The Tyrant King: The Energy that Keeps us Trapped
Alas we have made it to the crux of what forms the inner cage that many of us long to escape without being able to name it: The Tyrant King.
We’ve now met the Good Girl and the Rebel, which we can look at as the feminine split in two: good/bad, light/dark, virgin/whore. When our feminine energy is trapped in this either/or pattern, there is never room for the wholeness or the wildness or the freedom that we most long for. We are divided from ourselves and a piece of us is invariably exiled, whether that be our power or our tenderness (as an example).
But where does this pattern come from? Why are so many of us trapped in these personas or unconsciously swinging from one pole to another?
It is when we begin to ask this question that we discover the Tyrant King.
The Tyrant King is the consciousness that we have absorbed from the culture, whether we realized it or not. His is a consciousness of dominance and power over. It is a dysfunctional masculine consciousness that has fallen out of relationship with, and then repressed, the feminine, both in the external world and within our own internal landscapes.
I remember distinctly the first time I began to catch whiff of how the Tyrant King had taken up residence within me. When I was studying health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013, we learned about the yin/yang or masculine/feminine qualities of food. As part of this module, we received a checklist. On one side it listed the attributes traditionally associated with the masculine energy; words like mind, thinking, light, logical, rational, and linear appeared on that side of the list. On the feminine side of the checklist there were words like body, earth, feeling, dark, irrational, intuitive, cyclical.
I looked at that list and I was PISSED. “Of course,” I huffed to myself. “Of course the feminine gets all the shitty attributes while masculine gets all the good ones.” And I tucked that checklist into the drawer hoping to never look at it again.
But it was like a seed had been planted within me. Over the coming days and weeks, a new thought began to appear. Or a question rather.
What if it wasn’t just that the attributes that were typically associated with feminine energy were bad or somehow intrinsically worse than those that were considered masculine, and therefore proof of a patriarchal system?
What if the fact that I believed that the feminine attributes listed were somehow “less than” were also proof of how the patriarchy had already taken root within me?
Of course, patriarchal systems have skewed what we consider to be “feminine”, and that is part of what has kept women caged in, unable to claim our choice, our agency, and our power. But in some ways, I was also a co-conspirator in said patriarchal system because I had been judging and devaluing certain facets of myself (facets that might be called “feminine”), just as the patriarchy had instructed.
I buried my deep feeling, while I lifted up my critical thinking.
I neglected my intuition, while developing my logic.
I had tried to hide my cyclical nature in order to fit into a linear system.
I only acknowledged and valued my mind, while completely devaluing the wisdom of my body.
This is how the Tyrant King operates: divide and conquer. In his world, differentiation invariably leads to domination. This is a consciousness that separates us from ourselves (and from one another and the world at large). It is a consciousness that is only capable of either/or thinking. In this world we can only be masculine or feminine, strong or soft, independent or dependent, a mind or a body; it is an all or nothing worldview. And there is clearly one side that is viewed as more desirable than the other.
It is the dominant consciousness of the Tyrant King within us that keeps us trapped in the Good Girl / Rebel dynamic because in many ways, it is his consciousness that created the split feminine dynamic to begin with. In the world of the Tyrant King:
- You either comply or defy
- You are either good or you’re bad
- You either care too much what other people think or you don’t give a flying fuck about anyone else
- You either choose yourself or your relationships
- You either have no boundaries or hardened, inflexible borders
- You are either with us or against us
- You either can’t speak your truth or can’t tolerate hearing the contradictory truth of another
But in both scenarios, the trap remains the same: you can be A or B. You can either harshly judge yourself (Good Girl) or harshly judge another (Rebel).
There is no understanding of sovereignty. There is no connective tissue, no web that holds all of life together. No space for interdependence. There is no tolerance of the nuance and gray area that comes with having a lived, human experience. There is no room for both/and. And because there is no space for the totality of who you are as a human being, in both your light and your dark, your joy and your grief, your vulnerability and your strength, the freedom and wildness and belonging that you seek will remain continuously out of reach. And you will continue to search for it outside of yourself, while the Tyrant King sits happily on his throne within you.
Both within you and within the world at large.
His reign unchallenged.
So how do we dismantle this cage? Well, that’s where things will start to get juicy.