About the Organization

Ancestral Medicine encourages the embodiment of animist values and practices in ways that are culturally healing, non-dogmatic, and accessible to people of diverse means, ancestries, and geographies. We seek to honor each person’s unique goodness and to fulfill our mission in partnership with the ancestors and the old ones who are the Earth.

Ancestral Medicine is also a business incorporated in the U.S. state of North Carolina (traditional Tsalagi lands) that employs six full-time staff and over thirty-five part-time ritualists. We offer regular online courses for an international audience, steward a professional network of ancestral healing practitioners, and have guided ancestral healing intensives in eight countries. For more on our priorities see our Core Values, Frequently Asked Questions, the Ancestral Healing Practitioner Code of Ethics and our scholarship application and fund.

Our Staff

New Bio Pic Sept 2020

Daniel Foor – Founder & Director

Daniel is a teacher and practitioner of practical animism who specializes in ancestral and family healing and in helping folks learn to relate well with the rest of life. His recent ancestors are settler-colonialists to Pennsylvania and Ohio from England, Germany, and Ireland. He is a doctor of psychology, marriage and family therapist, amateur naturalist, life-long student of earth-honoring traditions, and the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing. Since 2005 Daniel has guided ancestor-focused trainings, community rituals, and personal sessions throughout North America. Training as a therapist, living in other cultures, and immersion in different lineages of ritual all inform his kind and non-dogmatic approach to ancestor and earth reverence. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. For more information see his full bio here.

Seyta Selter – Director (Wizard) of Operations

Seyta is a multi-talented wizard and the backbone of growing and administering the organization and its offerings. Seyta builds and manages the administrative wing of Ancestral Medicine including infrastructure, staff coordination, web development and online classes, and accounting. She also works closely with Daniel on strategic development and curriculum. Seyta has an MA in East-West Psychology and is an ancestral healing practitioner and teacher of this work (private practice currently on hold). Her recent ancestors were settlers in New York and Illinois from the Hebrew diaspora, the British Isles, and Germany. Seyta’s professional background includes founding and growing a custom clothier for 10 years, teaching dream psychology, and developing NORD, a social journaling website focusing on experiences with the unseen. Seyta lives in Olympia, Washington on traditional lands of Squaxin and Nisqually peoples. For more info see: innerlands.org.

Sumaya Bio

Sumaya K. Owens – Design & Media Visionary

Sumaya is a digital media enthusiast, healing arts teacher/practitioner, and holistic business & marketing consultant. In collaboration with the Ancestral Medicine team, they manage, design, and implement the ways in which our offerings are presented to the world. Their many passions include being a genderqueer unschooling parent; writing poetry, blogs, and best-selling anthologies; and living in service to others through the practice of karma yoga. Sumaya’s professional approach combines years of personal & professional studies in yoga, Thai/Vedic bodywork, and Ayurveda; living and working on a yogic ashram; an extensive career in spa/retreat center management; and intensive studies with renowned Thai & Ayurvedic doctors from around the world. Their ancestors are primarily of Irish, Cherokee, and German descent. Sumaya is a wanderer at heart, but maintains roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, traditional homeland of Cherokee peoples. For more info see: www.yogashamana.com.

Marie Headshot

Marie Goodwin, MA – Project Alchemist

Marie is a writer and recovering academic. After studying archaeoastronomy in graduate school, Marie transitioned into a career as a consultant to authors, public speakers, and non-profits, helping them make the most of their online presence, coordinating projects, and planning events and retreats. Marie alchemizes special and ongoing projects and events for Ancestral Medicine, including building community with online course participants as well as ancestral healing practitioners and trainees. Marie is passionate about ancient history, plant medicine, alternative currencies and educational models, the wisdom of trees, and writing fiction. She is currently birthing her first series of speculative historical fiction based in the medieval North Atlantic, which will be published in late 2020. Her ancestors are from Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumbria, and Scotland. Read some of her writing at  theotherlandbook.com and personalmycology.com.

Jason Bio

Jason Lay – Hearthkeeper & Operations Assistant 

Jason is a practitioner of bodymind medicine, with training in massage therapy, Japanese acupuncture, and EEG neurofeedback, and is also an avid student of the divinatory arts, including traditional Western astrology. In his role at Ancestral Medicine, he provides any and all necessary support to our current and prospective course participants, and works behind the scenes to help keep things running smoothly. Raised by Chinese immigrants in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD, he discovered mindfulness meditation in high school, which led him to study the philosophy of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Seeking a greater integration between intellect and embodiment, he pursued a long study in somatics, eventually earning his masters degree in Classical Chinese Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine. In his spare time, he enjoys poetry, podcasts, and collecting tarot decks. He lives with his two cats, Leeloo and Trinity, in St. Louis, MO, on the ancestral territory of the Osage people.

Idamarie Portrait

Idamarie Collazo – People Tender

Idamarie is a Latina and dedicated social justice advocate. Idamarie came to Ancestral Medicine after 12 years working in the non-profit sector building social change and community development. In this work, she has advocated on behalf of diverse communities to help build environments in which they want to live in. She holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work. As People Tender, she provides general support to participants and the curious-minded which includes technical assistance, social media support, and scholarship requests. She is currently an apprentice, studying to be a Reiki Master. She enjoys braving the wilderness by learning from our oldest teachers: the other-than-humans. Her guiding posts include author Robin Wall Kimmerer, the Vida soundtrack, the All My Relations podcast, and sharing tea with loved ones. Her ancestry extends from Puerto Rico, the traditional lands of the Taíno people and from Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX, the traditional lands of the Cocas, Cuyutecos, Tecuexes, and Tepatitlán people. She lives in Indiana, the traditional lands of the Inoka, Myaamiaki, and Shawanwaki people.

Ancestral Healing Practitoners and Trainees

From 2016-2018 Daniel guided three cohorts through the ancestral healing practitioner training, and those in the fourth cycle of this training will be available to guide session work by late October 2020.  For a directory of the practitioners who have completed all certification requirements see the link for the practitioner directory. This growing network includes folks with ancestral lineages from all inhabited continents, fluency and session options in three languages (English, Spanish, and French), and diversity with respect to gender identity, religious background, professional training, and life experience. We are committed to offering ancestral healing in ways that are kind, culturally healing; accessible to all; mindful of place and histories of colonialism; and anchored in sound and effective ritual practice.

Community and Who We Serve

The heart of the ancestral healing work is focused on the healing and elevation of the dead along participants’ blood and family lineages. In this sense we serve both the living and the many generations of ancestors before them on back to unbroken ancient magics that continue to hold the world together. We situate these collaborations with the old ones in larger movements for social and earth justice and in an animist or earth-honoring framework that celebrates the personhood of our other-than-human kin. Ancestor reverence and ritual is part of a larger prayer and vision to bring wayward humans back into humble and healing relationships with the rest of life. Through distance sessions, online courses, the book, and in-person events, our offerings reach participants around the world and by extension the larger unseen and other-than-human communities who hold and surround those good people.