" When Peasants Become Kings (KWML Survey Results): " "



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King, Warrior, Magician, Lover

The Masculine Operating System

A unique primer on a beloved map of masculine archetypes, as laid out by Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette.


Carl Jung was a pioneer mapmaker. Not satisfied merely to be the student of Freud, he integrated Freud’s teachings on dreams and sexuality and ventured further into new and uncharted territories, into the deepest, darkest corners of the human psyche. Here, Jung uncovered the collective unconscious. This mysterious place seemed to carry imprints from every human being who ever lived, akin to being the psychological DNA of humanity. Therein he discovered archetypes.

The Greek tapped into the archetypal when they created/discovered their pantheon. Stories of Zeus, Hera, Prometheus, Hermes, Demeter, and Persephone reverberate in our culture even today. Despite its undeniable psychological genius, the Greek pantheon pales in number and diversity compared with the myriad archetypes that can be said to exist. As our civilization evolves and human evolution brings new lifestyles, careers and technologies into being, myriad individuals make fresh psychological deposits to the collective unconscious. New archetypes arise.

However, some archetypes are so primal, so all-encompassing, that they seem to form the bedrock of archetypal potential. They are original archetypes, ones out of which other types emerge.

The archetypes we will examine were mapped out by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, based on an initial mapping done for the feminine psyche by Toni Wolff, a client of and subsequently collaborator with Carl Jung.

They found that, at the most basic level, there exists only four archetypes, which they proceeded to place in an archetypal mandala. A mandala is a quadrated map of the cosmos – both the micro and the macro – found in all ancient cultures. The human mind seems drawn to the number four, be it related to directions, elements or quadrants of reality. This archetypal system aligns with that ancient tradition.

Any mandala has in its center a focal point. It may be a castle, a throne or a sacred mountain. In the human psyche, this center point is the archetypal Sovereign.

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We will now investigate this Sovereign and the archetypes that make up his mythological royal court.

The Structure of Archetypes

The bipolar Shadow of the Archetypes

Imagine a balloon. Without air, it’s a limp piece of rubber. As balloons go, it’s a bit crap. Tired of my crappy balloon, I inflate it. Now it’s over-inflated. The rubber is stretched; it won’t take much to make it pop. I inflate it a little more. The balloon bursts. I become sad. I find a new balloon and start over.

This is a simple metaphor, but it illustrates an important point: Too much air or too little air are both unbalanced states. The balloon fulfills its balloon potential most perfectly when it has the right amount of air inside, when it doesn’t explode (active shadow) or implode (passive shadow).

As individuals, most of us are caught in this pendulum swing between «too much» tand «too little». We try to find the perfect balance, but it seems so hard! We self-help ourselves to exhaustion – and still find ourselves trapped in the same back and forth. We end up frustrated.

How can this dynamic show up in our lives? After a lifetime of failing to protect my boundaries and of experiencing the self-loathing that comes with being a pushover, I one day say enough! I learn to set boundaries and say «no». But all of a sudden, I see threats everywhere. I get cross with people. I feel angry. My life fills with conflict.

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And thus I end up moving from being trapped by the passive shadow of the Warrior archetype (the Masochist) to being trapped by the active shadow (the Sadist). People who have been through a rebellion against their parents may nod their heads in recognition. In my enthusiasm to «repair my life», I don’t recognize that the two polarities are different expressions of the same problem.

Similar dynamics play out in our lives all the time, be they over time or within the same single moment. All human beings are affected and until the day our egos are 100% mature and integrated, a day which for most of us never arrives, we won’t escape. The intention behind this document is to make easily accessible this archetypal map, so that you get to familiarize yourself with the enormous forces that control you from the murky depths of «below». This, in turn, helps you deal with the awesome power of the archetypes in ways that are life-affirming and energizing.

But before we start to look at the archetypes, let’s clarify a few concepts and terms.

The Function of the Ego

The ego may be one of the human psyche’s most misunderstood structures. Phrases like «I want to get rid of my ego» or «he’s got too much ego» have become common, based, it seems, on Western misappropriations of the Eastern concept of Anatman (no-self).

