Community Peer Mentoring & Leadership for Men and Boys.www.theheliosfellowship.org
The Helios Fellowship’s medium term goal (24 / 36 months) is to create a regional network of mentoring circles for 12 to 17 year old boys. Through these networks we will create health and resilience in the men and boys, and the communities they belong to.
These mentoring circles (called ‘men’s community councils’) ideally will be held outdoors, and always by vetted, competent and accountable volunteer mentors from the local community. In time these fortnightly gatherings form the foundations from which to deliver a 4 day boys rite of passage (initiation) event. This 4 day rite of passage programme will be delivered and attended by men and boys from various men’s community councils across the region.
The generative qualities of masculinity; those creative, collaborative and fiercely nourishing aspects of masculinity that help steward a society toward wholeness have been usurped by what is often rightly referred to as toxic masculinity.
By educating, inspiring and enabling communities to come together and amplify the inherent generative qualities of masculinity the Helios Fellowship seeks to positively affect society by reducing bullying, domestic violence, addiction and suicide.
In a relatively short time, the work of the Helios Fellowship will replace these toxic attitudes and behaviours with cultures of emotionally literate, responsible, self-assured boys and men who know for themselves that they matter, that they belong, and what they believe is worth fighting for.
Beyond public talks and education days for social sector professionals (parents, teachers, existing youth organisation, social workers, mental health workers, medics, police, fire service, etc.) The Helios Fellowship provides experiential training to adult men, combined with ongoing peer mentoring.
Over time a committed group of male citizens, being actively supported by other men and women from their communities, will gather the confidence to begin group mentoring for boys aged 12 and over. It is hoped that individuals, and existing projects, initiatives and organisation will attend and incorporate their new understandings about the deep structure of masculinity into their every day lives. In doing so men and boys and their communities at large will create a ripple effect that show significant results within two years.
This is a grass-roots, community led initiative. It follows a steady growth curve and requires vision and commitment. The benefits will often be subtle, measured as much in what didn’t happen as what did, and, if taken up and applied creatively will flow over many years, maybe generations.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Helios Fellowship - Overview
The word ‘heliotropic’, describes the act of following the sun. Sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun throughout the day, and many other plants and animals orient their growth through the seasons toward the brightest source of light available.
“The primary intention of invoking the name and symbolism of Helios is to remind us that the generative masculine aspect of consciousness (both in men and women) manifests in service to creative, nourishing, and rejuvenating social functions that are appropriate, relevant and practically useful in contemporary culture”.
The ‘Fellowship’ part of the name serves two functions. The primary focus is to reference a specific constellation of generative archetypes. According to the jungian analyst and theologian the late Robert Moore, Phd, these archetypes are a hard wired aspect of masculinity and it is the 4 generative archetypes that form the primary Fellowship to my mind.
The Generative King; responsible for invoking sincere blessing and discerning justice, The Generative Warrior; responsible for marshalling clear focus and meaningful action, The Generative Magician; responsible for conjuring new insight and relevant wisdom and, The Generative Lover who’s responsible for resonant connection and authentic appreciation.
However, these generative qualities of masculinity don’t manifest in an individual, a society or in a culture without significant appropriate attention. Unfortunately, when these archetypal forces are neglected they do not remain passive and benign; they become active and malevolent. Even a quick glance at the statistics regarding male suicide, domestic violent, incarceration will attest to this.
The regressive and immature aspects of each one of the ‘core 4’ archetypes are named appropriately: the tyrant and weakling are the shadow presentations of the King. The sadist and masochist are shadows of the warrior. The denier and manipulator are the shadows of the magician, and the addict and impotent are shadows of the lover. When these shadows dance together they give rise to individuals and cultures dominated by toxic masculinity and its many abhorrent abuses of power.
The secondary focus of the use of the term “fellowship’ is to allow anyone who enrols into events to identify with this project as being a unique initiative set apart from existing organisations, charities etc who, each in their own ways seek to address issues of masculinity and the pathologically adolescent male culture pervasive in world affairs.
The Helios Fellowship seeks to attract men and women interested in bringing about social and cultural change by way of experiential education, peer mentoring and community initiatives.
It is for academics, therapists, social entrepreneurs, education and social services professionals and lay people alike. Those who attend any of the events and feel drawn to exploring further will hopefully create their own community networks and delivery systems for the principles and practices shared by the Helios Fellowship. It is hoped in time they embellish and synthesise it’s understandings into existing initiatives in ways they feel best serve their communities.
Paul J Howell. 01/19
“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”
— CELTIC PROVERB
Helios Fellowship - The Hero and Heroines Community Journey.
Below you will find a number of events that form the body of what The Helios Fellowship has to offer. Some events are introductory, some are intended to be education forums and others offer the opportunity for a deeper exploration of our personal, cultural and professional relationships to these universal attitudes we have thus far called archetypes.
Some are marked ‘Core Community Programme’ to highlight the events we suggest form the foundation of a communities medium term goals toward a fully-functioning peer mentoring community.
Please email email@example.com to register your interest in attending or sponsoring any one of these events.
Dying To Belong: Suicide, Rites of Passage and Generative Communities. This 2.5 / 3 hrs informal presentation and Q&A is a sensitive talk exploring the personal and cultural roots of suicide. It seeks to honour those lost and share insight and simple tools to enable and empower communities to preventing further suicides. Ultimately it seeks to help people extend their awareness that they might come to see these tragic events as a fierce call to communities.
