ONLINE COURSE

Writing with the Dead

Tell Your Ancestral Stories

with Rachel Jamison Webster & Daniel Foor

Thursdays Beginning Jan 11

12:30pm Vancouver | 3:30pm New York | 21:30 Berlin

This course is for anyone called to the crossroads of
ancestry, writing, and culture. 

Participants will be guided to bring alive their personal and lineage stories through practices of co-writing and ritual reconnection with the dead. By affirming that our ancestors can be active participants in our lives and creations, we open ourselves to channel the poems, essays, and stories that we most need to write—both to understand the past and to live fully in the present.

Each week, we’ll engage in both guided rituals to safely connect with lineage ancestors and in practical writing exercises to welcome inspired words from our lineage ancestors. We’ll establish healthy boundaries with those still troubled in our lineages, and appeal to wise and loving elder guides for personal, family, and cultural healing. Course co-leads will blend intellect and intuition, care for living family and healthy boundaries with those among the living or the dead who are not yet at peace, historical research and direct communion with the ancestors. 

By cultivating inner listening, we’ll use our writing voice to also hear and amplify the voices of others.

Participants can expect a kind, responsive, internationally oriented, culturally mindful approach to course material that honors diverse approaches to writing and ancestor reverence. Through weekly small group breakouts anchored by experienced ritualists, participants will also find support for ancestral connection practices and a space to refine their writing. This offering aims to help participants to establish ancestral relationships and an ancestral co-writing practice that can continue long after the course completes.

Curriculum

Live 90-minutes calls are held each week with Rachel and Daniel and followed by optional break-out spaces. All calls are recorded and available to you in perpetuity. We include a course resources section with each lesson with multicultural, international perspectives. Registration also grants you access to our private Community Forum, where you can interact with Ancestral Medicine staff, course supporters, and fellow learners.

1 Lesson One
2 Lesson Two
3 Lesson Three
4 Lesson Four
5 Lesson Five
6 Lesson Six
7 Lesson Seven
8 Lesson Eight
Lesson One

Lesson One: Intro to Co-Writing & Ancestral Connection

  • Learn a framework for safe, direct relationships with blood ancestors
  • Enjoy freewriting time and the start of a meditative writing practice
  • Consider practical, creative, and sacred dimensions of family research
  • Practice improvisation at the crossroads of intellect and intuition
Lesson One: Intro to Co-Writing & Ancestral Connection
Lesson Two

Lesson Two: Lineage Assessment, Writing as Boundary

  • Learn to distinguish our opinions of the dead from their present state
  • Practice assessing the condition in spirit of your ancestral lineages
  • Explore ways to enact effective protection from the troubled dead
  • Develop writing techniques for boundaries with unhealed ancestors
Lesson Two: Lineage Assessment, Writing as Boundary
Lesson Three

Lesson Three: Seeking the Guides, Writing as Bridge

  • Learn the why and how of connecting directly with ancestral guidance
  • Enjoy guided practice to greet wise and loving older lineage ancestors
  • Expand into writing as a means to listen to ourselves and the ancestors
  • Explore writing before, during and after ancestral connection practices
Lesson Three: Seeking the Guides, Writing as Bridge
Lesson Four

Lesson Four: Nurturing Connection, Writing as Healing

  • Focus on strengthening and expanding into connections already made
  • Explore writing as one practice for nurturing diverse relationships
  • Optionally enjoy group time with Rachel focused on ancestral writing
  • Alternatively spend focused Daniel time refining spirit contact skills
Lesson Four: Nurturing Connection, Writing as Healing
Lesson Five

Lesson Five: Appealing to the Dead, Writing as Prayer

  • Discuss impacts of individualism on writing and ancestral reconnection
  • Invite connections between past and present, personal and collective
  • Practice writing as a form of appeal, healing prayer, and invocation
  • Ask the ancestors to directly intervene for family and lineage healing
Lesson Five: Appealing to the Dead, Writing as Prayer
Lesson Six

Lesson Six: Living the Gifts, Writing as Courage and Vow

  • Partner with ancestors to understand lineage blessings and burdens
  • Explore skills for family and elder interviews, tending with the living
  • Learn ways to bring family research into dynamic ancestral co-writing
  • Further soften individualism to support good writing, living, and dying
Lesson Six: Living the Gifts, Writing as Courage and Vow
Lesson Seven

Lesson Seven: Conscious Communion, Writing as Intimacy

  • Try on more consciously living as the face of your specific ancestors
  • Explore diverse offering practices to support ongoing relationship
  • Discuss both revision and tangible forms and forums for your writing
  • Enjoy either dedicated time with Rachel or Daniel to deepen your practice
Lesson Seven: Conscious Communion, Writing as Intimacy
Lesson Eight

Lesson Eight: Settling In, Writing for and with the Dead

  • Discuss integration, next steps, and ways to deepen with course material
  • Savor a handful of heartfelt ancestral shares from course participants
  • Practice honoring your healed ancestors with some kind of shared meal
  • Enjoy time in small breakouts sharing stories with and from your people
Lesson Eight: Settling In, Writing for and with the Dead
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Lesson One: Intro to Co-Writing & Ancestral Connection