This archetypal system shows us that such statements are based on a misunderstanding of what the ego is. I can’t have «too much ego». But I can have an immature ego, which is not fit to function as a healthy channel for archetypal energy. In other words, what I can have too much – or indeed too little – of is archetypal energy; I become trapped in the archetypal shadow.

When we think we experience the absence of ego, we are in reality experiencing the presence of mature ego. A mature ego doesn’t judge (it discerns), doesn’t project (it sees), doesn’t get trapped in emotional triggers (it knows itself). It functions as a finely tuned filter for archetypal energy, so that the amount that sifts through from the collective unconscious is just right. This is why ego development is related to the ascending arrow on the diagram above; only with a growth in ego maturity do we leave archetypal shadow behind and fulfill our human potential.

A healthy ego is a requirement for psychological maturity. Attempts to «kill the ego» risk taking us far into archetypal shadow, which many spiritual groups and practitioners are examples of.

The tension Arcs of the Archetypes

Among the archetypes, we find polarity pairs. These pairs exchange a particularly powerful psychological energy and the dance between them are a paradoxical dance of opposites blending into a higher synthesis.

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E.g. the Warrior’s desire for healthy boundaries and his ability to protect them combined with the Lover’s desire for merging with Other represent one of these paradoxes. This is a complex topic, one which Moore and Gillette have not written about in length. I have my own personal experience with them, however, and so, I’m sure, do you.

Child Archetypes and adult Archetypes

The Sovereign, Warrior, Magician, Lover archetypes develop in adulthood. The psychological energy they represent grows out of corresponding child archetypes. In order of correspondence, these are the Divine Child, the Hero, the Precocious child and the Oedipal child. As opposed to the archetypes of adulthood, we move through the archetypes of childhood in a linear sequence.

We start life as the Divine Child, move into the domain of the Precocious child before we end up in the Hero by way of the Oedipal Child. This is clearly a simplification of a complex reality and there may also be differences between men and women here (this system is developed for the masculine psyche, but since all women have an inner man, an animus, it’s relevant also for them).

Gateway Emotions

Each archetype is connected to a gateway emotion. This teaching is not part of Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette’s original work, but it’s utilized with success in organizations like The Mankind Project. The gateway emotions are the same as those we call «primary emotions». A primary emotion is a bedrock emotion which cannot be described as a combination of other emotions.

The primary emotions are: Joy, anger, fear and grief (this is supported by science). These are gateway emotions to archetypal energy. The more we develop a healthy relationship with these emotions, the more in touch we are with the corresponding archetypes.

Additionally, in my research, I have discovered that each archetype is associated with its own unique version of shame.

What is Reclaim your Inner Throne really?
Reclaim your Inner Throne is a body of work and a community of men. Though the beating heart is the 3-month men’s initiation, which was designed to begin where other trainings end. It’s intense, and it works. For you as well. We run it twice a year, and you’re welcome.
For more: www.inner-throne.com/initiation

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The King

Mature archetype Blessing, an affirming gaze, compassion, a genuine wish for the happiness of others, inclusivity, tolerance, the ability to help others see their own inherent worth, structure, vision, harmony, psychological cohesion.
Active shadow The Tyrant: Comes down on all threats. A middle manager that doesn’t want his employees to flourish (because he’s afraid they’ll replace him). A father that actively opposes the growth and happiness of his children. A tyrant seeks to «steal the throne» in the inner geography of his fellow beings, so that they come to depend on him. Reacts with enormous anger when confronted. Is terrified of her own weakness and feels enormously threatened by representations of the Divine Child. Examples: Edward the Longshanks (Braveheart movie), Kim Jong-Il, Hitler, Idi Amin, countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Passive shadow The Weakling: Rejects responsibility for his own life. Dares not lead and instead blames others. Abdicates his throne and blames whoever sits there in his place. It’s easier to be a victim than to be responsible. Examples: Commodus (Ridley Scott’s Gladiator), King John of England (Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood), CEOs during the financial crisis of 2008.
Purpose To live his dharma to bring order and blessing to the kingdom.
Gateway emotion Joy
Libidinal symbol Scepter
Shame >«I don’t belong/I’m broken»
Element Earth
Tension arc Towards Magician (& the element of air)

