Reclaiming Anima and Animus
I took this photo in early evening light and all was tinged with blue, all had a faded look. In spite of the faded colours and the blue tinge, there was so much life that was evident in the moment as the mother with her five daughters went deeper into the water making sure the littlest child, a boy stayed safe. There was a real sense of joy in the moment. When I took the photo I knew that eventually it would make its way here in spite of the poor light conditions and the colour distortions.
Women, girl children – there is no doubt that in Asia, they are second class citizens. Being second class in society isn’t all bad as there are individuals who escape the fate of their gender because of a number of factors just as there are a number of men who, though belonging to the privileged class of men, find themselves on the wrong side of the power equation in their personal relationships
“While women’s lives have historically been disempowered and miserable, for which men are in large measure responsible, men’s lives, because of the price of self-estrangement, are perhaps even more miserable and pathetic. They are the endangered gender. Because of this self-estrangement, men, generally denied access to “the feminine” within them, and derided for efforts to connect to “her,” have conveyed too much psychological power to women and then wind up either trying to control her, or please her, or avoid her. For this reason, though driven biologically, sexuality occupies too large a role, psychologically speaking, in the psychic economy of men.” (Hollis, What Matters Most, p. 49)
The dominance of women does have its cost. Being unaware of their own feminine aspect, their anima, men project this vital energy into the women of their lives and wonder how they will regain that energy. The only link that remains between these men and women that can be drawn upon with any conscious effort, is sexuality. Men want to recover the missing half within them and mistakenly place the missing part in others who in turn consciously and/or unconsciously use this power. This is a two-way dynamic as women project their masculine energy on men, in effect giving their power to men.
The only seemingly available escape from this unconscious, instinctual dynamic is to become conscious, to become aware of one’s own psyche in depth. In recovering one’s own femininity, men are able to finally see women as they really are, not as sexual objects, but as full and equal participants in the journey to collective awareness. As women become aware of their own masculine power, they are able to withdraw their projections and cease being victims of men, sexual objects of men, mothers of men. It is only in this way that a true marriage of whole men and women begins to evolve, a holy marriage.