Ancestral Healing Practitioner Training
led by Dr. Daniel Foor
Registration is now closed.
This nine-month immersion in ancestral healing arts equips participants to guide effective and professional ancestral healing sessions and events. These skills may serve as the foundation of a career in ancestral healing arts and may complement many other kinds of practices and service.
This is a professional certification program that centers the Ancestral Lineage Healing method developed over the past two decades by Dr. Daniel Foor, and the training is enriched by the involvement of over 50 mentors, supervisors, and retreat supporters of diverse backgrounds from the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network. See in-depth info below and also feel welcome to watch the replay of the Practitioner Training Q&A Session.
See below for in-depth info and also feel welcome to join the Practitioner Training Q&A Session for 2022-2023.
Participants will learn to guide ancestral healing sessions, introductory teachings, and ancestor circles using the Ancestral Lineage Healing method.
The training includes learning foundational ritual proficiencies, skills for work with the troubled dead, ways to assist the dying and recently deceased, psychological and cultural layers of ancestral healing, and support for clarifying and living one’s personal destiny with ancestral backing.
Participants join an international association of ritualists and healers through the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network. This collegial network supports personal and professional development after the training completes and provides professional opportunities and referrals.
The all-inclusive investment in this professional training and certification is $7,500 USD.
Upon acceptance, participants are required to initiate a payment plan. Flexible payment options for durations up to 24 months are available. There is also a $500 dollar discount for participants who are able to pay in full.
There are a number of need-based scholarships reserved for BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folks, those who speak a language other than English, and applicants from economically disadvantaged nations or backgrounds. As our regional focus this training cycle is Africa and the Diaspora (see below for details), nearly all available scholarships will be reserved for people of African ancestries and possibly for a few folks who bring language fluencies not already represented in the Network. Ancestral Medicine may choose to further extend financial support to any given applicant through our Professional Development Fund for Ancestral Healing Practitioners.
If you have financial concerns and wish to apply, please proceed and indicate your financial needs during the application process. The cost of the training is set at $7,500 to reflect fair compensation for the many Ancestral Medicine mentors, staff, and training supporters; to allow for substantial cost reductions for less economically advantaged applicants; and to allow the training and professional Network itself to be sustainable. We are committed to keeping the training truly accessible while also caring for our team and those who make it possible.
This training empowers participants to guide practices of ancestral reconnection in ways that are ritually safe, culturally skillful, and effective at catalyzing personal and family healing.
To meet that objective, we commit to:
“My ancestors pushed me to start the training, and I was able to enroll thanks to a scholarship from Ancestral Medicine. I felt like I was going to magic school with my ancestors. The program is well-structured, rich, and multifaceted. The teachings go into the depths of ancestral tending, consider cultural diversity, and are politically mindful. You get to know people from all kinds of backgrounds and the network is a treasure of internationally diverse, amazing folx, and a lovely connective space. I felt well resourced by Daniel, the team and the other trainees throughout the whole process.”
- Ana Antadze, Hanover, Germany (Cohort Five)
Timeframe and Retreats
The heart of the training takes place over nine months and includes three online retreats and a mixture of individual sessions, small-group mentorship, larger group teachings, and session exchanges with peers.
All meetings are online through the Zoom platform, and retreats are guided by Dr. Foor with robust support from practitioners in the Ancestral Medicine network. Retreat sessions are scheduled over a period of two weeks to be spacious, minimize online fatigue, and allow time for personal integration.
First Retreat (October 2022). Focus will be on the steps of the Ancestral Lineage Healing process and the fundamentals of guiding personal sessions. Considerable time will be spent in practitioner-supervised small-group exchanges. After this trainees will be empowered to guide sessions with other trainees and practitioners.
Between First and Second Retreat (November 2022 – March 2023). Requirements will include: refining skills through guiding sessions within the cohort, meeting individually and in small groups with your mentor and mentorship pod, and attending live teachings with Dr. Foor and other teachers. This is a time for deepening with your ancestors, learning through practice, and addressing any necessary proficiencies in preparation for guiding ancestral healing sessions for the public.
Second Retreat (March 2023). Focus will be on preparing for guiding public sessions. We’ll explore professional challenges and limitations, cultural healing layers of the practice, and skills for work with especially troubled ghosts. Provided requirements have been met, participants will be empowered to offer public sessions as a practitioner-in-training (trainee).
Between Second and Third Retreat (March – July 2023). Trainees hone their skills through guiding public sessions in tandem with regular supervision in the form of individual mentorship meetings, observation, and group supervisions. In some cases the certification requirements of 40 documented client sessions and accompanying supervision sessions may be fulfilled by the time of the third retreat; however, the pace of the certification period will vary from person to person.
