The Spiritual Practice of Council

The Spiritual Practice of Council

September 26, 2022 | Posted by Illuman Admin | Council, Drumbeat, Uncategorized

by Jim Burns, Illuman Communications Council Chair

We help create men through the listening we bring to them.

Humans have held conversations around a circle since at least the discovery of fire. The way Illuman applies this ancient practice—what we call the way of Council—is extremely powerful and produces transformative results. We have each experienced this. We participate in Council in support of our “inner work that makes a difference in the world.”

Council as Spiritual Practice 

Council is one of the five primary methods Illuman identifies as part of a masculine path to healing (ritual, nature, image, story, Council). As such, it is best approached as a formal spiritual practice. The practice of Council helps men develop three challenging but important capabilities: If you don’t regularly participate in a Council, consider joining a virtual Council or starting your own!

Introducing Men to Illuman via Council

Setting up and conducting your own Council (what we call being a Council Stoker) is a great way to fulfill Illuman’s Five Touchstones of Spiritual Practice, especially the fifth touchstone of Service, i.e., becoming “men who honor the earth and serve the whole human community.” Inviting men to Council is also an excellent way to draw new men into the work of Illuman without needing to do the heavy lift of convincing someone who knows nothing about us to commit to the time and expense of the Men’s Rites of Passage or attending Soularize.

Many men would like to start and lead Council, and yet actually doing so can sometimes seem like an intimidating and daunting hurdle. But the reality is that inviting another man into a council session—perhaps a session specifically intended as an introduction for new men—is easy, even enjoyable.

To help make this easier for men, we have prepared this document with checklists and written guidance on the method and process for Council. It includes the following: We encourage you to print copies of this and use them to prepare for and convene your next Council session.

With these tools, anyone can initiate and facilitate an Illuman Council. However, if you would like even more intensive training on how to be a Council Stoker, consider signing up for our Council Stoker Training Series, starting up again after the New Year. (Details in the next article below on our upcoming Council Stoker Training.)

1 –  Cynthia Bourgeault, “Three Centered Awareness, Lesson 15,”