Foundations of Ritual Online Course

with Dr. Daniel Foor

October 22 – December 14, 2020 

Registration open through November 3

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Ritual is both art and discipline, cultivation of personal intuition and renewal of ancestral knowledge, instinctual and learnable. The styles and approaches to ritual are as diverse as people, human and otherwise, and the only ‘wrong’ ways to approach may be those that become untethered from love, wisdom, and relationality.

In the spirit of kind, inclusive, and non-dogmatic learning, this course is for anyone seeking to strengthen their foundational skills in ritual arts. Course material assumes no prior knowledge. Content may also be useful to priests, educators, and practitioners of diverse traditions in search of fresh ways to transmit basic teachings.

Topics will include relational etiquette, protection, invocation, trance, prayer, offering practice, and a dozen other elements found in many approaches to ritual arts. Participants can expect to learn skills you can apply in everyday devotions as well as flexible frameworks in which to share about your experiences and approach to the sacred. Although some material may overlap with teachings found in the Ancestral Lineage Healing and Practical Animism, this shorter course focuses on fundamentals relevant to both of those courses and beyond. For participants in either courses who feel behind the curve with ritual skills, this is also a response to that need.

The approach to ritual arts is animist in that the emphasis is on relationship, and rooted in a feminist, decolonizing, anti-racist, LGBTQI-friendly, class-aware, earth-honoring ethic without being overly intellectual. Resources included with each lesson favor ancestrally diverse voices, and additional calls each week (times vary for international inclusivity) include options for BIPOC and LGBTQI-only small discussion groups. Finally, the approach to learning is kind and inclusive with lots of space for questions, and peer discussion.

“Daniel’s richly diverse experience in different ritual traditions, his humility and non-prescriptive style, make him a phenomenal teacher. In the lessons, the experiential practices and live webinars, I felt invited to engage fully with the material in a heart-open sort of way. ~ Past Participant

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Introduction to Ritual in Theory and Practice

  • Discuss different approaches to ritual, ceremony, and spirit work
  • Introduce an animist frame that emphasizes ritual as relationship
  • Consider keys elements of ritual from a creative, artisan perspective
  • Start to craft a basic personal ritual to explore key elements in practice
  • Enjoy resources from diverse practitioners on the nature of ritual
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Boundaries, Protection, and Ritual Safety

  • Discuss boundary practice with both living humans and spirit people
  • Affirm the reality of dangerous forces and people, seen and unseen
  • Learn different strategies and practices for increasing ritual safety
  • Consider the role of fear in establishing safety in the seen and unseen
  • Explore perspectives from different ritualists on boundaries and safety
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Invocation and Appealing to the Powers

  • Notice parallels between invoking living humans and the spirits
  • Reflect on your own ancestry for familiar styles of invocation
  • Explore personal edges around voice, rejection, and vulnerability
  • Start to practice different styles of invocation with people in your life
  • Consider examples of different styles of ritual invocation
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Trancework and Relational Etiquette

  • Learn ways to navigate states of awareness conducive to trance
  • Consider parallels with your ways of relating with the living
  • Increase discernment on who is ritually helpful to relate with
  • Explore what may unfold once in contact with the spirits
  • Practice different, less cultivated modes of spirit contact
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Sustaining Intimacy and Regulating Intensity

  • Learn ways to increase and nourish the level of connection
  • Explore offering practices that are right for your specific life
  • Identify ways to build and diminish trust with the powers
  • Practice ways to ground, disengage, and decrease intensity as needed
  • Consider ways that long-term relations with the powers can unfold
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Speech and Song, Intention and Prayer

  • Deepen on the topic of clear ritual motivation and intent
  • Practice skills for spontaneous, potent prayer for self and others
  • Explore basics of song and vocalization in partnership with the spirits
  • Consider implications and advantages of tending a basic altar/shrine
  • Find ways that work for you to start to vocalize with the powers
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Authenticity, Calling, and Honoring Limits

  • Explore the connection between spiritual power and honesty
  • Learn one framework for destiny and personal soul-level gifts
  • Consider strategies for getting clear on your specific destiny
  • Beyond clarity, call in backing toward fulfillment of your calling
  • Examine ways to know your personal place as well as your limits
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Traditions, Teachers, and Established Practices