Third Retreat (July 2023). This final retreat provides an opportunity for the cohort to gather after encountering the complexities that can arise when guiding public sessions. Content will include work with different kinds of ancestors, relationship of ancestors to the Earth, mystical aspects of the practice, and ways to support clients in clarifying path and destiny. For those who have completed other requirements to this stage, certification may be an outcome after a final mentorship meeting shortly following the retreat.
Regionally-Focused Training Progression
The 2022-2023 Practitioner Training (Cohort 6) is the second annual cohort of a four-part progression with a different geographic and cultural focus each training-year.
The intent is to support international access to training opportunities and ancestral healing services, to deepen historical and cultural knowledge among the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network, and to enact a vision of global ancestral synergy and cooperation.
Although training fundamentals are consistent, the training will express the regional focus in any given year in three ways:
The four-year cycle progression will be:
Cohort 5 (2021-2022) - Europe, West Asia, and North Africa
Cohort 6 (2022-2023) - Africa and the Diaspora
Cohort 7 (2023-2024) - Asia and Oceania
Cohort 8 (2024-2025) - The Americas
(Some areas such as West Asia and North Africa are at a geographic and cultural crossroads and may be represented in more than one cycle.)
In 2021-22 the regional focus included Europe, the Arabic-speaking world, Turkey, Israel/Palestine, the Caucasus, and Iran. In 2022-23, the regional focus includes continental Africa, all people of African ancestries in the Diaspora (meaning more recent African ancestries, Black people, as all humans are ancestrally African), and those with a demonstrated long-term personal and professional investment in the well-being of Africa and African peoples.
Again, this regional focus means that training spaces, scholarships, and Continuing Education teachings center Africa and the Diaspora this cycle; it does not mean that all training participants will be from the region of focus. For context, in 2021-22 just under 40% of training participants met the regional criteria. This included recent European immigrants of diverse African and Asian ancestries as well as folks from Turkey, Iran, Spain, Austria, etc. who live outside of the region of focus. There is no need to meet the regional criteria for Cohort Six or for any other year to apply for the training.
“The international holding of this training was critical and a huge part of my growth journey. Being a part of this international community shifted me out of my “American centered” mindset, broadened my view of the work, and helped me refine my role in this larger landscape of healing. It was both comforting and humbling to see and participate in how this work manifests around the globe, and the unique experiences and perspectives each trainee weaves through this training helps brings the framework alive.”
- Erica Nunnally, Rhode Island, USA (Cohort Four)
Requirements & Application
Working in close partnership with the ancestors can be potent and transformative in unexpected ways.
Applicants are asked to be anchored in their psychological and spiritual well-being prior to application. Although the training necessarily includes ongoing personal and ancestral healing, the emphasis is on learning to guide ancestral healing for others.
What Are We Seeking in Applicants?
Although a calling from the ancestors is one important element, there is no single background or training to prepare to guide ancestral healing practices for others. Some qualities that we value in applicants include:
Examples of the backgrounds from some in the first four cohorts include: holistic healers, psychotherapists, activists and community leaders, midwives and hospice workers, artists, diviners, genealogists, artists, practitioners of traditional and/or Western medicines, and priests of diverse traditions. Even if none of those describe you, if you feel called to support others in their ancestral healing, we encourage you to apply.
How to Apply
The application period is currently open. The application portal allows you to save work in progress, complete the application over more than one session, and submit when ready. Expect in the application process:
We have found that a robust application process supports determining up front if the training is a good match from both sides. Our team will consider applications on a rolling basis, and submitting materials as soon as possible is helpful. Applications will be reviewed by select Ancestral Medicine staff and never shared in any way beyond that. As in previous years, we anticipate more applicants than available spaces.
"Having been born and raised in South Africa as a person of color, ancestral reconnection practices helped me to heal generational traumas connected to apartheid and colonization. Ancestral healing work has not only benefited me but all my lineages and relations and is powerful healing work that will trigger deep transformational changes in the practitioner. It is a sacred path that requires, like all forms of healing work, sincere long-term commitment."
- Gita Thandika, California, USA (Cohort Four)
Frequently Asked Questions
We have found the training process to be most effective with a blend of personal sessions, small group meetings, peer exchanges, optional peer interaction, and full-cohort or full-network teaching spaces.
During the three retreats, we spend substantive time each day, sometimes over half of the time, in small group break-out spaces. When in small groups the ratio is typically one practitioner/supporter for every three trainees; this facilitates small-group exchanges and personalized feedback.
Trainees engage between retreats in three personal 1:1 mentorship sessions (30min each), three group mentorship meetings with approximately 6-10 other trainees (90min each), at least 10 one-to-one peer session exchanges (often more), and one observations session with their mentor (60min). Other required training elements are in the space of the full cohort with options for some Q&A and discussion.
