The thrones of kings and queens are understood as symbols and seats of power.
Certainly there is no more powerful example of the power of a throne (ugly, intimidating, uncomfortable thing that it is) than the Iron Throne in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.
But everyone doesn’t fight to claim the throne for the throne. It’s what the throne represents…
Recently, I did a tarot reading for a writer who was trying to make some career decisions. The card that came up as the first of three steps for that writer to take was The Emperor.
The Emperor (from The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery by Robert M. Place) is card number 4 of the Major Arcana, and represents some aspect of power, such as that of society, natural law, or even the power of a father figure (not necessarily male) in a household.
As power imposed from outside a writer or other creative, any of these aspects can affect the success or failure of a creative project or career. Remember, though, that true power, true creative power emanates not from without but from within. As long as you don’t abdicate your throne.
Too often, I work with writers who abdicate their thrones to fear, guilt, and an overactive sense of responsibility to family, friends, job, and community.
In the game of thrones then, the writer is left bending the knee to a false king or lies bleeding on the battlefield.
You belong on the throne of your magic kingdom. If you are fighting to retain or claim your throne:
• Remind yourself of past accomplishments. Why is it so easy to forget all you’ve accomplished and experienced? The projects completed, the learning done at workshops and conferences, and especially the life experiences that feed the work? Create a yearly ritual listing all your accomplishments that year, large and small (and not all necessarily around your work). Read the list when you are feeling unworthy to claim the throne.
• Seek support from others in your realm. No king or emperor ever rises to the throne on their own. Nor do they stay there without support and counsel. So, create your own council of advisors, and when your position on the throne feels uncomfortable or threatened, seek out help and advice from them.
• Establish your own laws. You have a vision for your magic kingdom, so create laws for it and yourself that ensure its well-being. Yes, seek advice from your council, but do not succumb to being ruled by the laws of other realms. Just because those laws work for that realm, doesn’t mean they’ll work for yours. And I don’t care how long that king over there has ruled.
• Forsake false modesty. I’ve coached and done readings for total newbies as well as seasoned and successful writers. One challenge that constantly shows up is the willingness to claim one’s creative power, to take that place on the throne. Yes, someone else is more accomplished, more successful, more…whatever. So what? They don’t have your voice or vision or life experiences. Don’t denigrate your unique gifts or experiences. Claim them and then claim the throne.
Wherever you are in your creative career or journey, don’t let your writing group, your professor, your editor, your parents or husband or children de-throne you.
Sit down on that damned throne and stay there!