All posts by Rod

The King Within (Part 1)

The King Archetype

This is the part of your personality which is responsible for leadership, vision, purpose and mission in your life.

When we talk about leadership in coaching sessions we’re not just talking about leadership in your own life, but also your leadership of the lives of others for whom you have some kind of responsibility. This could be your family, your employees, your colleagues, your friends, and so on.

In some sense every one of us is a leader. The qualities necessary for successful leadership include wisdom, discernment, balance, strength, good judgement, fairness, clarity of decision-making, and a concern for the long-term benefit of all the people who fall within your remit area of influence. To what extent do these need developing in you?

Then there’s mission. Do you have a life mission? Something that equates to a life purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning which is personally meaningful? Something you would regret not having done when you die? We can work together in forming your life mission, which may change over time. 

And do you have a vision for your life? A vision is necessary to plan your journey. It’s like a destination, a goal, a desired outcome. In fact, you can have a vision for every area of your life: financial, family, employment, work, leisure, home…. 

The value of having a vision for every area of your life lies in the power of having well formed goals: they are massively empowering and give motivation and purpose to our actions. Without a vision, you have no destination in life. Which raises the question – where is your journey taking you? Would coaching help?

Sovereign or Leader Energy and You

In the archetypal model which I use for coaching men and women, leadership, vision and mission are part of the Sovereign archetype.

The idea of archetypes is very useful, because they serve as a useful shorthand to describe different aspects of our personality. The Sovereign archetype, clearly, is all about leadership of your own Kingdom or Queendom, or, to put it another way, your realm.

But whether you call this archetypal energy the “leader” in your life or the “Sovereign” makes no difference, really. Our objective in coaching is to strengthen and develop this area of your personality so that you can fully embrace your innate power.

In coaching, I start from the belief that we are all born with unlimited potential and power. Yet, as we all know, life has an unfortunate habit of suppressing or diminishing our personal power. For one thing, we don’t truly celebrate leadership, magnificence, success or achievement in our culture. For another, few children are brought up in a way that encourages the expression of this Sovereign energy.

The great news is that if your leadership potential, your Sovereign, is not showing up fully in your life, archetypal coaching can bring it out in all its majesty, power, and shining brilliance. 

So I’d like to develop your understanding of these concepts by showing you a video which describes the functions and importance of the Sovereign archetype.

A Video to Introduce The Sovereign Archetype

The Sovereign takes the form of King energy in men (read on below), and Queen energy (click here to read about it) in women.

The most important qualities of your Sovereign archetype are leadership, vision, and mission. 

Good leadership means leadership with justice, discernment and wisdom, leadership for the benefit of the whole kingdom.

That kingdom may be your family, your business, your world, or even just your own mind, your own life.

Good leadership is essential for success in any enterprise, at any level, and so it has been throughout the history of the world.

Leadership provides clear direction to the people for whom the King is responsible.

Leadership provides a sense of security for the citizens of the realm. It provides reassurance that someone is on hand who has the power and ability to take charge in a crisis, and lead his or her people through to a better place.

Whether the kingdom you are leading is a community, a business, your family, or yourself, is irrelevant. The principle is always the same: a strong King or Queen who can stand in his or her power and hold the wounds of the realm is a Sovereign who people will look up to and admire.

A Book Which Explains Archetypes In Full

The fullest account of archetypal energy for men in the 21st century, this book by Rod Boothroyd covers all the characteristics of the four main male archetypes of King Warrior Magician and Lover.

Why So Little Sovereign Energy In The World?

Very few men and women develop their full potential for leadership or express their full power in the world. But even fewer have a vision for their lives or a mission, a sense of purpose in the world.

This is where Life Coaching can be very helpful to you: it will enable you to access your natural leadership, power and potency in the world, and it will show you where you may be blocked or limited in expressing this energy.

In turn, this will enable you to find your own personal vision and “mission” in the world.

A vision is essential – it is your destination, your objective, your goal. Without knowing where you are going, it hardly needs to be said, you are unlikely to end up in the right place!

Some people think of mission as the thing “you just have to do”, the reason you were put on the planet. Others see mission as an expression of who you truly are, the calling which will most powerfully express your natural gifts and talents – and, by the way, give you the greatest satisfaction.

But however you see it, all these qualities – leadership, vision and a sense of mission – are necessary to achieve the levels of success in life and business which you desire. 

Working with you, I will use some extremely effective life coaching techniques which will quickly help you understand your vision, mission and develop your leadership, both in your own life and more broadly in the world – in your own Kingdom. You will truly become the leader in your own life.

Using this very special coaching method of working with your archetypes, we will build up your Sovereign energy where it’s lacking, and bring out your full magnificence and power if that’s currently in shadow.

Truth is, it’s hard to imagine what the magnificence of a human being in his or her full power and potential looks like until you begin to experience it for yourself.