When trainees begin their certification process, typically after the second retreat, this includes two additional 1:1 mentorship sessions (30min each), a direct observation session (90min), and active participation in at least four group supervisions.
Cohort Five (2021-22) will complete in July 2022 with nearly 80 trainees following the ratios above. We have found that connective ratios, a clearly defined and organized training structure, and excellent support from AM Staff throughout the training helps participants to feel well met in their process.
Trainees are welcome to be as involved as they wish in Network affinity groups, meet-ups, and other Ancestral Medicine offerings.
Each retreat will be held over two consecutive weeks. Retreat days are six hours total – three 90-minute sessions with 90 minutes of break time throughout the day.
- Retreat 1 is three days each week, Thursday-Saturday, October 13-15 & 20-22, 2022
- Retreat 2 is two days each week, Friday-Saturday, March 17-18 & 24-25, 2023
- Retreat 3 is two days each week, Friday-Saturday, July 7-8 & 14-15, 2023
Retreat times are intended to stay accessible to participants in Africa and the Diaspora (especially Europe and the Americas). This will shift in future years to center the region of focus. We’re truly sorry for the impact of the timing of this cycle for applicants from Oceania and most of Asia. In 2023-2024 (Cohort Seven) our team is committed to making the timing work for you, and in the meantime, we welcome you to apply and prepare for the odd hours and/or listen to recordings for credit when needed.
All scheduling is based on Eastern/New York City time and all retreat days are from 9am-3pm Eastern. Please check the actual dates to notice time regional time changes.
We staff each of the online retreats with supporters from the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network and include small break-out groups with ratios of three trainees per practitioner-supporter. This allows for direct, personalized instruction in live time from qualified practitioners who bring a diversity of skills and life experiences, and as such live attendance at the retreats is a critical component of the training.
That said, life happens and at times there are irreconcilable demands. In those situations we arrange for make-up sessions also guided by practitioners to allow trainees to still complete all aspects of the training, as all three retreats are required to complete the training. Please only apply if you have both intent and reasonable expectation to attend in full. Applicants in Asia and Oceania are warmly welcome to apply this year. If you require reasonable hours to participate, Cohort 7 (2023-2024) is planned with you in mind.
There are elements that require your live participation but you schedule a time that works for you with another person (e.g., sessions exchanges, personal mentorship, observations) and therefore you have flexibility as to when they occur.
There are both required live teachings (e.g., monthly conferences with Daniel, Continuing Education offerings); however, these are recorded and made available for playback in a way that can also fulfill the attendance requirement if needed.
The only requirement that could pose a scheduling challenge are the three small-group mentorship sessions over the nine-month training as trainees are required to do their very best to join live (and to make up the time if not). The times and dates for these will be arranged well in advance with your assigned mentor and those in your mentorship pod.
Each of the 14 total days of the training spent in online “retreat” (see schedule above) consist of six total hours: four and a half spent in three 90-minute teachings and 90 minutes spaced throughout for self-care and a break from screen time.
In addition to the retreat days, the various requirements over the nine-month arc of the training take a minimum of two hours per week to fulfill; however, trainees are encouraged to allow for at least three to four hours per week to make the most of the training, cohort experience, optional learning, and practice opportunities.
After completion of the second retreat (March 2023), trainees who have met all requirements are welcome to begin the certification phase. This includes seeing clients from the public while also engaging in regular supervision. Trainees are required to document 40 client sessions and related supervision sessions, and may complete this requirement by the end of third retreat (July 2023). Late July is the earliest one can complete certification through Cohort Six.
Conversely, life is unpredictable and some may take two years or more to complete their certification. Starting one year from the end of the third retreat, those not yet certified will be asked to participate in a modest Renewal of Trainee Status process. However, there is no upper limit on how long it can take to complete certification.
The application period is now open (see link here to apply). Our system will automatically acknowledge receipt of your application. Please assume the best if you receive the auto-response but don’t hear from us.
We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and aim to reply to each applicant within 2-3 weeks. If more than three weeks have passed during any part of the application period, feel welcome to reach out to email@example.com.
Please still apply if the training cost is the primary concern. Accessibility is one of our core values as an organization, and this very much includes financial accessibility. We are committed to evaluating applicants based on their merits and to doing our very best to find mutually agreeable financial arrangements when other factors favor participation.
In addition to payment plans of up to 24 months, we plan for a certain number of partial scholarships in how we run the training and also oversee a Professional Development Fund for Ancestral Healing Practitioners that we may draw upon to assist any given applicant.
As modest correctives to racism, colonialism, gender discrimination, and U.S. imperialism, we tend to favor scholarship applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or speak languages other than English; however, we may elect to help any applicant with financial need. This training cycle we will strongly favor Africans and those of African ancestries in the Diaspora.
