The Enchanted Mirror

A Poem by Michael Whitman (Written at Soularize 2017 and the “Do I Matter” retreat 2017) The man: “Who are you?” The boy: “I am the boy.” The man: “Why are you here? The boy: “To tell you a story.” The man: “I am listening.”   I walked along a path In bright sun light And heard the wind. It sang In the golden cottonwoods, Sang in their shimmering leaves, And the waving rushes. The… Read more »


My Heart Is Opening More…and It Hurts

By Richard Gibson

It Started at the recent I/M MALEs Re-Wilding Retreat

  I knew that participating in the Re-wilding Retreat was going to invite me to confront myself (my shadow), yet again.  Mid-morning on Saturday I was in quite a bit of emotional pain and tears.  I had publicaly owned up (thank you Ritual Elder Nick Simons) to my fakery of paying lip-service (to “look good”) to the tragedies inflicted by humankind… Read more »


Father Wound

By Ted Reeves I am Ted Reeves, born December 30, 1973 to parents who were high school and college sweethearts.  They married in 1971, had me and then my sister in 1977. We lived in Flat Rock, Michigan which is a downriver suburb of Detroit. My earliest childhood memories are from four years of age playing “guitar” with a yardstick to “Dream On” by Aerosmith as my mother encouraged me to keep going in front… Read more »


Men’s Gratitude Retreat // Reflection

Men’s Gratitude Retreat – January 2016 – The Hermitage – Jay Landry I looked forward to this retreat as it approached, considering that I had not been on a retreat in years.  I give many of them but my days as a retreat participant are truly back in the day.  This retreat did not disappoint.  I found the drumming to be a helpful entrance into presence, that is, being present to the present moment and… Read more »


From the Convener // June 2016

I hope this Newsletter finds you well my friends & brothers! Such a greeting may sound like a platitude, but  it certainly is not.  In  you,  the  men  of  Illuman,  I  have  found  a  cleft  in  the  rock  that  hides  my  soul. Through your offers of deep and abiding friendship and trust I am on a journey, growing and finding my way. I trust that you are experiencing the same and will find just such… Read more »


Notes on the Journey…

When I was first introduced to Richard Rohr’s writings several years ago, it was like a whole new world opened up to me. As I read more and more of his books and the daily meditations, I often found myself thinking “Yes! Of course! Why haven’t I learned or been taught that before?” But occasionally something Richard said didn’t click or make sense to me.   Sometimes it could sometimes take months or more of… Read more »


Facing Our Fear

Thirteen years ago, our seven-week-old Siamese kitten dealt with fear the first time she met our 80-pound yellow Labrador retriever. She ran away as fast as she could for about three seconds, then stopped, turned around, and went straight back and looked him in the face. The poor dog did not know what to do, so he turned his head and slowly walked away. That memory brings a smile to my face because my amazing… Read more »


Elder Profile: David Wenger

One day in middle school we were given an assignment to design our own tombstone. This assignment had a lasting impression on me as I can still picture the room and the chair with a pull-up desktop that I was sitting in. However, most compelling was the tombstone that appeared in my mind that day. My name, John David Wenger, was carved in stone and under my name was written, “A man of God.” I… Read more »


Soularize 2015 Report

I was blessed to be able to travel to New Mexico in November with 180 other men, fellow travelers on the spiritual journey, to gather for Soularize 2015. As I reflect back on my experience, the remembering inspires joy in me, and fuels the flame of inner desire to stay on the journey. This gathering, like other gatherings of men affiliated with Illuman (or MALES), also inspired me to seek a local community of men… Read more »


We are all powerless…

At the monthly men’s meeting I attend, part of our ritual is to share something we are powerless over. Telling a bunch of guys “I am powerless over…” is hard. In our culture men are supposed to be capable, ‘can do,’ have the ability to get things done. Powerlessness can be seen as weakness, being less of a man. For me, starting on the spiritual journey—discovering Richard Rohr’s writings, attending Illinois Males retreats, going… Read more »