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Anima and Animus
Class held online. Instructor: Maxson J. McDowell, PhD
When a woman has a crush on a man, she is partly fascinated by her own unconscious masculine potential (animus). A man may likewise be fascinated by his own unconscious feminine potential (anima). This fascination may draw a couple into relationship, but the animus and anima tend to remain unconscious. As long as each is unconscious, each tends to be destructive. With a struggle, we can become more conscious of our own animus or anima. Consciousness leads to an inner relationship (with the animus or anima) which is the source of creativity. That inner relationship also makes it easier to have relationships in the outer world. We will read five fairy tales about the animus (anima), and analyze them together. We will see that apparently simple fairy tales may contain astute psychological insight. You can expect to gain some new consciousness of your own relationship to that part of the psyche which has characteristics of the opposite gender. This will also give you practice in symbolic thought, which is necessary for analyzing dreams.
Prepare for the first class by reading the first legend listed here, and prepare for each subsequent class by reading the next legend in order. Symbolic work is slow. Don't wait till just before the class to read the legend. You need several days to let the images work on you: for example, they may lead to a dream which will make the class richer for you.