Anima and Animus
Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman, not the image of this or that particular woman, but a definite feminine image. The image is fundamentally unconscious, an hereditary factor of primordial origin engraved in the living organic system of the man, an imprint or archetype of all the ancestral experiences of the female, a deposit, as it were, of all the impressions ever made by woman.
Every human being keeps in his psyche, side by side with the characteristics of his sex, some characteristics of the opposite sex. The Anima Archetype – in the male psyche – and Animus – in the female, represents these characteristics. These are personifications of the female side of men and the male side of women. They are archetypes that work as our guides in the unconscious. Anima bears the female part of a man, his yin side, whereas Animus represents the male side of a woman, her yang side.
We can find in the world literature thousands of examples of the Anima archetype. Beatrice, the guide of Dante in his masterwork – the Divine Comedy – is an excellent example.
One Platonic myth, the round man, said that human beings were initially complete: man and woman in the same spherical body. The gods, recognizing that this feature gave the man too much power, divided them in two: man and woman.
In fact, a human being that relates well with his or her anima or animus, is quite powerful.