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The Anima - Motivation and Inspiration, Whore or Saint

The Anima and the Realm of Dreams

By on 14 January 2021

The Anima and the Realm of Dreams

As the feminine side of the spirit, the anima stands for magic, love and high ideals.

The Anima, female spirit and drive of the soul

As the feminine side of the spirit, the anima has a strong power of attraction, which has an inspiring and motivating effect. It moves the soul to strive for high ideals such as love and eternal life. On the one hand, however, it can also seduce us into consumption, wealth and power.

Inspiration, Motive and Motivation: Goddess and Archetype

In the traditions, the anima is an extremely central figure who appears in a wide variety of forms. As the "goddess" and the female spirit, she is an archetype for the ideal image of femininity and in this function also represents the drive of the soul. She is the hero's motivation and goal and, through her strong charisma, motivates him to put his entire existence on the line and literally surpass himself in the process (see, for example, Knight George's battle against the dragon serpent

Goethe formulated in his Faust:

The eternal feminine attracts us. [1]

(Faust encountered the "eternal feminine" in the beautiful Helen, who according to Greek myth was the cause of the Trojan War).

C.G. Jung wrote:

With the archetype of the anima, we enter the realm of the gods, respectively the territory that metaphysics has reserved for itself. Everything that touches the anima becomes numinos, that is, unconditional, dangerously taboo, magical. She is the snake in the paradise of the harmless man full of good intentions and intentions. [2]

Context: Animus and Anima in juxtaposition

Driving the body and soul

C.G. Jung coined the terms animus and anima. These two ARCHETYPES represent the male and female spirit, which move people as living matter in different ways. In their positive form they work through the power of love, but in their negative form they pull everything into a destructive dynamic: fire and ice.


The Anima - the feminine spirit, motivation for devotion (love, knowledge)

As the air spirit, the anima represents the feminine side of the spirit. She has the ability to lift life from its bondage to matter and draw it into the realm of spirit and ideals. In its negative form, however, it causes life to solidify through detached ideals or in a virtual world, with ever increasing coldness (see The EIS Dynamics). As the inner woman of the man the anima attracts to love or lust.

The animus, the male spirit, life force in matter and in the body

The animus as fire spirit represents on the other side the male side of the spirit. He is the life force in matter, active physical and impulsive energy, which moves, be it through fiery passion for the good on one side or through fiery pain or suffering on the other side (Pain body). As the inner man of the woman, the animus symbolizes her body drive and power (s. The Animus).

In their negative form, Anima and Animus each start their own "vicious circle", white and black magic, Fire and ice; in the collective context the whore and the beast called.

Anima and Animus for the two trees in Paradise

The two spiritual forces correspond to the tree of knowledge(anima) and the "tree of life" (animus), respectively, in a "paradisiacal garden" of the wholeness of "twelve trees."

[S. The Wholeness of the Twelve and The Two Trees in Paradise.]

Positive or negative shape of the anima

Virgin or whore / witch or saint?

Power (cognition) or love as motive

The motivating force of the anima can come from a pure or a poisoned source, which in turn can be traced back to the two primal motives: love or fear, which leads to power. In the latter case, the anima works from the shadow, the unconscious, and can cause a fall or tear into the abyss. [See the poem by Goethe: The Fisherman.]

The Gold Well (in "The Iron Man")

The positive anima as a virgin

Pure spiritual love

The anima is the muse that motivates heroes and inspires artists, it is the high goal, the ideal for which it is worth giving oneself, even worth dying for.

  • As a VIRGIN she has what the strong hero still lacks: that gentle, pure and selfless love which has great, miracle-working powers.
  • As the HOLY, the Anima radiates supernatural perfection and wholeness. Through her radiance of pure love, she is able to release the hero from his attachment to the physical and matter and to draw him into the realm of the spirit. Thus she awakens his soul to eternal life and inspires him to devotion to the greater.

The negative anima as witch, whore or snake

Power through seduction and delusion 

In its negative form as a WHORE, the anima seduces through the false light of knowledge. She lures us with eroticism or slogans and exaggerated ideals, blinds us with illusions and thereby pulls everything down to a virtual and lifeless level. An example of this kind of cold, lifeless rigidity can be found in the fairy tale The Snow Queen by H.C. Andersen.

As a serpent, it seduces to cunning strategic behavior, with the aim to enforce egoistic interests (see The Fall of Man Report of the Bible and the Mystery of the Serpent). Or it paralyzes through the illusion of fear to complete motionlessness and powerlessness.

[S. The negative anima as WHORE or SNAKE.]

Inanna's or Lilith's tree

Archetypal anima figures in traditions

The anima as a spiritual drive and motive always plays an important role in traditions.

