From Conversations with C. G. Jung

[Carl Jung on the Anima and Animus]

The power operating through the animus emanates specifically from the self, which is hidden behind it, and from its mana.

According to my view the animus can be either positive or negative.

He is like a dragon guarding the bridge trying to prevent us from reaching the other bank.

If we do not try to evade him, but go on courageously he becomes transparent and we can pass through without any harm.

If we run away because the dragon seems too powerful we lose some of our vital energy and become soulless.

Many people go on being soulless for a long time but the bill is presented in the end.

If a woman does not follow her animus she loses both the direction and capacity for development.

A particle split off from the mother’s animus can enter her children and act like an evil spirit.

As soon as the mother integrates this animus side of her soul, her children are freed. The animus which is not realized by the
mother is like a part of a soul with a relative existence of its own.

When a mother attempts to live consciously through her animus her son has a chance to avoid becoming a puer aeternus.

If she does not, her animus forces the son to think for her. He is seduced to spiritual heights, finally falling to his death.

When the woman experiences the mystery of creativeness in herself, in her own inner world, she is doing the right thing and then no longer demands it from the outside — from her husband, her son, or anyone else close to her.

A woman should in some way harness herself to the animus (yoga).

She should take care that her animus does not escape because if it gets away from her unnoticed and falls into the unconscious, it can be destructive.

A woman should constantly control the animus: by undertaking some intellectual work, for example: if the woman is an analyst I do not just mean the work she does with her patients, but some other work that she does on her own.

Writing an article or giving a lecture can be helpful.

A woman’s climacteric is a time when one part of the psyche tries to leave the body whilst another part wishes to remain.

One part clings and the other runs away.

If this part falls into the unconscious it becomes a part of the animus.

Hildegard von Bingen transcended the animus; that is one woman’s service to the spirit.

A woman is oriented towards the animus because it is the son of the unknown father, the Old Sage, whom she never comes to know.

This motive is hinted at in the Gnostic texts where Sophia in her madness loves the Great Father.

On the other hand a man does not know the mother of the anima. She may be personified, for example, in Sophia or the seven times veiled Isis.

When a woman feels she is “understood”, caution is indicated.

When a woman has a very strong animus she can do terrible things.

Many a woman has been driven to disaster by her animus.

If we try to make clear to such a woman, for instance, that the man she wants to marry has been divorced three times and she is not likely to be happy as his fourth wife, she just remains animus-possessed.

She is sure she is right, because she believes she is an exception.

She thinks she can exert her will upon life and so she runs headlong to disaster.

Some destinies must be fulfilled whatever happens.

When a woman realizes her shadow the animus can be constellated.

If the shadow remains in the unconscious the animus possesses her through the shadow.

When she realizes her animus, mystical generation can occur.

Sarah was Abraham’s legitimate wife, but Hagar, the dark one, had the procreative animus.

Out of darkness the light is born.

If a woman dreams of a superior role she wants to assume in the world, it is best to advise her to write an article or an essay about her wishes, or to read some pertinent books and make an abstract.

She must be taken seriously so that she can keep her animus busy.

She can then see where she stands and what is lacking in order to carry out her plans.

Knights in the Middle Ages paid their “minne” homage to “The Lady Soul.”

A woman’s service to a man has a spiritual aspect; a man’s to a woman has an emotional one.

The erotic aspect that emerges from both is only the undifferentiated outer aspect, the primitive outer coloring, the vehicle, the base of the relationship.

The higher aspects of the man’s and the woman’s service to each other are in the clouds.

For a man the archetype of service to a woman is overpowering;for him it is a strong spiritual symbol.

This was understood and cultivated in the Middle Ages.

For a woman the animus is an image with a natural aim; she wants marriage , a child and a home. But a man takes a more religious attitude to this.

A man motivates a given situation in a very different way from the woman on whom he has projected his anima.

A woman usually experiences the situation quite differently.

A man frequently has a beautiful picture of his anima, but if the woman on whom he has projected his anima spoke and revealed her motivation, a very different picture would appear.

The man thinks she is heavenly, a ravishing Mother of God, because he is fascinated and a little intoxicated.

But he has not completely grasped the image of the woman if he has not also seen her icy darkness, her cruelty, her plots, her cold serpent-like blood, her capacity for robbery by stealth.

When a woman sets her sights too high and asks too much of herself we are tempted to ask, “What does she want to escape from?”

She puts herself on a very high level to escape from the dark plans she would really like to execute.

She must be given a cold shower to bring her down to earth from her presumption.

Thoughts from the animus always lead one away from human relationships.

A woman needs to discover the love which clothes sin.

We cannot deliberately sin; we have to be in love in order to sin. Power dominates where love does not rule.

The anima is the handmaiden of the male principle.

The animus must not be allowed to be a possessive demon but must be taken in hand by the woman.

Then it will lead her to her destined wholeness and her self will emerge from it. “God must be repeatedly reborn in the soul.”

To a man the anima is the Mother of God who gives birth to the Divine Child.

To a woman the animus is the Holy Spirit, the procreator.

He is at once the light and the dark God — not the Christian God of Love who contains neither the Devil nor the Son.

Primeval history is the story of the beginning of consciousness by differentiation from the archetypes.

It leads to the fire whose origin lies in a crime.

A man on this earth carries the flame of consciousness within him.

Individual existence is the crime against the gods, disobedience to God, the peccatum originale.

Out of this projection of spiritual fire is born the anima.

The coldness of the psyche is in opposition to the warmth of the fire.

The anima comes out of an emotional act, taking place in darkness, the compensation for the crime against the fire; the anima is the compensating element that must be extracted from matter.

It must be begotten by a creative act to compensate for the rape of the fire.

A man needs to be hostile to woman in order to free himself from the “Baubo” that he sees in his mother.

When the Primeval Mother is overcome the anima can become a world consciousness; she must be chiseled from the earth.

The seed of the anima is only productive when man can subordinate his libido to the female principle.

If he does not succeed the anima runs away and the man turns to violence to find himself — to the tormenting of those around him or the boasting of self-importance.

It naturally makes a great difference in practice to a woman whether a man projects a positive or negative anima on to her , but psychologically speaking they are equivalent projections. ~Carl Jung, Margaret Ostrowski, Conversations with C.G. Jung.