Ancestral Healing Practitioner Training 2020


This training in ancestral healing is for experienced and culturally mindful ritualists of high integrity who are psychologically well and already in conscious relationship with their own ancestors. The work is based on the approach to ancestor reverence and ritual articulated by Dr. Daniel Foor and will both follow and expand upon the material in Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing.

In addition to learning to guide ancestral lineage repair work in an individual session context, participants will:

  • Engage in ancestor-focused prayer and invocation, altar tending, and offering practices
  • 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 spirit phenomena, and other lineage toxins
  • Learn basic skills for assisting the dying and recently deceased
  • Benefit from immersion in heart-aware, culturally-inclusive fellowship with ritualists of diverse ancestries
  • Enjoy individualized support for bringing out your personal ancestral calling

Although this training calls for ongoing personal and ancestral healing work, this is clearly a practitioner training meaning the focus is on learning how to guide ancestral healing for others. Applicants will likely already have a practice in some type of healing arts, cultural change, or ritual facilitation. People drawn to guide ancestral healing work for others may, for example, include psychotherapists, holistic healers and counselors, activists and community leaders, midwives and hospice workers, priests of diverse traditions, artists, spirited historians, and practitioners of traditional and/or Western medicines.

Those who apply, are accepted, and complete the foundational training will join the emergent professional network of other practitioners (see the practitioner directory). We work from a cultural healing/anti-oppression ethic and all applicants are expected to bring a robust level of cultural awareness to the training and, when needed, to level up together along the way.

Training Structure

***Note: The information below was pre-pandemic. Updates for the fifth cohort of practitioners will be out by mid-2021.***

We begin and end with a residential retreat. Each of the retreats are from Wednesday evening to Tuesday morning (six nights and five full days with two partial days at the start and end). The mid-week timing is to save folks substantial money on mid-week rather than weekend flights to and from the retreat location. Full on-site participation is required to complete the training. Retreat dates in 2020 are:

  • Wednesday, March 25th (evening) – Tuesday, March 31st (morning)
  • Wednesday, October 14th (evening) – Tuesday, October 20th (morning)

The first retreat will cover the foundations of the lineage repair cycle (Chapters Five-Nine of the book) with considerable time devoted to supervised small-group exchanges. The second retreat will deepen with foundational skills, expand into social and earth justice concerns as they relate to the ancestors, and include other aspects of ancestor reverence (e.g., tough cases and the limits of ancestral healing). Retreats will be guided by Daniel and well-supported by senior practitioners who are also in-training to eventually guide the retreats.

Participants are asked to arrive for dinner preceding a 7pm-9pm evening session on the Wednesday at the beginning of each retreat (March 25th and Oct 14th) and to stay through the morning session 9-11am the following Tuesday (March 31th and Oct 20th). We will gather at Highland Lake Cove near Asheville, North Carolina. 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.

Between the March and October retreats participants will engage in six monthly group video conferences (April – Sept), six individual hour-long mentorship sessions (two with Daniel and four with a senior practitioner of the work), and leading at least twelve (often considerably more) one-on-one ancestral healing sessions with other trainees by phone, video conference, or in-person when circumstances permit. As a general guideline, consider a minimum average of two hours of per week of dedicated time to various aspects of the training. Aside from video conferences, you set the timing of the mentorship and exchange sessions that occur between retreats in a way that works for your life and schedule. The six live video conferences are recorded and available for playback as needed.

