animus meaning

January 21, 2023

Animus Meaning: The Masculine Side of the Woman Archetype


The Animus is a woman archetype‘s inner masculine side. Also, the animus, like the anima, is a psychological complex and archetypal character. The animus is associated with the mental side, the thinking and the parent figure. It manifests itself in the woman through her opinions, ideas, preconceptions, philosophy, and quest for truth. 

Carl Jung claimed that in women whose hatred is prominent, logic would outweigh sexuality. The animus manifests itself in fantasies and nightmares and is projected onto actual male figures encountered by the woman during her lifetime, particularly in relationships. The animus also has four modes that correlate to developmental stages: 

A muscular male figure emerges in dreams and fancies. The ability to organize and direct events ahead of time. This male representation fuels women’s desire to be self-sufficient and seek their careers. A knowledgeable professor’s figure, identified with ideas and words. Are you ready to find out more about the Animus meaning?

We’ve got you covered! In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • Learning how to define the Animus 
  • Distinguishing the Anima vs. Animus
  • Discovering your Persona and Masculine Side
  • Unlocking your Feminine Side with the Anima

What is Animus for you?

The unconscious male aspect of the female psyche is referred to as the Animus, which comes from the Latin term animus, which means “the rational spirit; life; the mental powers, intelligence.” The Animus, often known as the male aspect within a woman, is frequently restricted, constrained, and suppressed due to societal training, parental conditioning, and cultural conditioning.

On the other hand, the Animus isn’t always suppressed; in some cases, it’s exaggerated, and women are made to submit to it without their will. Consider the society of the West as an example. As a culture, we live in a time in which toxic masculine ideals such as workaholism, productivity, emotional numbing, and ruthlessness are relentlessly imposed on individuals as means to flourish and achieve success in life.

All of these external factors have the potential to contribute to a negative Animus, which can manifest itself in a woman’s personality as argumentative tendencies, brutishness, destructiveness, and insensitivity. On the other hand, if a healthy Animus is incorporated into a woman’s psyche, it may lead to increased assertiveness, levelheadedness, objectivity, and logic.

What is your Persona in the Animus?

We present an exaggerated version of ourselves in every public setting, hoping to make an impact. Our character at work is different from our personality at home. We have no one to impress when we are alone, but when we are in public, we don a mask, a persona, to impose a favorable image of ourselves on others. 

Every profession has subtly agreed upon acceptable and unacceptable manners, and it is assumed that the individual will adjust to these criteria without anyone having to discuss them overtly. A doctor, for example, is expected to behave as a doctor should, with patience and sympathy that an average person would find impossible to achieve; any tendency toward impatience or antagonism would be unacceptable and for a good cause.

The persona’s particular job is to repress all of the primordial wants, impulses, and emotions that are not socially acceptable and would make us appear foolish if we acted on them. Anyone with any sense sees through the facade, but we all contribute by pretending it’s all true so that society may go on as usual. The problem with personas develops only when a person becomes so identified with his character that he loses any sense of self. 

The damage is done at this point: he will be utterly unconscious of any distinction between himself and the world in which he lives. Jung warned that an inflated ego leads to a “shallow, brittle, conformist kind of personality that is “all persona,” with its excessive concern for “what people think.” Such a person will go to great lengths to fulfill the requests of others — not because he is a saint, but because he lacks the strength to refuse and endure conflict.

How can a Woman Archetype connect to their Animus?

Connecting to the inner Animus is about comprehending masculine energy, which manifests itself in an energetic, dominant, and rational manner for females. The following are some methods for communicating with your Animus:

  • Make an effort to be aggressive.
  • Adopt a role or position of leadership and learn to take command of anything in your life.
  • Learn about and improve your leadership skills.
  • Read nonfiction instead of fiction.
  • Improve your self-sufficiency and independence.
  • Learn how to be a man 
  • Mindfulness, meditation, and self-exploration can help you achieve more emotional equilibrium.
  • Find a historical masculine character you admire (or a female with a strong Animus) and utilize them as a role model.

The difference between the Anima vs. Animus

Jung felt our shadow has opposite-gender traits. The anima expresses men’s minority feminine qualities, and the animus expresses women’s masculine attributes. In every man, there is a woman, and in every woman, a man; or, there is the picture of the perfect man/woman, which is usually developed by our mother/experienced fathers and culture/heritage. 

Feminine and masculine may be artificial stereotypes. Jung described anima and animus as Eros and Logos’ ancient prototypes. Eros represents receptivity, creativity, partnerships, and wholeness. Logos is power, cognition, and action. Logos denotes order and knowledge in Ancient Greek; Eros means love or vital energy.

