The King is the central archetype around which the rest of the psyche is organized. The King in all men provides order, structure, integrity, authority, orderly growth and nurturing to his kingdom. Regardless of whether he leads himself, a family or a nation, the King takes great pleasure and responsibility in his job as a leader. His mission is to selflessly ensure safety and prosperity, peace and stability to those around him. As such, he is the mediator between the mortal and the Divine, the closest to God of all four archetypes.
The King is the energy of the Father, who looks upon the world with a firm, but kindly eye. He promotes talent and effort, and gives good men his blessings. Initiation of younger men by older men has been celebrated as an important rite of passage by many cultures, and documented and acknowledged by historians and psychologists all over the world for ages. Blessings are healing when coming from a mentor. Men in our society are starving for blessing from older men. In a culture that celebrates the feminine much more than the masculine, the King - the Father - has become increasingly weaker, and men increasingly more shut down. They carry around deep wounds that feminine ways are not adept at healing.
When a man is not in touch with his King archetypal energy, he is said to fall under its shadows - the Tyrant and the Weakling - which end up controlling him.
In “Robin Hood”, John, the son of King Richard, does not possess any of the good qualities of a powerful king, nor the maturity to be a full Tyrant. He is somewhere between the Tyrant shadow of the King archetype, and his infantile boyhood shadow of the Hero, called the High Chair Tyrant. Deep down inside, the Tyrant shadow only hides its passive pole, the Weakling shadow.
The High Chair Tyrant is the boy who has a superiority complex that covers his real sense of vulnerability, weakness and inferiority. He is self-righteous, proud and arrogant. He is demanding of oneself and others in ways that cannot be satisfied. He is the child who throws his toys out of the cot, screams for his mother to kiss him, feed him, adore him, and even when she does so, it is never enough or good enough.
In his mature version, the Tyrant is the man who makes himself the center of his universe, and pursues his own interests. He is ruthless, merciless, and without feeling. He does not create, but destroys emerging hearts, talents, and aspirations. He is envious, deprecating and abusive. He fears new life in himself and others, because it threatens his weak grasp on his own kingship. He hates beauty and strength in others, because he is afraid of his own inner weakness.
The Weakling is the passive shadow of the King archetype. He lacks centeredness and security in himself. He gives away his power over his life to other people, external circumstances and substances. He feels impotent, incapable of acting and leading. He is oversensitive to the moods of his boss or wife, and anxiously needs approval from others.He is prone to developing paranoia or dependent personality disorder.
In “Robin Hood”, John wants the power of a king, but not the responsibilities. He has no integrity, and he is not true to his word. Not having moved into mature adulthood, he feels threatened by his mother, with whom he has poor boundaries. John has not yet traveled the Hero’s journey into the Mature King, and therefore remains a High Chair Tyrant who screams up at mommy to come meet his needs.
Unlike his father, John enjoys a lavish life, sex with his woman, giving orders, and diminishing strong men. He continuously swings between the Tyrant shadow and the Weakling shadow, not having found his inner center of gravity, his real source of strength. The physical kingdom he governs is a direct reflection of his inner psyche, one that is given to darkness and disarray. England will be conquered by the French.
By contrast, although not a King, Robin Hood is a man who strikes us as powerful and centered. He has a sense of purpose, he keeps his word, and completes his missions. Risking his life in battle, and by telling the truth, Robin returns sir Robers Loxley’s sword to his father. By doing this, he unintentionally sets up the scene for his own healing of his childhood wounds, as it often happens when one contributes to the advancement and healing of others, healing himself in turn. Robin finds out that his father, whom he barely knew as a child, was a champion of his people, embodying the true King archetype, and this brings him deep relief and powerful healing.
We also see Robin in relationship with Marion, a widowed woman whom he marries, and a group of lost boys who roam through the Sherwood Forest. Robin’s mere presence, appreciation and integrity opens up Marion, without needing cheesy pick-up lines or the art of seduction. When being ambushed by the gang of boys in the forest, instead of punishing them, Robin becomes a mentor, and inspires them to learn new skills, and defend themselves with integrity. The boys of Sherwood Forest are representative of the gang culture in our modern world. Young men who grow up with a weak or absent Father take to the woods or the streets in order to find meaning and connection with other males. When not properly initiated by elders, they become self-destructive, and destructive to society.
“Robin Hood” is a movie that portrays the King archetype and his shadows on a micro and macro level. Through John, Robin, and the Sherwood gang, we learn that King energy gives a man presence and power, and young boys direction and order. When King energy is weak, disorder, chaos and destruction follows.
How to get in touch with your King:
Set up 3-5 short-term and long term goals.
Organize your room, your desk, your computer, your calendar. Clear out the clutter.
Look at a task you've been procrastinating on, write down 3 actions you can take towards its completion, and implement one every day.
Keep your promises. Follow through. ALWAYS. Especially when it hurts or it inconveniences.
Identify distractions, and learn to say "NO".
Take responsibility for your actions. Next time you feel criticized, take a deep breath, find something you are responsible for in the situation, apologize and come up with a way to make it up immediately.
Have that dreaded conversation you have been putting off with a coworker or your boss. Draft a few notes, practice getting centered and owning the room, and speak your mind with unaffected calm.
Next time you find yourself in a frazzling situation, take a deep breath, send roots to the center of the earth, and summon your King from your center. When you feel yourself getting calm, it has come.
Practice getting present and holding space for someone who is having a wild emotional roller coaster. Don't say anything. Just drop your mind into your belly button, send roots to the ground, and send love out from the heart. Then just observe.
Contribute for no reason. Find a younger or less experienced man (friend, coworker, nephew), and offer your guidance. Give yourself an hour a day to just do something for another without expecting anything back, even if it is just a phone call.
Offer to mentor a child. There are various organizations around the country that pair adults with children who are in need of support and guidance.
Host a movie viewing or a party for your friends. Provide all the accommodations. Step back and take pleasure in seeing them happy and connecting.
Start a Meetup group/ motivate people to come together as a group to help each other, or serve a purpose.
Take the lead in a group where there is chaos and indecision.