Ancestral healing growing trend in Vancouver

Those who believe see transformative benefits

Mountain View Cemetary. Photo by Rena Medow.
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Reported by Rena Medow

More Vancouverites are seeking out the practice of ancestral healing due to a growing awareness of historical guilt, according to a local healing practitioner.

Shuana Janz said some Westerners want to resolve the historical role they’ve played in oppressing other cultures. Janz co-lead a recent Ancestral Lineage Healing Intensive at Mountain View Cemetery March 1-3.

The sold-out event, which cost participants $500, “embraces the the relationship of ancestral engagement with cultural healing and decolonization work,” as stated on the event’s website.

“We’re kind of in a crisis to say it bluntly,” Janz said. “With the state of our world right now, I think many of us are yearning for a sense of belonging.”

Angela Prider, one of several local healing practitioners said the popularity of ancestry.com and DNA tests over the past 10 years has allowed people to open the door to their ancestors.

“A lot of white people don’t understand we are our ancestors. They are your blood. They are your DNA,” Prider said. “We have a responsibility to amend the mistakes that our ancestors made.”

Reported benefits of historical healing

Some clients, who have had transformative experiences with ancestral healing, say the benefits go beyond familial or historical reconciliation. Elise de Villiers, who has tried ancestral healing, said the loss of ancestral connection may even have played a part in climate change.

“We don’t know how seven generations ago affect us. Our First Nations here talk about it all the time. Everything we do has to be thought through for seven generations. Now we don’t even think through one,” de Villiers said.

Like other forms of alternative medicine, ancestral healing has its skeptics. An online thread about the founder of the teachings offered at the Mountain View healing intensive, Daniel Foor, has been viewed over 13,800 times.

An administrator of the website, newagefraud.org, criticised Foor’s teachings for being a “confused mishmash of a number of traditions.” Some posters defended Foor.

Prider said she has researched the way her ancestors honoured their ancestors to develop her own practice.

The administrator also criticized Foor for charging money to perform ceremonies.

Janz said that being a ritualist is a career that deserves payment just like any other.

“We put a lot of investment in getting good at what we’re doing and getting effective results,” she said.

 

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