe: [00:22:55] Yeah, I agree. And I just, you know, this makes me think of another guest that I had on here who was more who is a life coach. And she talks really about the importance of keeping your promises to yourself. So if you say you’re going to go to the gym three times this week or whatever or you know, you’re gonna finish this project by this deadline and you don’t do it. You are breaking that promise to yourself. And then you’re you’re going to kind of be mad at yourself and not believe yourself. Right, because you just lied to yourself. And so it does sort of give you this uncomfortable feeling or the feeling of having these loose ends, of not having really tied up these loose ends. So, yeah, I love that you brought that up because I do think that’s important. I see it even in my own life. Like when I break a promise to myself, I just feel uneasy. But when I actually complete and do what I say I’m going to do, I feel so much more confident and just better about everything. And it’s easier for me to continue taking action instead of feeling stuck and like I’ve plateaued somewhere.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:23:55] Absolutely. Absolutely.

Maria Marlowe: [00:23:58]And are there any other besides nature, which I also agree and I recently moved, but when I was in New York, I always made it a point to live very close to Central Park because I needed to be by that nature. And even like I would take my work calls there or have meetings, walking meetings whenever I could because I do think it is so important for us to be in nature as well. But is there anything else?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:24:22] Well, as we are progressing, I would just like add in you know, of course, like I love meditation. I love the baths. If you go on my Instagram, there’s so much information that you can find in terms of like little rituals to do.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:24:37] But I really think another thing is like what we were talking about before, with having that practice of forgiveness.  You know, what are we carrying that we still need to release and let go of? Because one thing I see in my client’s auras and it’s very, very clear when they are carrying resentment, when they’re carrying resentment towards themselves and they’re carrying resentment towards others. And it’s so amazing, like when you start to look at, like who or what you’ve been hanging on to. All these like weird little things will start to pop up. You know, maybe a police officer who gave you a ticket five years ago or, you know, it’s not just like these big ones. Like, you know, our ex or you know, it’s something our parents did or something like that. It’s all these like little things that we start to pick up and then we start to carry around anger with us. And then we have these kind of holes in our auric field, which then attracts more of that same energy to us of somebody who’s going to like make us angry or something’s going to upset us in some way because we haven’t yet healed the past resentment.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:25:57] So I think just in order to live a happy life, it’s like you gotta learn how to let stuff go. It’s very important and forgive. So, it’s a super powerful medicine.

Maria Marlowe: [00:26:10] Yeah, I agree and I think that’s really important. I do think, though, sometimes we don’t even realize like that cop five years ago, you know, we’re so angry or resentful about. We don’t even realize we’re angry or resentful about these things or haven’t fully healed it. So, again, that kind of comes back to that self-reflection, really digging a little bit deeper to figure out what you’re holding on to in order to finally release that and heal that.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:26:35] Definitely.

Maria Marlowe: [00:26:37] And I’m curious for you because again, like when I see you, when I speak to you and I see your Instagram, you know, you do exude this aura of peace and tranquility. And I’m sure you have stressors in your life, right? We all do. So I know in New York City, most people are very stressed, have very high levels of stress. Sometimes they don’t even realize how stressed they are. So I’m just curious, what are some of your tips for dealing with stress and anxiety, fear and overwhelm? Are there any things that you do that help keep you peaceful and grounded besides anything that we’ve already talked about?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:27:14] Well, I want to just like preface this, but I definitely face a lot of stress! stress!

Maria Marlowe: [00:27:19] For sure.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:27:22] And the thing is, like with the “peace” part of it, I know it’s like I know myself. So I feel peace. I feel calm with myself. So, like, I know, for example, if a challenge comes up, I’m going to find a way to face that challenge and step up to that challenge. If I have to have a confrontation with someone, like I have zero issues with confrontation. So I’ll just say I’ll just be like, “OK, let’s clear this up. Like, how can we move forward from this place? I don’t want to, like, carry this weird energy.” So I’m very like direct in that sense, which gives me this feeling of peace and calm because I know myself. But I also, I really do a lot in terms of like my own energy to keep myself calm.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:28:14] So. It’s like not being afraid to confront myself is really important, and like stuff that I’m doing that isn’t in my highest good. And then I have practices, like I wake up two hours before my family. So I wake up at five and then I wake them up at 7:00. And in those two hours, I take time to make myself some tea or coffee, meditate for at least 45 minutes, practice yoga or go to the gym or go to class or like something like that. And then I come back, I shower. I wake them up. I’m ready for my gym. So for me, having those two hours in the morning that are really just mine, because the second I wake up my daughter and wake up my house and the coffee and all of that. Like the whole rest of my day is dedicated to like service and offering to others. And by the time, like night time rolls around, my daughter’s taking her bath. I’ve put her to bed like that. So I just wanna, like take a bath and read a book, go to sleep. Like that kind of thing. So, the morning is really the only time that I have that’s like truly mine. And so to me, that was like two hours in the morning are super sacred. Sometimes I play singing bowls for myself while I’m meditating. Like it’s a very special time for me.

