When I was a young(ish) woman, I took voice lessons from a British teacher in her late fifties. She was also a therapist and the wife of one of my coworkers, and, after a while, my friend. One afternoon, while telling her about my relationship troubles over tea, she paused, stood up straight, and said in her commanding British accent, “Remember the queen, Melissa, remember the queen.” I didn’t quite know what she meant. I mean I’m not British and I am not a queen.
Fast-forward a couple of Jungian-analysis–steeped decades, when I befriended a German analyst who had worked in the UK for several years. She told me (also over tea) that, for her British clients, the Queen was often a symbol for the Self—the God image. My voice teacher’s comments came back to me. By now I had figured out that my British elder had been asking me all those years ago to invoke my personal power, especially in relationships. And now my analyst-friend helped me to understand another dimension of her directive. It also was a call to affirm my spiritual power. “Remember the goddess, Melissa.” You are the goddess, Melissa.
I am reflecting on both these conversations as I take in the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I’m sad to see an image of feminine power and leadership leave the planet. I am not talking about the monarch as a political entity or its myriad violent transgressions against many peoples. I’m talking about the idea that an image of a queen was residing in western consciousness. And now we have a king. Again, apart from who King Charles is as a person or how he will rule, images of old kings are not what we need. Does anyone want more toxic masculinity and patriarchal oppression? No, thank you. From a symbolic perspective, we need our queens; we need the conscious feminine. So since we no longer have this very human woman to carry the projection of our goddess nature, let’s take it as an invitation to realize that we are, indeed, the queens of our own selves, of our own lives. We must step into empowered feminine consciousness. That means respecting our needs, wants, and feelings and acting on our own behalf; it means acknowledging our worth and letting ourselves be seen and heard (no hiding); it means knowing deep in our bones that we deserve to be loved and met in this world. That’s queen consciousness and no matter what our gender, it’s ours for the taking. Remember the queen, my friends, remember…you are the queen.
Photo by Thomas Thompson