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Grows out of The Divine Child: The world is an adventure, full of joy and opportunity. Full of wonder and purity, representing everything good about creation (such children are sometimes represented with a halo in paintings). When we’re out of touch with the play and wonderment of the Divine Child, we lose touch with our inner Sovereign, as well as our psychological harmony and the vision for our lives.

Examples: Baby Jesus, baby Moses, baby Krishna, baby Buddha, the little child whose eyes you gaze into, only to have the timeless, ageless mystery gaze back at you.
Ego development I make peace with my parents. I love and respect them, but don’t view them as people who define who I am. My father is a man amongst many, with his challenges and gifts. My mother is a woman amongst many, with her challenges and gifts. I thank them for their contributions and now release them, in order to more fully love them. And as a free man, I support them as their twilight draws closer. If they are dead, I remember them with love and forgiveness. The cycle of life moves on.

I examine my inner throne. Who sits there? Have I made another person the authority of my life? Does Mum or Dad sit there? Does a spiritual teacher sit there? A successful businessman? A coach? I choose to reclaim my inner throne. I choose, from this day forward, to accept ultimate responsibility for my life. I cease the blame game and take charge of my own destiny. This does in no way make me arrogant. It makes me humble.

I bless others. I see and affirm the goodness of others. I offer authentic compliments. I mirror other people’s positive qualities back to them.

I live out my life purpose. I get intimate with the meaning of my life. I know it is what I make of it. And I know that, as death draws near, I will ask myself this question: Did I live well? In order to face death peacefully, I live well.

I find inner peace. I live my own personal dharma in the world. By being true in word and deed, and in tune with the needs of my environment, I stop fearing others. I have nothing to hide. I know myself and my values. I am myself fully and never say something about a person that I couldn’t say to a person. The drama of life ceases and I find inner peace.

I create life and community. A mysterious force grows in me. It is creative. It feels abundant. It wants to share. I gather people around me. I build community. I create life. My family, friends and associates flourish. I live to serve them. They are the purpose of my existence.

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The Warrior

Mature archetype Discipline, focus and mastery of the physical. Sees great challenge and goes to face it. Dedicates his life to a transpersonal ideal, given him by the Sovereign. Dares where others chicken out. Endures. Willing to step outside of her comfort zone. Fights evil wherever it exists. Sets and protects boundaries. Sacrificies his own health for a worthy cause («All I ever wanted was something worth fighting for», Jake Sully, Avatar).
Active shadow The Sadist: Enjoys the suffering of others and feels more alive in a position of domination. Behind the rapist and acts of revenge. He beats his kids, for they should not become pathetic losers. He confronts and sets boundaries even when it’s not needed, because he feels more alive in conflict than in tolerance. He hates all the weak and pathetic people of the world (for they remind him of himself). Examples: Darth Vader, the Shabiha of Syria, the Spanish Inquisition, hazing, the slaughter of civilians in the Vietnam War.
Passive shadow The Masochist: Dares not have his own opinions. Dares not defend what he believes in. He feels empty – without vitality. He projects Warrior-energy onto others and gets afraid of them. He experiences others as stronger than him and lets them compromise his boundaries. When sufficiently challenged, he flips to the Sadist. Examples: Passive aggression, couch potatoes, large parts of the New Age movement, people suffering from burnout (often a result of an inner critic sadism).
Purpose To serve and protect
Gateway emotion Anger
Libidinal symbol Sword
Shame >«I’m weak and lazy»
Element Fire
Tension arc Towards Lover (& the element of Water)

