Hi there and aloha – we’re getting to a truly exciting point in our exploration as we start this week to begin to look at the four final heroes. It’s at this point that we start to see where al this has been leading us – where each of the characters in our lives has been starting to weave a pattern that leads us here – The Return. Because there is a point to all this – there’s a reason for all these patterns showing up in our lives – all these explorations, these adventures, these trials – these moments of difficulty and hardship, of uncertainty and doubt, of soul searching and inner angst – they all lead us to this point – into power.
Last week, we looked at the Creator – that archetype that sweeps up the old, and forges something incredible and amazing out of it. The raw creative force at the heart of the universe that cries out ‘Behold, I make all things new’. This week we begin to look at the power of the Ruler – putting the order and discipline back in our lives.
Back in 2005, when I was debating whether to leave my globe trotting job in an international organisation, one of the things that spoke to my heart very deeply was a poster for the film ‘King Arthur’ with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley – on it the words were ‘Rule Your Destiny’. Ruling is a choice that we make – to choose to take the helm and lead – or to abdicate our responsibility. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
The stage of the journey
The Journey has gently and insistently been stripping us of the comfort of our ‘normal’ life. We’ve been learning to take difficult decisions, to live from our inner beings, to live for others, and to look at the adventure and the journey, rather than where we came from – or where we are going. The Journey equipped us for a bigger role in the world. We’re not the weaklings that we once where. The fat has been stripped away revealing muscle and sinew, honed by the challenges that we have faced. We have stared into the searing agony of our own dark night of the soul – and been transformed. We are tougher, smarter, faster, more dangerous than when we started out. We live lighter. Only the important things truly matter now. The journey has made us something else, deep down inside. And now we return to share the gift – to return to the ‘ordinary world’ with a precious gift – the gift of ourselves and who we are.
I went through an agonising heart shredding experience on the Journey, as I found myself stripped of everything that brought me comfort and happiness – or at least so I thought. My spiritual life ended up decimated by doubt and uncertainty. I got divorced – losing some of the day to day connection I enjoyed with my sons. The business I created ultimately failed, leaving me with considerable debts, and I ended up taking a simple call centre job just to pay the bills. At the end of that I was wrung out, exhausted and heart broken. I spent hours staring into the abyss, trying to work out ‘what next’? (There’s more on this story in my blog over at exploretheadventure.com) I took a year out to travel and then to work out what life was really all about – for me.
But at some point I had to return from this journey back to the real world. There was a huge part of me that felt I was a failure – and yet the spiritual and emotional muscle that I had built up, the understanding and the wisdom that I’d developed throughout that process allowed me to bring healing to others who were going through the same process.
For each one of us, the experiences that we have had, good or bad, equip us to bring a gift to the world… if we choose to bring that gift. And the first part of that is to experience the power of the Ruler.
The nature of the Ruler
We were born to rule our lives – not to be at the mercy of fate and circumstances, blown about by the wind of events and ‘what happened’. We were born to take command and enforce our will over our lives. So the primary message of the Ruler is ‘Responsibility’. Until we reach this point, we have dealt with each day as it comes, ready to deal with the experience as it arises. The Ruler needs to plan. The Ruler needs to see that all aspects of his or her kingdom are being cared for.
The Ruler seeks to create a healthy and well managed economy, taking charge of the kingdom’s purse strings and using the resources wisely. The Ruler will defend the boundaries of his realm, ensuing that no intruders can disturb the peace of the realm. In fact, the Ruler’s primary goal is to promote peace in the kingdom.
A wise Ruler will allow each part of his kingdom (each part of his life) to have full expression, but not at the expense of another citizen. There is balance and harmony. Sometimes, difficult decisions must be made for the overall wellness of the community, but those decisions are taken with love and with wisdom.
The story of the Fisher King is one of a kingdom that is a wasteland – the king desperately needs healing, and it is our hero that goes on a journey to find aid. And often that aid is found in the power of magic. The Ruler needs his Wizard along side him to provide the magical energy for change, and the voice of wisdom and connection to Divinity (of which more next week!).
