ONLINE COURSE

Practical Animism

Teachings and Skills for Earth Reconnection

with Dr. Daniel Foor

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Days
Hours
Minutes

Nov 2021 – Feb 2022

Coming back into relationship with our other-than-human kin is both possible and urgently needed.

Animist values and practices emphasize relating well with the rest of life. These other-than-human kin include mountains and rivers; the elders who are animals, plants, and fungi; the spirits of places and things; planets and stars; deities and unseen kin; and many others whose lives and bodies are entangled with our own. Learning to navigate these other kinds of relationships is not only a fundamental life skill but also supportive of personal transformation, a source of great joy and intimacy, and the foundation of healthy culture. 

This course is an intellectual and experiential immersion in applied relational values. Teachings and practices seek to fill cultural gaps where many of us were never taught to relate with the larger web of kinship. Over 24 hours of recordings and live teachings, a team of over 30 supporter/ritualists, a robust international community of learners, and extensive additional resources serve as a thorough foundation from which to reclaim your innate human capacity to enjoy nourishing long-term relationships with the rest of life.

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Human confusion is the driver of ecological catastrophe, and yet we are also holy bodies of Earth, the wisdom and faces of our people, the needed medicine.

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"This course is an amazing way of being in a relationship with the other-than-humans. The structure, resources, and pace at which the different topics are uncovered, helps one in stepping slowly but surely into the different flavours of animism. I feel more connected to my Plant Kingdom friends.”

– Marie M., Rathnew, Ireland

Curriculum

Each of the twelve weekly lessons includes pre-recorded teachings, an experiential practice, and extensive additional resources. Multiple weekly live calls and the interactive Ancestral Medicine portal space complement lessons and provide a robust vessel for connective, experiential learning.

Teachings are kind, inclusive, and anchored in an international, anti-racist, LGBTQI-celebrating, decolonizing, class-aware, earth-honoring ethic without being harshly politicized in ways that dampen the vulnerability required for depth learning and ritual work. Our customer service and tech support is on point, and our ritual support crew for the course is beautifully diverse and committed to participants being well supported and cared for both personally and culturally.

