May 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. 

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1. Virtual Oracle 2020! - By Terry Symens-Bucher, Illuman President
It was just a few weeks before Oracle 2020 that we realized we were not going to be able to gather in person for our leadership retreat this year. The shock and the sadness were strong. My own sense of grief lasted several days as I wondered what could possibly take the place of physically being with men from all over the world who are committed to this work. There is the sense when we are together that there is nothing that we cannot face together. It was a heartache to cancel the event.

In the end, nothing really can take the place of gathering in person. But we did find that gathering virtually via Zoom technology, with a thoughtfully planned schedule, good tech expertise, and a sense of purpose, could be quite an amazing experience. Many men worked many hours to make our virtual gathering possible. To them I extend a deep bow of appreciation and gratitude.

For years, we have called our annual leadership gathering “Oracle,” both to honor our roots and to honor what happens when we gather. A definition of oracle is “one who reveals hidden knowledge or divine purpose.” We came to our Oracle gathering seeking both knowledge that needs to be discovered and our sacred purpose in this global time. This continuing effort is being called “Re-Weaving Illuman.”

To weave is to move in a zigzag course, to go back and forth, to unite into a coherent whole. It is a process that may look confusing or unproductive until one holds up the whole. Our intention, reflection, prayer, sense of community, and open heart will guide our zigzagging into a coherent whole. The voices of Oracle, from Conveners, Board, Wisdom Elders, and other leaders, were full of zigzagging as we shared our foundational stories of Illuman. Much of this zigzagging was gathered into a Harvesting Document of more than sixty pages that is being pored over by all three of our leadership groups, seeking signs for our direction and re-weaving.

Meanwhile, we are still plagued and, even as I write, our leadership is considering how we will connect virtually in the Fall for Soularize 2020. The pandemic has brought a global shock to our sense of well-being and customary ways. And there is no going back. As a friend recently wrote, “Panic and pandemic are upon the land.” She reminded us that the word panic originally meant to be suddenly terrified by the roar of Pan. And Pan is god of the wild. It is certainly a wild call that has caught our attention.

We know the wild. Each of us has gone to that place. We sat in solitude there. We returned initiated men. That does not make us better. It does make us prepared.

We were made for this time. The choice is ours: to show up fully or not. We, as a community of men, have work in front of us: work for us to do and work to be done to us. This is the time for us as men to pause, pray, reflect, and share the way forward together. We will continue with another virtual gathering in June to follow up on the work done at Oracle 2020.

And we will remember Bob Sabath’s reminder in his moving address to us at the end of the gathering: Where two or three are gathered, there is conflict. We need to change our relationship to conflict. We fall and we get up. We fall and we get up. We fall and we get up. We need to get more comfortable with falling and agile with getting up, and embody the lesson of initiation: We are not in control, a lesson Bob called the practice of helplessness.

We are being initiated into a new reality, a “new normal,” a new We . The power of COVID-19 has shown us one thing in a very real way: We are all in this together.
2. Conveners’ Corner - A New Addition to Our Monthly Drumbeat
We are excited to announce a new addition to our monthly Drumbeat: the Conveners’ Corner. This section will include offerings from our Chapter Conveners to share wisdom gained through their local Illuman community. We look forward to hearing perspectives from our Chapters, which serve as the “sandals on the ground” for Illuman. Thank you, Mike Whitman, Co-Convener of the Indiana-Michigan Chapter, for the inaugural offering !
3. Save the Date for Virtual Soularize 2020!
We are excited to announce the dates for V irtual Soularize 2020: October 15–18, 2020 . While we are not able to gather in person in New Mexico, we do not want to miss this moment in liminal space, to support each other on our spiritual journeys. This is a very recent decision, so we will have more information on registration and program content in the June Drumbeat. Stay tuned!
4. Men’s Rites of Passage for 2020
COVID-19 is being a great teacher for us. The lesson is that we are not in control. This is a hard and important lesson and is leading to hard decisions about when and how we can gather to be Men Transforming Men. Our practices of sitting shoulder to shoulder are not currently possible and this includes our Men’s Rites of Passage programs. To date, all of the MROPs through June have been cancelled and we continue to monitor the situation in concert with our Brothers in the United Kingdom and Australia. We look forward to the day when we can hold them safely.
In the meantime, we invite you to join us on Virtual Council. All men are welcome, regardless of whether you have been to an MROP. Learn more about our Virtual Council opportunities at this link.

To learn more about Illuman’s Men’s Rites of Passage and the need for male initiation rites, please click here . To learn more about specific opportunities in 2020, please click the links below.

July 22 – 26, 2020

August 11 – 15, 2020

August 12 – 16, 2020

November 4 – 8, 2020
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.
We are ILLUMAN: 
"Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot." 
Fr. Richard Rohr