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Grows out of The Hero. Life is full of trials and the world full of dragons. They must be overcome! It will be a hard battle and I will be challenged. I may lose my life in the process, but without my contribution and sacrifice, others may suffer. I take on the challenge and when I return, everyone will celebrate me and bestow upon me all the honor and glory that I rightly deserve. Only with danger lurking around the corner do I feel alive. Release the dragons – I am ready! Examples: Beowulf, common among athletes and military personnel.
Ego development I dedicate my life to a transpersonal cause. My life is no longer about me and my needs. My King/Queen looked me in the eye, blessed me and gave me a task. I’ve seen evil and it must be conquered! Every day, in my inner and outer dojo, I sharpen my sword and prepare for the inevitable confrontation with the forces that wish to harm the balance of the world.

I master my thoughts. Through meditation and insight into my own mortality, I discover a deep presence and alertness in my life. I set clear goals and follow through. My thoughts are a terrible master, but an excellent servant. They serve me well.

I am intense. My life is full of energy. Sometimes I’m seen as being angry; not everyone can tell the difference between anger and intensity. Anger is my response to a boundary that has already been compromised. Through anger, I open the door to my power, but once the door is open, I can release my anger and let intensity take its place. My intensity scares away those who would seek to attack my land. It sometimes scares others too. I have space for that. But I will not be less intense just to make them more comfortable. A powerful force pulsates in my veins. I am alive!

I set clear boundaries. No man can seek to harm me without facing the consequences. No man can attack my ideals and transpersonal goals and fail to know that I serve good and am willing to fight for it. As a Warrior with presence, I know immediately when chaos threatens my boundaries. I do not wait to confront it. I swing my sword immediately, cleanly and precisely. This keeps the poison of repressed anger and bitterness at bay.

I master my physique. I train in the martial arts. I grow my stamina and my strength. A life without physical activity is a life with less vitality. And with my goals, I need all the vitality I can get. Only through mastering my body can I reach my goals.

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The Magician

Mature archetype Masters technology and gains insight into the great mystery of the Universe. Has wisdom and intuition and knows the art of alchemy: he turns wounds into gold. Knocks on death’s door and moves, like Jonah through the whale, through the valley of death – before he returns reborn. Is intimate with the «sacred geography of madness», which makes him a master of transformation. Through study, she finds the answers required to penetrate the deepest mysteries. Teaches, designs, constructs and heals.
Active shadow The Manipulator: Wishes to see others fail so as to convince himself that he is still better, wiser, more accomplished. Uses his intuition to play the cards in ways that disempowers and dishonors others. Seeks knowledge in order to see how things fit together, so that he can better manipulate others. He knows the lay of the land and how to wield power over others from the shadows. Examples: Rupert Murdoch, Gollum, Saruman, many gender researchers, radical feminists, Lucifer in his trickster aspect, Donald Trump.
Passive shadow The «Innocent one»: «Never acts out of ill intent». «Is always well intentioned». Polished and hard to grasp. Uses words without conveying meaning. Sows doubt about your feelings of having been manipulated. Does not want to be responsible; acts only to prevent others from shining too much. Examples: Gollum (when Sam confronts him), Donald Trump (denying he said things when confronted with his statements), people who plead innocence when they are guilty.
Purpose Bring transformation through wielding the forces of technology, nature and that which is arcane.
Gateway emotion Fear
Libidinal symbol The Magician staff
Shame >«I’m stupid/incompetent»
Element Air
Tension arc Towards Sovereign (& the element of Earth)

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Grows out of The Precocious child. A kid isn’t old when he first starts asking questions about everything between heaven and earth. He wants to know things that most adults have stopped wondering about and sometimes says things that appear enormously insightful, even spiritually enlightened. With a sense of wonderment about the world rarely found in adults, the child maps out his surroundings. If his surroundings respect, encourage and participate in this process, a strong foundation for an adult Magician is created. Examples: The child that asks about everything, the child with deep spiritual insights, child prodigies, young Mozart.
Ego development I master technology. Technology lets me contribute to the world in the way I most desire. I feel freedom in knowing the technological possibilites at my disposal and choose to master them in order to contribute with knowledge, transformation and healing.

study and then share my wisdom. I have thought, studied and contemplated for years. I have a wisdom to share. It is my pleasure and my calling to teach, to contribute to the lives of others. It gives my life meaning.