The anima is a man’s positive or negative feminine characteristics. Positive anima traits include sensitivity, empathy, and a love of nature. If a male represses feminine traits, the anima deforms: sentiments and emotions become moodiness, sentimentality, and hysteria; faithfulness becomes possessiveness; aesthetics becomes sensuality; sensitivity becomes effeminacy; imagination becomes mere daydreaming. 


The animus personifies masculine traits in a woman’s mind, such as conviction, assertiveness, bravery, strength, vigor, and ambition. If a woman ignores her masculine edge, she becomes seized by the animus: assertiveness becomes aggressive and cruel, and analytical thought becomes argumentative.

Anima/animus archetypes are autonomous of our conscious minds. Thus, the anima/animus can project attributes of a man/woman into the world. In the presence of the anima, or a good copy of anima, a man feels a peculiar familiarity with her, as if he has known this woman for all time; in certain situations, the energy between the two is intoxicating, to the point that one may say he fell in ‘love at first sight.’ He’s fallen for a falsehood, the image he projected upon another woman. 

When the projection’s mirage dissipates, he realizes his folly. Once the projection is removed, the anima is a force within. After integrating the anima, men seem to reconnect with a divine power in the inner world — which may express itself as a creative skill or sensitivity for the natural world — that must have always been within them, but which had to be presented to them by the feminine, by a woman’s guiding hand.

How do you deal with Animus Alienation?

Archetypes are unique archetypal structures that serve as blueprints for the shapes encountered in the waking world. One such prototype is Animus as an archetype. There is no such thing as “my Animus” or “your Animus”; there is only the Animus. Unfortunately, archetypal blueprints are frequently disassembled and refashioned to reflect the faces and experiences of people who wear the shoes of archetypal images.

The animus is “man” or “masculine,” which simply means that it is the archetypal embodiment of that which is active and driving. The Animus incorporates logic, spirit, and the ability to act on intuitive impulses or give form to creative thought. The animus and masculine principles are not equivalent to the actions or experiences of physical males. However, one’s interactions with physically gendered men will indelibly impact how one interacts with the animus.

A woman’s relationship with gendered males will allow her to readily relate to the animus and have a great lot of personal strength and self-awareness, or it will force her to deny her masculine self and become animus possessed. If one’s contacts, particularly those during the formative years, have been predominantly negative, it will be difficult to identify with the animus positively.

The following saying suggests that a woman will try to keep whatever trait she considers “masculine” hidden away in the shadows, and will try to remain unaware of her male self. She will continue to be a halfling, unable to integrate a crucial aspect of her psyche. The difficulty in integrating the animus is proportional to the difficulty encountered in dealing with individuals of the male sex.

How do you deal with Animus Possession?

If a woman has had terrible experiences with males in general or a tough relationship with a father figure, she may want to disassociate herself from the male portion of her mind. A strange occurrence can occur when one strives to ignore, repress, or fully dissociate oneself from the Animus.

Instead of protecting oneself from anything related to masculine energy, one becomes possessed by them. The unconscious is a part of one’s entire personality; there is no way to remove what one dislikes through mental surgery.

The unconscious will play its part; one can be nice with it and use it as an ally, or one can deny it and watch it act as an opponent. The animus that is denied becomes the monster that the woman expects it will be; it does not sleep peacefully in the good night of the unconscious. It instead acts out. The lady who denies it is actually possessed by it.

All of those ideas about guys being dominant and controlling? They express themselves via her. She becomes dominating, controlling, opinionated, and incapable of reasoning or being reasoned with. Worse, she is utterly oblivious that she possesses the traits. Worse, since it is rejected, the animus sulks.

Because its natural expression is found in action, and that action is denied, the animus takes the only action it can: it tells the woman, “what’s the point?” and “this will never work” and “may as well not even try” and “you know this is going to fail,” among other negative self-talk.

All of those negative sentiments are true to some extent until the animus is integrated. Why? Because one must be a complete unit to function properly, and a woman who does not employ her male half is merely half a person.

She is a woman looking for fulfillment in an exterior man, an outer guy who is most likely looking for an outer woman to complete his own unfinished self—a projection, not a person.

Final Word:

According to Jung, the greatest way for a woman to connect with and live with the animus is to ask questions, challenge thoughts and ideas, and seek their source. Always remember that, like the Anima has a feminine side, vice versa applies to the Animus.


What is it about Animus that resonates with you most?

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