And of course the myths and legends are full of stories of the unknown ruler, the lost prince, who lives out life as a commoner, unsung, unknown, waiting for the cataclysmic life events that will propel him back to his place as ruler. Think here of Luke Skywalker, hidden away unsuspecting his true origin. Or Harry Potter, living a life of separation amongst the muggles, unaware of his true origins as one of the most powerful wizards (there they go, wizards again, always poking their noses in). Or Moses, the adopted son of the Pharaoh and heir to the legacy of Israel – herding sheep in a foreign land. And what of the story of the great Ruler, Jesus, living life as a carpenter’s son in the back end of beyond?
Often we find that our lives have become wastelands – uncontrolled, unruly, without purpose or mission. The Ruler takes control of all that. The Ruler builds a safe and stable foundation. Sometimes that will be through taking hard decisions – the possibility of austerity measures to provide the basis for future growth. Sometimes that will be through taking control of our lives, placing restrictions that will bear fruit later. And sometimes that will be through expansion, through conquering new lands and finding new boundaries (remember that this is myth and story, and here, as in life, expanding our own boundaries does not mean that the boundaries of others are eroded).
But the Ruler knows that problems don’t just go away. The Ruler will take responsibility for failure and then find solutions that work. Always he or she will have a vision of a new world order, of how things should be – and then put in place a plan to move towards that in a controlled and logical fashion.
The Ruler has one goal – a peaceful, harmonious, effective, prosperous kingdom. The Ruler will always seek harmony – not perhaps the peace of stillness or inaction, but the harmony of a world that works together for good, supporting each other in a plan to create prosperity. The Ruler knows that peace without prosperity is a world of dullness and vapidity – whereas prosperity without peace is chaos. So the peace that the Ruler seeks is always a peace that beats with a heartbeat of energy and urgency. The Ruler takes the wisdom and experience gained on the Journey, and uses that to forge a peaceful kingdom.
What does every Ruler fear? Insurrection, anarchy, chaos, loss of control. The Ruler will resist anything that threatens the harmony of the kingdom, often avoiding change for that very reason. Yet without change the kingdom will never grow – and the Wizard will step in at this point with the crackling fire that disturbs and transforms..
The Ruler seeks always to be in control. It’s Ruler energy that will create systems and budgets, discipline and rules to avoid ever losing control of his domain. There’s nothing wrong (and everything right) with these rules, by the way. They bring stability and tranquillity, and ultimately a state of harmonious existence.
Response to the challenge
Everything within the kingdom has value and can be used and put to gainful and useful employment. So a wise ruler will not be fazed by the appearance of a dragon in the royal court… rather than seeking to have it destroyed, a resourceful ruler will find a way of putting that dragon to work – finding its constructive use: whether that’s by using it as a source of heat – or by referencing its magic.
A Heroic Task
Your task as a Ruler is to take responsibility for your life. Increasingly we are being told by quantum physicists, metaphysicians, psychologists and counsellors that we are responsible for the outcome of our life. No-one else can be held accountable for our failure – we are the Rulers of our lives and no-one else can rule in our place.
Yet once the Ruler has established peace within his borders, a wise Ruler will seek to express that wisdom elsewhere through international diplomacy – sharing the lessons learned with others less fortunate.
And sometimes, the Ruler will need to go on a further adventure – to reconnect to that visceral life where danger is real – the search for excitement that led the Pevensie children onto a hunt that led them back from Narnia – or that led the Black Prince to try his hand at jousting competitions in ‘A Knight’s Tale’.