  • Consider pros and cons of work with teachers, traditions and practices
  • Learn ways to increase good outcomes when risking involvement
  • Assess for resonance with your ancestral and cultural inheritance
  • Notice links between early life experiences and level of trust in teachers
  • Identify next steps for deepening with your practice and learning

“In these times it feels like the unseen forces, like those of Big Nature and Ancestral Wisdom are making all kinds of effort to get our attention. How do we, the living humans, respond? Are these forces dangerous? What can we do to acknowledge them and create bridges between our lived experience and the palpable power of these unseen forces? This course provides information and safe practices that help to answer these questions.” ~ Past Participant

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How it Works

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The course is eight weeks long with a weekly pre-recorded lesson, a live Q&A call with Dr. Foor (recorded for playback), and three additional (optional) live calls each week. You can engage the course via laptop or desktop computer, smart phone, or tablet. Lessons consist of a roughly 60-minute content-dense teaching video (also available in audio and transcript form), a recorded experiential practice,  extra resources (articles, videos, links), questions for reflection, and self-reflective homework. The three additional live calls are a blend of larger group and small discussion spaces all facilitated by trained ritual supporters, and they are held in a variety of time zones accessible to participants in the Americas, Europe and South Africa, East and South Asia, and Oceania. Other community features include an opt-in private Facebook group and a map-and-connect feature if you wish to connect with participants in your area.

What’s Included

  • Learn from anywhere. Eight hour-long instructional videos, each with closed captioning, downloadable pdf transcript, mp3 audio, and pdf lesson outline

  • Guided practices. Experiential practices to complement each lesson’s material, and accessible as separate audio files for playback

  • Ask questions live. Eight hour-long Q&A video conferences with Dr. Foor (using the free Zoom conferencing platform)

  • Global accessibility. Three live weekly community calls with trained course supporters held in a variety of time zones, with time zone conversion tools

  • Catch up later. Video and audio recordings, as well as pdf transcripts of each of the eight live Q&A calls

  • Community sharing. Optional opportunities to with engage other learners in live community calls, private Facebook group, and participant map-and-connect feature

  • Ask the teacher. Invitation throughout the course to ask Dr. Foor directly for support with the material

  • In-depth learning. A wealth of multimedia resources (articles, websites, interviews, additional videos) with each lesson

  • Lifetime access. Ongoing access to all course material – you will never lose access to the course

  • Dedicated care from our team. Attentive and friendly staff and course supporters to help along the way

Learn More About the Course from Dr. Foor

“This has been such a valuable and useful course. Thank you so much for the accessibility and depth of the content and delivery. I found each lesson to meet me well as it demystified ritual — filling in many gaps in my understanding and awareness. It felt deeply resonant, empowering, and grounding.” ~ Past Participant

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We offer several payment options, including monthly payments. All course payments are in US Dollars.

6 payments

$57 USDmonthly

4 payments

$85 USDmonthly

single payment

$300 USDonce

Options at checkout also include a 15% off bundle discount on registering for both Autumn courses – Foundations of Ritual plus our new course, Animist Psychology.


Our 30-day money-back guarantee ~ For anyone not satisfied with the course after having engaged at least one lesson, we will grant a full refund within 30 days of the beginning of the course.

We are strongly committed to keeping the work accessible to people of diverse backgrounds and variable means. Find more information on our Scholarship Application page.

“It’s a wonderfully rich and dense course useful for beginner and advanced ritualists alike. Daniel’s thoughtful and thorough instruction is subtle and nuanced enough to be useful for all traditions.” ~ Past Participant

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Course Dates: October 22 – December 16, 2020

The weekly course schedule is below. Click on the clock icon next to each meeting time to see international time zone conversions.

  • Prerecorded lessons released on Thursdays at 12pm US Eastern
  • Live Q&A with Daniel on Mondays at 3pm US Eastern
  • Community calls with small-group breakouts (all participants welcome to all calls, regardless of location)
    • East and South Asia & Oceania Community Call, Saturdays at 3pm AEST/Melbourne Time
    • Americas Community Call, Tuesdays at 8pm US Eastern/New York Time
    • Europe & South Africa Community Call, Wednesdays at 7pm CET/Berlin Time

See the calendar for specific course dates and times.

