In 2014, Nubia Ankh Ka’s uncle died from cancer. She had watched the process of his body shutting down in preparation for death.
“That situation kind of opened my eyes about life,” Ankh Ka said.
At the time, Ankh Ka herself was unhealthy. She had tried dieting and dieting medications, but because she didn’t make lifestyle changes like her doctor told her to, she wasn’t getting anywhere.
“The situation with my uncle passing, I started to think about [what my doctor said], and I said, ‘This is what he meant about lifestyle changes.’ It’s taking better care of your body, taking better care of your biology, taking better care of your human anatomy,” Ankh Ka, a local holistic practitioner and spiritual wellness guide, said.
Ankh Ka graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from USC. Before becoming a holistic practitioner, she worked in pharmacy for 13 years.
“What I learned from working in pharmaceuticals was that there was this revolving door of taking medicine. Not to say that medicine is bad, or there's anything against medicine, because medicine over the years has evolved, and it's saved so many lives," Ankh Ka said. "I don’t think the world needs to be dependent on pharmaceuticals alone."
Ankh Ka said looking at alternatives to medicine, such as clean eating and herbal medicine, gave her a different perspective on what she could do to put her body in a healthier state of being.Once she began changing her life throughmeditationand yoga, diet, environment and even music, she immediately wanted to share with her family. However, her family was initially hesitant about her journey, believing her decisions were radical.
Once she began with her practice, her mother even asked if she still believed in God.
“I was like, Mom, I believe in God more now than I ever did before because I understand that God is the guardian of our destiny," Ankh Ka said. "God has given us a perfectly new vessel when we came here, and its up to us how we treat it, and how we nurture it, how we nourish it."
Her mother, Victoria Stephens, said Ankh Ka’s lifestyle changes were shocking at first because she was never introduced to veganism.
“I started doing a little bit of studying about veganism myself ... and I was amazed by it. She always said, ‘You are what you eat,” Stephens said.
In 2015, Ankh Ka decided to open Cosmic Goddess Divine, LLC in Columbia. Her store provides holistic healing and wellness life coaching, natural weight loss and herbal body detox products, scalp and body massage, chi machine therapy, Reiki energy crystals, sage, chakra clearings, vaginal detox pearls and tarot card readings.
Tarot is an ancient divination technique. Ankh Ka said she was drawn to tarot because she played a lot of cards while growing up.
“It basically helps that person to confess what is going on in their life, confront it and get confirmation that it is something that they can overcome. That it is something that they can change their fate basically by being aware, consciously aware of their choices and decisions and the company that they are keeping,” Ankh Ka said.
Ankh Ka recommends astrology, the study of the Zodiac, for any students looking into holistic healing. According to her, when people take the time to learn more about themselves through their sign and birth chart, it can help them to better understand their personality.
She said she believes astrology is a way to help students cope with the changes they go through in college, from becoming a teenager to an adult.
Crystals are another way for students to dip their toes into holistic healing, according to Ankh Ka. Crystals, which contain a "vibration of healing," provide a way for students to have a calming reminder or a talisman.
Maxie Jacobs, Ankh Ka’s partner, said he is “so proud” of Ankh Ka’s journey and her store.
“I’m so proud of her, and I support her with everything that she does. It’s already tough being a business owner, being a woman business owner at that, in this society. Anything, any little thing I can do when I’m not working to help her out, I’m all for it,” Jacobs said.
Stephens said she is proud of her daughter’s store and “didn’t know she had that type of talent.”
According to Ankh Ka, the aim of her practice is to bring enlightenment to the community of Columbia.
“The purpose of my practice is to educate, enlighten and enrich the community with holistic healing practices and wellness consulting,” Ankh Ka said.