But whether you access your leadership all at once, or build it up bit by bit, you certainly can become the person you were always meant to be, the person you were born to be.

Video – The Sovereign Archetype 

Kings & Queens Come In Many Forms

Think of the King or Queen archetype as representing the leader within you, the manager, the director, the chief – whatever word you care to use. When you develop this archetype into its fullness you embrace the qualities essential for the well-being of your Kingdom or Queendom.

Some of the most important are leadership (obviously), wisdom, discernment, happiness, and offering a space in which other people can explore and express their potential.

Sovereign energy also means being able to maintain order, integration, and integrity. It means controlling extremes of behaviour and feelings. It embraces stability, calmness and centredness.

For Sovereign energy is a balancing energy which maintains peace and harmony, purpose and function.

In its most mature form, a woman or man’s Sovereign energy embodies the full potency and power of the sacred masculinity and femininity which resides within all of us. This is the central archetype, around which the rest of a your personality and your entire unconscious mind is organised.

And because your King archetype is your central archetype, a lack of King energy is destructive to your power and presence in the world.

Part 2 of this article can be found here.

Shadow Work Coaches, Facilitators and One to One Practitioners

Listing of shadow work coaches, facilitators and therapists

All the shadow work practitioners listed below are certified and qualified by Healing The Shadow. You can read about Healing The Shadow, an organisation dedicated to training practitioners in shadow  work here.

Shadow Work Coaches and Practitioners (aka Facilitators) in one to one work

Conroy Harris

Conroy is a fully qualfied and certified practitioner in shadow work. He lives in Oxford and can be contacted on email or by phone: 
Telephone: 07867 785809

Sue Rayner

I have seen for myself how shadow work can heal emotional wounds as I’ve been working with Marianne for some time now. Before qualifying as a shadow work practitioner I completed a Certificate in Counselling Skills at the University of the West of England. I’m delighted to be practicing as a qualified as a Healing The Shadow facilitator.
Area: Bristol
Telephone: 07545 285655

Francisco Cabeza West

Since graduating with a Masters in Peace and Reconciliation Studies in 2004 I have continued to research and undertake trainings in the different methods available to heal the wounds of personal and collective trauma. Becoming a Healing the Shadow Practitioner complements all the other modalities available to me in supporting individuals to cultivate renewed perspectives and apply these in the next cycle of their lives. My keen interest is helping people to light up, feel energised and fully alive which tends to involve making peace with their unresolved past. Shadow work has been one of the tools that has accompanied me on my experiences of working with adult survivors of child abuse and as part of end of life care for the terminally ill. What greater way to help someone than to facilitate the change that they want to be in the world at the time that they are ready to do so?
Areas: East and West Midlands (all counties) and on-line
Telephone: 07894 401733

Dan Hartley
Dan Hartley – Healing The Shadow Practitioner

I see shadow work as one of the best modalities for helping people let go of limiting beliefs, heal old wounds and transform the conditioning and stories that hold them back from fully claiming the life and relationships they deserve. It’s both humbling and a privilege to support people in this way. I’m grateful to have undertaken this particular journey with Marianne and Rod, two highly skilled facilitators who are great exemplars of this work.
Area: East Sussex

Richard Martyn

Richard Martyn practices in various locations around the south west of England. He may also offer sessions by Zoom. See his website here: Richard Martyn.

Laura Stoddart

Laura Stoddart practises in Devon, offering one-to-one Healing The Shadow sessions in South Devon and Frome (weekends only). You can read about Laura Stoddart here.

Ali Kirk

Ali offers Healing The Shadow sessions in Hereford & Abergavenny, and online via Zoom. You can see his website here: 
Ali Kirk, certified shadow coach. Y
ou can contact him by phone on  07792 405 660

Rachel Mitchell 

Rachel sees clients in her dedicated practice room in Bristol. You can read about Rachel Mitchell on her website. Or you can email her on:

Rod Boothroyd

Rod is a certified practitioner who works with clients on Zoom. Contact details here: 

Marianne Hill

Marianne is the founder of Healing The Shadow, and offers sessions in her dedicated practice room in Frome, Somerset and online. Contact Marianne Hill here.

What Is Shadow Work?

Shadow work is a type of introspective work that involves exploring and integrating the darker, less desirable aspects of ourselves that we tend to repress or deny. It can be a challenging and uncomfortable process, but it can also be incredibly rewarding in terms of personal growth and self-awareness.

