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Presence matters.

We in the Male Journey care to be present to Presence. In an ancient tale, a disciple asks his teacher where he should look for the truth about life. “Here and now, in simple ordinary ways,” he is told. “Then why don’t I see it?” he asks in frustration. “Because,” replies the Holy One, “you are mostly somewhere else.” We get distracted too easily, regretting what was or fretting over what is yet to be. Being present requires intention and practice.


Simply paying attention to our breathing, remembering that our breath and spirit are one and the same, helps us recognize our connection with all that is. Beating a drum syncs us with the heartbeat of all beings and brings us out of our heads and into our hearts. The simple observance of silence provides space to quiet our thoughts and listen for the whisper of another voice. Solitude in nature puts us in touch with soul and quiets the noise. As the poets say, “Sometimes the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.”


When we come together as men, centering collectively is also important. We sit in a circle when possible and place a sacred object—perhaps a candle, stone, feather or drum—in the middle as a reference point, drawing us out of ourselves like spokes in a wheel are drawn toward the hub. As we move consciously toward the center we draw closer to one another; as we connect to our brothers we come closer to what is greater than ourselves. Grounded, roots take hold and fruit is born.

To be grounded in the here and now is to honor both spirit and soul. Spirit draws us up and out of ourselves, while soul beckons from within, keeping our feet to the ground. We desire to be men who are both intimate with what is greater than ourselves and comfortable in our own skin.


Other JOI practises:







Journey Of Illumination

Your Journey Of Illumination is a set of practices that allow you to live a more conscious and connected life.

We are now men transforming men through a power greater than ourselves. Our primary concern is inner work that makes a difference in the world. We are fed by the wisdom traditions of forgiveness and radical inclusivity. Our work recovers traditional patterns of male initiation, affirms a masculine path to healing, reveals the true and false self and honours the path of descent or letting go. We do this through the power of ritual, image, story and council. 


These are our five touchstones:

• Centering – we are men grounded in the power of the here and now (e.g. your regular spiritual practice).

• Gathering – we are men who listen deeply to each other’s stories (e.g. your engagement in men's groups and networks).

• Connecting – we are men who choose another to walk with - shoulder to shoulder (e.g. mentoring, coaching and spiritual guidance).

• Releasing – we are men who let go of the ways that no longer serve us (e.g. letting go, times in silence and rituals).

• Serving – we are men who honour the earth and serve the whole human community (e.g. your service to others).

For any other JOI queries, contact us on the Contact page.

Young Men's Rites

Do you know of a son, nephew, cousin, colleague or friend who would love the adventure and challenge of sharing a genuine boy/man initiation with other young men? We have recently devised a rites of initiation programme for young men aged 18-25. The process is based on our long established rites for men, with modified and new material for the stage of life appropriate to young men. The group is much smaller in number, and we provide strong mentoring support to each young man. 

We offer the Young Men's Rites at periodic intervals. The next Young Men's Rites will be held in 2016 on some wilderness land near Hexham in Northumberland. It is open to all men aged 18-25. Details of the application process will be published nearer the time. You can register your interest now, by contacting us and we will send you information as soon as it is available.

Men's Rites of Passage




Men’s RITEs of passage have been around for millennia in practically every tradition the earth has ever seen. The transition from “Boy” to “Man” has occurred in many different guises but the theme of dying to one stage of life to enter another remains unchanged.

In the modern world with its busyness and technology this essential stage in a male’s life may not have happened in a real or wholesome way if indeed there was any rite at all.

The Male Journey Ireland have continued the RITEs of passage from the Men As Learners and Elders (M.A.L.E.s) programme which has seen over five thousand men initiated to date. This involves a five day process where you will experience many facets of soul life such as drumming, ritual, fire, silence, small groups, wilderness, solo-time, teaching ... and much more. Our primary concern is our inner work that makes a difference in the world.

You will be held in a very safe container by a group of initiated Elders who have freely committed themselves to be present for the duration of your RITEs from beginning to end.

Ireland has facilitated the RITEs twice before. Once in 2009 and again in 2012 and we will hold them again in 2019 from Wednesday 24th July to Sunday the 28th July at the same venue, Kiltegan Co Wicklow. 

During these days you will be immersed in the brotherhood of man to which you belong. You will meet many men like yourself some of whom you will become friends with for the rest of your entire life. Men who you know will support you and be present for you.

Everyman is unique, worthy of respect because of his dignity as a human being. The RITEs have the potential in helping you discover who you are, more than how you seem and greater than you imagined. It is a time for men to grow and gain hope for the future.   

Life wounds all of us but great blessings can come from our wounds. It is life that defines us, not our losses, hurts or failings. These are the stepping stones to a more aware and fuller life

Our strength together helps us be better men able to accept the responsibilities and challenges of life. The Men’s RITEs of Passage are suitable for men of all colour, age, sexuality, ethnicity and faith tradition (or no faith); men with more severe physical disabilities are asked to get in touch for further advice.


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