I map out the inner geography of humanity. Many are the paths upon which I have walked in the mysterious woods of my interior geography. I know the landscape, have walked its ways. If you want left in the intersection over there, I know what you will find around the corner. I see past the superficial and into the true nature of phenomena.

I trust my intuition. I have a voice that speaks inside of me, which I have learned to trust. When I act in accordance with it, magic and synchronicity manifest in my life.

I am a master of transformation. Many a time in my life have I died and resurrected. Many visits in the Valley of the shadow of death have given me insights into what lives in the dark abyss of the human mind. Many a time have I danced and cooked in the sacred geography of madness and emerged transformed. These experiences allow me to hold you and your process with wisdom. I give you space to explore your trauma and wounds. You are safe here. Your identity as you know it, however, is not.

I become one with the Mystery. I have much experience with the art of transcendence and liberation. My consciousness takes me through the thin veil of illusions and from the other side, I see the drama of life clearly. I am in life, but not of the mundane world. I am at home in the great Mystery of the Cosmos, integrating ever more fully into the silent hum at the base of existence that resonates into infinity.

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The Lover

Mature archetype Sensuality, sexuality, dance, song, art, culture, flow, sensual delight, softness, vulnerability, openness, intimacy, beauty, ecstasy.
Active shadow The Addict: Feels alive only when stimulated. Since he has not yet discovered the source of beauty and satisfaction inside, he seeks it in sex, wine, art, music – in large quantities. Maybe he falls prey to alcoholism or substance abuse. Maybe he feels empty and needs sex or other stimuli to feel «full». Doesn’t comprehend cause and effect and believes what he seeks is outside himself. Examples: The «pickup » approach to dating, elements of «The Secret», parts of New Age, alcoholism, overeating, consumer society.
Passive shadow The Impotent: Devoid of vitality, does not see beauty anywhere, least of all in himself. Represses sexuality and is generally sexually passive. Examples: The archetypal nerd, academics lost in rationality, Anders Behring Breivik, «40 year old virgin», feminist women that have become frozen, people who never cry.
Purpose To answer the call of eros, into sensual communion with the present moment as well as the Beloved and creation itself.
Gateway emotion Grief
Libidinal symbol Tree of Life
Shame >«I don’t deserve to be loved»
Element Water
Tension arc Towards Warrior

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Grows out of The Oedipal child: Early on in life, children start bonding erotically to the parent of the opposite sex. This phase is enormously important and lays the foundation for a healthy sexuality later on in life. The boy will try to merge with Mother and the girl will try to merge with Father (capitalized as the intended merger is with the archetypal). If the parents are uncomfortable with the eroticism of their children, their rejection of it will cause huge trauma in the archetypal Loverquadrant. Many adult lives are completely shaped by such early experiences. As adults, such people may question if they are worthy of love. Examples: A little boy who gets an erection while hugging his mother, a child that moves in nature and suddenly feels one with it.
Ego development I love dance, music and song. When I express myself and my creative power, I feel enormous joy arise inside of me.

I enjoy the pleasures of the tongue: Whether with wine, chocolate or naked skin, I enjoy the sensual pleasure my tongue gives me.

I open up and reveal my vulnerability. I know that when I dare open up and show those parts of me which are vulnerable and «young», I experience stronger intimacy with the people in my life as well as with myself. It is a true path to my own heart.

I love to touch. To give and receive loving touch is one of my life’s biggest joys. Leaving the world of thought, I enter the sensual joy of the moment.

I take my time. When I drink wine, I do so slowly. When I eat chocolate, I do so slowly. When I make love, I do so slowly. I have outgrown the desire for instant gratification and choose to postpone my (peak) orgasm, the swallowing of the wine and the chewing of the chocolate. Only by feeding my senses slowly do I feel truly «full» when done.