After the October retreat graduates of the foundational training (March-October) enter a certification/post-graduation phase of training. During this phase trainees have permission to begin seeing clients (prior to this sessions have been in-group exchanges only). The pace of the post-training certification period varies from person to person and is entirely dependent upon fulfilling the requirements. Requirements of certification include:

  • Guide and document 40 sessions (with people not already trained in this work), at least 10 of which are low-income sessions
  • Complete 10 total hours of supervision with Daniel or other approved supervisors, including at least three live observation sessions
  • Present a case study of successfully guiding a client, over numerous sessions, through all five stages of the ancestral lineage repair process
  • Resolve all payments for the practitioner training and any other outstanding financial balance with Ancestral Medicine
  • Embody good character, including among others in the fellowship, and agree to the code of ethics upheld by all practitioners
  • Satisfactorily resolve any other concerns that would block a full endorsement from the organization to guide this work
Upon certification, practitioners are listed on the community website and are invited to remain active with the organization. The scope of this practitioner training is for session work and guiding introductory talks in ancestral healing. When the organization is considering who may be a good fit to train as teachers to guide group work (beyond intro talks), we look to the folks already certified as practitioners, and we then engage in further mentorship toward the possibility of leading group trainings. The practitioner training and becoming certified as a practitioner does not automatically give the blessing to guide group trainings in this work, as that requires additional skills and aptitude assessment/mentorship not included in the practitioner training.


Applicants are asked to have all or most of the following criteria in place before applying for this training.

  • Personal Wellness. Multi-year commitment to your personal healing and wellness (e.g., disciplined self-care practices of some sort, therapy or things like it, ongoing attention to personal relationships and integrity).
  • Ancestral Wellness. Ancestral wellness as evidenced by having healed at least three of your four primary lineages with the support of a practitioner trained in this approach (at least 3 sessions required), or possibly with a combination of sessions, intensives, and online courses.
  • Historical and Cross-Cultural Awareness. Ideally you have a reasonable grasp on world history and/or fluency in more than one language. If neither are the case, you’ll be expected to at least increase your knowledge of geography and movements for social justice.
  • Eco-Love and Literacy. Cultivated respect for the natural world as evidenced by regular time in nature, some combination of amateur naturalist knowledge/eco-literacy, and sustained love for the other-than-humans.
  • Ritual Leadership Skills. An already established practice in healing arts, ritual, or some form of public leadership such that you can readily apply skills acquired through this training.
  • Cultural Awareness. Basic understanding of cultural healing including literacy around histories of colonization, racism, sexism, economic inequality, and other oppressions as they intersect work with the ancestors and the Earth.
  • Open to Learning. Ability to work within the parameters of a respectful and kind student-teacher relationship with Daniel and other senior practitioners and to show up well with amazing peers and extended community.
  • Completion of Ancestral Healing Online Course. This will be offered Dec 2018-April 2019 and the same months 2019-2020 and is one important way for us to establish common working language for ancestor focused ritual.
  • Calling to Service. A genuine calling that you’ve already embraced to guide community ritual for others combined with enough personal integration to be of useful service to others.

Please take these criteria seriously if you want to be considered. If you are less developed in one category or another, speak to that in the application (see below).

Cost and What’s Included

Total cost for the six-month practitioner training as well as the post-training supervision period is $4,500. Unlike in previous years, this cost includes the post-training supervision period and therefore reflects the total cost (minus travel, food, and lodging for retreats). This includes:

  • Tuition for both six-day residential retreats. These are Wednesday evening until Tuesday morning for each retreat, see dates above.
  • Six hour-long personal mentorship sessions. Two of these monthly between-retreat mentorship sessions will be with Dr. Foor and four with an assigned senior practitioner.
  • Six monthly 90-minute group video conferences. These will be recorded and can also be viewed later.
  • Personal hardcopy of 50+ page training manual written specifically for practitioners of this work.
  • Ten hours of personal supervision after the second retreat. These include three live observations and are a mixture of sessions with Dr. Foor and senior practitioners.
  • Ongoing access to group supervision sessions led by senior practitioners.
  • Invitation to regular practitioner-led teachings and other resources.
  • Inclusion in a high integrity professional guild of really awesome ritualists. 

