energy of the opposite gender

Psyche is related to health, integrate consciously the energy of the opposite gender

by Marketa Juristova

Part I.

I find it amazingly interesting how precise knowledge our ancestors had and how much wisdom is hidden in old proverbs, sayings, proverbs and even in the words themselves. Today, folk wisdom would be something like this: ‚Most diseases, except sexually transmitted ones, are psychosomatic‘. And perhaps this information would not be far from the results of recent medical research. On the one hand, it’s good that we know this, but on the other hand, it’s a problem to get a free appointment with a psychotherapist these days. 

If you’ve read any of my articles on dreams and the unconscious, you probably already know where I’m going. To another piece of folk wisdom, which is, „The best way to help yourself.“ Articles, books, and courses on how to improve your mental well-being, learn to think positively or meditate, or how to be successful at work and in life in general abound. I think all these useful publications and exercises have one thing in common, they teach you (among other things) how to be in tune with yourself, how to be the best version of yourself. This is also very important in my opinion, and of course it is related to the psyche and therefore the health of each person. I just have a small reservation, you are not on your own, or actually you are, but not quite as much as you might think.

I’ll start from the beginning. I’m sure you’ve wondered where the human soul comes from when a new person comes into the world, emerging from the unconscious?

In essence, yes. When a baby is born, its self is of course only unconscious, it forms as a new, as yet fully submerged iceberg in the ocean of the unconscious. Consciousness emerges gradually, and at about three years of age the child becomes aware of itself as a separate entity. But the human soul is not only female or only male; it has the energy of both sexes within it. According to physiology (as a rule) then one kind of energy – personality prevails and the person identifies himself as a boy or a girl. This personality is then conscious and the energy of the opposite sex remains in the unconscious. Jung called the unconscious inner personality of the male anima, and the inner personality of the female animus. It may seem strange to you, but the development of these inner energy-personalities is very important, because they reflect the conscious life of the individual, his relationships with other people, of course mainly in partner relationships, but not only in them. Jung calls these inner personalities archetypes, we can imagine them as patterns of typically masculine and typically feminine behaviour.

„The anima is the personification of all feminine psychological tendencies in the male psyche, such as vague feelings and moods, prophetic premonitions, receptivity to the irrational, capacity for personal love, a feeling for nature, and last but not least, a relationship with the unconscious.“ Marie-Louise von Franz

Jung argued that if a man is unaware of his feminine side, his anima can completely control and destructively influence him. The nature and personification of the anima is mostly shaped by the mother. If the mother’s personality arouses negative feelings in the son, the anima tends to manifest itself in an irritable, depressive manner, suppressing self-confidence. Addictions, such as alcoholism, or gambling, or suicidal tendencies are typical examples of such negative influences (the anima then represents the so-called „femme fatale“). Conversely, when a man becomes aware of his feminine energy, he is inspired to his own wholeness and radiates a natural inner strength. 

How to integrate anima? It needs to be given limits, so it is a matter of inner self-discipline, discipline, the ability to command „enough“. It’s a bit like taming the wild beasts, dressage inside the male mind. But it has nothing to do with how we treat women in real life. An example of a mastered anima is a man who is said to be a gentleman.

By contrast, the inner masculine aspect in a woman’s unconscious, the animus, is something like a conviction, a fixed opinion that is often related to the personality of the father.

„The father gives his daughter’s animus a special colouring of irrefutable, unquestionable ‚true‘ opinions-narratives that never include the personal reality of the woman herself, as she is.“ Marie-Louise von Franz

A woman in the thrall of her animus may be blocked in her views of how things „should be“ (activists and various conscious fighters for any rights should be very careful), but she may also plot coldly, succumb to semi-conscious destructive moods, or perhaps decide to keep her children together and not allow them to enter into a partner relationship. The Animus jealously keeps his wife, as it were, alone in the world of inner convictions; for example, alcoholics drink alone, with only their destructive Animus.

Every woman has personal experience of the manifestations of her animus, she is just not always aware of them. Often it’s a stubborn conviction in an argument, a feeling that I’m right and the other person just has to understand. If we are able even in this situation to begin to think and admit that we may be wrong, we begin to integrate the animus. When we still realize that the animus‘ jealous attempt to isolate „his“ wife is just a certain misunderstanding of the situation (things may be different than they first appear) and perhaps a lack of self-awareness, because the animus really does love us very much, we have a tremendous loving creative energy available in the unconscious. Just as working with the male anima is more like dressage, the female animus needs to be mastered with compassion (even to oneself!) and friendship (even to oneself!). 