The Ruler’s task is to take responsibility for his Kingdom – which may be a huge task filled with difficulty and hardship. And yet the gift the Ruler brings is exactly that – responsibility. The Ruler will step up to the challenge, and cannot slink away to consider it ‘too hard’ but will dig deep into his or her resources to create something that works. Along side that ability to step up, the Ruler has the gift of wisdom – the understanding not just of what needs to be done to rule – but also the common touch, the touch that keeps him in contact with the people. It’s that common touch that caused people to love Princess Diana – while undoubtedly regal, she also had an interest in everyone she met.
And of course, the truly wise leader does not rule alone, Always, she is looking for those that will help her, or those she can mentor into positions of responsibility.
The shadow Ruler
The storybooks are threaded through with stories of the wicked tyrant, the evil despot who lives off his people without mercy or kindness – often awaiting the return of the rightful king to take his place and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity (have you noticed how often those two words go together?). The shadow Ruler allows fear to overcome them and results in a tyrannical grip over the kingdom. Resources are strictly controlled, and the scarcity mentality rules all.
Or the strain of trying to do good leads us to force the hand of fate. Anakin Skywalker sought to do the right thing yet ultimately his inexperience and lack of wisdom led him to fall to the ‘Dark Side’ and led to his reincarnation as Darth Vader. We seek to find the secret of our soul, and find ourselves corrupted through fear and temptation.
Or we are tempted to use our power for wrong – both Jesus and the Buddha were tempted in this way. Those that have amassed huge amounts of power can use them as gifts for good – or to enforce our control on our worlds.
Levels of the Ruler
The Ruler energy in our lives will always be activated by a lack of resources, or a lack of order, discipline or control in our lives. The kingdom, left untended and unmanaged – unled – will always be a wasteland. It takes one man to step up and show leadership to turn that around – it may not be an easy journey, but it is certainly one that is possible – one step at a time.
We begin by seeking healing and wholeness within ourselves – the Ruler needs to be emotionally well and balanced to deal with the responsibilities of rulership. Once healed, the Ruler will then seek to heal any scarcity or lack of structure in his life – in his kingdom – putting in place measures that will ultimately yield peace and harmony, prosperity and plenty. Initially, the Ruler will focus his or her attention within the boundaries of their own kingdom – themselves, their family, their immediate life.
Eventually, a wise Ruler will seek to be a player on a bigger stage. Learning the rules of diplomacy, he or she will find ways to help others take responsibility – and of course by so doing guarantee their own borders.
Beyond that point, a truly visionary Ruler will look beyond his immediate borders and see himself as a truly global player, seeking health and harmony for the planet as a whole. The wise use of all resources will result in limitless possibilities and an opportunity to transform the face of the planet.
The Ruler’s story
Without the Ruler in his rightful place, the kingdom is a wasteland. The Ruler may be sleeping (as in ‘Sleeping Beauty’), sick at heart or having lost his mind – or may have been lost in an attempt to protect him or her from harm – sent away, as was Moses – for safety, and now unable to step into Destiny. Yet the storybooks know that always there is the opportunity for reconciliation and healing – the true Ruler cannot be hidden for long and will step up to claim his or her domain.
The end result of the story is always the same. The kingdom is restored, the land becomes fertile and prosperous again, and peace reigns.
Exercises and dreaming
What areas of your life need the ruler’s touch right now? Where do you need to take control to create peace, harmony and prosperity?
Where do you need the power of diplomacy to forge better relationships? And where do you need to reinforce your boundaries so that no-one can jeopardise the peace of your kingdom?
Where do you need to relax your grip and allow events to unfold?
What wisdom do you need to rule wisely? Where could you find a wise counsellor to help you? What does your inner wisdom tell you to do anyway?
Can you feel the sense of power and strength becoming clear now? This part of the adventure is threaded through with one thing – wisdom. The wisdom of the Ruler allows him to rule and not to react. Next week we’re going to discover the wisdom – and the power – of one of my favourite characters – the power of the Wizard.
Until next time – enjoy the journey!
Find out more at www.timhodgson.org
PS – If you missed any of the preceding parts of the programme – then catch up here: PREVIOUS CHAPTERS