The King Archetype & The Queen Archetype – The Sovereign

The Archetype of Leadership, Vision and Purpose 

The Queen or King archetype is one of the most important and powerful archetypes in human psychology and mythology. It represents the ultimate authority, whether that be in a country, an organization, a business or a society. It represents leadership; it is the symbol of the ruling power that transcends individual interests and represents the greater good of a community, society or organisation.

The Sovereign archetype is often associated with qualities such as wisdom, strength, justice, order, and the ability to create and maintain a harmonious society. In myths and stories, the Sovereign is often portrayed as a figure of great power and nobility, someone who is respected and revered by the people.

In psychology, the King archetype and the Queen archetype are often associated with the concept of self-actualization, which refers to the realization of one’s full potential and the attainment of a sense of wholeness and completeness. The Sovereign represents the inner authority that governs one’s life, and the ability to live in alignment with one’s true nature and purpose.

However, like all archetypes, the Sovereign also has a shadow aspect. When the Sovereign archetype becomes too authoritarian or rigid, it can lead to a sense of oppression and suppression of individuality. The shadow Sovereign may also become overly focused on maintaining power and control at the expense of the greater good. Even so, overall, this archetype represents the pinnacle of leadership and authority, and embodies the qualities of wisdom, strength, justice, and order that are essential for creating a healthy and harmonious society. (Read more about the archetypal shadows here.)

The Sovereign archetype can be associated with either the masculine or feminine principle and is usually depicted as a King or Queen: in other words, it can be embodied by female figures, such as Queens or Goddesses who radiate power and authority. As you can see, this archetype is closely related to the concept of monarchy, which is a form of government where a single individual, a King or Queen, holds supreme authority over a state or kingdom. In our world, this concept of archetypal leadership and supremacy may equate to leading a business, the family, an organisation, a circle of individuals with a common purpose, and so on.

In many cultures and mythologies, the King or Queen is believed to possess divine or supernatural powers, such as the ability to control the elements, communicate with the gods, or perform miracles.

Unsurprisingly, the Queen or King archetype is often depicted wearing regal attire, such as a crown, robe, or scepter, which symbolizes their status and authority. Some possible examples of the this archetype in fiction and real life might include Hilary Clinton, Mother Theresa, King Arthur, Odysseus, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and so on. Of course, you may be a Sovereign yourself, without having achieved the greatness or status of a world leader. The point is this: sovereign energy is about how you are present in the world, regardless of the extent to which you embody the King or Queen qualities within you. 

Video – The Sovereign in Life – Marianne Hill

In the video below, which was filmed in 2021, Marianne describes the Sovereign archetype in its fullness as the “Heart Centered Leader”. We will explain this in more detail later in this article.

And in an earlier interview recorded in 2017, Marianne uses the traditional term Sovereign (King or Queen) to refer to this archetype. You can read this interview here.

This archetype can also be found in contemporary figures, such as political leaders, business executives, and spiritual teachers who embody qualities of leadership, authority, and wisdom.

The Sovereign archetype can be used in personal growth and development as a way to cultivate qualities of leadership, responsibility, and integrity, and to tap into one’s inner wisdom and authority. It can also be used in therapeutic contexts as a way to work through issues of power and control, and to develop a more balanced and healthy relationship with authority.

What is the greatest virtue of the Queen and King archetypes?

The Sovereign – whether the Queen or King – archetype is a powerful and influential force within human consciousness. It represents the highest level of leadership and authority, and is often associated with qualities such as wisdom, compassion, and responsibility.

The greatest virtue of the Queen or King archetype is often considered to be the ability to lead with wisdom and compassion: a Sovereign is seen as a wise and just leader who is able to make decisions that benefit not only themselves, but also their subjects or followers.

This ability to lead with wisdom and compassion requires a deep understanding of human nature and a willingness to put the needs of others ahead of one’s own. Therefore, a Sovereign must be able to balance their own desires and interests with the needs of their followers, and must be willing to make difficult decisions that may not always be popular. The “greatest good of the greatest number” is a term which may apply here. The concept of making decisions without fear or favour is also relevant here.

