Could the men that occasionally appear in your dreams at night be connected to your animus?
Maybe the man you keep encountering is not your soulmate, rather something much more complex and profound that resides within you – the indirect link relating to the relationship with your father.
According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the founder of analytical psychology described the animus as the unconscious masculine side of a woman that often manifests in dreams, usually as different forms of men, symbols or images. Both can appear negative or positive depending how conscious you are of this masculine side.
Similarly depicted as the ancient Yin & Yang symbol, both men and women display both masculine and feminine principles, the light and dark, and other opposites that make one complete – the anima being the feminine within the male psyche. In essence the animus can be considered a female’s guide to incorporating masculine traits or show you when it becomes possessed.
Animus: Masculine Energy
Jung believed the human psyche was androgynous comprising of both masculine and feminine traits, the animus however contains the woman’s inner force, drive or deeper self that animates a women. The main goal in developing a healthy ego would be to transcend the psyche thus becoming a complete or well put together individual.
When the inner masculine remains unconscious it negatively disguises itself in dreams as symbols, images or threatening men in hope you pay it attention. Why? Perhaps this imbalance or distortion has made its way in your life by sabotaging your true self, worth, lack of ideas, emotionally confused, lacks innovation & creativity, dominated by her masculine side.
The negative animus has the ability to sway a women in being more self-critical or judgmental, alternatively a positive animus encourages her to make bold and courageous changes in her walking life.
How The Animus Appears In Dreams
The men that appear in your dream have a tendency to morph in mysterious ways, usually that are strongly colored with her experience of her personal father. However other men in her life such as uncles, brothers and doctors, teachers are also be responsible in shaping this mold.
If you have been negatively impacted by the males in your life your dreams will manifest the masculine themes or images an alarming vivid way – men often disguised as a threatening force such as a killer or masked man chasing you.
Negative associations with masculine symbols might point towards a “father complex” or in modern terms “daddy issues”; develops when the father is either not present or has a poor relationship with him. The constant need for approval, support, yearning love and understanding progresses into adulthood, and it may result in horrible decisions with relationships, hence why you might always be ending up with the same man over and over again.
Dreams often display the animus as a collective body of men, soldiers, a king, fathers, dogs, horses, bull, Hermes, wise man; as well as incorporate phallic symbols & types masculine authority. Ways to befriend your unconscious mind.
According to Carl Jung the contents of the human shadow are known to morph in with the animus thus making difficult to decipher the two. The shadow is comprised of the unknown dark side of the personality – urges, behaviors and instincts that are often repressed within the dreamer.
Identifying Good & Bad Animus Traits Within
The interaction with these unconscious symbols are often indirectly displayed in our dreams, frequently in a metaphoric manner – either shows a healthy or balanced relationship or one that is negative or detached. The goal of the contents of your dream would be for you to recognize some of these unconscious traits within.
A Healthy or Balanced Animus (inner masculine):
When the animus is fully integrated and healthy female psyche would typically instill these traits
- Logical thinking.
- Rational and clear judgment.
- Ability to construct by sustained effort and application.
- Connects to her deeper self, her word and ideas.
- Doing what is important to her.
- Not afraid to be themselves.
- Problem solving.
The Distorted or Possessed Animus:
When the animus is uprooted or unconscious in the female psyche it manifests as these sorts of traits:
- Know it all behavior.
- Dominating and bully like.
- Sadism or interested in power.
- Devouring or control issues
- Loud, opinionated, ridged, and obnoxious.
- Inability to effectively and meaningfully relate.
The animus often unconscious to the women is mainly comprised of the hidden qualities that craves her attention, her determination, drives, ideas and creativity derive all from this unknown force.
Jung goes on to mention the four stages of animus development in a woman, paralleling those of the anima in a man.
Animus Four Stages:
- The muscle man: He first appears in dreams and fantasy a source of adventure, for example an jock or muscle man, a Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. At the beginning stage he is the protector, the one to procreate, the proverbial the Adam to the Eve. In essence she wants to be with the bad boy.
- The second is Helen, in allusion to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology. Once she grows out of the bad boy phase she then moves for her desire to be independent. The man is the “generic Mr. fix it husband-father”, his only primary role is to provide shelter and support for his family – with lacking internal qualities (inability for virtue, lacking faith or imagination).
- Third stage which corresponds to the anima’s Mary stage, would be the man of the Word, emerges in dreams as the shaman, professor, priest, or elder a politician. At this phase of animus development she has a high regard for traditional learning; she taps into her creativity and known to exercising her mind. She can relate to a man not only as a husband and father, but as a lover and individual in his own right.
- At the fourth phase it searches for a more of a deep or profound realizations of the animus inner realities – the bridge between the ego and The Self. Essentially she incarnates spiritual meaning and is illustrated by figures like the Buddha, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, or Hermes, the messenger of the gods.