The animus, according to psychiatrist Carl Jung, is the personification of the masculine nature in the feminine unconsciousness. The anima is, therefore, the reverse personification in the masculine unconsciousness. This psychological bisexuality reflects the biological fact that the excessive number of male or female genes composing the individual determines their dominant sex. A smaller number of countrasexual genes appear to produce a corresponding countrasexual person, which usually remains unconscious. The anima and animus personifications usually take forms as figures in dreams or irrational fantasies; commonly they visualize as the «dream boy» and the «dream lover,» or they may be the rationalization of a man’s feeling or a woman’s thinking. Both anima and animus as regulators of behavior to regarded as highly influential archetypes.

The animus, in its primary «unconscious» form, is a compound of spontaneous, unpremeditated opinions which exercise a powerful influence on the woman’s emotional life, while the anima is similarly compounded of feelings which thereafter influence or distort the man’s understanding-she turned his head. Therefore, animus seems influential on intellectuals and heroes, including tenors, artists, sport celebrities, etc. The anima has a predilection for everything that is unconscious, dark, equivocal, and unrelated in woman, and also for her vanity, frigidity, helplessness, and so forth. A.G.H.

See also animist


C. G. Jung., Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York, Random House, 1973, pp. 391-392