I surrender. Faced with the beauty of my partner and the world, I surrender myself. I let beauty penetrate my being so fully that it blows the doors of my heart wide out. As the miracle of life penetrates the cells of me body, I weep with joy.

I become One with creation. As I become one with Other, I feel my final longing: The dissolution of my self in the infinite ocean of the great All. The Other may be nature, a lover, an ideal. The Other is the gateway to the All. I feel no separation. I am you. I am the animals, the sky above. As the remnants of my small self are washed away in bliss, I feel one with Everything.

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Your results

Below you will find the results from your survey, as well as suggestions for how to move forward from where you currently are.

Healthy King
Healthy Warrior
Halthy Magician
Healthy Lover

King - Weakling

Your King energy appears to be tilted towards the Weakling subtype. Men who are possessed by the Weakling are paranoid and suspicious of others. Weaklings are somewhat passive and don’t set out to control others, but rather believe that others are plotting against them and trying to control them.

Your next steps

In order to gain access to healthier King energy, you must be open to other perspectives and learn to let go of the inflated self-image that led to these persecutory fantasies in the first place.

Warrior - Sadist

Your Warrior energy appears to be tilted towards the Sadist subtype. Men under the influence of the Sadist have a tendency to act aggressively towards others and humiliate them in order to prove that they are strong and fearsome. They do so because, deep down, they are unsure of their own self-worth and are afraid that no one would like them if they let their macho façade down.

Your next steps

To gain access to healthier Warrior energy, you need to give feelings a place in your life and be more considerate of others.

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Magician - The <>

Your Magician energy appears to be tilted towards the Innocent One subtype. A man under the sway of the Innocent One remains childlike and innocent well into adulthood. He does this as defense against feelings of incompetence or a bad conscience that he has never truly developed his talents. Because the Innocent One is bothered by an awareness that his skills are incomplete, he tends to disrupt the specialized talents of other men by pulling them down to his own immature level.

Your next steps

To access healthier Magician energy, you need to detach yourself from the notion that the competencies of other men somehow diminish yours.

Lover - Healthy Lover

Your Lover energy appears to be that of a healthy and balanced Lover. You know how to enjoy the many pleasures life has to offer and are deeply in touch with intuitive domains lost to many men (such as emotion, feeling, idealism, and sensuality). You experience all of these without losing yourself in them and find that when you cultivate these domains you become adept at reading people and social cues. It is through these abilities that you are able to connect and get along with others to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Your next steps

Continue as you are.

Your Greatest Area for Growth - Lover

The Lover archetype covers not just those who are open to erotic desire and romantic relationships, but also a general appreciation of life. According to Gillette and Moore, all true artists are in touch with the Lover. Men with access to Lover energy can enjoy the many pleasures of life – from great food and warm friendships to the magnificence of nature – in ways that others cannot. Lover energy should not be seen as superficial or selfish hedonism (as our present culture does), but as participation the mystical unity that underpins all of life. In other words, the man accessing the Lover is in touch with his surroundings in a way that lends meaning to the life of both himself and others.

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Closing Words

Thank you for reading through Peasants become Kings. I hope it served you and contributed to your greater understanding of not only archetypes, but the process of transformation itself.

I’d like to remind you at this point that this archetypal summary is my own interpretation of the original work of Dr. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, arrived at through a decade of both theoretical and empirical research of the material.

Other people may have a different angle on this system of archetpyes, however. So my encouragement to you is to not treat this material as literal truth. Treat it as a tremendously valuable contribution to your life on this planet. Make it yours.

If you would like to dive more deeply into the material held in this document, you can browse through the materials on Reclaim your Inner Throne blog and Masculinity-Movies.com. But if you're sick of reading and want to start taking action, we have free and paid courses, including 6 Week Ultimate Intro to Masculine Archetypes (self study course - free to Sanctuary community members) and the 3 Month Men's Initiation (live group participation). We would love to see you there.

Warm regards and many blessings,
Eivind Figenshau Skjellum
Founder of Reclaim your Inner Throne

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