October 2020
Click here to watch a video of men expressing their gratitude for Virtual Council. ▶️ 
Illuman is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose vision is to see men transforming men and, through them, families and communities for generations to come. Our mission is to engage those seeking a life-long journey of spiritual transformation. 

1. Soularize 2020 and Illuman Leadership Transitions
by Terry Symens-Bucher, Illuman President
Soularize 2020
I am writing this immediately after Soularize 2020, the Masculine Path to Healing. It was held entirely virtually, on a new platform for Illuman. We went into it with many questions. We could not have hoped for a better result. A brother who has been involved with leadership for many years shared that “every year, at the end of Soularize, I am filled with mixed emotions, even nostalgia for what we had just lived … today was no different.” It is difficult to describe how a virtual event can, to some degree, replicate the profoundly moving experience of an in-person Soularize. Yet this one did just that.

Almost 550 men registered for the event, from 44 states as well as Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. In addition, men joined us from 18 countries besides the United States. Soularize wove three themes throughout the masculine path to healing: addressing patriarchy, racism/white supremacy, and climate. These three plenaries were highlighted by our three Weavers: Joel Blunk, Jim Clarke, and Jim Taylor. Each also hosted a conversational interview with Richard Rohr in the evening plenary sessions. Those plenary presentations and conversations were recorded and will be available in November on Illuman's YouTube Channel. There's plenty to view there now, even before these new videos arrive.
But even more: A few dozen “breakout” sessions were recorded on various topics relevant to the masculine path to healing. These included everything from contemplation to sexuality; from spiritual direction to interspecies communication and connection; from drum-making retreats to poetry. Each session was created by Illuman brothers sharing their experience and gifts. These sessions will also be available on Illuman’s YouTube channel noted above.
Personally, and I have heard the same from other men, a highlight of Soularize 2020 was Friday afternoon, when a “fishbowl” Council was held in which seven women shared stories of their personal experience of patriarchy. Their sharing was tremendously moving, bringing some of us to tears. Again, and again, Illuman has learned that almost nothing can match the transformative power of story in our work. That truth was clear in the way the women’s stories brought the cost and trauma of patriarchy, and the path for healing, into focus.
I felt tremendously honored and humbled to be able to step away from my role as the Board Chairman at this Soularize. The themes, the gifts shared, the focus on masculine healing were the realization of a dream. 
Steve Hicken will step seamlessly into the role of Illuman Board Chair. Steve has been committed to Illuman from our very beginning. He was a significant architect of Illuman’s incorporation ten years ago and our receiving the Men As Learners and Elders program from the Center for Action and Contemplation. He will be closely and ably assisted by two committed, heart-centered men serving as Vice-Chairs: Mike Anderer and Chris de Lastic. I could not feel more hopeful and confident about Illuman’s continued transformative service to men.
2.  NEW Illuman Virtual Programs - Liberty and Justice for All
We are excited to announce two new Illuman Virtual Programs!
Liberty and Justice for All: Reckoning with Our Past, Transforming Racial Pain in America

We invite you to an 8-month interactive online course focused on transforming racial pain in America. The course is hosted by Illuman and will be led by Byron McMillan and Bill Clark. Please join us for this catalyzing new program within Illuman that we believe will help co-create a more just and equitable world that sustains and enhances all life. Please also urge the men in your community to consider joining us. Your participation matters!  Register and learn more on our event webpage.
From Wild Man to Wise Man

In Richard Rohr’s book, From Wild Man to Wise Man, men are invited into a deeper exploration of their journey of spiritual growth. In this bi-weekly experience via Zoom, we will be exploring this journey in community with Illuman brothers. Each gathering will explore a chapter of the book and will encourage active exploration between sessions. Click here for an introductory video and register and learn more at our event webpage.
3. Illuman Chapter Virtual Events
Illuman is pleased to highlight new virtual offerings by our Illuman of Southern California and Minnesota Chapters in November. All men are welcome, so please urge the men in your community to consider joining us as well. Detailed information for all Illuman Chapter offerings can be found on our Event webpage. We also invite you to visit the websites of Chapters closest to you to find out about nearby opportunities. The Chapter Contact page is available here.
Illuman SoCal
Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - Bilingual Celebration—Celebración Bilingüe
2 de noviembre / November 2, 2020 (Lunes/Monday)
The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and other parts of the Latino world. It involves people gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, helping to support their spiritual journey. In Latino culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle, and the day is not viewed as a day of sadness, but as a day of celebration, because their loved ones awaken and celebrate with them. The Aztec culture believed in three levels of death: when the body dies, when the body is no longer present on earth, and when there is no one to remember the deceased loved one. In the Christian tradition, at the last Supper, Jesus told his disciples to remember him. And so, on November 2nd every year, we gather to remember our deceased loved ones. More information is available on the event flyer.
Illuman of Minnesota
Men & Humility – An Unlikely Pair, a Force of Power
Saturday, November 28, 2020
from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hosted by Illuman of Minnesota

Genuine humility can be hard to find in our current culture. Yet, when sought and accepted, especially among men, this virtue will rock our world. In this retreat, we'll explore together what true humility looks like and how it changes us for the good. Our facilitator, Jim Smith, has led retreats for over 30 years in both religious and non-religious settings. He currently serves as director of Mission Integration for Benedictine Health System, encouraging employees to bring their best and truest selves to work. In his role, he is immersing himself in the rich trove of Benedictine spirituality. More information is available on the event website.
4. Featured Video Soularize 2019: Session 5 – Iron John

Note: This video presents teachings that you can share with others in your life. As you watch, consider introducing these wisdom traditions to others through time spent in conversation with nature, through singing, dancing, and storytelling, as well as through silence.
Brothers (and Sisters), we’re very excited to share with you this next video from Soularize 2019: Men Transforming Men. At just over 90 minutes, this session is full of wisdom that is entertaining, participative and humorous. This dramatic reading features Illuman Weavers Joel Blunk and Jim Taylor, as well as Illuman of Washington Convener Ned Abenroth, musician Jared Adams, and poet Tim McLaughlin.
Once again, our video opens with poet Tim McLaughlin, this time with his back to the camera. He begins by reciting a poem that starts with these words, “I keep seeing him, some green man…” We are immediately drawn in by his telling and soon learn this green man is a master of the wilds. It’s a powerful and especially poignant poem that calls our attention to the imperiled natural world, and yet it ends somewhat hopefully with the green man “scratching a new plan into the dirt.”
Tim’s poem is a terrific lead-in to the next part of our program, a shared telling of the story of Iron John, along with audience participation. Using props, music, humor, and movement, our storytellers revive the timeless parable about a boy maturing into manhood, guided by a wild man (think green man). Much better than any description we can offer, we urge you to watch this entertaining retelling and to ask yourself, “What will you do with it?”
This session was inspired in part by Robert Bly’s Iron John: A Book About Men.
We hope that you know about the many videos we offer at our Illuman YouTube Channel. And we invite you not only to watch and reflect upon this growing library of videos, but also to share them with the men and women in your community. We believe the content in these videos not only informs and inspires the individual but can help all of us to enlarge our circles as we venture out into the world, seeking and instigating deep spiritual transformation.
5. Illuman Shop - Check out our online store!
Be sure to visit Illuman's online shop where you can order t-shirts, hats and other Illuman logo items. Every purchase helps support our work. And all orders through Sunday, October 25 are eligible for a 15% discount. Just click redeem in the upper right side of the screen before checkout.
Your support in all forms, including prayer, service, and money, is met with gratitude and a commitment to honor your gifts by using them to support men on their spiritual journey.


Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr ~