If you haven’t heard of Mama Medicine (aka, Deborah Hanekamp), then let us gladly introduce you. She’s an initiated Amazonian shaman, reiki master and yogini who’s known for her signature “Medicine Readings.” “I give people spiritual counseling depending on what’s coming up in the auric fields, then lay them down on a crystal bed and do a healing ceremony. After that, we do a ritual bath and I give you some spiritual homework for you to do so you can be your own healer.” Her Medicine Readings are wildly popular among busy city dwellers, earning her the nickname “fashion’s favorite healer” from Vogue. So with the New Year approaching (and a welcoming full moon on January 1st), we caught up with Deborah to give us the lowdown on a ritual bath to help you start the New Year right. She gave us a step-by-step guide on how to do them yourself, and needless to say, it sounds downright magical.
What exactly is a ritual bath?
“I was first exposed to it in 2007, when I was on a healing retreat in Peru, and I received a ritual bath from my teacher when I was studying shamanism. I just felt like it was one of the most healing things I’ve ever experienced, so I just started to look more into it. The ritual bath is something that comes up in so many different cultures, and it’s really, really beautiful. So I combined my love of crystals with the herbs and concepts of ritual bathing.”
Full moon ritual baths
“It depends on the full moon itself because each one brings a different energy. But if I had to go with one go-to full moon ritual bath, then I would do one for revelations, which would just be a little bit of charcoal powder, some fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh basil, white rose petals, Epsom salt, a rose quartz crystal and some rose absolute essential oil.”
It’s so interesting because the New Year is a lot about what your intentions are for the next year, or your resolutions and things like that, so for this next year, I would do a ritual bath that’s more about receiving your intentions and just feeling out what they are instead of feeling like you have to already know what you need to do. I think it should be more about opening up and listening, so I’d definitely do a bath that’s more about listening.”
A step-by-step guide to a full moon ritual bath for receiving intentions
- Step 1. “It’s always nice to have a candle lit, so no overhead lighting. Then, for the full moon, I like to burn some sweet grass or palo santo or cinnamon around the body before getting into the bath”
- Step 2. “Run your bath with a labradorite crystal in the water, some fresh basil, white rose petals, Epsom salt, and a little bit of lavender essential oil.”
- Step 3. “Then step into the bath and dunk your head under the water. And for this ritual bath for the New Year, I’d do it specifically for listening, so there would be no music at all—just really quiet.”
- Step 4. “While you’re in the bath, just breathe and listen, breathe and listen, and try to focus your energy on your ears and throat. It should definitely more of a meditative experience.”
- Step 5. “If you like there to be some background noise, you can also listen to something I created called the Month of Medicine, that’s basically like a sound meditation to do while you’re in the bath, and I’d highly recommend it!”
There’s no wrong way
“My advice if you’re feeling intimidated would be to just remember that you can’t do it wrong. Even if you forget to put your crystal in the water or you use sage instead of palo santo or you put in thyme instead of rosemary—when you’re working with nature and you’re approaching nature with respect, there’s no real wrong or right way to do it.”
Have you tried ritual baths at home? If you’re looking for an easy way, look out for a Mama Medicine Ritual Bath Kit, launching early 2018!