Ancestral Healing Practitioner Training

***Update: This training will be offered next in 2020 to insure the first 59 folks (three cohorts) trained in the work (2016-2018) are well cared for. Details on dates for the next training cycle starting 2020 should be available by the end of 2018. The best way to stay in the loop on this is subscribing to the monthly newsletter.

This six-month training in the ancestral lineage repair method developed by Daniel Foor, Ph.D. is for experienced ritualists who are psychologically well and already in relationship with their own ancestors. The work will closely follow the material in Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing.

People drawn to guide ancestral healing work for others may include psychotherapists, activists/community leaders, hospice/death midwives, priests of diverse traditions, and holistic healers. In addition to learning to guide ancestral lineage repair work in an individual context, participants will:

  • Engage in ancestor-focused prayer and invocation, altar tending, and offering practices
  • Learn basic skills for assisting the dying and recently deceased
  • Weave social and earth justice considerations into the practice of ancestral healing
  • Increase personal capacity to engage the ancestors through dreams and synchronicity
  • Receive support for working with ancestral curses, funky spirits, and other toxins
  • Enjoy individualized support for bringing out your personal ancestral calling

Graduates of the practitioner training are expected to then pursue certification in this approach to ancestral lineage healing (see details below) although the pace of that post-training certification process may vary from person to person.

About the Program

Training begins and ends with a residential retreat (five nights, four full days, two partial days). This will be the third cohort of ancestral healing practitioners, and we’ll gather at Highland Lake Cove Retreat and Learning Community in Flat Rock, NC, about thirty five minutes outside of Asheville. Full on-site participation is required. Retreat dates are:

  • Tues, May 8 – Sun, May 13, 2018
  • Tues, Oct 2 – Sun, Oct 7, 2018

The first retreat will cover the five stages of the lineage repair cycle (Chapters Five-Nine of the book) with considerable time devoted to supervised small-group exchanges. The second retreat will explore social and earth justice ritual in relation to the ancestors, deepen with core skills, and include other aspects of ancestor reverence (e.g., tough cases and the limits of ancestral healing, work with ancestors of place, support for the dying). Retreats will also be staffed by fantastic practitioner assistants from previous years. Full participation at both retreats is required to complete the training.

Between retreats participants will engage in five monthly group video conferences (May – Sept), five individual mentorship sessions with Daniel, and one-on-one ancestral healing sessions with other trainees by phone, video conference, or in-person when circumstances permit. Participation in the practitioner training also includes the Ancestral Lineage Healing Online Course. Folks in the 2018 training will be woven into the current online course even though you’re technically behind the pace (not a big deal as all participants enjoy full ongoing access to the materials). Cost for the online course is included in the tuition for the practitioner training.


Participants ideally have attended at least one ancestral lineage healing intensive with me or engaged in depth session work with one of the trained practitioners. Participation in the Ancestral Lineage Healing Online Course can make up for some of this if circumstances don’t allow for attending an in-person intensive. Even if you’ve come to a training, I ask that participants complete at least three sessions with a certified practitioner by the time we gather in May to have experienced the work in that format. Most importantly, applicants must have already engaged at depth with their own blood lineage ancestors, including a bit through this method.

Applicants are also expected to have years of experience with introspection/personal healing and with ritual/spiritual practice. This includes being at a stage of personal development that emphasizes being of service and includes a commitment to transforming any rough edges that could interfere in your ability to be a useful person. Ideally you’ll want to have some kind of depth training in holding space for others (e.g., psychotherapist, priest work, teacher) and an established practice/network that can benefit from the skills you’ll acquire in the training.

Trainees are expected to not only be psychologically and ritually grounded humans with an established network, but culturally competent, including being invested in larger movements for social and earth justice. This of course includes staying open to new learning. Clarity, love, and discernment will be celebrated, however, the unexamined righteousness that at times hijacks activist spaces in the United States will not be a guest at the training or in our work with the spirits. As it’s a mentorship relationship, you also need to click at least decently well with me as a person and vice versa for the training to make sense.

Retreat Details

Cost for the six-month practitioner training is $2,800. This includes tuition for both five-day retreats, five personal 60-minute mentorship sessions with Dr. Foor, five monthly group video conferences, and cost for the full Ancestral Healing Online Course. This does not include the food and lodging for retreats. Food is $225 per person for 14 healthy meals. Lodging ranges from $125 camping for five days to $250 dorm-style (3-4 per room) to $475 or higher for private cabins. All are asked to stay on site for group coherence. Therefore if you opt for the mid-range (dorm-style) you’ll pay $475 total per retreat, $950 for both May and October. Combined with tuition this results in $3,750 total plus whatever it costs you to arrive at the retreat center each time from your home (typically a flight to Asheville Regional Airport). This amount also does not include the post-training supervision sessions during the certification phase of the work (see below for details on that). And see below for details on scholarships if you would need a cost reduction to be able to join.

Participants are asked to arrive for a 7pm-9pm evening session on the Tuesday evening before each retreat (May 8th and Oct 2nd) and to stay through the morning session 9-11am the following Sunday (May 13th and Oct 7th). Unless you’re driving, most will fly into Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and take a group shuttle to and from the retreat center. The Blue Ridge Mountains are amazing in the spring and fall, and the residential setting provides an opportunity to dive deep both with the work and with a conscious community of fellow learners and ritualists.

Application and Scholarships

Participation in the training begins with submitting a completed application (application link here). Spaces are limited; for the third cohort we’re on track to have 2-3 times the number of applicants as there are spaces. Accepted applicants will be invited to register, see application for details.

Some partial scholarships are available for applicants in need. To apply, please submit both the training application and the scholarship application (scholarship link here). Applicants of other-than-European ancestries, diverse gender expressions, geographic diversity to reach new populations, various cultural proficiencies, and/or with a commitment to serving populations who may not otherwise enjoy access to ancestral healing work will be given some preference.

Permissions and Certification

When the training completes in October of 2018, graduates enter into the phase of working toward certification. Requirements consist of documenting 40 post-training ancestral healing sessions (not with others in the training and at least 10 of which for low-income folks), completing nine professional supervision sessions with Dr. Foor during this period (including three observation sessions), and conducting a case study in ancestral healing (nothing super involved on that). There is no timeline for completing the 40 sessions, and you can charge whatever you want (within reason) for sessions during the certification phase (and beyond).

I charge $135/hour for each of the nine supervision sessions during the certification phase, so that’s $1,215 total. If you charge an average of $75 per session for your 40 sessions during this certification phase, you would make $3,000. My intent is to see trainees prosper while rendering effective service and also to honor my own time and energy in the process.

Certification includes the opportunity be part of an emergent collegial association of ancestral healing practitioners. All practitioners also agree to the Ancestral Healing Practitioner Code of Ethics. For a listing of practitioners (currently all graduates of the first training cohort) who have completed their certification requirements, please see the Practitioner Directory.