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Ancestral Medicine
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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part One
Foundations of Ancestor Work

One My Personal Journey with the Ancestors
Making Initial Contact * Family Research and Personal Healing * Learning and Teaching Ancestor Work

Two Who Are the Ancestors? The Dead Are Not Dead * Family and Remembered Ancestors * Older Ancestors and the Collective Dead

Exercise One: How Do You Feel about Your Ancestors?

Three Spontaneous Ancestral Contact Dream Contact * Synchronicity * Waking Contact in Nonordinary States * Waking Encounters in Ordinary States

Exercise Two: What Are Your Experiences with Your Ancestors?

Four Ancestor Reverence and Ritual Common Intentions for Ancestor Rituals * Practices to Sustain Ancestral Connection

Exercise Three: Ritual to Initiate Contact with Your Ancestors

Part Two
Healing with Lineage and Family Ancestors

Five Family Research and Initiating Ancestral Healing Gathering What Is Remembered * Considerations before Working Directly with Your Ancestors * Choosing a Focus for Lineage Repair Work

Exercise Four: Attuning to Your Four Primary Bloodlines

Six Meeting with Ancestral Guides Ancestral Guides * Using Ritual to Contact Ancestral Guides * Ways to Deepen Relationships with Ancestral Guides

Exercise Five: Seeking an Ancestral Guide

Seven Lineage Ancestors and the Collective Dead Ancestral Lineage * Assessing the Lineage * Making Repairs with Older Lineage Ancestors

Exercise Six: Getting to Know the Lineage

Exercise Seven: Ritual to Assist Lineage Ancestors

Eight Assisting the Remembered Dead Emotional Healing, Forgiveness, and Unfinished Business * Psychopomp, Elevation of the Dead, and Ancestralization * Work with the Very Troubled Dead and Related Spirits

Exercise Eight: Ancestral Forgiveness Practice

Exercise Nine: Soul Guidance for the Remembered Dead

Nine Integration and Work with Living Family Prayer for Self, Family, and Descendants * Embodiment, Channeling, and Mediumship * Completing the Lineage Repair Cycle * Ancestor Work beyond the Lineage Repair Cycle

Exercise Ten: Embody the Lineage and Offer Prayer for the Living

Exercise Eleven: Harmonizing Your Four Primary Lineages

Exercise Twelve: Ritual to Feast Your Family Ancestors

Part Three
Honoring Other Types of Ancestors

Ten Ancestors and Place Home Is Where the Bones Are * Public Memorials and Monuments * Ancestors and the Natural World * Nine Suggestions for Honoring Ancestors of Place

Exercise Thirteen: Cemetery Practice with Family Ancestors

Exercise Fourteen: Ritual to Greet the Ancestors of a Place

Eleven Affinity Ancestors, Multiple Souls, and Reincarnation Ancestors of Affinity * Multiple Souls * Reincarnation and Past Lives * Integration Work with Family, Place, and Affinity Ancestors

Exercise Fifteen: Celebrating Ancestors of Vocation

Exercise Sixteen: Harmonizing Ancestors of Family, Place, and Affinity

Twelve Joining the Ancestors Preparing for Death * Funeral Rites and the Body after Death * Ritual Tending in the First Year after Death

Exercise Seventeen: Conscious Participation in a Burial

Exercise Eighteen: Ritual for the First Anniversary of a Death

Appendix
Distinguishing Talking with Spirits from Psychosis

Notes

Bibliography

Index

List of Figures


Figure 5.1. Family pedigree chart

Figure 5.2. Family pedigree mandala

Figure 7.1. Layers of lineage through time

Figure 9.1. Ancestral mandala

About the Author

Daniel Foor, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist and a doctor of psychology. He has led ancestral and family healing intensives throughout the United States since 2005. He is an initiate in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of Yoruba-speaking West Africa and has trained with teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and different indigenous paths, including the older ways of his European ancestors. He lives in Asheville, NC.

