The male and female elements: anima and animus.
Another archetype that shapes your life is that of anima and animus. That is the image of a man in a woman’s life and an image of a woman in a man’s life. These archetypes reflect the male and female energy of the soul in the collective unconscious and are a symbol of duality.
In this article you will:
- Know the male and female elements in you: animus and anima.
- Learn about the process of integrating anima and animus in a woman’s life.
- Meet the archetypes of the mother (Great Mother and Terrible Mother) and father (Man with Heart and Greedy Tyrant).
What does this mean for you?
Namely that, although you are not aware of it, you carry your own image of masculinity and femininity within you. This image is an image of a man and a woman built on the basis of collective beliefs (both positive and negative). Beliefs about which man or woman should be derived from the collective unconscious (archetypes of Gods and Goddesses). But also your image of masculinity and femininity built on your own life experiences. This image is primarily influenced by your relationship with your mom and dad. But also with any other man or woman for some reason important to you in the early years of life.
In spiritual development, it is very important to take responsibility for your life and demythologize this inner ideal.
Integrating your inner image of femininity and masculinity. If you don’t, you will live in the belief that only the other person will bring you fulfillment. Instead of believing that you are completely whole. If you do not integrate this image, you will try all your life to find the missing part of yourself in various ways. Or you will wait for someone to save you. Someone, who in some way will complete you, give you value or meaning. This belief is supported by the archetype of romantic love present in our culture. The archetype of the two halves of an orange or an apple, which is also reflected in the collective consciousness of the twin flames.
How is the process of integrating anima and animus in a woman’s life?
First, there is a process of separation from your own femininity leading to identification with masculinity. And the need to be successful. It is caused by the public belief in the inferiority of women and their devaluation. Seeing them as passive, manipulative, and unproductive.
This is followed by the male path to success, usually with the need to pursue a career. Filled with countless adversities, both external and internal, e.g. giving up other needs or trying to combine a career with raising children. It is usually an intoxicating experience because it is fostered by our action-oriented materialistic society.
Eventually, you achieve success. Right after that hunger for the soul leads to the initiation, that is, the need to regain contact with your own femininity. It results from the discovery of the basis of the devaluation of women in our society. Understanding that the mother is not the source of it, but only an excuse. So, there is a healing of the split between mother and daughter, healing of the wounded male element, and the integration of male and female elements.
The process of separation from one’s own femininity is simply both physical and mental separation from the mother, but also the separation of the soul from the body.
It’s a separation from the mother archetype. A very difficult process, because you have to fight that part of yourself that is the same as your mother, wanting and desiring her love and approval. It becomes a source of guilt in you.
There are two mother archetypes: the Great Mother, personifying endless care, nourishment, and protection. And the Terrible Mother – stasis, choking, and death (the archetype of a female bitch or martyr who sacrificed her own life to serve men and children).
If you see your mother as a source of care and support, she will be a positive force for you. When you perceive her as neglecting, she will be a destructive force for you.
Since most of us cannot view our mother from the perspective of her experiences, we often react to her as a Terrible Mother. And it causes us a lot of trouble in our lives.
If your mother was angry or emotional, by rejecting her, you can start to control your own feelings and deny anger. Which will make you have a problem seeing injustice in the male world. A brittle mother will activate the wound of injustice in you.
And if you thought your mother was overly religious and old-fashioned, you might discard the magic part of life for cool logic and analysis. By rejecting your mother, you can also cut yourself off from the positive aspects of your own femininity.
If your mother was passive and powerless, you may feel humiliated by identifying with your own gender. Humiliation can also activate when you throw off your body in adolescence when it is found that your parents are not coping with your emerging sexuality. This will create a feeling of imperfection in you, which you may be drowning out with food, alcohol, sex, or drugs. When you start to ignore your body, you will automatically start rejecting its wisdom. Therefore intuition manifested by various sensations flowing from the body, e.g. guts feelings.
The stage of rejection of femininity occurs both from daughter to mother and from mother to daughter.
If your mother rejected you, either literally by giving you up for adoption or indirectly due to illness, depression, or alcoholism, she will activate a soul wound in you called rejection. You will constantly experience a sense of lack of care. You will try your whole life to seek approval, love, attention, and acceptance.
If your soul has a greater percentage of male energy, the process of entering the male path will be much more difficult for you. You will feel that you are doing something against yourself. You will not be able to find yourself in the process of achieving a career, gaining status, power, and money.
If you are called a daddy’s baby girl, or when your soul has a greater percentage of male energy, you don’t see anything wrong with being ambitious, having power, making money, and building a successful relationship with a man.
You will then feel responsible for your own life. Women accepted by their fathers have the certainty that they will be accepted by the world. They also have a good relationship with their own animus then.
The father archetype is the Man with the Heart or the Greedy Tyrant who never lets go.