Remember the fairy tale The Beauty and the Beast? That’s actually the story of a woman and her animus. If you are said to be a lady, your animus is most likely well integrated. You can be sure that a married couple of a lady and a gentleman have an anima-animus pairing in the unconscious.

Anima and animus are actually „inhabitants“ of the unconscious, they are even like our ambassadors and lobbyists in the collective unconscious. When I had my first lucid wish vision, my animus appeared to me as the man at the gate, the person who guards the boundary (of consciousness and unconscious).

„At that moment, people started leaving the park and I joined them. We walked through a gate in which stood a young man who looked somewhat familiar to me, but I didn’t know where he was from. As I passed him, he grasped the last links of the fingers of his hand with the last links of the fingers of my right hand. Our fingers dug into each other for a few seconds, it was like a strange kind of greeting. Then when I woke up, I could still feel the touch in my fingertips.“

I am convinced that it is highly desirable that these truly magical energies work with us. Not only for mental and physical health, it is good to have these entities as a dear friend or girlfriend. Try smiling at them in the mirror in the morning for starters, you will have a nicer and healthier day.

Part II.

The energies of our unconscious parts, anima and animus, are very important for conscious life, because they largely determine it. If the conscious and unconscious energies cooperate, do not weaken each other, do not absorb each other, we can speak of harmony, so-called wholeness (as C.G.Jung said). This harmony is not only important for the psychological adjustment of a person, but also for his physical resistance, for his health.

You must be familiar with the Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang, the two parts of a whole, light and darkness. Without light we cannot penetrate the darkness, without darkness the existence of light would be meaningless. Light is analogous to male energy, it is a ray that penetrates the darkness, the feminine energy that surrounds it. The masculine element is also called „logos“, which we understand as order, certain rules, on the other hand, the feminine energy is the so-called „eros“ – relationships, emotions, connections, it can probably be understood as a certain breaking of rules and checking if they still (in time) make sense. These elements should work together, one acknowledging the other as a partner, complementary.

I think I also got confirmation of this principle in a symbolic vision, before which I asked the unconscious in a lucid dream for a first lesson in communication.

“ She (the black woman) turned around and asked me what I thought about breaking the rules. I don’t know why, but I told her that some of the rules should be revised to see if they still fit what they were originally designed to do. And I added that otherwise I had nothing against the rules. I guess my answer was okay, because the black woman asked the assistant for food so we could have lunch together. The assistant walked off down an avenue of massive trees. Then something unexpected happened. The trees that had been flowering in white started to bloom again with beautiful rich pink flowers as if by a snap of a finger. It was a beautiful spectacle, I couldn’t get enough of the amazing scenery, the trees blooming one after the other, the flowers opening. The absolutely stunning, snow-white cones became even more beautiful, fantastic cascades of pink flowers.“  The White Book of Lucid Dreams – A Guide (2021)

Anima -image of the male spirit

Not long ago my husband said this morning, „I had a dream and it’s strange, there was a woman who said to say hello to you. I don’t understand why…so I say hello to you from her.“ I must admit that made me very happy, I think I got a positive message from his anima. OMG! I have already mentioned anima in my previous article, this time let’s talk more about this dark energy in the male unconscious.

Both anima and animus are so-called archetypes. It’s not very easy to imagine what the term archetype actually means, just breaking it down into the components „arche“ (primeval) and „type“ (pattern) doesn’t help us much. One could say that archetypes represent a kind of instincts of the primitive dark psyche. C.G. Jung explained that an archetype is not actually an inherited idea, but an inherited pattern of behavior. The totality of archetypes thus essentially constitutes the content of the collective unconscious, it is „a multitude of typical basic experiences“. An archetype could also be compared to the term used by Platon, „idea“, but the difference is in a certain mission and dynamics, because archetypes are constantly actualized through the life of each individual and stored in the collective unconscious.

Archetypes have two levels, one is a kind of personal individual component that is typical of a particular individual. I understand it as the kind of manifest part that is closest to us, it is actually in the gateway to the unconscious. Thanks to this component, I think we also identify the archetype, we know what it refers to. The second level of the archetype is deeply immersed in the collective unconscious, encompassing all the experiences of humanity associated with a particular archetype.