Reviews

"Ancestor reverence is one of the pillars of Yoruba traditional religion, and it is my pleasure to recommend this book on ancestral healing by my student (omo awo), Daniel Foor (Ifabo wale). Through numerous visits to our home in Nigeria, I have overseen his initiations to Ifa, Orisa, and the ancestral medium society (Egungun), and I know him to be a person of good character. I urge everyone to benefit from his guidance on ancestral reconnection. Remain blessed." * Oluwo Falolu Adesanya Awoyade, Ode Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria *
"Daniel Foor invites us on a journey to meet our ancestors, those we know about, those we have never imagined, and those who might like to talk with us. He draws not only on personal experience but also on the shared and tested relational practices of indigenous communities in Africa, North America, and elsewhere. This powerful book arises from years of work with groups and individuals so that as we read it we can benefit not only from the teaching but also from practical exercises. Ancestral Medicine offers a host of possibilities for our further reflection and practice." * Graham Harvey, author of Animism: Respecting the Living World *
"In traditional societies, ancestors are venerated and considered sources of wisdom even after they have left their physical bodies. In contemporary times, few children are conversant with their cultural and ethnic heritage, much less the lives, occupations, and even the names of those family members who passed on only a few decades earlier. In his remarkable book, Daniel Foor provides an antidote for this regrettable situation. Foor's text and exercises provide numerous ways to make one's progenitors a living presence--one that is inspirational, instructive, and, for many readers, transformative for themselves and their families." * Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coauthor of Personal Mythology *
"As a priest of the Yoruba indigenous system known as Orisa (or, at times, Ifa in the form of its sacred oral literature), honoring and remembering one's ancestors is both essential and transformative. Daniel Foor offers a multicultural perspective and practice that helps diverse individuals on their journey of spirit to grasp the liberating and empowering foundations of ancestral work." * Nathan Lugo (Chief Aikulola Iwindara), Orisa Priest *
"The illusion of isolation and its associated fear, fury, and shame of abandonment is the core wound in the heart of humanity. The cure is in turning our love and attention to the stream we rode here on. We are boats of flesh on a river of blood born to heal the ancestors, to be healed by them, and to know, reveal, and grow our souls . . . thus elevating the stream. This river is the salve of the soul, and Daniel Foor clearly knows this. His book Ancestral Medicine is soul medicine for all. The world needs it. Life applauds it. Read, enjoy, heal, and become!" * Orion Foxwood, author of The Candle and the Crossroads *
"Daniel Foor illuminates a field that has too long been neglected in mainstream American culture: acknowledgment of the role our ancestors play in the lives of all of us. Blending his many years of study with a variety of spiritual teachers with meaningful practices he has developed for contemporary people, Foor offers a compendium for recognizing, working with, and honoring connections with our human ancestors--and in the process healing relationships with our family and ourselves. This book is profound, important, and deeply engrossing." * Trebbe Johnson, author of The World Is a Waiting Lover *
"This book is a real treasure and, the gods be praised, is highly practical. Crafted in thoroughness, wisdom, and deep sensitivity, Ancestral Medicine gives us keys to appreciating, coming to terms with, and even healing our ancestral wounds. More than all this, Daniel Foor calls us to carry the best of our past into the present and future, and to fully live in place and time in Earth-honoring and heart-open ways." * C. Michael Smith, Ph.D., author of Jung and Shamanism in Dialogue *
"Daniel combines extensive practical experience with intellectual rigor in his ancestral work, providing one of the best approaches out there today. I recommend his work to anyone interested in truly knowing themselves and gaining solid ground on their own spiritual path." * Grant H. Potts, Ph.D., Lodge Master of Scarlet Woman Lodge, Ordo Templi Orientis *
"The author's culturally inclusive approach adds much to this work, and his passion, clarity, and compassion make Ancestral Medicine invaluable to anyone interested in exploring personal healing, ancestor connections, remediation of family relationships, or healing and reclamation of one's culture of origin." * Bekki Shining Bearheart, LMT, cofounder of the Church of Earth Healing *
"Ancestral Medicine is a work of great honesty and integrity. Clear instructions guide the reader in cultivating healthy and reciprocal relationships with ancestors of blood, place, and spiritual lineage. The approach builds on lineage gifts and strengths to heal ancestral rifts and burdens across the generations." * Elise Dirlam Ching and Kaleo Ching, authors of The Creative Art of Living, Dying, and Renewal *
"As with any relationship -- from your relationship to yourself to those with family members and society at large -- connections take time to grow. So it is with our ancestral relationships. Ancestral Medicine can guide you in forming and keeping those relationships vibrant over the course of years, so that as we turn to our ancestors in times of need and joy, they will know they are lovingly remembered." * Susan Starr, Spiral Nature Magazine *

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