SELF-PACED COURSE

Foundations of Ritual

On Relationship and the Sacred

with Dr. Daniel Foor

star with star copper

Ritual is the cultivation of personal intuition and the renewal of ancestral knowledge.

Ritual is both art and discipline, instinctual and learnable. Approaches to ritual are as diverse as life itself and the only “wrong” approaches are those untethered from love, wisdom and relationship with life.

In the spirit of kind, inclusive and non-dogmatic learning, this course is for anyone seeking to strengthen their foundational skills in ritual arts. We explore how to define or understand what ritual actually means and why cultivating a personal practice that involves ritual is useful. Topics include establishing intentions, etiquette, protection, invocation, trance, prayer, and offering practices. We also take a look at a dozen other elements found in many ritual arts traditions. Participants will learn skills that can be applied to everyday devotions. These core skills are also continued and deepened through engagement with other Ancestral Medicine courses.

Course material assumes no prior knowledge – beginners are very welcome! The content may be particularly useful to priests, spiritual care workers, healing arts educators and practitioners of diverse traditions in search of fresh ways to transmit basic teachings. The course emphasis is on relationship and is rooted in a feminist, decolonizing, antiracist, LGBTQ+-friendly, class-aware, Earth-honoring ethic.

Investment

This course is offered on a sliding scale and all payment levels include monthly payment options.

Full Payment
$ 345
USD
  •  
Sustainer
$ 285
USD
  •  
Supported
$ 225
USD
  •  

Curriculum​

1 What's Included
2 One
3 Two
4 Three
5 Four
6 Five
7 Six
8 Seven
9 Eight
What's Included

What's Included:

  • Eight recorded lessons, each 60-90 minutes in duration
  • Guided, experiential practices accompanying each lesson
  • Extensive additional resources featuring ancestrally diverse voices
  • Full downloadable audio, PDF transcription and closed captioning for lessons
  • Access to a dedicated community forum for those engaged in similar learning
  • Responsive and helpful support, if needed, from Ancestral Medicine staff
  • Lifetime access to course resources
What's Included:
One

Lesson One: 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
Lesson One: Introduction to Ritual in Theory and Practice
Two

Lesson Two: 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
Lesson Two: Boundaries, Protection, and Ritual Safety
Three

Lesson Three: 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
Lesson Three: Invocation and Appealing to the Powers
Four

Lesson Four: 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
Lesson Four: Trancework and Relational Etiquette
Five

Lesson Five: 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
Lesson Five: Sustaining Intimacy and Regulating Intensity
Six

Lesson Six: 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
Lesson Six: Speech and Song, Intention and Prayer
Seven

Lesson Seven: 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
Lesson Seven: Authenticity, Calling and Honoring Limits
Eight

Lesson Eight: 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
Lesson Eight: Traditions, Teachers and Established Practices
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

What's Included:

  • Eight recorded lessons, each 60-90 minutes in duration
  • Guided, experiential practices accompanying each lesson
  • Extensive additional resources featuring ancestrally diverse voices
  • Full downloadable audio, PDF transcription and closed captioning for lessons
  • Access to a dedicated community forum for those engaged in similar learning
  • Responsive and helpful support, if needed, from Ancestral Medicine staff
  • Lifetime access to course resources

Lesson One: 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

Lesson Two: 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

Lesson Three: 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

Lesson Four: 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

Lesson Five: 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

Lesson Six: 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

Lesson Seven: 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

Lesson Eight: 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

This course provides an excellent foundation in safe, effective and respectful ritual. I appreciated both the theory and the practical application examples that were given. I am a minister and have done ritual before. That said, I gained a new perspective from this class. It has helped me to expand my view of ritual from something only done in spiritual practice to a way of interacting with life itself

– Joseph G., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

About the Instructor

Dr Daniel Foor

Daniel Foor, PhD

Dr. Foor is a licensed psychotherapist, doctor of psychology, and the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing. He 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. Daniel is passionate about training aspiring leaders and change makers in the intersections of cultural healing, animist ethics, and applied ritual arts. He lives with his wife and daughters in Western North Carolina, homeland of Cherokee peoples.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

This course is designed to explore mental health and ritual topics through an animist lens, and participants may find themselves reflecting on tender or vulnerable topics like trauma, bonding, psychosis, and belonging. The course is not a replacement for direct, living support and/or professional medical advice, and enrollment does automatically include access to our Community Forum—an online discussion group of students past and present, including supportive members from Ancestral Medicine’s Practitioner Network and Ancestral Medicine staff. Sharing experiences, reflecting on practices, and making connections in this private online community can provide one form of support.

