The anima archetype is an image of the feminine in the psyche of the male and the animus archetype is an image of the masculine in the psyche of the female. These two archetypes are representatives of our true self as opposed to images that we present to other people. The anima/ animus archetypes serve as our primary route of dialogue with our collective unconsciousness.
Physiological changes and social influences contributed to the sex roles and gender identity development ( Jung believed) , also, Jung suggested that the anima/ animus archetypes were influential in this process.
These archetypal images are based upon collective and personal unconscious ingredients. Throughout several cultures , both men and women are encouraged to ” fit into” rigid gender and traditional roles. The discouragement of men and women exploring their opposite sex aspects can serve to hinder their development psychologically. ( Jung suggested).
The term syzygy or divine couple has been used to illustrate the combination of the anima/ animus and this represents completion and wholeness.