The website of Dorothy Jane Mills

The website of Dorothy Jane Mills

The Sceptre: Themes and Symbols

The Sceptre


The main theme of The Sceptre is that when we set out to learn about our roots, we are likely to learn more than we wanted to know, especially about whom we are connected to by bloodlines. Subthemes that readers become aware of include the idea that we not only look like our ancestors, we act like them— we repeat some of their actions and their very words. Our behavior is much like theirs.


Other themes in the story have to do with history, with the way we learn, and with women in history. We should never, for example, assume that what historians have supposedly discovered about the past is the ultimate truth; it's merely one layer, a veneer that may contain distortions and even falsehoods. The journey into our past is one we can take only superficially.

History as Cyclical

A recurring idea in The Sceptre is that life may seem to be made up of unrelated episodes, but its various strands eventually come together to form an interrelated whole. Those strands may merge in unexpected ways, which we sometimes consider coincidences. History, The Sceptre shows, is less a series of ups and downs, with a final solution to problems, than it is a cycle that often repeats aspects of itself.

History and Women

Another important subtheme running through The Sceptre demonstrates that women of determination and ability rise above societal restrictions and return to something like the position they held in prehistoric times.



Symbols speak to something deep within us. Although as mere conventions they represent something other than themselves, their meaning usually jumps right out at us. We know instantly what the swastika, for example, represents. That is, we know what it represents for us today; in ancient times it bore different meanings.



One of the important symbols in The Sceptre is that of the labyrinth, an intricate structure or design with intersecting passages. Related to the labyrinth is the maze, similar but lacking in the labyrinth's center that the seeker tries to reach. Labyrinths and mazes have for untold centuries represented important ideas to ancient people— and now to contemporaries as well, ideas relating to finding a way out of a difficulty, or finding one's way through life.





A sceptre is itself a symbol. It represents the power of the person who holds it. Today's sceptres, carried by the rulers of countries to symbolize their power, bristle with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, ivory, and gold carvings. The sceptre in the title of this book may be made only of iron, but it carries two symbols important to the ancient people who revered it.

© 2000 - 2017 Dorothy Jane Mills