As I wrote earlier, man is born with the energy of both genders, female and male. One energy comes into consciousness, one remains unconscious. One cannot exist without the other and they are constantly influencing each other. So a boy is connected with his unconscious feminine energy, anima, from birth and therefore it is quite clear that this energy is strongly influenced by his mother’s personality. But it is not that the mother is anima, but through anima the image of the mother as a woman is created, and the anima archetype is hereditary, that is, every man inherits the essence of his ancestors‘ experience of womanhood. The relationship between mother and son (daughter and father) is karmic – fateful, and thus influences not only the nature, but above all the attitude of the individual towards the opposite gender and thus towards the energy that represents that gender in the unconscious.

„Anima can appear negatively at one time and positively at another. Sometimes as a goddess, sometimes as a bitch.“ Muller, Lutz and Muller Anette

What can a man do to make his relationship with his anima work to mutual satisfaction?

  • Accept the fact that the anima exists, that a „dark-unknown“ feminine energy is at work inside the man and controls his thinking and behavior.
  • Reflect on his relationship with his mother and his detachment from her. In some primitive cultures, the act of detachment from the mother is treated as a ritual. If a man looks too much up to his mother (through the projection of anima – with a kind of divine sanctity) then later (after detachment , if it occurs) he will look for similar superhuman qualities in his partner, whom he will then overestimate or, on the contrary, hate. Projections are not a product of the self (we cannot help them) but a product of the unconscious. Therefore, we are only responsible for recognizing them in time and thus disturbing them.
  • Ask the question: “ How do I perceive the women around me, am I a gentleman?“
  • YES= A man is judged by women as a gentleman (watch out for sincerity),his anima seems to be developing along with him just fine.
  • NO= If a man does not feel like a gentleman he should probably read „The Taming of the Shrew“ by W. Shakespeare and realize that to tame the woman inside him he will have to tame the woman inside him, no one else. For he will have to set boundaries for the woman – to strengthen self-control, self-discipline, perseverance.
  • Try to connect with the anima (meditation, dreams).

Generally speaking, the first half of life is a challenge to free oneself from the fascination with the anima – the image of the mother, but the man should not lose his masculinity by doing so. In the second half of life a man should gradually become a philosopher (loving Sophia-wisdom-the highest stage of anima), that is, to find a lasting connection with his anima and not lose it.

If the integration of the anima fails, or if the man ignores it, the anima is in danger of possessing him. This can manifest itself, for example, as a loss of humanity, ossification, fanaticism, clinging to principles, carelessness, weakness with a tendency to addictions, especially alcoholism, or as plunging headlong into life situations without thinking. Archetypes are not meant to save a person, but to teach him something, to push him to understanding, to bring experience, sometimes fatal and destructive.

The positive anima becomes a mentor for the man, an inspiration, connects him with nature, deepens his intuition with the help of feminine energy and enables him to use spiritual magic (shamans sometimes dress in women’s clothes). It can also emotionally harmonize a man’s personality.

Part III.

Whenever I write about the archetypes of anima and animus, I cannot describe exclusively one of these archetypes without digressing to the other. Thus, it is impossible to completely distinguish between a text that relates only to the anima or only to the animus. This is probably because the two energies are inextricably linked and cannot be separated even when they are examined. Nevertheless, I will try to devote this article more to the male personality-energy within the female, the animus, to which I obviously have a personal relationship.

I don’t know if every woman is aware of her animus, which is the first condition for its acceptance and integration, so I will try to give more insight into how to identify this energy within oneself, at least a little. I will therefore address women in this article, but men will also find interesting information here.

Animus -image of the woman spirit

Ladies, do you remember the fairy tales that you listened to in your childhood and a certain feeling or desire that you felt about them? I remember for me it was the desire to be protected. I wanted to be protected by some mysterious being, like a dragon or a good wizard. Over time, this wish crystallized into quite a rational reflection and frequent reproaches to my parents : „Why don’t I have an older brother?“ The hypothetical older brother was probably a kind of first unconscious trace of animus energy for me. I think if I had an older brother in reality, my rationalization of the unconscious wish would probably be different.