When you judge your father as a supportive Man with Heart, you will be moving in a certain direction with confidence.
Lack of support from your father, or even his belief that you will not be able to achieve your dreams and ideas, will make you wonder your whole life, and you can withdraw into success to prove to him that you can do it. So, you will polish what are typically masculine qualities, such as logical, direct, and linear thinking, analysis, and setting short-term goals. You will need to prove yourself and achieve achievements.
When your father devoted too much time to his own career at the expense of his family life. He was a workaholic, he launched the wound of betrayal for you. You will then feel a constant need to improve. Because of this, you will demonstrate your own strength, strive for honors and titles just to become someone important and unique. You will lose touch with your own sensitivity.
Most of us will do anything to please our father. If you are aware of the presence of this first male force in your life, you will be able to deal with the deceptive force of the male element in you.
Also, by trying not to be like your mother, you often unconsciously act like men. You start to measure your self-esteem and self-esteem against men’s standards. Because of this, you never feel good enough. There is always something inside you telling you to run from one goal to another.
When you finally achieve success in the patriarchal world, when you achieve each goal you have set for yourself, you begin to feel empty and still feel like you are missing something.
You then start looking for fulfillment in other areas. When you let go of your fascination with the male world, you may first begin exploring your body sensation, your emotions, your sexuality, your intuition, your values, and your mind. In pursuit of success, you have learned to reject the messages flowing from your body. You don’t know when it needs rest when it needs love, when it is hungry or thirsty, when it needs exercise and when it needs sex.
When you cut yourself off from the spiritual identity of the patriarchy’s daughter, you will experience a pressing need to regain contact with your own femininity. You will want to develop those parts of yourself that you have forgotten: your body, emotions, spirit, creativity, and wisdom. Most likely you will begin to use your dreaming ability, imagination, and fantasies.
You have to find autonomy to be able to achieve fullness. Discard your idea of success, because you often sacrifice your soul for it. You must give up your false beliefs about heroism when your success in the labor market takes a toll on your health and emotional state.
Whenever you contradict your feelings, body, dreams, and intuition, you do not see the dominant male element in you.
In order to reach your full potential, you need to look at all the contradictory elements in itself. Your negative beliefs about women and your negative beliefs about men and accept them. You must make an act of divine marriage between ego and soul. The connection of two aspects of your nature of the connection of the feminine in the male inside you with the masculine in you.
Dualism is mankind’s sin to separate itself from itself.
It is a separation from holiness, a separation between me and you. Between good and evil, between the sacred and nature.
It causes us to divide people into ideas. Hierarchies of good and evil, white and black, right and wrong, left and right, socialism and capitalism, liberalism and conservatism.
This way of looking at the world causes poverty, illness, ignorance, and the domination of some over others. In patriarchal relationships, only one person can be at the top. There is always someone who controls and who is controlled.
The key is acceptance and integration. Understanding that we are all part of one whole.
There is no me without you. Shadow without light. Science without spirituality.
All qualities are intertwined and support each other. We can cooperate and support each other instead of competing, attacking, or countering. We don’t have to give up our passion at the expense of our pursuit of success. Family for a career. We can be successful in doing what we love, what gives us pleasure, and what flows straight from our soul. By combining all the opposite elements, we can create a new quality, different from that imposed on us by traditional society. We can be impartial and open to uniqueness and diversity. We can connect our body, mind, and spirit into a coherent whole. Live in harmony, unity, and love instead of hate.
Patriarchy teaches us to conform. But when you stop being an authentic self, you sell your soul to the devil. And this has certain consequences. You are suffering physically, emotionally, and mentally, and you don’t recognize the cause of your suffering. You get the pain of existence that you try to drown out in a way promoted by our world. Consumerism, pharmacology, stimulants, to name a few, provide temporary relief, but the feeling of inner emptiness deepens.
So you start to unload your frustration on your surroundings, on your loved ones, on your neighbors, on political opponents. If you can’t be yourself, neither can others. So you start to expect everyone to be like you. You cease to respect someone else’s independence, other views, opinions, and dreams. Since you are intolerant of yourself, it is just as easy to hate others. And from here it is not far from the tragedy.
Patriarchy is a control to which, unfortunately, you are getting used to. You don’t even notice when you yourself become a slave to this system. Instead of enjoying life, you are constantly struggling with it. You run from one task to the next, go up to your armpits, live in stress and fear. For what? Are you sure that’s how you want to live? Being a robot? Is this what happiness looks like?
Integrating the male and female elements, recognizing and integrating your own archetypes make you start living your own life.
Maureen Murdock “The Heroine’s Journey” („Podróż bohaterki”), Instytut Studiów Kulturowych Raven, Czeladź, 2020.
Male and female element. Male and female element.