Anima and Animus

Carl Gustav Jung has blessed us with his deep insight and systematic work discovering or rather conceptualizing, describing and confirming the unconscious and collective unconscious.

His deep understanding of this aspect of human nature made him describe the male and female counterparts in us as anima or female soul in the man and animus or masculine soul in the woman.

As we become adults and develop into a man or woman the opposite side of our nature dissapears into the unconscious. In a man his female side or anima hides from his conscious into the sub-conscious and unconscious to make his male nature come forward. His female side seems missed and he start to long for her, “she” feels lost and his awareness starts to look for her in the world he is aware of, the external physical reality. The same applies for women.

When man or woman finds a person that reminds them of their inner nature they feel attracted to them and find them beautiful, sexy and inspiring. If they fall in love they project their inner anima or animus onto the other person and are convinced they found the “right one”. As the relation progresses they start to see that not all is easy, nice and harmony and they will most likely blame the other of having changed. “He did not use to be like that” she sais. “She has changed” he sais.
Actually it is the projection that has been masking the other person, the deep desire to find the “right” match.
This “pink” state of falling in love is a blind state, the need of connecting with the inner anima or animus overshadows the qualities of the potential partner and colours them into your liking.

Often the projection is strengthened when there is a distance or short separation in the relationship like one part is travelling or away a few days. Then the longing for the connection with the depth of yourself, projected onto the other person, is undisturbed by the lacking presence of the real person and feels strengthened. This creates a much stronger attraction when the person returns.

In the old times when a relation took not only weeks or months but some times years to develop and you had to be engaged at least a year before you married, the projection could grow strong and glue the relationship to be.
Today when people enjoy each other physically after hours of getting to know each other the projection has hardly started and disappointment is a frequent result.

If you look at the body vertically, you can think about the chakras if you like or regard the lower realms where impurities are eliminated, rising to the gut and abdomen where digestion and activation by strong feelings abode. Then the heart and lung are already closer to your control. Rising to the throat were the feelings of the trunk meets the thinking of the head. Here the head can hold back feelings creating a lump in the throat or the mind can dive into the subconscious and let the expression come up as anger, sadness or other feelings. Then you can rise to the awareness in the brain or even transcend the head and your contact with more subtle realms. In short the body is like a vertical scale or tall building with many floors.

These vertical levels also are reflected in the connection with your anima or animus or your partner. Most people we only relate to with our heads, either from a screen, audio from a phone, or by looking at them or talking to them.

As we go down the head we get closer and can smell them or turn the head towards the scent passing by. Getting even closer we might give them a greeting or goodbye kiss on the chin, rubbing noses or the Russian way on the mouth. In older times it was the man kissing the hand of the lady.

Holding hands can also in some countries be seen both among friends and good colleges, even men. Already at the level of the arms you are today getting more intimate. Touching the chest or breast is more exclusive and when it comes to the belly, lower back or thighs it is already approaching the sexual realm.

This scale was something we spent long time going through step by step earlier, today we might take all the steps within short time.

Also with your partner you can find treasures by being aware of this. If you prolong the time it takes to go down the body, if you take brakes of days staying at one level before going to bed you build up tension and attraction. Even in the love making itself stop and even rise again, just making love with your eyes before proceeding. Feel the energy flow up the spine or in your whole body. For men it can be good too, particularly when older to not ejaculate each time, and it makes them more vital with stronger virility too. Holding back, slowing down or taking the love making in homeopathic dozes strengthens the connection to your inner partner, your anima if you are a man and animus if you are a woman.

Let us connect this perspective with the anima and animus. Jung named four levels of anima in men, he described the same levels in women, but never got to naming them.

The first most basic level of anima he called Eve, the first woman. This represents the relationships where you have to keep the species surviving, where you marry to the daughter of the neighbour farmer, or families plan the marriage to keep the family fortunes and properties within a certain social layer or group. It is practical it is the physical sexual needs building up that it relives and can be the love to a sister or brother or good friend, but it does not need to trigger deep attraction or love.

