The King and Queen archetypes are the primary authorities of our psyches and societies. We know of their existence because projections of them have ruled civilizations throughout human history. If they were not part of our psychological makeup, we would not need to create them in the world. These archetypes cause people everywhere to choose and obey moral authorities who (we hope) will protect us, govern us, nurture our development, and enable us and our progeny to thrive.
Our need to create order and virtue in our social groups is a reflection of our need to develop these qualities in ourselves. Indeed, civilization is a mirror that continuously shows us images of the myriad archetypal energies and potentials within us. What we see in the mirror depends on the status of our inner worlds. How we feel about the people and events we attract, and to which we are attracted, depends on how we feel about ourselves.
Occasionally, an unusually courageous and virtuous individual attracts our admiration: someone who represents the good, who stands up for what s/he believes, who speaks out against social injustice, who leads and inspires others to nurture the weak and right the wrongs; someone like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, or Mother Teresa. We know these people are not perfect. Being mere mortals, they can’t be. Yet their lives take on mythic proportions because they embody living manifestations of archetypal energies lying latent in us.
People like this personify the Sovereign archetype which matures in one who is learning to blend and balance the energies of the mature King and Queen. The Sovereign, a symbol of their partnership, is an autonomous, powerful, and independent leader and ruler who understands and accepts his or her authority and moral responsibility and, through example, inspires others to do the same.
The moral authority of the Sovereign is based on a personal commitment to the King’s goal of universal justice and the Queen’s, of universal love. From the font of their combined energies flows right action that is not rigid and unyielding, but fluid, like a river of fresh water that weaves through our daily routines. Here we work to effect universal justice, there we defend our rights and the rights of those around us. Here we respectfully follow rules and traditions that create and maintain order, there we challenge those which disregard conscience and caring.
Examples of people with mature Sovereigns are the self-reflective mothers and fathers who nurture virtue and character in their progeny. They are the teachers, principals, community protectors and benefactors, CEO’s, attorneys, judges, county and state officials and representatives, prime ministers, presidents and ambassadors who preserve and transmit traditions of truth, justice and mercy to ensure the generativity, productivity, comfort, safety, and survival of the next generation.
The Sovereign likewise promotes the healthy empowerment of our souls and spirits so that we may be free to express our individual genius. Like an officer of the law, it works to create order and virtue in us. Like a judge, it weighs evidence and corrects unhealthy imbalances. Like a loving parent, it accepts us as we are while encouraging us to develop our potential, knowing that our masculine and feminine sides, conscious and unconscious selves, and egos and shadows are all parts of the whole, free, healthy and unique individuals we are meant to become.
How well-developed is your Sovereign? Who carries your image of the Sovereign in the outer world? How can you become more like him or her?
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“Man, like the other animals, is originally simply the puppet of instinct, just as the infant is. Unless he is moved by instinct, he remains