A later fairy tale wish that carries animus energy is the so-called „prince charming,“ the idea of an ideal mate. The mysterious unknown stranger who may (but of course need not) be on the edge of the law (Black Tulip, Zoro the Avenger, etc.) has a similar charge. The whole literary genre, the so-called „red library“, basically works with the animus archetype, and romance book publishers and movie producers are making quite a profit from it.

This romanticization of the animus persona sort of isolates women (girls) from the real world with real people. They are waiting for their prince and tend to discover their dream perfect hero in a man. The result is often disappointment, which is behind the break-ups of first loves, or divorce proceedings and scars on the soul. By bumping into real life, a woman actually confronts herself with an animus and is thus able to distinguish her inner unconscious desire (saturated with the energy of the animus) from real life with men. However, this confrontation is not always understood and some women continue to search for their dream ideal, waiting to meet the mysterious stranger, or may succumb to another romantic notion.

Thus, unless a woman turns away from the energy of her animus and escapes it in some sense, the development of her personality (including, of course, the unconscious component) is arrested. In this period, for example, girls entered the convent, their life was then realized in the spiritual sphere (here the animus was transformed into a divine being). In other cases, if a woman allows herself to be isolated by her animus, she may fall into addiction, most often to alcohol. Note that male alcoholics, often drink in the presence of other men, on the contrary, female alcoholics, as a rule, drink alone.

I also thought about how the issue of battered women relates to the topic of anima and animus. I think that here, too, one of the reasons is the interruption of personality development in the unconscious, where the animus remains in a phase where he isolates his wife in romantic dreams. This leaves the woman at the mercy of the tyrant who (under the influence of the evil anima) instead of subjecting his own inner self to the dressage, destroys his partner and thus actually projects the anima into reality where he punishes her. Perhaps it would help if the woman who is the victim of the bully would try to shift her own animus in her development by being able to break out of isolation in real life by her own will (usually it’s about completely cutting off contact with the particular problematic person). Then she could ask the animus for help and thereby discover her hidden power. Bullies have a special charm for their victims, which is related precisely to archetypal energy. If a woman could feel this energy within herself, she would distinguish it from her bully and become stronger and more independent. The biggest problem is that victims of violence tend to return to their abuser and fall into romantic fantasies of a reformed sinner.

You can also feel the energy of animus in situations when you are overwhelmed by emotions you don’t fully understand. Of course, you only realise this after you have cooled down. Are you asking yourself why I was so upset by a comment from a colleague, my husband or an email from a customer? When you think about it, isn’t there an underlying belief about some order, some truth, something that is just a given and has been violated or challenged? If so, that’s it – an animus that echoes from the unconscious. And if you are able to become aware of its voice, even later, it means that you are integrating it. It’s a long-term process, of course, but here it is 100% true that the journey is the destination.

And of course, you can meet the animus in dreams, but we’ll talk about that next time, in the article about communicating with this archetype.

Part IV.

In previous articles I have tried to bring you closer to the phenomenon of the anima and animus archetypes. I have tried to make you try to imagine something as unimaginable as energy coming from the unconscious. This time it will probably be even more challenging, because I would like to introduce anima and animus to you personally.

As I have hinted before, we can (and do) encounter personified archetypes in dreams or dream visions. The figures that demonstrate the energy of anima or animus are, of course, symbolic. They can take on the form of both humans and animals. But you won’t always find them in every dream. Sometimes you sense that what you dreamed had a different character, that it was not a story using the experiences and scenery of an ordinary day. It’s hard to describe, but something tells you that the dream you had was somehow unique, I don’t want to say exceptional, but during the day you ask yourself questions like „What the hell was that?“, „How did that get into my head?“, „Why am I even thinking about this strange dream?“

I think the energy in the unconscious can also be defined as some unknown mystical creature inside our soul. I myself, like many people, have been fascinated with dragons since childhood. Dragon-themed tattoos are very common (I have one sitting on my shoulder too), and movies and TV shows about dragons inspire general enthusiasm. People just really feel some special, mysterious, attractive and unknown energy in the dragon symbol. I don’t mean to say that all people feel this way, of course, it’s just a certain segment of the population. Some may associate the energy within themselves more with an angelic being.