Open to men and women aged 18 and over
The young men are invited to pick up the sword only if they feel ready to take responsibility for its power. Several declined and said, “Ive had an amazing time, but i’m not ready yet. Maybe next year I will be”. In the absence of shame, we can be honest. When we are honest, we don’t have to impress anyone…we are accepted just as we are.
The Archetypes of Masculinity: The King, Warrior, Magician & Lover. This day long event is a lay persons introduction to Dr Robert Moore’s profoundly useful map of the masculine psyche. Taking the King, Warrior, Magician and Lover first turn and then as an interdependent constellation, this day will draw upon both ancient and contemporary stories, current events and most importantly our personal experience. Even a basic grasp of the deeper motivations hard wired into masculinity can be incredibly helpful in a wide range of social and personal contexts. Anyone interested in what actually motivates men and how and why they often get stuck at adolescents would enjoy this and leave with greater insight and wisdom to apply.
Open to men and women aged 18 and over. Children / adolescents aged 12 years and over welcome if accompanied by an adult. Helios Fellowship Offerings - cont’.
Reclaiming Teenage Fire: Mentor Training. ** Core Community Programme. This immersive personal development retreat is residential and takes place over 3 days. We’ll explore the developmental arc of masculinity with a focus on the crucible of adolescence. Against the background of the Hero’s Journey you can expect a deep dive into your own personal adolescent experience as you listen to the stories of others. You’ll have a chance to reflect upon the initiation you didn’t know you were having and develop new insight into the deeper layers of that life changing transition. Along the way you’ll have the the opportunity to reclaim what may have been left behind and also cast off limiting notions that hold you back.
We’ll also look into the messages contemporary cultural offers onto teenagers and explore why these messages are as they currently are. This event is essential for any man seeking to mentor young men and is a profound gift for father, especially those with young sons. Educators, social workers and policy makers will get to peek behind the curtain of why so many social institutions seems to fail young men.
Open to men over the age of 25 subject to application form. An intake interview may also be required.
Men’s Community Council. ** Core Community Programme. Intended to provide a regular, safe and secure peer led meeting space and container for men and boys to gather in mutual support to learn from and listen to each other in their pursuit of purposeful lives. This is perhaps the primary cultural integration space for all other events offered by the Helios Fellowship. It’s where this work lands in the heart of any community, school, prison, business, you initiative.
Open initially to men aged 30 and over, and at several staged intervals opened to those aged 25, 18, 15 and eventually 12.
Awakening The Inner King: Generative Leadership. ** Core Community Programme. This immersive personal development retreat is residential and takes place over 3 days. Aimed very directly at those ready to invite the deep personal insight and awareness and practice the skills necessary to enhance their capacities for authentic stewardship. In service to this aim we shall work with the principles and practices of Generative Leadership - centering, accessing the creative unconscious, and developing a focused and resonant positive intention.
Looking initially at the Warrior, Magician and Lover archetypes, we’ll then draw from mythology and personal experience to invoke the dual arts of blessing and justice, the twin rivers that carry the nourishing energies of the Generative Sovereign; Lord of the 4 Quarters, without whom no realm will thrive.
Questioning our deep values, beliefs and the organic nature of our masculine and human identities, we’ll learn more of what matters most, what inner and outer resources we need to harness and hone in order to turn our creative visions into our lived reality.
We shall also spend time exploring our relationships with the bi-polar shadow aspects of the King archetype; the active Tyrant and the passive Abdicator and deconstruct their desire to usurp our success.
Open to men aged 30 and over subject to application and intake interview.
5 - Meetings with the Wild Man and Woman: Reclaiming the Wild Heart
This residential retreat runs over three full days and explores the blessings and curses of masculinity and how its legacy affects our personal narrative and vision for life.
“The difference between the wild-man and the savage is, the wild-man knows he’s wounded” so the saying goes. And, that knowledge is the first step toward healing; knowing and feeling deep in our bodies that our birthright is to live as whole; filled with curiosity, and immense courage and creativity.
Spending some time looking at the regressive and limiting trances that flow from the shadow masculine; those that prevent us personally and collectively from moving into and sustaining positive creative action, we shall be working first to fully own our personal stories before bringing them into a new light.
No doubt we shall meet the usual suspects that block our progress; shame, anger, impotence, fear and anxiety to name a few. These crippling forces that constellate as the curses that stalk and steal our joy have an invisible foe, your authentic self.
Bringing the wisdom of self-relations psychotherapy, generative coaching, systemic constellations and NLP and the frame of the hero and heroines journey, we will explore what happens to the neglected aspect of the self when infused with sincere and skilful blessing, positive self sponsorship and with a little help from our friends and allies, develop our own simple rituals to keep those blessings flowing within us.
Open to men and women aged 30 and over, subject to application and possible registration interview.
Fire In The Kings Cup This 12 day deep Nature Immersion is for men aged 18 and over includes a 4 day solo wilderness vision fast. This is an authentic initiatory rite of passage and, along with mentoring pre and post the 12 day programme is for men facing significant transitions and changes in their lives. Whether chosen or imposed; illness, relationship or career change, becoming a father, bereavement, becoming an elder or an adult, these events call us to open to a new identity far beyond anything we had previously imagined or believed possible.
Open to men aged 18 and over subject to application process and registration interview.
NB - This is also run for men and women - please email firstname.lastname@example.org