Lesson 1
Kinship, Intimacy, and Animist Lifeways
  • Affirm a participant ethic of humility, heart, and self-responsibility
  • Contextualize learning amidst injustice and ecological catastrophe
  • Consider impacts of colonialism and ancestral wounding
  • Invite new pathways of direct connection with other-than-human kin
  • Enjoy resources from “new animists” in a wider cultural context
Lesson 2
Eating, Killing, and Giving Thanks
  • Explore ethical implications of food plants and animals as people
  • Bring kind attention to the intimate killing that sustains our lives
  • Ask the powers for ways to weave authentic gratitude into eating
  • Dialogue with the spirit of at least one personal food plant or animal
  • Enjoy resources on domestication and rituals of food and harvest
Lesson 3
Boundaries, Traditions, and the Dead
  • Explore the importance of boundaries, consent, and limitation
  • Learn ways to establish sacred space and encourage ritual safety
  • Consider different types of ancestors, lineages, and living traditions
  • Invite connection with wise and kind ancestral support from your lineages
  • Enjoy resources on ancestor reverence and spirited eco-activism
Lesson 4
Celebrating Diverse Bodies and Wisdoms
  • Engage with older, more generous views of other-than-human kin
  • Expand your vocabulary for sacred diversity and difference
  • Foreground friendship as foundational to deeper modes of relating
  • Seek to connect with a local wild plant, fungus, or animal relation
  • Enjoy resources on the wisdom and complexity of our Earth kin
Lesson 5
Sorrow, Extinction, and Honoring the Waters
  • Explore water-related themes like grieving, cleansing, and healing
  • Learn ritual skills for embracing potent sorrow, loss, and heartache
  • Engage traditional teachings and lore on relating with the spirits of water
  • Invite direct engagement with the specific waters near to your home
  • Enjoy resources on grief rituals and ritual work with watery kin
Lesson 6
Living the Blessings and Burdens of Place
  • Consider complex human histories of places in light of belonging
  • Learn ways to think about and be invited into the qualities of places
  • Explore outdoor solitude practices and relevant adaptations
  • Apply etiquette and intuition to locate a ‘sit spot’ near to your home
  • Enjoy resources on place-focused teachings and ritual traditions
Lesson 7
Stone, Memory, and Earth as Deity
  • Identify projection of personal pain and gender norms on the Earth
  • Learn foundational practices of making offerings and tending an altar
  • Invite help from the stones for remembering destiny and purpose
  • Ritually greet, thank, and feed the divinity who is this Earth
  • Enjoy resources on ways of relating with the Earth as an elder deity
Lesson 8
Fire, Plasma, and Bridging the Worlds
  • Explore diverse approaches to the elements in theory and practice
  • Deepen with elemental fire as magma, flame, lightning, and stars
  • Uproot problematic human/nature and nature/culture dichotomies
  • Invite direct communion with helpful expressions of elemental fire
  • Enjoy resources on elemental ritual and deities of fire and transformation
Lesson 9
Climate, Cosmos, and the Empty Center
  • Extend animist perspectives to wind, weather, and celestial bodies
  • Further interrupt extreme individualism and inner/outer binaries
  • Reflect on Earth as an open system and our place in wider context
  • Invite direct perspective from the elders powers on climate change
  • Enjoy resources on weather ritual and the hazards of binary thinking
Lesson 10
Microorganisms, Agency, and Cultural Healing
  • Consider the personhood and potent influence of microorganisms
  • Explore agency, causation, and who tells the stories we’re made of
  • Reflect on language and culture as sentient and more-than-human
  • Greet and thank the trillions of others in, on, and around your body
  • Enjoy resources on animist storytelling and microanimism
Lesson 11
Spirits, Deities, and Incarnation
  • Expand animist and ecological frames to include the gods and the unseen
  • Reflect on what we’re doing here and why on Earth we keep coming back
  • Learn practical etiquette for relating with deities, spirits, and elder forces
  • Consider ways the land and the others already shape and guide our lives
  • Enjoy resources on spirit possession and the curious state of incarnation
Lesson 12
Animist Ethics and the Life of Objects
  • Extend animist sensibilities to objects, things, and those forgotten
  • Ground coursework in animist ethics, science, law, and education
  • Assess for congruence of personal values with identity and choices
  • Invite integration of teachings with personal practice and path
  • Enjoy resources on animist trends and policies in diverse disciplines
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"Practical Animism was a great help in feeling my way toward being right-sized and aiming for integrity despite being embedded in our problematic culture. It was great at being non-dogmatic and non-purist, while impeccably exhorting us to go deeper into relationships and find our roles in a living world with lots of troubles and complexity."

– Rena K., Tel Aviv, Israel

Extended Registration through Nov 16th!

Days
Hours
Minutes

About the Instructor

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Daniel Foor, PhD

Dr. Foor is a licensed psychotherapist, doctor of psychology, and the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing. Since 2005 he has led ancestral healing intensives in eight countries, trained over sixty practitioners, and supported thousands with ancestral and Earth reconnection through online teaching and sessions. He is an amateur historian and naturalist with a passion for cultural healing and Earth-honoring traditions. Daniel is an initiate in the Òrìṣà tradition of Yoruba-speaking West Africa and has learned from teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and the older ways of his English and German ancestors. He lives with his wife and daughters in Western North Carolina, homeland of Cherokee peoples. Read More

Investment

Money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the course after having engaged at least one lesson, we will grant you a full refund within 30 days of the beginning of the course.