Here are some reasons why you might want to see a shadow work coach or therapist:

  • You feel stuck or stagnant in your personal growth journey. If you feel like you’ve hit a wall and can’t seem to move forward in your personal growth, working with a shadow work coach or therapist can help you identify and work through the blocks that are holding you back.
  • You struggle with self-esteem or self-worth issues. If you struggle with feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, or shame, shadow work can help you uncover the underlying beliefs and emotions that are fueling these feelings and learn how to reframe them in a more positive way.
  • You have a pattern of self-destructive behaviors or relationships. If you find yourself engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors or attracting unhealthy relationships, shadow work can help you identify the root causes of these patterns and learn how to break free from them.
  • You want to deepen your spiritual practice. Shadow work is often a key component of spiritual growth and can help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your connection to the divine.

Overall, working with a shadow work coach or therapist can help you cultivate greater self-awareness, acceptance, and compassion for yourself and others. It can be a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation.

Shadow work involves exploring the hidden, suppressed, or repressed parts of ourselves that we might not be fully aware of. This can include examining negative emotions, past traumas, limiting beliefs, and unhealthy behaviors. Some benefits of shadow work compared to other kinds of therapy include:

  • Deeper self-awareness: shadow work can help you become more aware of your own patterns of behavior and thought. By identifying the unconscious aspects of yourself that may be driving your actions, you can develop a greater understanding of yourself and your motivations.
  • Healing of past traumas: this kind of work can help you confront and process past traumas you may have been avoiding or repressing. By bringing these experiences to the surface and working through them, you can begin to heal and move forward.
  • Increased emotional intelligence: exploring your shadow can also help you develop greater emotional intelligence as you learn to identify and regulate your own emotions. By becoming more self-aware, you can also become more empathic and understanding of others.
  • Greater authenticity: you may find it easier to embrace all aspects of yourself, including the parts that you may have been hiding or suppressing, when you delve into your shadow. And by accepting and integrating your shadow self, you can live more authentically and express yourself more fully.
  • Greater personal growth: you can develop a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you, leading to greater personal growth and transformation. By confronting your fears, insecurities, and limitations, you may break through emotinal and psychological barriers and achieve greater levels of self-actualization.

While shadow work may not be the best fit for everyone, it can be a powerful tool for those seeking deeper self-awareness, healing, and personal growth.

Explaining Shadow Work

An interesting view of Shadow Work

Imagine yourself on a stage. You play a well-defined role, your “public” persona, the face you show to the world. But backstage, hidden in the shadows, lurks another side: your “shadow self.” These are the aspects of yourself you deem unwelcome, perhaps even “negative” – strong emotions like anger or jealousy, hidden desires, or impulses you repress.

Shadow work is like venturing backstage, exploring those neglected corners. It’s about shining a light on the parts you’ve kept hidden, not to judge them, but to understand them. It’s about accepting that these hidden aspects are a natural part of your whole self, even if they’re uncomfortable.

Think of it like digging for buried treasure. The shadows might initially seem scary or messy, but they hold untapped potential and valuable learnings. You might discover the root of certain insecurities, unlock hidden creative energies, or gain deeper self-compassion. If you find a good shadow work practitioner or facilitator, they can help you on your journey.

How you can start your shadow work journey

Pay attention to projections: When you encounter someone who triggers strong negative emotions, ask yourself, “Are these feelings actually theirs, or am I projecting my own shadow aspects onto them?”

Journalling: Write about your dreams, recurring thoughts, and any situations that cause intense emotions. Explore what these might reveal about your shadow self.

Creative exploration: Use art, music, or movement to express your hidden emotions and desires in a safe way.

Meditation: Mindfulness practices can help you become more aware of your subconscious thoughts and feelings, revealing glimpses of your shadow.

Remember, shadow work is a process, not an event. It can be challenging, but it also holds immense potential for personal growth and self-acceptance. Be patient, approach it with curiosity and compassion, and don’t be afraid to seek guidance from a therapist or experienced practitioner if needed.

About shadow work

About training  as a shadow work practititioner

A look at the concept of archetypes 

Imagine, deep down in your heart, there are echoes of stories whispered across generations. These echoes are archetypes – universal patterns, characters, and themes that resonate with people all over the world, regardless of culture or time.

Think of them like the building blocks of our shared human experience. The wise wizard, the cunning trickster, the star-crossed lovers – these are all archetypes that pop up in myths, fairy tales, even our own dreams and imaginations.

Why? Because they tap into fundamental human instincts, fears, and aspirations. The hero battling a monster? That’s our struggle against inner demons or external challenges. The damsel in distress? Represents our vulnerability and need for connection.

Archetypes aren’t rigid stereotypes, though. They’re more like templates that get fleshed out in different ways. Like clay sculpted into various figures, the specific details of an archetype – a warrior’s weapon, a trickster’s disguise – might change, but the core essence remains.

So, what’s the point of understanding these archetypes? Well, they become a lens through which we can interpret stories, our own lives, and the world around us. They help us find meaning in universal struggles, connect with different cultures, and even recognize our own hidden motivations and desires.

