What is the Anima and Animus?
Anima and Animus are terms coined by Carl Jung to describe a man's unconscious inner feminine side (Anima), and the Animus being a woman's inner masculine side. For the man, the feminine proclivity of his psyche influences his ideas, attitudes, emotions, feelings and relationship, (how he relates to women). The Animus for a woman is the masculine proclivity of her psyche that influences her moods, judgement, perspective and thinking, her relationships, and how she relates to men. Jung described the Anima and Animus as the man and woman's 'Soul image'; which both express themselves in traditional and archetypally feminine and masculine traits.
The work of Anima and Animus Integration for men and women can endow each with a new found conscious self-awareness, an inner strength and balance of masculine and feminine proclivities. These serves to improve our relationships with the opposite sex, while also forcing us to recognise aspects of our own Shadow that we may be unaware of. Integration also means to take back our unconscious projections onto the opposite sex, which leads us to create within ourselves an inner resilience to outside influences.
Most people are completely unaware (unconscious) of their inner opposites, however, when the person is unconscious of their Anima or Animus, they are often ruled by it in a negative way.
As our parents and primary care givers are the blueprint for Anima and Animus, it is important to recognise the effects of our early childhood life, the relationships with the parents, and the parenting we experienced.
Negative and unconscious Anima or Animus can drive people to experience recurring problems in relationships, unrealistic expectations, poor boundaries, attraction based on looks and unrealistic unconscious Shadow projections, that inevitably lead to disappointments. Negative Anima and Animus can also create an inner dialogue of negative Self-talk, paralysing thoughts and ideas, lack of self-esteem, inability to give and receive love, either over emotionality, or a cold hard rigidness, an unlived real life, in exchange for fantasy life, addictions, distractions, in essence, an unconscious psychic reality that renders a person unable to reach their full potential.
"The foundation of man's search for the anima is to find his own inherited image of the inner woman and the function of Eros (romantic passionate love) or relationship... A woman's search for the Animus, however is to find her Logos, (reason thinking) that is, her unconscious mind, and then to search for the nature of her own individual Weltanschauung (particular view or philosophy of life). To oversimplify: man is looking for clarity in what he feels, and woman for clarity in what she really thinks." Carl Jung
What is Anima and Animus Integration?
Anima and Animus Integration is the conscious recognition of our personal inner masculine and feminine, and the conscious balancing of inner masculine and feminine proclivities within.
What are the Benefits of Anima and Animus Integration?
*Realisation of the effects of our early parenting and all experiences that shape our relationship to the opposite sex
*Balanced Inner masculine and feminine proclivities
*Reclaiming the masculine or feminine
*Improved Relationships with ourselves and the opposite sex
*Conscious awareness of our drive to project upon others
*Taking back projections
*Less disappointments in relationships
*Anima and Animus become a bridge between the conscious and unconscious
*The creation of an inner resilience to external influences
*Development of autonomy and inner authority
*Individuation, becoming all you have potential to be
"All these aspects of the Anima...can be projected so that they appear to the man to be the qualities of some particular woman. It is the presence of the Anima that causes a man to fall in love...he falls for her so helplessly that it looks to outsiders like complete madness." "The projection of the Anima in such a strong and passionate form as a love affair can greatly disturb a man's marriage. A bearable solution to such drama can be found only if the Anima is recognised as an inner power. The Secret aim of the unconscious in bringing about such an entanglement is to force a man to develop and to bring his own being into maturity by integrating more of his unconscious personality and bring it to his real life." Carl Jung