Ancestral Medicine offerings 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 honor each participant’s unique life experiences and ancestral storylines. Resources included with each lesson favor ancestrally and geographically diverse voices, and the online Community Forum includes BIPOC and LGBTQ-only discussion spaces.

All of our lesson videos have closed captioning, as well as a full transcript and additional downloadable audio-only versions. If you have needs not met here, please feel free to reach out to us with suggestions at info@ancestralmedicine.org.

“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.” – Diana, Maryland, USA

“It surpassed my expectations. Not new to spirit work, shamanism specifically, I was eager to see your perspective through the ‘foundational’ lens. It brought a very welcome, fresh perspective in a wonderfully inclusive, accessible and engaging format. I was super impressed with the multi-media options, platform and professional delivery. Your style of teaching, sense of humour and great depth of knowledge helped me see a few of my blindspots for which I am deeply appreciative. I’ll be back for more in your following trainings. Many thanks to you and your team for delivering a fantastic learning experience.” – Robin C., Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, GB

“Daniel is one of the most powerful teachers I have ever had the opportunity to learn from. I have three degrees, including two Master’s Degrees (one in Social Work), and I learned concepts, practices and ways of understanding from Daniel about people, the earth and life than I ever did in academia. Daniel blends his knowledge and lived experiences of both the clinical and non-clinical perspectives in this course, and teaches ways to connect with yourself and others from an animist perspective. He delves into Psychology, mental health and how the Western perspective is one limited way to approach life and working with others. His teachings are from an intersectional, inclusive, trauma-informed and respectful approach that helps people across all ages, genders, socio-economic situations, faiths, abilities, and ethno-cultural groups expand their knowledge to find a deeper meaning in life. This course makes space to explore tough issues such as colonialism in a dignified way, so all participants can work through it collectively while building a community of informed and compassionate people with resiliency. This course is one of a kind, and I highly recommend it for mental health providers, as well as anyone who is looking to deeply understand themselves, and the world better.” – Phoenix R., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

“I’ve taken two courses offered at Ancestral Medicine: Foundations of Ritual and Animist Psychology. I’m currently booked for more. What really surprised me was the heart-felt care that went into them: the lessons, the calls, the videos for additional questions, the community calls, the transcripts, audios + resources for further learning. It was a lot more than I expected and it conveys the ethic of Ancestral Medicine so perfectly. The course presents a path back to our own humanity. An awakening to relationships alongside vast, nuanced insight into the domains of life we (often unconsciously) impact. Daniel is an excellent teacher- clear and congruent in his views, highly articulate and effective at teasing out the subtleties between different views on the subject matter. Beyond that what really shines through is that he really cares, and he’s not afraid to show his humanity – the grief and sadness, but also his deep abiding love for our planet and the community of life that rests upon it. I’m so grateful this course exists as it has helped me make a fundamental shift in my attitudes and levels of awareness – helped in no small part by the example of a teacher who’s so well integrated, honest and embodied in his stance. Thank you to the whole Ancestral Medicine team for making this course what they are. I can’t recommend them enough.” – Maja P., London, UK

“I am so grateful for this course, all the elements it included in depth, and the thorough care for a well-tended community experience. The generous material includes thoughtful, careful, intentional exploration of materials I wish had been part of my formal education in psychology. The community container was held with steady care, such that there was clear space for individual attending, interpersonal dialogue, and self-reflection within the greater field of relations. Even in an online course replete with much spoken word, there was enduring support and encouragement for listening beyond the known languages. Listening to the many other-than-human voices present in the psyche of earthen existence. Listening for what healing is available today and what part we might play in this moment. This course provides essential nutrients to the ecosystemic healing in which we all have a part to play, and it helps clearly and kindly re-route individual awareness to support humankind coming into right-sized balance with respect to the many others in the web of relations.” – Phlo S., Omaha, Nebraska, USA

If you have general questions about our organization, offerings, or values, you may enjoy our Frequently Asked Questions page. If there’s something else, we’d be happy to help! Reach out to info@ancestralmedicine.org and someone from our team will be in touch, usually within 1-2 business days.

Translate