6 MONTHLY PAYMENTS
$ 125
USD per month
  • We offer the option of splitting the cost of the standard investment into 6 convenient monthly payments. You will be automatically charged every month on the same day until your sixth and final payment is completed, which will occur after the course is complete.
STANDARD FULL PAYMENT
$ 750
USD
  • This rate supports the labor of the full operations and support team that weaves the course from start to finish. This also allows Ancestral Medicine to extend financial access to the course for those who need it. We recommend this level of investment for people with medium to high access to resources in the global context.

Additional Payment Options

If the standard investment, as either a single payment or split between 6 equal monthly payments, are beyond your means, we offer two additional payment tiers that we trust you to self-select for based on your needs and context. We also have a very limited number of individualized scholarship slots.​

What's Included

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Your access to the course materials does not expire and remains available through your Ancestral Medicine account.

Twelve newly recorded lessons, each with guided practices, closed captioning, downloadable PDF transcripts, and mp3 audio version.

Each lesson is accompanied by a rich mutimedia resource list of relevant articles, websites, interviews, additional videos, and more.

Each call will be followed by 30 minutes of ritualist-facilitated small breakout groups, including optional affinity spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQ+.

Commitment to cultural wellness by providing safe and well-held space each week for our two affinity-based community calls.

Experienced practitioners will be available to answer questions about each week’s lesson, as well as responding to write-in questions on the discussion forum.

Perspectives from around the world reflected in the course material and live discussions, and an additional community call scheduled for a more accessible time especially for those in Asia and Oceania.

A practitioner-tended space to connect with other learners, discuss lesson topics, and share personal experiences of deep relating from your corner of the Earth. No public social media accounts required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Each lesson will be released on Mondays, at 12pm US Eastern Time, with Lesson 1 available to access on November 8th. A weekly Q&A office hour will be held every Friday at 3pm US Eastern Time, starting on November 12th (due to the holiday schedule, there will be no Q&A office hour on either December 24th or December 31st).

The schedule of live calls with Dr. Foor is as follows (all times are in US Eastern).

  • Mon, Nov 8, 12:30pm – Opening Ritual
  • Wed, Nov 17, 12:30pm – Call #1
  • Wed, Dec 1, 12:30pm – Call #2
  • Wed, Dec 15, 12:30pm – Call #3
  • Wed, Jan 5, 12:30pm – Call #4
  • Wed, Jan 19, 12:30pm – Call #5
  • Wed, Feb 2, 12:30pm – Call #6/Closing Ritual 

Three additional community calls will be held weekly (each starting the week after the opening call) on the following days and times (there will be a holiday break at the end of December, the week of the 26th, where none of the community calls meet):

  • for BIPOC – Mondays at 6pm US Eastern Time, starting November 15
  • for LGBTQ+ – Tuesdays at 2pm US Eastern Time, starting November 16
  • for Oceania/Asia time zone (open to all) – Mondays at 2pm Singapore Time, starting on November 15

At minimum, about 90 minutes to engage with the lesson video and guided practice, and on weeks where there is a live call with Daniel, an additional 90 minutes which includes practitioner-facilitated breakout groups. This does not include the optional Q&A office hour each week (though we strongly recommend you take advantage of this time if questions arise about the content), nor does it include any of the three weekly community calls, each one hour long.

While the lessons for Practical Animism are intentionally sequenced, there is much less of an emphasis on following specific “steps,” in a specific order, as might be the case in other courses. Therefore this course can be taken at your own pace and convenience. Please don’t let the feeling of “falling behind” keep you from continuing to engage in the discussion forum or joining any of the live calls.

Each of the live calls with Daniel are recorded and posted in the course portal so you can watch the replay at your own convenience.  However, the weekly Q&A office hours and community calls are not recorded, so you will not be able to “catch up” on these if you miss them that week.

No – all opportunities to connect and engage with other participants, whether through the small breakout groups, discussion forum or the community calls, are entirely optional. 

