Episode 76 – Animus & Anima

Sep 12, 2019


Although these Jungian concepts have become familiar psychological terminology, they remain difficult to understand. According to Jung, animus and anima are innate psychic structures shaped significantly by the archetypal world, whereas the shadow is predominantly shaped by personal experiences of ego formation. Whereas shadow tends to be rejected, animus and anima fascinate and attract. Although images like sol / luna or yin / yang amplify the a priori nature of these inner opposites, the animus corresponds to the paternal Logos and the anima to the maternal Eros. Parents are the first external experience of this innate predisposition, and a developmental psychic trajectory may be inferred from mythology and individual dream images. Animus and anima represent adaptation and attitude to the inner world; they serve as the bridge to the collective unconscious and are experienced as “other.” 


“In the first scene, my guy and I are watching each other masturbate over Skype. He’s in his house and he ejaculates on his real wood floor. In the second scene, we’re in my parents’ house; they aren’t there but there are children’s toys around. He masturbates himself and ejaculates on their laminate wood floor. I’m anxious about this and clear up. In the third scene, I arrive in a cavernous Victorian public restroom below ground level, in London. The first chamber is a men’s urinal and lots of men are pleasuring each other, it’s a lively scene and they invite me in but I refuse. I move to another chamber, which is a spa, but I don’t go in. In between the two chambers is a lecture theatre, and my guy is giving a work presentation to an audience. He doesn’t acknowledge my arrival and I sit next to the projector under the raked chairs where the audience is sitting, and watch him present. He won’t be able to see me, as he’d be blinded by the projector, but I can see him.”


Anima and Animus by Emma Jung

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  1. Deborah Gregory

    Wow! What was an amazing conversation that continues to help us all on our Animus and Anima journeys! Your listeners might enjoy reading my three year, four part “Journey of Love: The Animus Diet” posted on my poetry and Jungian website. Here’s Part 1: http://theliberatedsheep.com/journey-love-animus-diet/ Warm autumnal blessings, Deborah.

  2. artemis

    In the Celtic Irish tradition , there are male archetypes that have traits that are nurturing or emotionally expressive, (the Dagda,has a cauldron that feeds everyone, and a harp that makes music for sleeping, laughing and dancing) also in this tradition make and female pairing happens when new growth is fertilized.

  3. Frances Earnshaw

    I have just searched: “what did jung say about pregnancy and motherhood?”

    At the top of the page is a reference to the Mother Complex; “The mother is the first feminine being with whom the man-to-be comes in contact…” etc.

    Then we have the Mother Archetype and the Mother/Child bond.

    There is a reference to archetypes and complexes within the womb.

    I am looking for an exploration or reference to the archetypal power of the pregnant woman and it is interesting, given the distinctions between Freud and Jung, I am not easily finding this. Is it there? Did Jung acknowledge or explore this? Imagine the analysis by Jung of a pregnant woman. There is, at last, a burgeoning movement in art of artist-mothers, mother-art, imaging pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. What a long time it has taken for this area to be acknowledged in a patriarchal society.

    This broadcast was from 2019. Since then we have moved into an intense preoccupation with gender politics which is, in some ways, setting back the visibility of women. These complexities are worth exploring, too.


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