The best way to describe a character representing an archetype is to describe a specific dream, preferably a lucid dream, so that we can be more certain that the dream entity really represented the archetype. This is because the state of consciousness called a lucid dream allows the dreamer to make a specific request of the dream space, and the vision that follows is the answer. We can therefore look with a great deal of certainty at the specific dream visions of lucid dreamers and use them to show the personification of the anima and animus archetypes.

In my practice I have encountered lucid visions of several people (including my own, of course), so I can try to show what the anima and animus archetypes might look like using these examples.

Dragon as anima-dragon queen

„After a while, I looked up at the sky. High up in the sky I saw two dragons flying. As soon as I focused my dreamy attention on them, they flew towards me and one of them ( the dragoness ) spoke to me.

She introduced herself to me as T…….. and added that she was the queen of dragons.

Interesting, I thought. She also revealed that she had visited me in my dreams a few times in the past (this information surprised me the most, and honestly pleased me – I took it as an honor that the queen of dragons herself had come to visit me in my dreams, and not for the first time). So we continued our conversation and after a while I asked her if I could fly on her huge dragon’s back. She immediately said yes, but first I had a task for her to complete. I happily agreed and successfully completed all of her instructions. What followed, however, I did not expect. Suddenly she declared that I would not fly on her back. I was both extremely surprised and disappointed by her words. I did not expect her to renege on her promise after completing the task. I was so disappointed that I cried for the first time at that moment in a lucid dream. Sorrow spread throughout my entire being and space.“ An anonymous lucid dreamer

The dragones in this dream, the dream vision, symbolized anima, the archetypal feminine being on the „other side“ of reality, in the unconscious, who in this case took on the role of teacher.

The dragon as animus – the dragon cathedral, my vision

(full text in the book „White Book of Lucid Dreams-Guide“)

„I ran and floated down the corridors of the cathedral, calling : „Dragon, dragon!“ I was aware that my voice sounded like the cry of a small child. Finally, I saw a massive staircase leading down. It was very wide indeed, and I thought it might lead to a dragon. So I rushed down the stairs, running, falling and flying until I got to some large underground space where there was a rectangular pool. I looked into it and in the dark depths , which looked like a chasm, I saw two red eyes and the shadow of a head looking at me from underground. I called out into the abyss, „Finally! Come up, dragon. I’m not scared, really!“ The ground began to shake and a dragon began to rise from the depths. I kept saying over and over, „I’m not scared, I’m not scared, just a little bit.“ I stopped looking down and sat down by the pool instead, I waited for the dragon to emerge. The noise was getting louder and louder, it sounded like music getting louder. I was a little worried about what I would see on the surface and also if the dragon would destroy the edges of the pool with its body. But instead of the dragon, there was only a sort of goofy clown figure with a hat. I was a little relieved but thought disappointed. „So this is really it, is that it?“. When suddenly there was a woman emerging from the pool, she was huge and beautiful, with diamonds in her face. Like some monumental ancient statue come to life. I asked her if she was the dragon. She told me that yes, she was a dragon for a while, and she had this form for a while.“

In this case, thanks to my fear, the male energy manifested only as part of the personality, but the duality is clearly visible here. One energy, the masculine, is in the depths and when it comes to the surface it transforms into the feminine and, as it were, the divine. I think I was right to fear in this vision, the energy of the animus is huge and would not only break the edges of the pool. Transforming into a female goddess is a safe solution and I think it illustrates beautifully how the unconscious is sensitive to our psyche. The animus rising to the surface without this transformation would likely cause psychosis, or some other more serious problem.So try to think what mystical or mythical creature might be inside you. A dragon? An angel? Or something else?

It is not necessary to directly experience such an archetype in your dreams, the symbolism can be in relatively civilian figures (a man with a hat, a beggar, a prostitute, a teacher, a homeless man, a shopkeeper, a teacher, etc.), animals can also symbolize this energy. I personally have experience with a talking black cat. In general, however, persons of the opposite sex in dreams are more often archetypal and have a charge of anima or animus in them, while characters of the same sex depict some component of you (it can be a complex) or an archetype of the Inner self (this happens very rarely, unfortunately). If you are lucid dreaming, you can make conscious contact with these characters in your dream and thus communicate. If you are not awake to the dream, you can write down your dreams, discover this archetypal component and try to guess what the message is, information from the depths of the unconscious. 

