Animus and Anima

It’s been a while since I blogged. I fell into some doubt about whether or not it was wise to be more transparent and expressive as a therapist. After some deep digging, I realized that my truth is still solid. I share myself as a healer. I share to deconstruct the idea that therapists must be objective blank slates in lab coats or watered down versions of human that have no unique expression. Not true. We are all equally human in our struggles and we all have a unique expression.

I also share because I am passionate about modeling emotional expression. It is my dedication to the being a way-shower for the feminine energy to find balance in an overly masculine world.

By feminine and masculine I don’t mean man and woman. I mean yin and yang, the two polarities that live inside every one of us no matter what gender we identify or don’t identify with, no matter what sex organ we have. Nature is ruled by the dance of polarities. The feminine may be seen as the sun or the moon as the masculine may be seen as the sun and the moon. But when one is the sun the other is the moon.

When the feminine is being solar, she is expressing her feelings, shining her emotional self, her desire for connection, and revealing the deep intuitive wisdom of the universe through her words and actions. In this case, the masculine is lunar and reflecting her bright feeling and intuitive wisdom. He is tempering her with reason, logic, and bringing order through making adjustments in her narrative and helping her see her own blind spots. In this model of feminine sun and masculine moon, she leads with feeling, connection, and intuition and he reflects with reason, logic, and order.

In the model of the lunar feminine and solar masculine the person (no matter what sex they are or gender they identify or not identify with) expresses and shines more logic, reason, order and the lunar feminine reflects this, tempering his logic, reason and order with feelings and intuition. The masculine seeks to individuate and the feminine seeks to unify. So in the model of the solar masculine, he will seek to stand out as unique. In the solar feminine model, she seeks to shine as an example that says, “I am just like you.”

The solar masculine expresses ideas that bring more structure, skill and strategy to life. The solar feminine expresses ideas that bring more love, understanding, and healing to life.

The masculine in essence is reason, order, logic, ideas, truth, doing, linear direction, individuation, narrative, meaning-making, structure, and consistent movement (one way).

The feminine in essence is feeling, intuition, wildness, wisdom, being, spiral direction, unity, connection, creative impulse/instinct, nurturing, and cyclical movement (changing ways).

The lunar and solar difference reveals which aspect of the polarity is shining like the sun and which aspect of the polarity is reflecting like the moon.

Seeing the feminine as only lunar and the masculine as only solar is a masculine-centric perspective and seeing the feminine as only solar and the masculine as lunar is a feminine-centric perspective. The sun is the center and the moon reflects. Both versions are true.

Our current culture is overly masculine-centric and it’s making everybody sick, overworked, under appreciated, overly competitive, lonely, and emotionally bereft. Feelings are treated as marginalized values whereas logic and reason are enthroned. Ideas and doing are given way more clout and importance than creative instinct and being. Many say this is due to the subconscious desire to “conquer nature” which is seen as feminine. But nature is equally masculine and feminine.

The imbalance of the overly masculine polarity that is making us so sick does have roots stemming from long long long ago….but that’s for another blog.

Back to the feminine and masculine polarities. You can see how balanced or imbalanced you are by checking in with the traits and how much space you give yourself to be feminine and masculine.

Jung understood this polarity in the psyche as Anima and Animus.

If you have a female conscious self you have a masculine unconscious self. If you have a masculine conscious self you have a female unconscious self. If you don’t identify with the binary polarities model this applies by understanding your unconscious self as the opposite, very identified with the binary model. If you are a masculine body but have a feminine conscious self your unconscious is a masculine because the unconscious self is the opposite of the conscious self and not physical matter. We are talking energy here, not body parts. And if you think this is all bullocks, no problem, toss it.

The feminine conscious self has an unconscious masculine self or Animus that initiates, directs, individuates, implements, structures, sets boundaries, makes decisions, and uses reason, logic, and order to guide her life.

The masculine conscious self has an unconscious feminine self or Anima that connects, unifies, merges, feels, intuits, desires and brings fulfillment into his life.

Due to all of us being born into a collective sick and imbalanced overly masculine world, we tend to have unintegrated unconscious selves.

For the feminine conscious self this means she tends to have poor boundaries, poor directive, poor sense of self, she listens too much to her feelings and ignores logic and reason, she follows the leader blindly, she does not individuate herself, and she lives purely to nurture, love and keep a family happy, never really taking authority as an autonomous unique self with ideas to offer the world.

For the masculine conscious self this means he tends to be unable to access his feelings or when he does it scares him and he cannot trust his feelings, his relationships suffer because he cannot connect well, he feels lonely inside even if surrounded by family, he lacks intuition and relies on what he knows through reason only which leads to bad decisions and unhappiness, he is emotionally stunted and immature, and he never truly grows up internally.

The unintegrated Anima shows up in the conscious masculine self as moodiness, being withdrawn, bratty, inconsistent. He may say very mean things behind a mask of reason and logic. He may present as wishy-washy with his partner or see her as the bad guy where he is the helpless victim. The unintegrated Animus shows up in the conscious feminine self as being critical, judgmental, and full of shoulds and expectations she projects onto her partner as if it is the law (this goes for same-sex relationships, as I am speaking of energy polarities and not physical sex organs).

In sexual relationships it is vital that we work on integrating our unconscious selves or else we wind up the moody, withdrawn, inconsistent victimized masculine who projects his entire Anima onto his partner, making her carry all of his feelings….or we wind up the critical, nagging, judgmental feminine who projects her entire Animus on the masculine partner making him hold all of her authority and power. He needs to integrate his feelings, desires, and need to merge and connect. She needs to integrate her reason, sense of self, authority, and boundaries.

This is hard work and how we connect to our unconscious masculine and feminine self has everything to do with the mother and father, the sister and brother, as well as cultural values, ancestral patterns, and past lives.

I am currently delving into my Animus integration, hence the passion to write this blog. I tend to vibe more with the feminine sun and masculine moon model. I feel my feminine conscious self as more fiery, expressive, bold, passionate, and wanting to be the center sun. I feel my Animus as more watery, gentle, reflective, stoic, spacious, and wanting to be the one in the background and support role. This shows up as a whole person who is emotionally very strong, expressive, and passionate with a reflective sense of reason and authority about the psyche that provides healing.

This is me. Who are you? It’s not unique how we show up as humans in our most basic nature. This is why I have no shame in sharing. Because I am just like you. We are the same in our essential nature (feminine) and how we choose to express our unique selves (masculine) is the healing agent for this world.


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