For transparency the $4,500 total can be understood as follows: 16 total hours of focused personal mentorship and supervision at $150/hr ($2,400) + 10 full days of residential training at two six-day retreats at $150/day ($1,500) + 9 hours of instructional video with time for Q&A on how to guide this work for others at around $35/hour ($300) + training manual and access to abundant community resources ($300) = $4,500. See the Payment Details section below for possible payment logistics.

This total cost does not include travel, food, or lodging at the retreats. Ancestral Medicine handles most of the logistics for food and lodging at retreats but does not make a profit on that as we’re just functioning as the middle person between trainees and the retreat center. Costs for retreat lodging are variable based on individual needs. A rough estimate of food and lodging at the likely retreat center is $500-900 per retreat, depending on whether camping, in a dorm, shared or private room.

The total cost does include Dr. Foor, Ancestral Medicine staff, and the larger fellowship really having your back to see you stand in your potential and serve the world and the spirits effectively.

How to Apply

Potential participation in the training begins with submitting an application (see link/button below). Spaces are limited to 34 for this fourth cohort, and we anticipate several times the number of applicants as there are spaces. Applications will be reviewed by Daniel and a committee comprised of select staff and senior practitioners in this work. We will confirm receipt of your application with 72 hours of receipt, and we will only accept applications sent through the application form in entirety. Please don’t assume you’ll be accepted just because you know people in the organization. We will be in touch about next steps within one month of receiving your complete application.

The application is extensive and includes submitting contact info for two people who are willing to be references for you (we ask for your references in the application and will reach out to them directly). The heart of the application is a Word document with a series of in-depth questions to answer with care, that is then uploaded into the application form.

Payment Details

If your application is accepted, we will invite you to register. Once you accept the registration invitation, a $400 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot within two weeks of your acceptance. All payments options, including for the deposit, include payment by PayPal or credit card via links we will provide. Please see the following payment options for full training:

Best case scenario is that you can pay the entire cost of the training up front. If you’re able to pay the total any time after you have been invited to join and before March 1st, 2020, you’ll receive a $200 appreciation (meaning a reduction to $4,300 total cost).

Second best is that you complete half of the total payment ($2,250) by March 1st, 2020 and the balance by October 1st, 2020 (the month of the second retreat). If you arrange for a monthly payment plan that completes by October 1st, you can pay the regular total of $4,500, no problem.

Option three is that you are able to pay the total amount but you need to extend the payment plan beyond the time of the October retreat. In this scenario, we are willing to accommodate payment plans of up to one year beyond the October retreat (meaning until October 1, 2021). Please note: In this scenario, if you complete your certification requirements before your payment for the training, your advancement to certification may be temporarily delayed based on having an outstanding balance (see certification requirements above).

Beyond these options, please know that we are deeply committed to keeping the work accessible to people of diverse means, ancestries, geographies, and life experiences. We understand that some folks just don’t have a lot of money or are coming from countries/economies where things are tougher than the United States. We want to find ways to make this work for you while also supporting our hard-working teaching staff and their families for their service.

We also recognize that this is more than a training for personal development. This is the acquisition of a set of vocational skills that can be used to generate prosperity in service to life. Many of our current practitioners, especially those who already have a dedicated session-based practice in the healing arts, are finding this to be the case. Before looking to a reduction in the total cost, we ask applicants to assess if there may be other means by which you can generate part or all of the tuition from your side. For example, are there folks in your social network who may be in a position to back you in this career development?

If all of these consideration have been exhausted and you are clear that a reduction in the total cost is the only means by which you could realistically join the training, please state this, along with what you believe you could realistically pay and over what duration, in the section of the application that invites this kind of share. Conditions that will be weighted when considering any possible reductions in the total cost include: historically disadvantaged ancestries (e.g., People of Color, Indigenous Peoples), foreign language competencies not already represented in the community, geographies and nationalities not already represented, trans and genderqueer folks, and to be honest, guys (cis, trans or otherwise) as there aren’t so many men in spiritual circles.