  • Learn a framework for safe, direct relationships with blood ancestors
  • Enjoy freewriting time and the start of a meditative writing practice
  • Consider practical, creative, and sacred dimensions of family research
  • Practice improvisation at the crossroads of intellect and intuition

Lesson Two: Lineage Assessment, Writing as Boundary

  • Learn to distinguish our opinions of the dead from their present state
  • Practice assessing the condition in spirit of your ancestral lineages
  • Explore ways to enact effective protection from the troubled dead
  • Develop writing techniques for boundaries with unhealed ancestors

Lesson Three: Seeking the Guides, Writing as Bridge

  • Learn the why and how of connecting directly with ancestral guidance
  • Enjoy guided practice to greet wise and loving older lineage ancestors
  • Expand into writing as a means to listen to ourselves and the ancestors
  • Explore writing before, during and after ancestral connection practices

Lesson Four: Nurturing Connection, Writing as Healing

  • Focus on strengthening and expanding into connections already made
  • Explore writing as one practice for nurturing diverse relationships
  • Optionally enjoy group time with Rachel focused on ancestral writing
  • Alternatively spend focused Daniel time refining spirit contact skills

Lesson Five: Appealing to the Dead, Writing as Prayer

  • Discuss impacts of individualism on writing and ancestral reconnection
  • Invite connections between past and present, personal and collective
  • Practice writing as a form of appeal, healing prayer, and invocation
  • Ask the ancestors to directly intervene for family and lineage healing

Lesson Six: Living the Gifts, Writing as Courage and Vow

  • Partner with ancestors to understand lineage blessings and burdens
  • Explore skills for family and elder interviews, tending with the living
  • Learn ways to bring family research into dynamic ancestral co-writing
  • Further soften individualism to support good writing, living, and dying

Lesson Seven: Conscious Communion, Writing as Intimacy

  • Try on more consciously living as the face of your specific ancestors
  • Explore diverse offering practices to support ongoing relationship
  • Discuss both revision and tangible forms and forums for your writing
  • Enjoy either dedicated time with Rachel or Daniel to deepen your practice

Lesson Eight: Settling In, Writing for and with the Dead

  • Discuss integration, next steps, and ways to deepen with course material
  • Savor a handful of heartfelt ancestral shares from course participants
  • Practice honoring your healed ancestors with some kind of shared meal
  • Enjoy time in small breakouts sharing stories with and from your people

Price

Accessibility is a core value at Ancestral Medicine. We offer several pricing tiers, and we leave it to you to select the most appropriate tier. The ranges in pricing aim to take into consideration global economic disparities, historical injustices, and personal circumstances. The system is designed for those with more to register in ways that support those with less.

EARLY REGISTRATION | SAVE 18% THRU NOVEMBER 20
$ 415
USD
  •  
Standard Rate
$ 495
USD
  • 1 payment of $495
  • 3 payments of $165
  • 6 payments of $82.50
Supporter Rate
$ 615
USD
  • 1 payment of $650
  • 3 payments of $205
  • 6 payments of $102.50

Other Pricing Options

Community Rate
$ 325
USD
  • 3 or 6 month payment plans available
Economic Hardship
$ 295
USD
  • 3 or 6 month payment plans available

About the Instructors

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Rachel Jamison Webster

Rachel is a professor of Creative Writing at Northwestern University and the author of Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family, which tells the stories of her ancestors to explore race, identity, genius, and justice in American history. She has also published four books of poetry, including Mary is a River. Rachel’s ancestors hail from the American Midwest, Ireland, England, France, Senegal, and Guinea. Rachel is devoted to diversity, inclusion, literary ethics, and creating safe and transformative spaces for people to share their personal and ancestral stories. Learn more

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Daniel Foor, PhD

Daniel is a doctor of psychology, experienced ritualist, 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 two daughters near Granada, Spain in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

This course runs from Thursday, January 11 – February 29, 2024.

Live lessons run on Thursdays for eight weeks at 3:30pm New York | 12:30pm Vancouver | 21:30 Berlin. Convert to your local time.

Calls last 90 minutes with up to 30 additional minutes in small groups.

This course directly addresses vulnerable topics related to ongoing violence and harm in the world. The material may stir complicated emotions for some participants. Support outside of the lessons may be helpful as the course is not a replacement for personal therapy or spiritual care.

Enrollment includes 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.

Please also consider reaching out to someone in the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network for one-on-one support and guidance. Most are available for private individualized sessions, and many are willing to provide low-cost sessions to support financial accessibility needs.

To the very best of our ability, yes. All Ancestral Medicine offerings seek to embody an anti-racist, feminist, LGBTQ-celebrating, decolonizing and Earth-honoring ethic. They are also class-aware and internationally conscious. We offer a heartfelt, non-dogmatic approach 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.

For full-length online courses (8 weeks or more), we offer a 30-day money back guarantee starting when the first lesson is released, no questions asked. For shorter courses, we offer full refunds before the first lesson begins and partial refunds if requested before the second lesson begins. See our Terms & Conditions.

We’d be happy to help with any additional questions! Reach out to info@ancestralmedicine.org and someone from our team will be in touch, usually within one or two business days.

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