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Later, however, this individual effort on the part of men to develop a relationship with the anima was abandoned, and instead the spiritual aspect of this figure was identified with the Virgin Mary. But since only the anima’s positive side was embodied in Mary, her negative aspects fell forfeit to the belief in witchcraft, which began to flourish at that time. In China, the figure parallel to the Virgin Mary is Kwan Yin or a figure of the folk culture known as the moon fairy, who confers on her favorites the gift of music and immortality. In India, the same archetype is represented by Shakti, Parvati, Rati, and many other goddesses. Among the Muslims, she is mainly represented by Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad. When the anima is venerated in this way as an official religious figure, there is the disadvantage that she loses her individual aspects. On the other hand, when she is experienced only on a personal level, there is the danger that she will remain entirely projected onto external love relationships. On this level, only the painful but ultimately simple resolve to take one’s own fantasies and emotional moods seriously can prevent stagnation in a man’s inner development. For only in this way can he discover what this image of a woman means as an inner reality. Then the anima becomes once again what she was originally: the inner woman who conveys the vitally important messages of the Self to the ego.

The Animus, a Woman’s Inner Man The embodiment of the unconscious of a woman as a figure of the opposite sex, the animus, also has positive and negative features. The animus, however, does not express itself so often in women as an erotic fantasy or mood, but rather as “sacred” convictions.28 When these latter are expressed loudly and energetically in a masculine style, this masculine side of a woman is easily recognizable. However, it can also manifest in a woman who appears very feminine externally as a quiet but relentless power that is hard as iron. Suddenly one comes up against something in her that is cold, stubborn, and completely inaccessible. The favorite themes that the animus of the woman dredges up within her sound like this: “I am seeking nothing but love, but ‘he’ doesn’t love me.” Or, “There are only two possibilities in this situation,” both of which of course are unpleasant (the negative animus never believes in exceptions). One can seldom contradict the animus, for it (he) is always right; the only

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -