The King Role (Soul type)
– Theory 13% of the
Positive Traits: Benevolent, Charismatic, Commanding, Composed, Comprehensive, Expert, Gentle, Inspires loyalty, Magnanimous, Masterful, Natural leader, Perfectionist, Stable, Strategist, Trouble-shooter
Negative Traits: Arrogant, Controlling, Demanding, Extravagant, Haughty, Heartless, Inflexible, Intolerant, Overbearing, Ruthless, Tyrannical
An action role, the King is directed toward exercising leadership over self, over other people, and over situations. The King is inherently fulfilled by being in positions where he has established dominion. He wants to be recognized as the master. The fulfillment of his nature is to “call the shots”. The satisfaction of his essence is to be out in front of others, or ahead of the circumstances. A King sees himself as a sovereign, and other people as his subjects. The archetypal, naturally occurring instance of this is of course a literal king, monarch, prince, queen, potentate, or emperor.
Kings are the rarest of the Roles, according to Michael, and I also have found this to be so. But even so, there are not enough thrones available for each one of them. So where in modern society, where there are few actual thrones to be filled, could a King fulfill his Role? There are still many political and business positions that need the natural talent for administration that a King possesses. Quite often Kings run for public office because government is obviously the main arena of events wherein a King can exercise his initiative.
Kings revel in the process of being first and foremost in making things happen, and the best place for this is in politics. The business world, especially big business, also fulfills the career desires of many a King. They love to work hard as they climb the corporate ladder, honing their natural ability to lead, till they arrive at the top executive position. Others, in other Roles, recognize this innate talent for rulership, and defer to it willingly. Even as children, Kings easily assume ascendancy over their peers, or are given leadership positions among their peers by their elders.
Besides government office (mayor, councilman, senator, president, and so on) and business administration (executive, chief operating officer, chairman of the board, and so on) and depending on his Overleaves and other personality factors, a King might find meaningful leadership possibilities in such careers as school principal, sports coach, hotel manager, orchestra conductor, team captain, military officer, airline pilot, office supervisor, sales manager, religious leader, church official, guru, sheriff or police chief, union steward, factory foreman, and so on. In whatever occupation a King finds himself, he will generally apply a measure of rulership and leadership to it, even if he is not in a position of authority. A King can fit into most any job situation where he has the potential to gain mastery over it. Otherwise he will not find it fulfilling.
“King” is an apt title given by Michael for this Role. Actual kings expect others to pay homage to them. When the subjects of the realm come into the presence of the king, they are expected to demonstrate their respect and allegiance. And so it is with Kings. Whether they realize it on a conscious level or not, they view the world as their kingdom, their principality, their domain. They see other people as their subjects who should be loyal and obedient. A King want to be “the leader of the pack”. He wants to be “on top of the heap”. If necessary to do this, he might find a smaller puddle for himself to be a bigger fish in.
Down through history, Kings and Warriors have been a complementary team when it came to running the empire. The Kings were in the leadership positions, whether on the throne or in some other governing body. They made the decisions about what should be done, and determined what the laws of the realm were. The job of implementing the decisions and enforcing the laws was given to the Warriors, the loyal and disciplined policemen and soldiers of the realm.
There is something about Kings that they feel they must always be first. If someone else should come up with an original idea for an activity, Kings tend to regard them as presumptuous usurpers and rebellious subjects seeking to overthrow them. A King will often ignore or impugn the attempts of others in his presence to assume leadership. After all, is it not they who have the natural right to this activity? In previous centuries this attitude was even formalized as the “divine right of kings” to rule. And yes, in fact it is their inherent prerogative in a cosmic sense. They are truly the essence of initiative, the Origination Process.
Kings are, metaphorically speaking, the arms of the body of mankind. It is indeed their domain to direct the actions and events of life. Of the Roles, Kings are most in touch with the initiation of action, the influx of events, the incipient trends of life. They are in some sense the primary representatives of the Source, the Cause of events in the world. However, a wise King will know that he is not the only one who has this privilege, and will allow others their rights also. This is one of the differences between the Positive Pole of Mastery and the Negative Pole of Tyranny. A King in Mastery seeks triumph, victory and success in every life situation, but not at the expense of others. A King in Tyranny will walk over others, or climb over others, to get to the top. In either case, winning is the most important thing in a King’s life — to be champion, to outrace, to surpass, to gain supremacy, to be crowned.
This need in a King to always be the master in any situation can be a source of frustration for others around him. Everybody else has to take a back seat to the man in the driver’s seat. He controls, guides, and steers the vehicle where he wants it to go. A King in Tyranny may even set up roadblocks for other drivers who would seek to out-race him. No one else but the King himself (in Tyranny) is allowed to receive the credit for a novel suggestion. You can see how this might cause trouble in a family situation, with a mate or children who have some need to exercise their own initiative. To follow a tyrant might be acceptable for a totally passive personality, but few people are that weak.
If Kings have a typical physical appearance, it would be that their stature may be imposing or distinctive. This would obviously further their success-oriented nature. Even if they are not physically prominent or outstanding, they are still often regal in their bearing. There is something about them that commands one’s respect and deference when one is in their presence. It is like coming before the throne of a literal royal personage. At least, Kings would like people to respond to them this way.
This inherent characteristic of a King shows up in the fact that, as indicated by Michael, he finds it very difficult to ask for help. He must almost become disabled before he will allow himself to receive assistance. A King is, after all, the master, isn’t he? Above all, he must be strong and not show any weakness. Of the Roles, this one is most likely to be willful and headstrong. There is nothing that upsets a King more than to loose control of himself or his situation, and to have to ask for help.
On the other hand, this very quality of a King, to need to be in charge of everything, means that he takes responsibility well. He naturally assumes that he is the leader wherever he is. Therefore he blames himself when things under his supervision go wrong. The highest manifestation of the King is when he leads his followers in the right direction, and has learned to rule with knowledge, wisdom, compassion, intelligence, justice, and love. A matured King is the most likely Role to fulfill everyone’s ideal of the archetypal father-figure.
In some sense, the King’s goal and purpose in life is to exercise dominance, whether or not he has the Goal of Dominance. He is very much concerned with the issue of “who’s in charge here”, because he wants to be in charge wherever he is, and in whatever situation he finds himself. He will always seek to initiate the sequence of events. If he cannot do it with Leadership, he does it with Dictatorship. Likewise, a King usually exhibits behavior reminiscent of the Aggression Mode -dynamic, driving, forceful, and direct action.
He propels himself to the head of the line with assertiveness and vitality. In his haste to be innovative and resourceful, a King often seems as if he has the Feature of Impatience. He can be rash and impetuous in his quest for ascendancy. Also, like a Realist, the King is attuned to what is new in the world. He pays much attention to the behavior of things and events. He sees the world as a constantly changing scenario, and he is in fashion with the current trends thereof. It is his nature to be at the forefront of events, if not the actual originator of the events. A King regards himself as the prime mover in the universe, which is very like the Moving Center. He takes responsibility for his own functions and the activities of those around him. He likes to keep physically busy at all times. The Origination Process manifests in life and willpower. The King is inherently gifted with an abundance of liveliness and vigorousness.
Michael said that Kings do not like it when they are females. As mentioned above, the King is the ultimate father-figure, the essence of masculinity. It is indeed difficult for women in our society, if they are inherently needful of exercising dominion as a King is, to find fulfillment of this desire in a woman’s body. This activity is frustrated in our culture because it is considered masculine, not feminine. My use of the pronoun “he” in this section should not be construed as approval of this social attitude. It is merely a convenience and convention of our English language. It would not surprise me to learn that many of the leaders of the feminist movements in this and other times were Kings.
A number of famous individuals who are or were Kings, and very obviously so, includes: John F. Kennedy (president), Dwight Eisenhower (general), Thomas Jefferson (statesman), Lorenzo de Medici (patron), and Catherine the Great (queen).
— Phil Wittmeyer
KING-SERVER: This is probably the most comfortable pairing for kings. Kings like to be served; they feel that it frees them to serve the masses themselves. The seven and the one are two extremes, but in a sense they are right next to each other, too, if you make a circle out of the seven numbers. Kings serve in an exalted way—they serve the kingdom, looking at what is best for the overall picture.
They do not feel that they have time for the mundane. That doesn’t mean that they are lazy; it just means that they are occupied in other ways. So they like being served, and servers are generally thrilled to serve a king. However, in some of these pairings, servers get the short end of the stick. Kings can overwhelm and repress servers, which, of course, is not growthful for either role. Kings need to appreciate and respect the value of the service (positive pole of server) that servers render. Servers do not command respect, and usually do not demand it, either. Ideally, they inspire it. But they can be taken for granted, which is not to anyone’s benefit. It is hard for any role to feel that it can add something to kings; they seem complete—they are already the number seven role. But being in the number one position, servers are the role that comes closest to being able to add something to kings.
KING-ARTISAN: Artisan-king is an unusual combination in terms of mates; it is not so much a matter of opposites attracting, as with artisan-warrior. Do not take us too literally or make too much of this generalization, but it can be that because artisans and kings are so different—not merely opposite—they feel that the other is from a different planet. There is just not much overlap, whereas kings and servers can overlap much better because their thrusts are complementary. Would you say that artisan-king is probably the most polar of any of the pairings, more than priest-warrior, in the sense of being non-overlapping?
We would probably agree to that, although it is a close call. Priests and warriors run into a similar problem, but we would say there is more attraction between priests and warriors than between artisans and kings. Artisans and kings do not tend to magnetize each other; they do not tend to push each other’s buttons that much, either—they just tend to occupy different realms. Warriors and priests do tend to push each other’s buttons, as do warriors and artisans. This dynamic is also true internally of kings with artisan essence twins, and vice versa.
These energies combined in the same person can create a dichotomy, a sense of energies that do not have too much to do with each other. So let’s say that a king has a discarnate artisan essence twin and has artisan casting, so he is an “honorary artisan” and has strong artisan influences; however, his artisan side is like a separate subpersonality. The exception to this is when seeking mastery (positive pole of king) in a craft or in any area of technique, such as making or fixing things. Also, most kings sometimes use artisans as a resource in order to gain desired mastery, since artisans tend to inherently know how to do many things. However, kings may be a little exasperated when trying to learn from artisans, because artisans cannot necessarily teach well, and kings tend to be impatient—they want to be given steps: one, two, three—”This is what you have to do to master this.” Nonetheless, kings know that artisans do have the mastery they seek, and if they are smart, they just watch, observe, and pick up the desired skill from artisans more intuitively.
KING-WARRIOR: Warrior-king is also generally an excellent combination. There tends to be mutual understanding and respect. Warriors see the leadership ability of kings, their ability to encompass the large picture of things—something warriors cannot necessarily do very well—so there is admiration, even awe, of this. But kings can greatly appreciate warriors’ ability to dig in and do what needs to be done, in a way that kings may not do; kings may be waiting to delegate to someone else. (They may do the thing if no one shows up, sometimes reluctantly, and then may feel irritated about it.) So this is a quite complementary combination, usually generating a lot of loyalty. There are no real major problems in this combination.
There can be some huge fights, just as there can be between two warriors, but as long as the fights stay under control so that there is no demonstrated disloyalty or taking advantage of a known vulnerability in the other, these relationships are quite resilient in the face of a lot of fighting. (Deliberately bringing up a person’s most vulnerable place in order to get the better of him is considered unfair play.) Incidentally, artisans generally try to avoid fighting, and cannot handle it well in matings with warriors and kings. They can be confusing fighting partners for warriors and kings because they do not fight like warriors and kings do. They can be quite creative, subversive, and manipulative about it, often coming from left field. But artisans typically avoid conflict in the first place, and this can also be a problem in their relationships with warriors and kings, especially, who often like to bring their conflicts fully out into the open. Sages and priests can better hold their own with warriors and kings than artisans or servers can when there is a disagreement.
Servers typically react in fights with warriors and kings by trying to smooth things over. Like artisans, it is not in their nature to fight, but if they think that someone’s basic needs are threatened, they will go to bat, and they can be quite persistent—persistence is their main fighting technique. For example, if they see that a child is being abused, they can be like a little mouse at the toes of an elephant, staying with the problem until something is done. However, wherever they can, they placate.
