Tag Archives: animus

Chuck’s Place: Pulling the Sword from the Lake

Sword in the lake…

Once upon a time, in the Age of Chivalry, King Arthur pulled his mighty sword, Excalibur, from the stone, assuring his divine right to the throne. This was the age where the princess and queen were protected by the unrequited, unconsummated love of their devoted knights.

Jung discovered that this masculine warrior, who completely dedicates his life to serving his queen, is actually a living part of a woman’s psyche. This animus, as he termed it, is the masculine part of the inherent structure of a woman’s psyche. Typically, however, a woman encounters this inner character as an outer person, projected upon various boys and men in her life, who reflect, unbeknownst to her, her own inner masculine self.

The masculine in woman is reflected in the symbol of the sword. Aside from its protective function, it wields the ability to slice finely apart the nature of reality in the form of left brain thinking and consciousness: rationality, logic, and the power of discrimination in time and space. When a woman retains versus unknowingly disowns her animus via projection, she is in a position to develop and mature the power and ability of her inherent masculine, as well as her natural right brained feminine nature.

Recently, an eight-year-old girl named Saga pulled a 1500-year-old pre-Viking sword from Lake Vidostern in Sweden.* This saga symbolizes modern woman’s owning her own animus power, as she embodies her voice, tempers her emotions, and keeps possession of her clear thinking.

When I watched and listened to Dr. Ford give her testimony, I heard the voice of a young girl accompanied by the mature mind of an educated woman. Her knowledge of brain science was seamless, her articulation flawless. She knows what many a recapitulating woman knows about sexual abuse, the absolute facts of what happened.

Like many others,  she held this truth in well-guarded secrecy for nearly a lifetime. But the traumatized girl-interrupted in her would never let her forget. Though she tried to barricade her way to safety with two sets of front doors she could not be insulated from the power of the truth.

It was to take the rising of her teenage abuser to the heights of the Supreme Court to break her silence. Her truth resonated for many, though many doubt the definiteness of her memory. Having spent the last 30 years treating many women and men abused decades earlier in their lives, I have had the benefit of witnessing the absolute clarity of visceral memory in recapitulation.

Trauma fragments the self as a means to remain viable. Oftentimes the entire experience is lost to memory for many years, until the adult self is sufficiently ready to face and process the experience. Dr. Ford never lost the memory, but her ability to react, to confront, and to speak her truth were frozen deeply in the body of her fifteen-year-old self. Dr. Ford’s testimony before the Senate melted her frozen-in-time reactions to the assault.

This was the true healing moment, the moment of self-unification and restored wholeness. The outcome of the hearing and confirmation process have no bearing on her healing. