Earth and Ancestor Reverence
What is Ancestral Medicine?
Ancestral Medicine is an organization that 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 offer online courses, training in ancestral healing practices, and opportunities for international learning and ritual participation. For more on our team and values see: About Us, Dr. Daniel Foor, and Core Values.
Animism and Earth Reverence
Animism is one name for an ancient and ultimately ordinary ethic that emphasizes relationships. Animists recognize that living humans are only one kind of person in a much wider network of kinship. These others include our human ancestors, the big spirits of animals and plants, mountains and metals, fire and water, microorganisms, wind and weather, deities of many regions and temperaments, star people, nature spirits, and so on. We inhabit a responsive and relational world. This understanding is the inheritance of all human beings, and is learnable when previously forgotten. Our offerings that focus on animism include the Practical Animism and Animist Psychology online courses.
The ancestors are all those, human and otherwise, who lived before us, the life of the past that nourishes and shapes the present. More specifically, they are the souls or spirits of the human dead and the collective love, wisdom and suffering of homo sapiens sapiens over the last several hundred thousand years. The ancestors are our roots and mycelia. To relate with them is to deconstruct individualistic and isolating understandings of ourselves and our place in the larger web. Ancestors of blood tend to be especially impactful and beneficial to engage, and their wisdom, healing, and guidance can be accessed by people of any background or identity. Ancestor reconnection and reverence is a worldwide, timeless form of relationship. For more information, consider Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing.
Ancestral Lineage Healing
Ancestral Lineage Healing is a specific approach to relating with the ancestors articulated by Dr. Daniel Foor through years of guiding personal sessions, in-person intensives, online courses, the Ancestral Healing Practitioner Training, and other public teachings. Accessible to people of any ancestry or background, participants are supported to directly engage with their wise and loving lineage ancestors for the purposes of personal, family, and cultural healing. This is a step-by-step process that focuses on safety and support. For more specific information on this method, see our Ancestral Lineage Healing Online Course and Ancestor Circles.
Daniel and the Ancestral Medicine team have also trained over sixty Ancestral Healing Practitioners since 2016, and these good people guide personal 1:1 ancestral healing sessions in nine countries and seven languages. For details, including options for low-income sessions and referrals, see the Practitioner Directory.
Ritual is one common thread throughout many traditions of Earth and ancestor reverence. Throughout their many forms and expressions, ritual arts implicitly convey animist worldviews and provide many tangible practices to communicate and share with our variety of relations, human and otherwise. Daniel and the Ancestral Medicine team teach solid ritual basics to consider in the Foundations of Ritual Online Course.
Cultural healing is implicit throughout the work of Earth and ancestral reconnection. Since the wisdom and practices of our family ancestors and local bioregion have often been disrupted through generations of harmful human behavior and systems, the repair needed is also cultural healing. Reconnecting with land and lineage includes reckoning with what’s been lost and the role of our specific ancestors in various manifestations of greed, supremacy, colonialism, and Earth disconnection. This ongoing healing calls for courage, humility, levity, and willingness to grieve.
Ancestral Medicine aspires in all of our offerings to embody and encourage values that are culturally caring– animist, anti-racist, decolonizing, anti-imperialist, feminist, LGBTQ-inclusive, class-aware, non-dogmatic, trauma-informed, body and sex positive, accessible for the neuro-diverse and those with different abilities, and generally kind, professional, and responsive. For more on the expression of these values with respect to scholarships and accessibility, concerns on cultural appropriation, and charitable giving, see our Frequently Asked Questions.