An Image of the Sovereign or King Archetype
The mature King archetype in his fullness supports me by acting as leader in my life. He holds my mission, purpose and vision. He leads others by example, and is accepting, generous, just, clear and wise.
He may be an Elder, but whether or not he is, he still carries the wisdom of generations and the knowledge of what needs to happen. He issues orders to the Warrior to get things done and seeks the counsel of his magician. He is softened in his being by the compassion and empathy of his Lover.
The Golden King can be described as follows:
- The feeling of the King is joy about what is, and his energy is imbued with an acceptance of what is. Yet when action is needed to ensure the safety, prosperity and benefit of the Kingdom, he will decide eon a course of action without fear or favour, and issue orders to his Warrior to get things done.
- He has mourned his losses, and may have journeyed through sadness and grief to joy.
- The King embodies a certain quality of calmness which comes from his sense of being good enough. He has deep wisdom and the ability to bless. He blesses others for who they are and what they have to give. He rules with the consent of his citizens, who bless him with their acceptance and trust in his reign.
- He brings balance and integration to his Kingdom, possibly embodying the energy of the Servant Leader, but certainly working for the prosperity of the Kingdom, its fruitfulness, peace and harmony.
- Additional descriptive words for the Golden King include: benevolent, authentic, in integrity, caring, centered, humble, integrated, noble, royal, overseeing, visionary, sacrificial, self-assured, wise.
The emotional wound here is a belief that “I am not good enough.”
This is probably the most widespread archetypal wound in modern society. The consequences of a lack of sovereignty can be seen everywhere in the business, social, political, social and media worlds. The lack of sovereignty is also seen in the way so few people are effective leaders in their own lives, lacking any sense of mission, purpose, clarity and direction.
After all, if you believe at some fundamental level that you are not good enough, why would you even try to get a hold over your life, or even be aware of the possibility that you might be able to lead yourself and others in your own Kingdom?
The origins of this sense of not being good enough lie in the way children are raised in our society. We’ve all heard things like: children should be seen and not heard, don’t blow your own trumpet, pride goes before a fall, don’t get too big for your boots, if you’d tried harder you could have done better…. All these well-worn maxims summarise a way of relating to children which stops them developing a strong sense of self worth and feeling good enough. Indeed, low self-esteem is the curse of our society. It leads people to abdicate responsibility for their lives, to put up with second rate treatment, and to be at the mercy of anyone who looks like a strong leader.
Children need to have a sense of pride in their achievements, an appreciation of their ability and talents, and a strong sense of self-worth. Because the King simply knows he is good enough. He does not have to be perfect – perfectionism being the curse of the deflated sovereign – he just has to be good enough. And what is good enough? Well, it’s simply knowing that you are good enough – a felt sense of being OK, and knowing others are OK, and that all is right with the world. This grows through positive reinforcement and is fostered in an upbringing where education which seeks to affirm children rather than criticize their errors and shortcomings, to point out their failures and punish them for making mistakes.
The inflated shadow King archetype looks like this:
- He is a tyrant King, inflated and grandiose, without any justification for his high opinion of himself.
- He holds on to power through the blind obedience of those who are seduced into following him. You challenge the opinion of a tyrant at your own risk – the risk of being banished from the Kingdom.
- He requires you to abdicate your own sense of right and wrong, to follow him regardless, and if you disagree with him, you’re being disloyal. His sense of self-worth is in fact so weak that he cannot tolerate any disagreement , for this activates his sense of inadequacy and inferiority.
- He thinks he doesn’t need counsel (though in fact he needs it more than anything). It’s “my way or the highway.”
- The tyrant King is Special Boy, a narcissistic child who’s never grown up. He screams, “Do it my way, I’m right!” yet below this you can find a scared little boy who was never taught how to be in the world, who was never guided or mentored by his parents. Maybe he was abused.
The typical qualities of the deflated shadow Sovereign include:
- He is an abdicating King, full of doubt, with no sense of responsibility, and no solid self. He is unsure of himself and fundamentally weak at his core.
- He lives by the motto “It will all work out.” The subtext is, “And I need do nothing about it.” The abdicating King wants respect and honor, because he feels so unworthy of it, he may try to get it by offering concessions or handing out what he sees as acts of love, or by people pleasing and avoiding conflict at all costs.
- He won’t have much of a vision, and he certainly won’t take responsibility for the failure of the Kingdom that comes from his lack of leadership. He will, however, seek to blame everyone but himself. And he is inevitably blind to his own errors and failures. To admit these failures would be to recognize his true nature, and that he will never do.
Gold or Shadow?
I know my Golden King is supporting me when I bless others and feel it coming from my deepest core. I know I’m in Sovereign when I feel connected to my higher power, calm and firm, remaining clear that I am open to seeking input from my counselors or King’s court. I know I am in Sovereign when I feel confident, unfazed, powerful and present. I know my mission in the world, I know the vision for my life and my Kingdom, and a flow of energy that comes from within, but is fuelled by something more than me, seems ready to take me there.
I know my Shadow King is sabotaging me when I intimidate or belittle, verbally, emotionally, or intellectually. I know I am in shadow when I blame or make out it’s your fault, not mine! I may shame you, too, or threaten you with the final “authority” of the weak King – “Off with your head!” And most of all I know I am in shadow King when I feel no presence, potency or power, just as though I have abdicated from my position in life.