What is Ancestral Lineage Healing?
I’m an initiated and certified practitioner in Ancestral Lineage Healing—a ritual systemic healing process in which entire lineages of ancestors are brought into a healed and vibrant state—which was transmitted through Daniel Foor, PhD, and is based on five cross-culturally common assumptions:
1) Consciousness continues after death (the dead are just as real and present as the living).
2) Not all the dead are equally well in spirit (dying isn’t an automatic healing process).
3) Communication is possible between the living and the dead (it’s common and not even particularly mystical for people all over the world to communicate with their no-longer-embodied ancestors; when ancestral reverence is culturally disrupted over centuries or millennia, we need this cultural/relational repair work to heal that disruption and reconnect).
4) The living and the dead can strongly affect each other (unhealed intergenerational trauma impacts the dead and the living, bringing healing and reconnection supports the dead and the living).
5) The dead can change (even our most troubled ancestors can become vibrant and helpful; even those ancestors who did direct harm can become healed and powerfully engaged in cultural repair and collective liberation).
What’s the Ancestral Lineage Healing process?
You can read first-hand accounts of clients who’ve already worked with me; this is the basic overview of the process:
—ALH involves six basic steps, which take at least six sessions to work our way through (sometimes more, depending on how we are guided by your ancestors in ritual space).
—Each session will begin by my dropping us in with a (nonreligious) prayer; we’ll then have a brief interview where I share the overview of the step we’re on and ask some questions about your ancestors and your heart’s intention for the work.
—After our initial interview in each session, I’ll support you in setting up a healing container focused on ritual safety and guide you through sacred journeying work to connect with your vibrant and helpful ancestors.
—Our first session is a lineage assessment, to sacredly determine the level of wellness on each of your four initial lines. At the end of that assessment ritual, we’ll discuss together which line you may want to work on and decide where to begin with our next session; your preferences for which line to work with matter, and please arrive with an open heart and mind to the initial ritual and see what emerges—where the ancestors guide us is often not where we expect.
—In subsequent sessions, you’ll be supported in finding a guide on the lineage of focus who will contain the troubled dead in a healing container; learning through the guide the blessings and burdens of this line; and eventually witnessing the healed ancient, older, and recent dead emerge from the healing container. The final step will involve a fanning of the healed lineage’s blessings through your extended family, all your loved ones of blood and heart, your own being and body, and out into the world.
—Some folks (like me) who resonate deeply with this work have four or more lineages healed, at which point you can also work on harmonizing your ancestral lineages with each other and having sessions specifically focused on enlisting multilineage ancestral support for everything from guidance on your life purpose, support with relationships, health and healing, and cultural repair work.
What are the benefits of Ancestral Lineage Healing?
Healing our ancestral lineages lightens our load—like wearing a jetpack rather than an anvil—and feels like riding a swift natural waterslide instead of swimming upstream.
Each ancestral lineage we heal lightens the load of intergenerational trauma and repairs the broken lineage so the flow of love and blessings can reach all the way through the line to us and those beyond us. Each lineage we connect with has unique gifts and blessings with which to resource us, and the more lineages we heal the greater the treasure trove of reactivated ancestral blessings we have to draw from in our lives.
Every person I know who has healed a lineage has reported feeling more accompanied and less alone. There are also benefits to physical health, relationships among the living, and ability to live your life’s fullest and greatest purpose. This work supports those no longer embodied in being vibrant and joyful and helpful in spirit and, perhaps most importantly, the healing of our ancestors helps loosen ancestral hold on the harmful cultural patterns of white supremacist patriarchal capitalism and makes current social change more possible.
What’s the difference between Restorative Empathy and Ancestral Lineage Healing sessions?
My Restorative Empathy sessions are relational work—trauma-informed attachment repair that emphasizes our building a healing relationship with each other, as a template for your relationship with yourself and others.
That work certainly informs my unique flavor of Ancestral Lineage Healing (ALH) sessions—my warm responsive attunement still guides you through your reconnection with your wise and supportive ancestors—yet ALH is distinctly ritual work, accessing spiritual realms with an emphasis on you building relationships with your healed ancestors.
I also explicitly hold ALH as cultural repair work: if our troubled ancestors are still holding onto their assimilation with patriarchy, white supremacy culture, and colonization, or if they are still suffering from the harms enacted against them, that makes it infinitely harder for those still embodied to dismantle the intersectional systems of oppression. Every lineage healed brings many thousands of ancestors into a vibrant, wise, and helpful state, giving our healed ancestors a chance to tend to the cultural troubles. Energetically, we need the dead to actively support the liberation of all beings, and ALH is a powerful method of healing our ancestral burdens and reactivating our ancestral blessings.
Do I have to do genealogical research before doing Ancestral Lineage Healing?
Thankfully, no. Even if you’re adopted or otherwise don’t know one or both of your biological parents, you can find incredible healing with your ancestral blood lineages (as well as heart lineages of nonbiological parents and stepparents). You’re welcome to pair genealogical information or research with this work, though that knowledge is not necessary in order to vibrantly heal an ancestral line and gain a profound sense of connection with your people.
What do you mean by ritual safety? Is Ancestral Lineage Healing safe?
After years of facilitating and participating in Family Constellation work as a method of ancestral healing, I noticed that many regular practitioners of the work received both healing benefits and harmful side effects from working directly with the troubled ancestors.
I was drawn to ALH in part because of its particular emphasis on ritual safety: we will never work directly with the troubled dead, instead going back to the last vibrant ancestors on that line—for many of us this is hundreds if not thousands of years back, before the interlocking systems of oppression were developed and enacted—and asking the wise and vibrant ancestors to ritually heal the troubled dead and restore an unbroken lineage of love and support between them and us.
While this doesn’t guarantee safety, it is generally safer than not engaging in the healing process at all, since most of us have troubled ancestors impacting us without any protective boundaries. That is, working with the dead is never fully safe, nor is not working on healing our unwell ancestors. (And while I no longer participate in or facilitate ancestral constellations, I do still find that modality uniquely powerful for other aspects of healing.)
Can I do both Restorative Empathy and Ancestral Lineage Healing work with you?
Absolutely, though these are separate sessions. As an Ancestral Lineage Healing client, you are welcome to schedule as often or as rarely as your time and budget allow. My Restorative Empathy clients work with me weekly or biweekly, usually for years. If you enjoy doing ALH work with me, you’re welcome to ask if I have openings for new Restorative Empathy clients, and if you’re already a Restorative Empathy client, you’re welcome to schedule an ALH session outside our usual session time.
Practically, Restorative Empathy clients have set ongoing session times that are $165 for an hour. ALH clients schedule sessions based on availability and in their own ancestral timing; first sessions are generally 70-80 minutes, with subsequent sessions around 60-70 minutes, and sessions are $185. Sessions are paid for before the start time, and all sessions have a 48-hour cancellation agreement.
As an act of ancestral reparations, I gift four healed lineages to lower-income people of the global majority each year; if you’d like to join that waiting list, I welcome you to reach out.