Animus is the archetype of reason and spririt in women. This is the male aspect of the female psyche, as the anima is the female aspect of male psyche.
This archetype is projected in various male images and characters like great artists, heroes, warriors, sportsmen, philosopher, and so forth. When identified with the animus (animus-inflated), women develop an excessive rational drive which may end up in excessive criticism and stubbornness.
In animus-inflated women with strong interest in intellectual matters we find the need to impose and maintain a rigurosus and schematic list of values judged the most important. There's no reflection as regard the tenues of these values, nor any aim at discussing about them. Only the urge to impose them to others.
But how should women deal with the animus archetype inside them? There is a very important study on the animus written by Jung's wife Ema. She wrote: "What we women have to overcome in our relation to the animus is not pride but lack of self-confidence and the resistance of inertia. For us, it is not as though we had to demean ourselves, but as if we had to lift ourselves" (Animus and Anima, Spring Publications, Dallas, Texas, 1978).
Jung about Animus (quotes)Woman is compensated by a masculine element and therefore her unconscious has, so to speak, a masculine imprint. This results in a considerable psychological difference between men and women, and accordingly I have called the projection-making factor in women the animus, which means mind or spirit. (From The Syzygy: Anima and Animus, Collected Works, 9ii, par. 28f.)
The animus is the deposit, as it were, of all woman's ancestral experiences of man - and not only that, he is also a creative and procreative being, not in the sense of masculine creativity, but in the sense that he brings forth something we might call... the spermatic word. (From Anima and Animus , Collected Works 7, par. 336.)
© Carl Jung Resources, 2008