Maria Marlowe: [00:29:51] I love morning rituals as well and I think adding them to our lives, even if it’s just 10, 20, 30 minutes, can still make that difference. Because you’re right, it’s like once you get to work or once you wake your kids up, your husband up or whoever. Like, your life is sort of not your own. There’s no more “you” time. It’s you’re serving others in one way or another. So having that time in the morning to just get settled, to get grounded, just start on a really peaceful note, I think really sets the tone for the rest of the day. And you can you can handle all the challenges and things that come up a little bit better because you’ve already given yourself that time to ground and to get to that peaceful state in the morning.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:30:33] Exactly.

Maria Marlowe: [00:30:35] You have touched on a few different traditions that you work with and I know that you’ve studied really all over the world. So can you just speak to some of the different traditions that you’ve combined? You mentioned plant medicine, herbs. You mentioned Thailand. Can you just speak to, I guess, what places and what traditions that you take from and then why you like these traditions??

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:30:55] Mostly in medicine readings, the biggest thing that I use is the Icaros that are the medicine songs that I learned in Peruvian Amazon. And the way that you’re taught them is that you have to diet with a specific plan in order to learn how to sing to it. So, you go into the Amazon, you’re totally open to the elements. You’re fasting and you’re drinking an infusion of a plant for about 10 days or a month or three months at a time. And while you’re drinking in that infusion, you’re asking the plant to speak to you and to teach you how to sing to it because the songs are really the essence of the plants too. And, it’s the setting, environment too, with the songs, the Icaros, you really have helps you heal. And because it was eight years of my life and also at such a developmental time. Like I started going to Peruvian Amazon by myself when I was like 24. So, it is really just how I learned how to heal.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:32:11] I was already offering healing sessions before I even went to Thailand, and just reading people’s auras and telling them that I had seen a sort of spiritual counseling setting, and doing energy healing. And then, when I was in Thailand, I learned to do Reiki and all sorts of different energy healing. And I learned the healing with sound in a different way, more with tools and things like that. But I have to say, like, I’m really checking myself always about what does it feel okay for me to be using as a white American woman? Right. Because like I got the opportunity to spend that eight years of my life going back and forth from the Amazon, working with the indigenous people there and giving a lot to them and also receiving a lot from them. But the thing is, like I was not born into that culture. And so there is a lot of what I learned in the Amazon, right. When I’d really checked myself it was important to leave behind. For example, like there’s these beautiful textiles that they make that have the Icaros, the medicine songs woven into them. And I have some that were made, like the indigenous women. Actually, when I received my coronation to be able to lead, I watched the ceremonies. They made, they wove me a whole beautiful ceremonial dress as part of that gift. But like, I never showed that to anyone. I never show like the textiles. Like, if you come to space, it’s very like airy and modern, and it really just is like the plants and stones and like earth energy, and not really like taking from that culture because I feel really sensitive to it.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:34:14] When I was leaving the… When I completed the apprenticeship versus when I started the apprenticeship, it was like when I started, everybody was taking these ceremonial things very seriously. They you know, there was a lot of respect versus like test for it eight years later and it was like mixed shambled. Like, you know, people going to the Amazon one time and deciding that they’re a shaman and they’re going to start reading ceremonies and or, just like putting like the images up in their textiles because they think it makes them look cool or more deep or more spiritual and things like that. And so, yes, the work that I do now, it’s with well, really felt like it was mine and just how I’ve learned how to heal. And also like my own energy that I’ve had the whole time along, which is being able to really see a lot of people when I first meet them.