In waking life, you may not have much opportunity to identify these unconscious energies, but it can be said that whenever your consciousness recedes, the unconscious gets closer to the surface. This happens in emotionally stressful situations (e.g. an argument with a partner, a humiliation at work, a phone call with the mother-in-law…), in life-threatening situations (which is actually also an emotionally stressful situation), or in debilitating physical performances, during orgasm, deep meditation, or when ingesting substances that affect consciousness.

For example, even such alcohol can lift anima or animus out quite nicely. How do you behave, what do you feel when you’re at a level, or even more? But you have to take into account your age and physical performance. The fact that you are more likely to fall asleep after 50 age when drinking alcohol speaks more about the state of your body than the personality of the animus (in my case).

It may seem bizarre to you, but I think you can also convey a message from consciousness to your unconscious counterpart through a mirror. I mentioned it in the first text of this series, smiling to yourself in the mirror in the morning works wonders. Also, recounting a problem face to face to yourself can be relieving and most frequently you will then get some feedback in a dream. As a general rule though, nothing is to be overdone, lest you be taken to the madhouse.

Part V.

Remember the article about the unconscious? In it I described a large water planet on the surface of which we, living humans, are like crystals half-submerged in an ocean of unconsciousness. Try to imagine that these crystals are in the shape of small spheres. Half of the sphere above the surface is our conscious energy and the one below the surface is the unconscious (opposite sex). For we come into the world whole, we are one, composed of two energies (Yin and Yang), two psychic entities. Young children are at first submerged almost with their whole being in the unconscious, only later does one hemisphere come clearly to the surface. 

As I wrote in the above mentioned article, the ocean of the unconscious is full of different currents and then in the depths there is a huge Vortex that holds the whole planet together. It is understandable that in order to keep the spheres afloat, a balance is needed and also the cooperation of both energies, conscious and unconscious. And that, in my opinion, is what it’s all about. It’s all about balance and cooperation – the integration of male and female energy, the integration of the man within the female soul and the woman within the male soul.

The ball may tumble, spin on the surface, the currents will drive it in different ways, but if it is in balance (or at least tries to be in balance) it will be more stable and durable. So, with the development of our conscious self, our unconscious side is also developing somehow. 

Humans have very long noticed signs of something irrational, unconscious within their own souls, and have put their experiences with this force into fairy tales, myths and stories. C.G. Jung called the developmental stages of integration anima according to the heroines of these stories.

Developmental stages of Anima

Eve – the first woman to be banished from Eden. It is an early stage, instinctive, animalistic, the experience of feminine energy is strongly connected with the instincts: the relationship between child and mother, later with the reproductive instinct, sexuality.

Helen – you must remember the beautiful Helen of Troia, for whom there was even a war. This phase is full of romance and beauty. There is definitely a strong connection to sexuality as well, but it is more refined, more socially acceptable, we would call it more erotic. The personality of the woman you love is also important here.

Mary – the Virgin, the mother of Jesus, the next stage in the development of anima. A representative of love that transcends the instinctive aspects of feeling, allows for deep insight, self-sacrifice, intuition and transcends into the spiritual realm.

Sophia – wisdom itself, the highest stage that leads to new knowledge. A man whose anima has reached this stage is a sage, a philosopher (filein=love, sofia=wisdom), that is, one who loves wisdom. Integration is complete, the sphere is safely balanced and miracles can happen. Sofia works with her conscious counterpart and is helpful in the journey to Higher Knowledge.

A man can identify these stages in himself by his attitude towards women in general, from the reactions of those around him to his person, or from the reactions or needs of his body. Youth to middle age is natural for the period of the first two stages. The emotional detachment of the son from the mother, the detachment from the fascination with the mother, is especially important for the balanced development of the anima during this period.

Development stages of Animus

„The animus, just like the anima, exhibits four stages of development as male images in women’s dreams or fantasies. He first appears as a personification of mere physical power-for instance, as an athletic champion or „muscle man.“ In the next stage he possesses initiative and the capacity for planned action. In the third phase, the animus becomes the „word,“ often appearing as a professor or clergyman. Finally, in his fourth manifestation, the animus is the incarnation of meaning. On this highest level he becomes (like the anima) a mediator of the religious experience whereby life acquires new meaning. He gives the woman spiritual firmness, an invisible inner support that compensates for her outer softness. The animus in his most developed form sometimes connects the woman’s mind with the spiritual evolution of her age, and can thereby make her even more receptive than a man to new creative ideas. It is for this reason that in earlier times women were used by many nations as diviners and seers. The creative boldness of their positive animus at times expresses thoughts and ideas that stimulate men to new enterprises“. C.G.Jung, Man and His Symbols