While the aim of this course is cultivating deeper relationship with the other-than-humans, we still encourage you to extend and practice relational ethics with the fellow humans in the course. Most participants find a sense of camaraderie and support from others defying the dogma of a disenchanted material world.

More information will be provided in a forthcoming welcome email for the course. But briefly, there will be a designated subgroup assigned to each affinity space that you will request to join, and once approved, you’ll have access to a separate private discussion forum, and the ability to set automatic reminders for the weekly zoom calls. The purpose of approval is not to vet identity, only so that the course supporters are aware of who has joined. We trust participants to self-select mindfully into these affinity spaces. This applies also to the additional affinity-based breakout groups that follow each of the live calls with Daniel, but you only need to adjust your zoom name to indicate you wish to be placed into one of those breakouts. Instructions on renaming will be given at the start of each live call. 

To learn more about the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community calls/affinity spaces we offer as part of our online courses, please visit this page: https://ancestralmedicine.org/bipoc-lgbtq-calls.

All of our lesson videos will have closed captioning, as well as a full transcript and additional downloadable audio-only versions. Live calls will have automatic AI-generated closed captioning enabled, and the recording will be available after the call is over, accompanied by a full transcript a few days later.

If you have needs not met here, please feel free to reach out to us with suggestions at info@ancestralmedicine.org.

If you find that the material of this live teaching series is activating in a way that warrants reaching out for personal support, please consider the those in the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network to be one resource. Most are available for private one on one sessions, and many of are willing to provide low-cost sessions to support financial accessibility needs.

There is no expiration on your access to the course materials and live call recordings (Q&A office hours and community calls are not recorded) after the course completes. Just log into your Ancestral Medicine account at any time in the future and you’ll be able to repeat or continue with any part of the course.

This course is intended for personal education and enrichment, and as such, our intention is not to train people to guide ritual for others through the material presented here. We do not offer formally recognized educational credits.

Previous returning participants to the Practical Animism Online Course were able to rejoin the weekly live calls with Daniel for a nominal fee, since the lesson content remained the same. While many of the same themes and topics covered in the previous iteration of course will be discussed again, all the lessons have been updated with new recordings and additional resources to reflect the refinements and evolution of Daniel’s thinking and experience since the recording of the previous course. The expansion of the live engagement opportunities along with the updates and revision to the content means we are offering this as a brand new course, and the steeply reduced past participant rate previously offered no longer applies.

That said, we will reach out to all past participants of Practical Animism via email to offer a smaller special discount code that can be applied to whichever investment level you select at registration checkout (with the exception of the individualized scholarship option). If you do not receive this email by October 25th, please email info@ancestralmedicine.org to request the code. 

If there is any reason you wish to withdraw from the course, due to a change of schedule or other circumstance, or simply because you do not resonate with the material, you have a full 30 days from the release of the first lesson to request a full refund. The very last day we will honor full refund requests is December 8th. To request a refund, simply reach out to: info@ancestralmedicine.org.

If you have general questions about what we’re up to, you may enjoy our Frequently Asked Questions page.

We’d be happy to help with any additional questions! Reach out to info@ancestralmedicine.org with your question and someone from our team will be in touch usually within a business day.

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Animist Ethics are Ordinary

No Belief or Fancy Identity Required

This course takes a core values approach that’s not about belief, dogma, or adopting any particular kind of identity. The focus is on becoming a more loving and ethical human being in relationship with the rest of life. Animist values when put into practice are no more or less “spiritual” than treating other humans with kindness and decency; the only difference is the emphasis on also extending this care to our other-than-human kin. 

If you’re wary of religious doctrine, intellectual righteousness, or the exhausting pursuit of a new shiny identity, we invite you to consider this pragmatic and psychologically grounded approach to relationship, ritual arts, and Earth reconnection.

Extensive additional resources with each lesson feature ancestrally and geographically diverse voices, and combined with over 30 international course supporters, the learning stays focused on the material itself, not on any one person’s personality or views.

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