History Photos
1930 Degirmendere
1980 Degirmendere
1980 Degirmendere
History Photo
Grandparents home

Sevil Rowland first created Shakinah Divine Feminine Light in September 2012. Sevil worked in the beauty industry for over a decade before being drawn to study holistic massage. Inspired by her innate creativity, her heritage and a deep desire to heal and nurture, she has modified her techniques into a unique selection of treatments known as Shakinah, Divine Feminine Light. Today, Sevil combines the ancient art of healing, luxurious massage therapies from around the world and nourishing handmade skincare under one roof at Shakinah Day Spa in Sydney’s Woronora.

Originally from Turkey, Sevil was influenced by her grandparents’ humble, pure and natural way of life in the small seaside town of Degirmendere, once the route for the Silk Road, which is surrounded by picturesque Roman and Byzantine ruins.

“I recall the lush, rolling hills of the Samanli Mountains, where my grandparents would take us to their orchards full of cherries, plums and olive trees and unique long hazelnuts that are exclusive to Degirmendere,” Sevil reminisces. “They would make cold-pressed olive oil at the nearby ancient stone mills and make homemade syrups and jams. I remember the natural spring water spout in the grounds of my grandparents’ modest home, the black and white mulberry trees, pomegranate trees, and organic plants and herbs, which they would use for their healing properties. My grandparents and my mother encouraged us to swim regularly in the pristine sea salt bay, abundant with fish, sea urchins and starfish, for the natural healing properties of the sea salt. I also recall the cold room where they would store fruit and vegetables for the following seasons.”

For Sevil, it was a simple, joyful way of life, full of respect for nature and enjoying its seasonal bounty.

“I love hearing my mother’s stories about her childhood, over a cup of Turkish coffee,” Sevil says. “She would tell us that once upon a time, they bred silk worms in the two rooms adjacent to their home. Their neighbours had beehives and produced organic-quality, pure honey, which mum says she can still taste when she thinks of it! All of these skills were handed down to them from generation to generation. I recall that everything was organic, pure, fresh and natural back then, and there was so much unconditional love, nurturing, balance and beauty. That humble, natural and chemical-free lifestyle, the unforgettable times I shared with my grandparents, and my mother’s stories inspired me to create a similar space in my sanctuary hidden away in Sydney’s Woronora River valley.”