There is no such thing as inner work resulting in personal transformation without serious self-examination and self-awareness. In fact, to truly “know thyself” is to know God and the Mystery of our purpose on Earth. And this is an ongoing process. It doesn’t begin or end with a Rites of Passage, as powerful as those might be. Even for those who have done their Rites, it is important to continue on in the lifelong Journey of Illumination.
That’s why, five years ago, Illuman started a training program originally known as the Eldering Cohorts. At first restricted only to leaders in Illuman, groups of eight men studied and practiced the Wild Mind work of Bill Plotkin (founder of the Animas Valley Institute) over the course of one year. However, this past year, the Eldering Cohorts have gone through an evolution and are now available to all men interested in pursuing deep inner work—both those brand new to Illuman and those already well versed in the inner pathways of the spirit. In addition, we have also created a new cohort program for those who want to go even deeper.
The original Eldering Cohorts are now referred to as the Howling at the Moon Cohorts. Facilitated via Zoom to accommodate men from all over the country, the content is still based on Wild Mind, but the depth of the program has increased and the personal work has expanded. Deep inner work invariably connects us to past emotional trauma that, without exception, all of us have experienced and endured. No matter how long ago, how subtle or forgotten, wounding of some type has prevented us from living as the person we were meant to be. Understanding how untended past trauma has thwarted the authenticity of our lives and diverted us from the path of our true calling is a key aspect of the Howling Cohorts. The ultimate goal of this work is to recover the innate “wholeness” we were born with, meant to develop, and that was meant to guide us into deeply meaningful and purposeful lives.
In addition to the Howling Cohorts, Illuman is also offering an advanced cohort program, the Journey into the Deep Masculine. The Deep Masculine cohort will involve even more intense Zoom work along with three in-person wilderness intensives at some of the most beautiful national parks and wilderness venues in the country. Participants in this cohort will travel to untamed landscapes of desert and mountain, dive into the wild mysteries of their own wholeness and self-healing, and discover the thrill of nature as mirror. They will encounter the soul of the more-than-human world as they court the sacred realm of Divine Feminine and Deep Masculine. This cohort is a spiritual adventure fiercely plumbing the depths of our deepest longing, falling more deeply in love with the world, and, with any luck, discovering the dreaming Earth’s purpose for us.
“The Eldering Cohorts gave me a framework to grow deeper spiritually. It provided me with a roadmap through the work of Animas Valley Institute, a greater appreciation for the power of Nature, and a sage brother for life.” —Timmer Cashman, WA
“Cohort provided a uniquely grounding experience amidst a society and world in liminal space. I was able to connect with brothers in a deep way and spiral down through ritual, readings, and practices. The magic and power of Council transformed me in a way that I felt I truly belonged to a brotherhood that I so desperately needed.” —Jim Michaels, NM