Here are some ways to see archetypes at work

Movies and books: Think of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars – classic hero archetype facing a dark foe. Or Disney princesses who embody different aspects of the “maiden” archetype.

Myths and legends: Hercules battling the Hydra? Classic hero against a monster. Robin Hood? Trickster fighting for justice.

Your own life: We all have internal struggles, moments of courage or vulnerability, that echo these archetypal themes.

Understanding archetypes doesn’t make you an expert in human nature, but it gives you a cool appreciation for the shared stories that bind us together. It’s like learning a secret language that whispers in myths, movies, and even your own dreams! So, next time you encounter a familiar character or theme, keep your eyes peeled for the archetype within – it might just reveal something about yourself and the world around you.

The aim of shadow work is emotional maturity – but what does that mean?

Emotional maturity can be a bit of a tricky concept, especially for someone approaching therapy for the first time. It’s not about being “perfect” or never feeling strong emotions, but rather about developing healthy ways to understand, manage, and express those emotions. If you find a good shadow work practitioner or facilitator, they can help you on your journey of understanding yourself. Here’s a metaphorical explanation…

Imagine yourself standing on a path, with your younger self a few steps behind you. As you walk forward, you encounter various bumps and obstacles – challenges, setbacks, and difficult emotions.

Emotional immaturity might be like your younger self tripping over every bump, getting frustrated or lashing out, and struggling to get back on track. You might blame others, avoid the challenges, or simply bottle up your emotions, leading to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Emotional maturity, on the other hand, is like having learned to navigate the path more skillfully. You can still stumble sometimes, but you have the tools to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Here are some key aspects of emotional maturity:

Self-awareness: Recognizing and understanding your own emotions, triggers, and needs. It’s like having a good map of your inner landscape.
Emotional regulation: Managing your emotions in a healthy way, even when they’re intense. This doesn’t mean suppressing them, but learning to express them constructively.
Effective communication: Being able to talk about your feelings openly and honestly, while also listening to and respecting the perspectives of others.
Healthy boundaries: Knowing your limits and being able to say “no” without feeling guilty. It’s like setting up fences around your emotional garden to protect your well-being.
Taking responsibility: Owning your actions and choices, even when things go wrong. This doesn’t mean beating yourself up, but learning from your mistakes and moving forward.
Empathy: Understanding and caring about the feelings of others, even when they’re different from your own.

Shadow work as therapy is a great way to develop these skills and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. It’s a safe space to explore your emotions, learn new coping mechanisms, and practice healthier ways of relating to yourself and others. Remember, emotional maturity is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs, but with each step you take, you can build a stronger, more resilient emotional foundation.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

Emotional maturity is a spectrum, not a binary. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and there’s no one-size-fits-all definition of what it means to be emotionally mature.

It’s okay to ask for help. Therapy is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling with your emotions, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional support such as shadow work.

Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results overnight. Celebrate your progress, even the small victories.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Therapy can be a valuable tool to help you navigate the path towards emotional maturity, and become the best version of yourself.

The difference between male and female archetypes

The concept of “male” and “female” archetypes can be a bit of a minefield, and with good reason. Assigning distinct qualities to entire genders based on outdated stereotypes can be harmful and inaccurate. However, there are ways to explore these archetypes without falling into those pitfalls.

Here’s an approach:

Instead of thinking of them as rigid boxes, see them as two sides of a coin, two sets of universal energies that exist within everyone, regardless of gender. These energies are not exclusive to one sex and can be expressed in countless ways by individuals.

Think of it like yin and yang:

Masculine energy: Often associated with action, assertiveness, logic, and striving. Think of the hero on a quest, the builder, the protector.
Feminine energy: Often associated with receptivity, creativity, intuition, and connection. Think of the nurturer, the artist, the healer.

Key to remember:

Individuals: People can embody both these energies to varying degrees and in unique ways. A woman can be a skilled warrior, while a man can be a nurturing artist.

Fluidity: These energies are not fixed identities but fluid expressions. We can move between them depending on the situation and our own personal growth.

Cultural influence: While these energies might have biological and evolutionary roots, cultural expectations and traditions often shape how they are expressed in different societies.
Benefits of understanding these archetypes:

Self-awareness: Recognizing these energies within ourselves can help us understand our strengths, weaknesses, and motivations.
Empathy: Understanding how these energies manifest in others can help us build stronger relationships and communicate more effectively.

Storytelling: Archetypes are powerful tools for storytelling, helping us connect with characters and themes that resonate across cultures and time.

Remember, these are simply frameworks, not rigid definitions. Don’t get caught up in labeling yourself or others based on archetypes. The beauty lies in the infinite spectrum of human individuality and how these energies can blend and express themselves in unique ways.

So, explore these archetypes with curiosity and an open mind. Use them as tools for understanding yourself and others, but never as boxes to limit anyone’s potential.