Monday, May 24, 2010

The Anima

In recent years the neglected inner Anima has pushed out into my life in the most dramatic fashion. However much this may have been reflected through unique relationships with particular souls, I now perceive those outer situations as primarily archetypal teaching experiences.

In fact, as the symbolic dimension becomes gradually more apparent and the lessons involved assimilated, my appreciation for the richness and depth of those experiences increases – and the pain of their administration seems less objectionable.

It is no small task to grow up, to become psychically mature. This is what alchemy is all about after all, and no one who has taken up that effort suggests that turning “lead” into “gold” is easy or instantaneous.

The fine distinction is that the alchemist consciously intends what he is doing, and therefore his unavoidable discomfort with the unbelievably rough process of self-transformation is balanced against the wondrous goal he wholeheartedly pursues, namely life eternal.

Life eternal doesn’t mean “living forever" necessarily, but rather living fully and completely . . . now.

But why is the Anima important? According to C. G. Jung, she is the guardian of the Self, the nearest protector and defender of the wholeness within. She is the Mother of the Divine Child, that inner tot who both attracts and repulses us. The Anima is the psychic lover we want more than anything, but who we also cannot stand to be around. 

The conflict and paradox thus implied and expressed is a sign of just how ultimate these primal relationships are - they go to the heart of the dichotomy of spirit incarnate in flesh - the psychic borderline situation which every human being notices to some degree. 

Yet, the level of abject surrender to truth that an integration with the Anima requires is quite beyond what the average person is capable. Average people have to turn into alchemists to even begin the journey.

However much one may desire her, the Anima is not very accessible - at least initially. She also is “guarded” by something - a ferocious beast often characterized as a serpent or dragon.

Oriental sculptures of Kwan Yin depict this monster swirling around her feet, sometimes also holding the sphere of the Self. The creature must be vanquished and integrated in order to reach the holy Treasure.

In the western tradition this archetypal conflict is represented by St. George, who embarks on a quest to slay the dragon that imprisons the maiden who will both love the knight unconditionally and free her people (or country) from an ageless curse. Sounds romantic, but it is actually a matter of psychic life or death.

One of the ways the Anima can be touched is through dreams. Messages may be transferred back and forth by means of images within the ethers of unconsciousness. My Anima (which I somewhat facetiously call “Annie”) has found her voice in this way.

Recently Annie presented the following vision: we were in an apartment together and she entrusted a child to my care so that I could “reprogram” (her word, but I AM an engineer) my relationship with it. This was not just any infant; it was “our” child. I checked the child's diaper and it was full of poop. I proceeded to change the diaper and Annie said I would not have to worry about doing this again as the baby would be “cleaned out” after that.

How do you bring such a vision back into the real world of earning a living and paying bills? To me it comes down to this: the Inner Child (so clearly represented in the dream) has definite needs – love, attention, protection, etc. A caring parent should take care of those infant needs without imposing the stresses and responsibilities of the adult world. That parent should assure the child it need not worry, that everything will be properly taken care of so that both child and adult can become the fullness of what they are.

Implied in this message also is that the Anima, in facilitating this reunion of self with Self, is also allowed to fulfill her ultimate purpose.  She is permitted to emerge into consciousness as both Mother to the Child and Lover to the Man. 

A sacred union of former and seeming opposites ensues,

And all are healed.


  1. Yep, you are back!
    Really enjoyed this one.
    Loved the dragon and serpent part!
    :-) All are healed... very nice.

  2. Navigating with intention beyond the psychic borderline is the quest of Love within our surrendered Heart...

    Deeply appreciate all you share.

    (Take a load off Annie!)

  3. I love this, Count. Thanks to you
    Especially appreciate this: "She is permitted to emerge into consciousness as both Mother to the Child and Lover to the Man."

    (take a load for free!)

  4. O ma gosh. It's like shannie is one cookie and suzette is the other part.
    WHO is the yummy sweet stuff in the middle?