“I found the course material to be rich, deep, challenging, integrative and also affirming. I appreciated the discernment and clarity of Daniel’s teaching which brought words and language into areas of experience which I had previously felt, sensed and intuited, but which I lacked the ability to speak about. This freedom has generated a new kind of ‘inner dialogue’. Gratitude to all who made these classes possible.” ~ Past Participant

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Information on all live calls is below. Click on the clock icon next to each meeting time to see international time zone conversions.

  • Prerecorded lessons released on Thursdays at 12pm US Eastern
  • Live Q&A with Daniel on Mondays at 3pm US Eastern
  • Community calls with small-group breakouts (all participants welcome to all calls, regardless of location)
    • East and South Asia & Oceania Community Call, Saturdays at 3pm AEST/Melbourne Time
    • Americas Community Call, Tuesdays at 8pm US Eastern/New York Time
    • Europe & South Africa Community Call, Wednesdays at 7pm CET/Berlin Time

See the calendar below for specific course dates.

It’s ok! The live calls are optional, and Q&A calls with Daniel are recorded (video and audio) and transcribed into a pdf. Community calls are not recorded. You can attend as many or as few calls as you like. You can also go back and revisit all of the course material at any time.

No, this course is for personal healing work, and does not presume to train people to guide this work for others. There is a separate, more in-depth practitioner training (on ancestral lineage healing) for that purpose.

Yes. We are strongly committed to keeping the work accessible to people of diverse backgrounds and variable means. If you need financial assistance beyond the available payment plans please see our scholarship application.

If you would like to join us in keeping this work accessible or if you have enjoyed financial assistance previously and now wish to extend this gift to others, please consider a donation to our scholarship fund.

At this time, we are unable to offer CE credits, although we are looking into it for future offerings.

Yes! We provide a transcript for each lesson and live call, and the videos in the lessons include optional closed captioning.

That’s totally fine; we understand. The course Facebook group is optional, definitely not mandatory. In the past, we have experimented with in-course discussion boards, and other networking tools. We have found that people don’t use them much, and have grudgingly realized that the most participant connection happens on Facebook. Alas. Some people like to create a “dummy” Facebook account just for the course, as the discussions and resources tend to be engaging. But again, completely optional.

Our offerings at Ancestral Medicine are rooted in feminist, decolonizing, anti-racist, LGBTQI-friendly, class-aware, international, earth-honoring ethics and a heart-aware and non-dogmatic spirit that seeks to meet each participant’s unique life experiences and ancestral storylines. Resources included with each lesson will favor ancestrally diverse voices both within and outside the field of psychology, and the weekly community calls include options for BIPOC and LGBTQI-only small discussion groups.

“I really appreciate the combination of theory and practice, as well as the wealth of resources and supplemental material. Most especially, I want to say thank you and express deep gratitude for your team’s efforts to make the course financially accessible (generally and for me, personally).” ~ Past Participant

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About the Instructor

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Daniel Foor, PhD, is a licensed psychotherapist and a doctor of psychology. He has led ancestral and family healing intensives throughout the United States since 2005 and helped thousands of people to restore healthy and empowering relationships with their ancestors. He is the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing (Inner Traditions, 2017).

Over the past 25 years Daniel has trained with teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and diverse indigenous paths, including the older ways of his English, Irish, and German ancestors. He is a student of Yoruba culture and makes regular pilgrimages to work with elders in West Africa as an initiate (ọmọ awo) of Ifá, Ọbàtálá, Ọ̀ṣun, and Egúngún in the lineage of Olúwo Fálolú Adésànyà Awoyadé from Òdè Rẹ́mọ.

His doctoral research in psychology focused on the use of shamanic healing practices by clinical mental health professionals. Training as a therapist, living in other societies, and immersion in different lineages of ritual work all inform his kind and non-dogmatic approach to ancestor and earth reverence. Although he draws inspiration from lineages of established practice, his public offerings and ritual methods aim to be culturally inclusive, and he holds work for cultural and earth healing to be inseparable from spiritual teaching and practice.

Daniel lives with his wife and daughter in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the traditional homeland of Cherokee and other earlier indigenous peoples.

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