I always thought the animus (or anima, if you're a man) was some random archetype of the opposite sex that you expressed the most. Now I wonder...


I figured my animus was Hermes because I have several Hermes-like traits, even though I feel nothing for him and he never appears in any active visualizations. By contrast, I have done a LOT of work with my inner Hades (who has a deep connection to my archetype, Persephone). So now I'm thinking... maybe our animus is actually the archetype, or archetypes, that our own archetype matches with romantically? Which would make sense, as those are the people with whom we can do the most spiritual work, and grow the most with. Perhaps we seek a romantic partner who is a manifestation of that inner animus to carry on the work with on a different level.


It just doesn't make sense that our animus would be so completely non-existent in our inner world, the way Hermes has been for me… And, now that I think of it, the stories that I find the most compelling are those about diffuse, lost women and chthonic men. So, like everything else in our lives, our reading (and movie watching) habits can help us understand what's going on inside us.


Also, if I'm right about this, then gay people might be "double souled;" that is they’d have both a male and female archetype... and matching animus/anima's. Which makes sense – in non-patriarchal societies gay people are generally considered special, sacred, like shamen. By living outside of the ordinary, day to day concerns of family they could work on larger issues. Having all those people inside them would certainly help with that!


Link: Archetypal relationships - Hades/Persephone

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Comment by Suzanne Rath on September 2, 2011 at 9:39am

I'm not sure about that - I think that both can be useful... if they're done consciously. It's when we're unaware that we're projecting and the other person is reduced to a mirror of our animus instead of the whole, complete human being they really are that we run into trouble. I've certainly found that I'm attracted to relationships to certain kinds of people - I draw them over and over, probably because I have issues I need to work through. I think this applies to lovers as well.


In fact, that might be a large part of what the "falling in love" experience is - when we see the Godhead in our partner.

Comment by Ed Koffenberger on September 1, 2011 at 12:07pm
As to the finding another person to receive one's projected anima/animus, therein lies the danger. We need to develop/consciously accept whichever is our opposite within ourselves rather than projecting it on another. Projections don't last too long, at least in my experience. No Other can hold the projection of being a perfect "fit" for those things lacking in ourselves. I agree that a conscious relationship that takes this into account and allows the Other to teach us so that we can become more fully individuated makes sense, just haven't experienced many of these in my life.

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