Monster – instinctive and biological phase, related to reproductive instincts, sexuality

Authority– here the animus is responsible for a woman’s desire for independence and career, plans specific things, is intelligent, educated, persistent, thorough and reasonable, forces a woman to have the same qualities. If a woman is dominated by these abilities and loses her femininity (e.g. feelings), she may be very successful, but she will be rigid, she will become a careerist

Logos – the animus often takes the form of a pastor, teacher, professor in dreams. The meaning of words in women is contained in the unconscious, if a woman argues and falls into the grip of the animus, she is not able to think critically. She considers her opinions to be the only correct ones, often a collective opinion, she is in society with the right people doing the right things. Such a woman loses her femininity, eros is replaced by logos.

Hermes – the highest stage of the animus, who acquires higher intelligence (Hermes is the messenger of the gods) and transmits it to the woman, whose life becomes different in meaning, acts as a guide of the soul (psychopompos) and mediates contact with the unconscious.

The Animus can be amazingly creative or powerfully destructive, depending on how you relate to it. A woman discovers the inner beauty of her animus gradually, in effect returning to her essence, to her roots. She is more balanced, enjoys her work more, cultivates creative hobbies, is an inspiration to her husband. The Animus in the fourth stage is a great support for the woman, a beneficent force in the unconscious and one of the safeguards.

How to recognize the animus energy in yourself?

You can more easily recognize its dark – unpleasant effects. Try to observe yourself a little more in negative situations, mentally float a few meters above the ground and observe yourself and other actors from a perspective.

Animus‘ footprints will be in your beliefs and prejudices. In the lectures you give to the people around you.

Do you sometimes tend to underestimate yourself? Sentences like, „well that’s like me, I can never do that, look at you-you’re impossible“. Yes, there’s an animus energy here too.

If you feel an outflow of energy and everything seems grey, you feel burnt out, empty, insecure and passive, the negative aspect of animus may be to blame as well. The Animus tends to isolate his wife from her surroundings, he wants her to be with him only, he doesn’t mind her being desperate and unhappy. He’s a bit jealous and wants you all to himself, it’s kind of a rugged form of love.

How to integrate animus?

If you notice his influence in the above situations and can defend yourself against his influence, you’ve won. The Animus should not have the upper hand over you, even though its enormous energy predisposes it to do so. It’s not easy, but if you can find it in yourself to resist it, to be yourself, you will win an extremely invaluable friendly partner. Don’t be afraid to approach him and ask for help, the animus wants to be useful to you, he wants you to notice him and to love him.

“ A vast number of myths and fairy tales tell of a prince, turned by witchcraft into a wild animal or monster, who is redeemed by the love of a girl-a process symbolising the manner in which the animus becomes conscious. Very often the heroine is not allowed to ask questions about her mysterious, unknown lover and husband; or she meets him only in the dark and may never look at him. The implication is that, by blindly trusting and loving him, she will be able to redeem her bridegroom. But this never succeeds. She always breaks her promise and finally finds her lover again only after a long, difficult quest and much suffering. The parallel in life is that the conscious attention a woman has to give to her animus problem takes much time and involves a lot of suffering. But if she realises who and what her animus is and what he does to her, and if she faces these realities instead of allowing herself to be possessed, her animus can turn into an invaluable inner companion who endows her with the masculine qualities of initiative, courage, objectivity, and spiritual wisdom.“ Marie von Franz, The Process Individuation

While I am describing the anima and animus archetypes here as real entities, we must always keep in mind that it is primarily an energy with a kind of magical personality dependent on the information it contains. This energy is a part of us; we ourselves provide it with part of this information. The anima and animus archetypes are actually sets of experiences accumulated in contact with the opposite sex. These experiences are of three types, personal (dynamic, ever-changing and complementary), familial (encoded in the family line) and collective (of the whole human race). In essence, it is a constant cultivation and growth in the number of experiences of love between men and women, a kind of relational energy between the energies of the two sexes. Perhaps this constant evolution is the most important force driving our Universe. 

As a voice in the unconscious said, „The Universe is the idea of LOVE.“


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