What part of me is being expressed with this archetype? This is my inner King or Queen. The part of me that has vision for my life and dares to dream big. My sovereign energy holds ideals- it considers what is the best possible world for me and provides the motivation to get me there. When I am following my heart, following my passion, I am expressing my sovereign archetype.

There is a lot of caring parental energy in this part of me. When I feel moved to support and nurture someone in need I am tapping into my sovereign energy. The ideal parent seeks to foster and bless their child, and may be ready and willing to sacrifice their own needs when accessing this sovereign place.

There is also a part of us that knows how to act, even before we fully believe we can do it. I think about starting my first day at a new job, part of me has to believe I can do it, even though I’m full of self doubt. I can feel like I am pretending. The image that comes to mind is the swan, gracefully moving across the water, while underneath her legs are working hard! That part of me that that will ‘fake it ‘til I make it’ we associate with the sovereign archetype.

In Shadow work we associate each of the four archetypes in our model with the four fundamental emotions we feel as humans. For the sovereign archetype the gateway emotion is happiness or joy. We say ‘gateway’ because when I feel happy or joyful I step up into my sovereign. It is not that this sovereign energy is particularly jolly- rather that after joy I feel replete, confident in my abilities, with a clear sense of agency: I feel sovereign. One interesting thing about this energy is the effect it has on others. It can be contagious: motivating others to do the same. It is also the quality that we naturally look for in leaders.

Leaders, when they do it well are a good example of people accessing sovereign energy. Caring parents, attentive and inspiring teachers, wise judges might be others. For each of the archetypes people can get unbalanced and lean too much into the energy the archetype offers. This is possibly a particular risk with sovereign energy. We are familiar with how power can corrupt people, and literature and legend has many examples of the king or queen becoming tyrannical and cruel.

When we remember that us humans are just animals, we can consider what animal instincts these human archetypes correspond to. There is a clear connection between the sovereign archetype and the instinctive ability in animals to recognise pack order. Who is the ‘alpha’, the leader of the pack?. Animals use this sense of hierarchy to limit unnecessary conflict: there is less need to fight if we all know where our position is in the pack. Likewise human groups work smoothly when people are able to recognise when its appropriate to lead, and when to follow.

When we do Shadow work we have tools, or techniques that we use to help people access different archetypal energies. It is our believe that people have within them every ability and skill that they need to navigate their lives. And sometimes we get stuck because we can’t access those parts of ourselves that would be most useful in the moment. To help people access their sovereign energy we will offer them support in some way. This is because we believe that when we have difficulty fully accessing our sovereign energy it is because we have a deep, shaming message that says ‘I am not good enough’. Support or blessing, without any conditions, is the tool we use to address this shaming message.

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