Friday, 30 January 2015

The Animus in Fairytales

As a young girl I have always been fascinated with fairytales.

One of my posts was on the theme "Lost" and Hansel and Gretel was the picture I drew.

Recently I have been exploring psychologist Carl Jung's theory about anima and animus in oneself. The book Invisible Partners is also a very thought-provoking book that got me thinking about my relationships with men.

Do you know the witch in fairytales often represent the "bad mum" or "evil mum" that we perceive in our mothers? See the little black evil witch lurking around at the back of the gingerbread house below? More on the witch in the future :)

The animus is a psychological male entity that we create out of the first few significant male role models we've had growing up, that is to say, our father, brothers, close male relatives, caregivers etc. I am simplifying it a lot but this is so far my layman's understanding of the animus.

Hansel and Gretel

Gretel is a good role model for me because if the whole story is about my psyche getting lost in the shadows of my unknown self (the forest) with my animus (Hansel) - and then I (Gretel) actually used my wits to save my animus - that means that I am the smart one and actually, the one who is more powerful. Because in the beginning, Gretel relied on Hansel to rescue the both of them but Gretel turns out to be the heroine of the story. Bravo! Good story for the many of us females struggling with our self-esteem and our role in relation to males.

The best part is: Gretel continues to find her way back home (towards conscious life) together with Hansel. It means that she continued to have a balanced equal relationship with her animus without dominating him or letting him overpower her needs. She proved herself resourceful and capable, as well as the ability for care for others.

Nice, huh?

Of course, internally, I would need more time to explore this theme.

Until the next thought-provoking moment...


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