While there are more than enough real life examples of how the four major archetypes play out in our lives, few, if any, are more visible or useful than the shadows of the king as played out by the man who currently holds the highest public office in the land.
Played out on the world's stage for all to see, the shadows of Trump's King archetype are the same shadows - our dark sides - we all express to some degree or other. In Trump's case, it a very big "other, indeed.
The shadows of the King are the tyrant - the active shadow of the king - and the weakling - the passive shadow of the king.
Manifestations of the tyrant include bullying, aggressive and negative behaviors, and resentment. How they show up determines whether the shadow plays out as active or passive. Trump exhibits both at different times.
Trump's tyrant thinks he knows it all and will not listen to anyone else. In the end, he will either be overthrown or just ignored. This will come at a terrible price not just for just the person concerned but, sometimes, in the case of authoritarian rulers, whole countries who will suffer. The tyrant has no conception of service to those under his care, so this fall is inevitable. He has never "followed his bliss" and so cannot bear to see anyone else follow theirs.
The polar opposite of the tyrant is the weakling. The weakling would rather go sulk in the corner than stand up for what he believes in. He may go off and lie on the beach in Bali for years, thinking he is being really cool but in reality not having a clue what his life is about. Whilst not as destructive as the tyrant, he is still of no use to the world as he is giving nothing.
Trumps' weakling - the passive shadow of the king - cannot bring himself to fire a subordinate face-to-face, but rather, has to resort to "tweeting" so he doesn't have to look them in the eye. He wants everyone to see this as him being powerful when in reality he performs an obviously cowardly act of a spoiled child.
And while using Twitter to destroy his enemies, when you put pressure on the weakling king, he will jump to the polar opposite of the tyrant, screaming abuse to all those around him. The weakling and the tyrant can be very close friends.
If you know someone who is out of touch with their king archetype, ask yourself who dominates them? The ones who dominate Trump are the ones he attacks the most. They are the ones who own him, even though they are powerless and he has all the power. They are the ones who get the blame for everything that is not right in the shadow king's life. His child-like narcissistic ego requires that he not only attack, but demolish those he deems his enemies.
He can’t help being dominated by them. They trigger him when he doesn’t get his way or when they manage to accidentally – or on purpose - touch upon his deepest unowned shadows and his wounded elements that he can’t even see, and denies even when someone hauls them out and he’s forced to look at them. That’s when both the tyrant and the weakling are most vulnerable. It’s also when they are the most dangerous.
Other leaders found in foreign governments, corporations, and politics, who understand the workings of humanity’s deep psychological connection to these mythological archetypes, will find it fairly easy to manipulate the boy/king for their own purposes, seemingly supporting the king’s power plays while all the while serving the interests of their own shadow king in a never-ending cycle of psychopathy, treachery and greed.
So what are we to do? Many of us - in a horrific awakening – have shockingly awakened to the reality that a third of us are perfectly content to support authoritarian leadership, even at the expense of the U.S. Constitution and democracy itself in favor of power, hatred, crony capitalism, oligarchy, and fascist rule. We are not going to change their minds.
It’s up to the rest of us. Simply waking up is not enough. We must also awaken to action, or Sacred Activism. We’ve got to take the Democratic Party back to its roots of being the party of the people, instead of the party of Corporate Lite. We need to get real. We need to stop thinking power is an inherently evil thing. It’s what we do with power that is good or bad. We need to stop fighting power and being squeamish about taking that power and wielding it to do good.
Nothing gets done without power, and no one is going to give us power. Power must be taken. The one-third of the country that supports the current administration is not going to give us what we want just because we marched, signed a petition, or called our congressman’s office. It’s not enough to be right. We need to be winning.
And what, then, happens when we win?
We start to lay some Tough Love on the Boy Who Would be King, and set about helping create a better world that works for everyone. The archetypal role of the King in mythology is to oversee the well-being of their kingdom. These times require that we all become benevolent kings and It’s going to take all of us.
Where can you take power?