Maria Marlowe: [00:35:23] Yeah. I mean, what an incredible learning experience you’ve had to be able to go to these different cultures and learn with these indigenous people. I mean, you have a pretty awesome background. I’m curious because you have mentioned Ayahuasca. I know that’s also something that’s sort of trendy now. I hear, you know, people going to Ayahuasca ceremonies on the weekend like here in New York. I remember back like a decade ago or so, you know, you’d have to go down to South America to really do that. But now they’re popping up all over. So, yeah, I guess because people are interested in that, because it’s not I feel like I mean, it’s a pretty big decision to make to do it. Well, I guess, what do you wish people would know about that? What should they consider before they were to do an Ayahuasca ceremony?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:36:11] Well, I think that Ayahuasca is a really, really powerful medicine that can really help people a lot. I’ve seen people find the tools within themselves to heal from cancer, from heroin addiction. You know, I’ve seen a lot of really powerful medicine and magic come through from that plan.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:36:35] But I think it’s really, really hard to get an authentic Ayahuasca ceremony now, even from some of the Peruvian Colombian people who come up and lead ceremonies in New York and L.A. and Miami and all of that. Like a lot of them might have been like mechanics or something like that and saw there was a lot of benefit in making Ayahuasca ceremonies. And so they started coming up and doing that. So, I think if you do want to do  that, you have to really trust your intuition. Triple check your references because it’s not always safe. It’s very rare that you would have an authentic experience. So just those things, you know, and don’t feel like you have to do it all the time and be really careful if you start saying to yourself, “I need an Ayahuasca ceremony.” It’s like you don’t actually need an Ayahuasca ceremony.

Maria Marlowe: [00:37:40] Well, a lot of people go in and do an Ayahuasca ceremony because they want to learn something about themselves and because they want to heal, right, in some way? And so, I think the point that you’re getting out is that you don’t need to do Ayahuasca to heal. There are other ways that you can do this and so, that’s just one of many different routes.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:38:02] Exactly. Exactly.

Maria Marlowe: [00:38:04] Did you ever get resistance to what you do or were there ever any skeptics? And regardless or not, a few have experienced them firsthand. I’m curious, like, what would you say to skeptics about your sort of philosophy and version of feeling?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:38:19] I mean, the thing is that, like, there’s no real claims that I’m trying to back up. You know, like when you come in, I don’t have anything to prove. You either want to be here or you don’t want to be here, you know. And I look at it more as just like two people, me and you, who get to spend this time of self-discovery together. And so, I’m certain because of that, I have very few skeptics. But even like this weekend, someone came in kind of very uncomfortable, totally… Yeah, totally skeptical about the whole experience and left in tears and thanking me. But the hardest person for me, is the one who comes and doesn’t want to be here. Like their girlfriend or their sister or their wife made them come. That person, that’s the hardest because it’s all about being your own healer. And if you come to see me and you don’t want to do that, it’s like a waste of time and energy. Really.

Maria Marlowe: [00:39:31] Right, because you’re just the guide and we have to do our own work to actually experience the healing.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:39:39] Yeah. Like, it’s actually, I really feel I have nothing to prove with it, I guess. It’s actually not about me at all. It’s about you.

Maria Marlowe: [00:39:50] Well, this has been really, really interesting and really insightful.

Maria Marlowe: [00:39:54] There’s one question that I like to ask everybody that comes on the show, and it could be about something that we talked about, although it doesn’t have to be. But what is your one tip or piece of advice that you can leave our listeners in order for them to live a happier and a healthier life?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:40:12] Go outside. I think that’s a piece that keeps coming up. Go outside?

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:18] I love that. And remember, even if you’re in a place like New York City or some other really urban area, you can always find a park. You could sometimes find a river, right. So just get into whatever little piece of nature you can find.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:40:31] Yeah, but even, you know, the sky, the people that are surrounding you are the nature.

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:39] I love that. That’s very true and very often, we sometimes isolate ourselves. Again, it’s very easy to feel lonely in a big city. But just getting out amongst people and then socializing even can be that touch of nature that we need.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:40:53] Yes.

Maria Marlowe: [00:40:55] Amazing. Well, I know you have a book coming out in March and what? And that’s about the ritual bath, correct?

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:41:00] Yes. It’s about ritual baths and it also contains a lot of my teachings in there. I was working on it for about seven years and then really slogged the shit out, and wrote the whole thing. Waking up every morning at 3:00 a.m. for awhile and just writing the book from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. was a really powerful experience. And I’m so excited and so happy for this work to be coming out at this time.

Maria Marlowe: [00:41:35] Awesome! Well, I’m excited to check it out when it’s here. And for anyone who wants more information and wants to connect with Deborah, you can head to Also, check out her Instagram, which is Mamma Medicine. It is definitely like a breath of fresh air and peace and grounding, and she has a lot of really great things to say. So, definitely check out her stuff! Thanks so much, Deborah.

Deborah Hanekamp: [00:42:00] Thanks for having me!

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