No, there is truly no need to have any connection to the region of focus to apply.
The cycle of four practitioner trainings, each with a regional focus, began with the 2021-2022 cohort. The intent is to support international access to training opportunities and ancestral healing services as well as to deepen historical and cultural knowledge among the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network.
Although half of the spaces will be reserved for qualified applicants from the region of focus, the remaining spaces are open to applicants from any background or geography and the fundamentals of the training will be the same each year. If there are not enough qualified applicants from the region of focus to account for half of the spaces, they may go to other qualified applicants. In the 2021-22 training cycle roughly 40% of applicants had substantial connections to Europe, West Asia, or North Africa.
If you are interested in a regional focus beyond 2022-23, note that the regionally focused Continuing Education teachings that accompany each training will be accessible to the entire network. For example, if you are of Asian ancestries or geographies and you apply in 2022-2023, you will still access to the Asia-focused teachings in the following cycle.
Identity, culture, and belonging are complex, and we consider three interrelated factors:
Geography. Irrespective of your specific ancestry and family history, are you currently living in Africa? Do you envision continuing to live there in ways that lead to an investment in the well-being of those lands and peoples?
Ancestry. Irrespective of where you reside, are your ancestral roots entirely or substantially African? If so, to what degree does this also translate into an active affinity for the cultures, traditions, languages, and living peoples of Africa and/or the African Diaspora?
Culture. Irrespective of your ancestry or place of residence, do you have a sustained professional or personal investment in one or more of the cultures from the region of focus? Are you working in meaningful ways for the well-being of African lands and peoples?
We do not hold these categories in rigid ways. Please be at ease in the application process, share what you feel is best, and remember that half of the spaces each year will also be open to people of any background. In a pragmatic sense this matters only because our scholarships will lean heavily toward folks who meet the criteria this training cycle.
This is a professional training for ritualists, healers, therapists, and other kinds of cultural repair folks who feel called to guide ancestral healing work for others. This means that the material may be challenging and activating in ways that then call for resourcing outside the training with whatever forms of support nourish you.
Depth ritual work carried out in partnership with the ancestors inevitably will surface material for healing and personal growth; this is fantastic and to be expected. In this practice we tend to take this to our ancestors directly and also to the space of ancestral healing sessions which can be scheduled in abundance at no cost with kind and trusted colleagues in the training.
The more psychologically whole and worked through you are before the training starts the better as the focus will begin and remain on acquiring and embody ritual facilitation skills. In other words, it’s decisively a professional training in ritual arts with an eye toward everyone feeling personally supported in a kind and caring ritual vessel.
The training is held in a multi-cultural vessel that includes session exchanges between people of ancestrally diverse backgrounds (sometimes when there has been historical or present-day systemic injustice). Cohort Five (2021-22) includes trainees from 20 nations, at least a third of whom are BIPOC, and the possibilities for cultural friction, misunderstanding, micro-aggressions, and activation are myriad.
One way we hold this is a shared understanding that it’s not going to be perfect, that it’s welcome to speak in the moment (or after) to whatever needs to be addressed, and that cultural healing is inseparable from ancestral healing. Within this we agree to hold an ethic of humility, curiosity and giving one another the benefit of the doubt when tougher moments need to be navigated.
Another is that we have an ethic of bringing what’s happening in the moment to our ancestors. They are the holding and container for the larger working, including for teachers and staff, so we slow down, resource with them and listen in together when the waters are fraught or when cultural pain is present.
A third way is that we have some affinity groups to support folks in being well resourced. For example in Cohort Five the affinity-based mentorship pods include: Black/African-ancestors, Asian/Asian-ancestors, Spanish-speakers, German-speakers, etc. Anytime there is an opportunity to be in an affinity space, trainees always have choice and there were mentees in other pods who were Black, Asian, Spanish-speaking, and/or German-speaking. There are also nearly 20 affinity groups in the online connection space for the Practitioner Network.
Although Daniel Foor is the senior teacher, the training model regularly includes the voices and perspectives of people of diverse ancestries, genders, nationalities, and life experiences. Shared values, a mixture of different kinds of spaces, an ethic of kindness, and ancestral representation among the mentors and supporters, in combination, lead to good outcomes most of the time. And when it’s hard, we show up for the process and ask our ancestors to hold us through it all.
You can always reach out directly to those in the Practitioner Directory, especially if you feel someone would be able to speak to your specific concerns. This Directory does not include all of those in the Network as not all practitioners-in-training are featured there, so if you have a question you wish to direct to someone of a certain background (e.g., “Are there practitioners of South Asian ancestries I could speak with?”), ask our team at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we may be able to make a connection.
For testimonials of practitioners from each year of the training, see this testimonials link.