The next level is called Helen, from Helen of Troy. With her beauty she represents the level of deep attraction to your partner. Here you are in love with parts or most of them it could be looks, mind, soul, heart etc. Today in the western world most people start a relationship based on this level. At this stage the projection is strongest. Your desire is strong but physical. Your delusion is that you have to look at the exterior to find the right person. You look into the physical world where your anima or animus are not to be found. So this is also the level of disappointment and the change of partners.

The third level is the level of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and reflects the sacred aspect entering the relationship. Here you are two souls following each other with mutual respect on the journey. You give the other person freedom and respect to complete their own anima/animus process. You see the spiritual potential in your partner and relate to it like the spiritual world is addressing you disguised as your partner. Your wife had a hidden Goddess within, your husband a hidden God.

The last level Jung call Sophia. At this stage you realize yourself as you connect with your anima or animus as a whole soul. This is called the alchymical wedding, or Opus Majus by the alchemists. It is illustrated in the hour of the night in the ceiling in the burial chambers in Egypt. It is the stage were you become a holy person with no need or longing for an external partner.

We could name the female animus levels; Adam, Alexander (the Great), Jesus and Sophus.

This deep wisdom of the journey of the soul, the path through life is also given to us in the fairy tails. They show the difference in the journey towards the female anima or male animus.

The female anima is represented by the princess, captured and hidden and guarded by a dragon or snake. The prince has to be courageous he needs to be prepared for a long journey. He will need to face the bull by the horns. This illustrates the anima hidden in the unconscious and how the animal sexual nature has to be confronted and mastered. When the prince has tamed the dragon he and the princes becomes King and Queen of the whole country and they can fly on the back of the dragon.
Men need to face their sexuality, learn to control it, sublimate it and direct the animal force upward so it can make them fly. This is not a physical or will based mission but depends on the heart opening up to Maria, realizing the spiritual aspect in your partner and approaching it with awe, respect and sacredness.

The male anima is represented by the prince and is also captured. Often he is captured by a spell turning him into a beast, frog, bear or other animal. The prince has become invisible and it takes repeated unconditional love for the hidden treasure within to bring him back. The princess is asked again and again to kiss the frog, to melt the frozen prince, to bring life the his heart.
She has to open up to the “Jesus” aspect of her animus, see the sacred prince behind her husband that she perhaps finds has a “one tracked mind”, “thinks only about one thing”, “is an animal”, does not wash” etc. etc. Closing the door makes their partner look another way.

Women’s mistake is to lock the door to their husband and then block their potential to find their animus.
Men’s mistake is to empty and weaken themselves not having the force to combat and get to fly. The weakening make them less attractive to their partner too, and not the object of her pursuit.

You might ask, how can I recognize my anima or animus when it is not my partner? You can use a few methods:
First the anima/animus represent the opposite of you. If you are serious and responsible you will be attracted to persons that are like a mother type, full of care and comfort. What you need is what the hidden part of you represents. If you are nice and adaptable you need the self-assertive part of yourself to come forward etc.
You can learn more about this in the section about archetypes.
The second method is to think about your partners, lovers or people you have been strongly attracted to. Can you see something in common in their looks, in their qualities? That will be the qualities of your inner partner.
It can also be that you can imagine or visualize the ideal partner of your dreams.
Lastly people sometimes realize that they have had two or three partners or fallen in love with people born on the almost same date. This will be reflected in your horoscope. What in you is it that feels attracted to a solar presence in that area of your chart?. If you had the horoscopes of partners and people you had fallen in love with you would also be able to explore more subtle aspects.

The stage in life where you start to become aware of your anima or animus is the stage where you make a stop and start to realize that your next step is related to your last step. When you see that your future is intrinsically connected to your past. To be able to proceed sometimes it will take unwinding the past. At this stage you start the journey back to oneness with the all-nothing or God (See Qi Gong). This stage was called The Magic Mirror. Here you look at yourself and see the path you come from in the mirror and realize that the journey forward is to undo mistakes, complete the unfinished and reach home to the Alchemical Wedding waiting for you as the guest of honour.

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