Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Anima and Animus

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.

Carl Jung


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.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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