KING-SCHOLAR: Scholars and kings generally get along. Scholars tend to respect—not so much love—kings, but may not understand why kings can become impatient with them when they have trouble getting to the point, as they often do. Kings can master information quickly, which scholars like, and kings can match scholars’ intellect. But kings tend to be generalists, whereas scholars might settle down to fifty years of studying one insect genus. Because scholars find this focused study to be so interesting, they may be hurt if kings do not share their fascination. They know that if kings do share their interest, kings can promulgate this interest near and far. But kings generally don’t cooperate, and scholars can be impatient with this just as kings can be impatient with too much detail. Kings, though, are usually smart enough to recognize the necessity of scholars’ contributions. So it tends to be a good solid relationship, if a little more distant than some others.
KING-SAGE: Sages and kings can also get along very well. They do not tend to compete, as you might think they would. Sages can successfully convince kings to let down their hair and not be “on duty” all the time, although even then, even when recreating, kings do not tend to go off duty completely. Also, sages love to advise kings, to give information. However, if kings are in their negative pole, tyranny (negative pole of king), it can quickly bring sages into their negative pole, oration (negative pole of sage), because in tyranny kings are not really listening to sages’ advice. Then sages may start to bluster in order to try to make kings listen, to try to get through. Also, sages, like artisans, like to live a little bit by the seat of their pants; they do not like to toe the line. So if kings become bossy, there can be some big fights between kings and sages. I think of the archetype of the court jester and king—it could be quite volatile and fraught with drama. Right.
Since sages are a cardinal role, they can generally hold their own with kings, unless they have a goal of submission, or goal of acceptance, which makes it harder for sages to fight. This combination works best when kings’ overleaves are relatively soft. But sages generally do not mind fighting with kings, and kings may secretly admire the sages’ repartee. Kings may feel that they can learn something from sages’ retorts or insights.
KING-PRIEST: Surprisingly, priests and kings do not compete in the same way that priests and sages tend to. These two roles add up to thirteen, yet they are not competing for the same audience, because for kings, everything is in their domain, including priests, and kings see priests as fulfilling a valuable function in the whole. However, the partnership of priests and kings is very concentrated. A priest with a king essence twin, or vice versa, has that partnership internally, and it is an intrinsically high-stress situation—such a soul feels a constant stretch, the sense that something exalted is required at all times. Priests and kings are “on duty” at virtually all times, making themselves available to their congregation and kingdom, respectively, and they can work well together. Priests, like servers, are also happy to minister to kings—not in particularly mundane ways, necessarily—it can be that, but someone else may be around to handle the mundane, since kings can have many people around them to help.
KING-KING: When a king comes together with another king, it is like a summit conference. It is not so much a relationship as it is a joining of forces, a political alignment. Although these relationships do exist, they do not tend to be emotionally all that close. There might be a lot of respect, and if the female partner in a mated relationship has been raised to submit to the male, there may be a fairly high level of compatibility. However, if one of the partners feels that he or she has no kingdom, and if the other partner is not willing to be that kingdom, there can be a rather dysfunctional situation.
The role dynamics are generally more significant in relationships than the dynamics between any of the overleaves. However, certain overleaves are tricky, and when they are present they may be more important to look at than the role itself in terms of what may get in the way in a particular relationship. We mentioned two warriors getting along together well, but if one is a cynic and one is a spiritualist, or if one is in discrimination and the other is in acceptance, or if both have strong chief features, with one in arrogance, and the other in martyrdom, for example, you could have some real problems, especially when you add that to warriors’ volatility.
— Shepherd Hoodwin
From “The Journey of Your Soul”
Alexander the Great, Susan B. Anthony, Bela Bartok, Ambrose Bierce, Cate Blanchett, James Cameron, Jesus Christ, Wesley Clark, Sean Connery, James Garner, J. Paul Getty, Thich Nat Hahn, William Randolph Hearst, Katherine Hepburn, Howard Hughes, Tommy Lee Jones, John F. Kennedy, Jerome Kern, Jack Kerouac, Lucy Lawless, John Merrick (Elephant man), Robert Monroe, John Muir, Christopher Plummer, Patrick Stewart, Herbert von Karajan