Myths and fairy tales describe the anima through different archetypes:

  • Negative: the dark maiden, the witch, the stepmother, the evil queen, the snow queen, the evil fairy, the snake, the dragon, the spider
  • Positive: The goddess of love, the virgin, the mother as queen of the earth or good queen, the old wise woman, the good fairy, the princess, the king's daughter.
  • Ambivalent: the ruler of the underworld, the deity of fate, the serpent, the oracle

Different archetypes for the Anima

The anima can take on different forms. It corresponds to the various archetypes which in turn represent the diverse manifestations of the goddess and the feminine (see Feminine wholeness - the goddess, White / Red / Black):

The anima as virgin, princess and her kingdom

She appears as a light or dark maiden, as the goddess of love or the queen of the night, like Lilith. Teasing and playful, she touches the young man's heart as a princess (as in Der Eisenhans or Aladdin and the Magic Lamp). Or she tempts us to forget all wisdom and caution. In the tale, the maiden inspires the noble knight George to a lifetime of good deeds and thus leads him to wholeness.
The maiden princess is also the hero's ultimate goal, because with the wedding he also wins an entire kingdom. This stands for kingship in one's own life.
As the inner woman, the Anima connects the man with his feminine personality traits, i.e. with his soul (his feelings) and with his spirit (devoted love). In this way, he attains wholeness and eternal life (symbolized by gold; see The Holy Wedding and Alchemy - Gold for eternity).

Serpent tongue as the evil advisor of the king

In a negative form, however, the anima appears as a "serpent's tongue", for example. The scheming advisor blocks and paralyzes "King Consciousness" through fear and lies and puts him out of action through intrigue. (See The Third Eye and the King's Treasure.)

Angry femininity and the inner woman as dragon or raging bull

If femininity is not integrated, it can rage as full-blown negativity in the form of a raging bull or a dragon or lead to greed and violence. The raging celestial bull also plays a role in the Gilgamesh epic, as well as in myths (such as the Greek Minotaur) or in fairy tales and stories such as "The Last Unicorn" (see The bull as a female symbol and the bull cult).

Positive femininity and security in the womb of mother nature

But strong, wise femininity also has its place in the lore, albeit often in a hidden form. Thus it is the old, wise woman who shows the hero or heroine the way (as in George, the dragon slayer or in the Snow Queen). She also appears as a fairy godmother (in Cinderella) or Mother Hulda, who rewards the faithful daughter.
On the other hand, strong femininity also appears as an oracle or sphinx who undermines male supremacy by speaking in riddles. Only the hero with a sincere heart can understand her message. For the great mother is a deity of fate and mistress of life and death.
The egotistical ruler fights against the latter in vain and fails. But the true hero as the searching wanderer finds a new sense of security and living abundance, not least in the grandiosity of nature, which corresponds to the womb of the great mother deity.

White - Red - Black, Kay Nielsen, 3 Sisters

The Anima as the inner woman of the man

Soul, relationship skills and the inner image of women

The anima as the inner woman and soul of the man stands for his relationship aspect, through which he also enters into contact with women in particular.
This inner conception of femininity is initially shaped by the mother, then further by experiences with other women and not least also by social ideas and ideals. It is a mental factor which decisively determines the man's way of encountering women.

Virgin or Whore/Snake?

In its positive form as a VIRGIN, the anima moves the man to devotion to the relationship, the family or even the profession / vocation.

[S. The anima as the inner woman of man.]

In her negative form as a WHORE she seduces him to lust, power and consumption. As a "SNAKE" she tempts him to manipulate his environment and especially also the woman by "cunning" and strategic-intriguing behavior to reach his goal and to drive his desire forward.

[S. The negative anima and the man without a soul.]

Anima, man's inner woman (from video clip for Robbie Williams' song "Angels")

The integration of the anima 

Weakness and the sacred wound

Existential tests: the acid test

In the crisis of the middle years at the latest, however, it is time to integrate the spirit, both male and female. For this is how a person achieves wholeness. This is a demanding task that goes to the core of existence and represents the final test on the hero's journey, the acid test.

[S. The integration of anima and animus.]

On the path from powerlessness to wholeness

The integration of the anima means the integration of weakness. The spiritual teacher and Franciscan partner Richard Rohr wrote about this:

Feminine behaviour was so strictly taboo that it was impossible for men to discover and develop the feminine dimension within themselves. [3]

Corona Christ shadow

Collective suffering and redemption

The whole of creation in the underworld (suffering and death)

The integration of the anima is also an important topic in a collective context. Even the earliest traditions tell us that the great feminine, life itself, has fallen into the underworld. This is an image of the fact that the whole of earthly existence, creation, is at the mercy of negativity, illness and death.

[S. The great feminine, life itself, in the underworld].

Union of the Father-God with the suffering feminine

A collective problem needs a collective solution. So the higher consciousness and thus God himself must take care of it. Out of love and compassion, he identifies with the suffering of the feminine (also of humans as a collective). That is why, in the power of his "son" (potency), he enters into the innermost depths of existence, into the underworld, merges into it and dissolves. And so, in the dying of the power, he sows the seed of the Word of the Father's love and thus initiates a new creation.

[S. The Feminine in the Underworld and Collective Redemption; Christ / Messiah, the Anointed One and Male and Female and the Creation of New Reality].


[1] Goethe, Faust II, v. 12110 f.

[2] C.G. Jung, Collected Works, Vol. 9/I, "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious", p. 37, § 59

[3] Rohr, Richard (2009). From the Wild Man to the Wise Man (2nd ed.). Munich: Claudius, p. 27

[4] Bly, Robert (2011). Eisenhans. A book about men (7th edition). Kindler Verlag GmbH, Munich, p. 274

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