In addition to wisdom and compassion, the Queen or King archetype is also associated with responsibility and accountability. The Sovereign is seen as a leader who takes responsibility for their actions and decisions, and who is willing to be held accountable for the well-being of their subjects or followers.

Overall, the greatest virtue of the Sovereign archetype is the ability to lead with wisdom, compassion, responsibility, and accountability. When this archetype is fully realized, it can inspire others to follow and create positive change in the world.

The Shadow of The Sovereign (King or Queen) Archetype

The shadow aspect of the Sovereign can manifest in several ways, such as an excessive focus on personal power, a disregard for the needs and welfare of the people, or a lack of empathy and compassion. Such shadows can show up as either “inflations” or “deflations” – terms which refers to the apparent levels of energy carried by a person who is not embodying the balanced energy of the archetype. 

Inflations and deflations

The Sovereign archetype is a powerful symbol of leadership, authority, and control. When this archetype is inflated, it can exhibit characteristics such as:

  • Arrogance: The inflated Queen or King archetype may exhibit a sense of superiority and entitlement, looking down upon others as beneath them.
  • Tyranny: An inflated Queen or King archetype may be prone to controlling behavior, micromanaging their subjects, and using fear and punishment as tools of control.
  • Narcissism: The inflated archetypal expression may exhibit self-centeredness, seeking adoration and praise, and expecting unquestioning loyalty from their subjects.
  • Impulsiveness: And inflation in this area of the personality may lead a person to act impulsively, without considering the consequences of their actions.

There is an interview with Doug Gillette, one of the authors of King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering The Archetypes Of The Mature Masculine, here. This interview covers some important issues, including:

  • The shadow aspects of the King Archetype and how we fall into shadow.
  • How Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a sad but perfect example of the King in its shadow.
  • How to return back to the King in its fullness.
  • Why the King Energy is the last many of us will earn access to.

On the other hand, when the Sovereign is deflated, it can exhibit characteristics such as:

  • Lack of confidence: A person who carries a deflated Queen or King archetype may struggle to assert their authority and may lack the confidence to make important decisions.
  • Ineffectiveness: When deflated energy manifests in this archetype, a person may struggle to lead effectively and may fail to inspire loyalty and respect from their subjects (in other words from those for whom they are responsible).
  • Insecurity: A deflated Sovereign may feel insecure in their role and may be prone to second-guessing themselves or seeking constant reassurance from others.
  • Indecisiveness: Deflation may cause a person to struggle to make decisions, often second-guessing themselves and seeking the opinions of others before taking action.

The King or Queen Archetype as “Heart Centred Leader”

The King or Queen archetype is often associated with leadership, for it represents a powerful and influential figure who is responsible for governing and providing for their community. However, some people refer to the Sovereign archetype as the “Heart Centered Leader” archetype because of its emphasis on qualities like compassion, wisdom, and generosity.

According to Jungian psychology, the Queen and King archetype represent the highest and most mature expression of the feminine and masculine psyche. This allows someone to embody a sense of responsibility and purpose that extends beyond the individual and encompasses the well-being of the entire community.

A Heart Centered Leader, similarly, is someone who leads with compassion, empathy, and a sense of purpose that extends beyond themselves. They prioritize the needs and concerns of their followers and seek to create a positive and inclusive environment that promotes growth and well-being.

Both the Queen and King archetype – whether known by that name or by the term “Heart Centered Leader” – emphasize qualities like wisdom, responsibility, and compassion, making them natural complements to one another. By embodying these archetypal energies, leaders can inspire trust and loyalty in their followers and create a sense of purpose and belonging that transcends individual needs and desires.

Finally, another aspect of Sovereign energy lies behind everyone’s sense of (or lack of) their mission, vision and purpose. We’ll take a look at this on another page of this site.