(This is a blog post I wrote for the Jung Society of Utah, and can be found in its entirety here.)

“When animus and anima meet, the animus draws his sword of power and the anima ejects her poison of illusion and seduction. The outcome need not always be negative, since the two are equally likely to fall in love (a special instance of love at first sight).” - C.G. Jung

Carl Jung used the term anima to describe “the inner figure of a woman held by a man,” and animus to describe “the figure of a man at work in a woman’s psyche.” The anima or animus functions as a psychopomp, or “guide of soul” which mediates between the conscious and unconscious, often becoming a “necessary link with creative possibilities and instruments of individuation.” These archetypes can profoundly influence our relationships. Individuals often choose partners based upon a resemblance to the anima or animus, or who outwardly express characteristics and feelings that lay dormant in their own psyche. This type of projection can lead to disillusionment and heartbreak once we get to know “the real him, the real herin extremis, the mask slipped from the face,” particularly if that face turns out to be very different from the idealized archetypal image we hold.

Searching for wholeness in the Magical Other

Perhaps it is the anima or animus that leads us to seek out a “Magical Other,” a term coined by Jungian analyst James Hollis to describe “the idea that there is one person out there who is right for us, will make our lives work, a soul–mate who will repair the ravages of our personal history, one who will be there for us, will read our minds, know what we want and meet those deepest needs; a good parent who will protect us from suffering and spare us the challenging journey of individuation.” Such romantic fantasies may drive us to search endlessly for our “perfect” match, or fixate in fascinated longing for an Other who seems to be our “ideal.”

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Comment by Stuart Lloyd on March 5, 2017 at 3:49pm

Across the road from St Pauls Cathedral in London is a bronze statue of St Micheal in battle with a dragon.

As I was gaping at the bute image, an English man stopped and commented that they had been in battle like that for the last 300 years.

Yes, it was a dance between opposites.

While in Europe we followed a theme to search out black madonna sites and at every site, here we are presented with this same visual arts metaphor of the crusader and the dragon, so deeply embedded in our European heritage.

I was to associate this dance as the Tao. 

The dance between light and dark.

Within our indigenous Australian metaphor, again I was able to read this dance between the square and circle. 

When you begin The 'First Basket' (twinned dillybag) the straight threads are married and started with a circling of the bundle.

Again, when I look at my Luritja families sacred ground mosaics we can see these same elements of the square and the circle dancing.

I speak of these metaphors for in my own interest in understanding my intuit leading (animus), I found my compulsive weaving and painting quests continually lead me back to keystone geometrics. And thus in the artistic practice, no answers were clear but rendering visual images empowered my enthusiasm to revisit the front line trenches of green and black politics and work with the community development of our fringe youth at risk. 

I took wise advice from Robert Johnstone's Grail Quest commentary, we need to just ask the question ......To whom does the grail serve?

What ails thee?

In hindsight, my wife and all our peer and elders were pretty mad in our courage to just practice proper good cultural educational programs independent of our colonial domination.

I credit my own courage was from witnessing an ARAS perspective of metaphor throughout humanities visual arts.


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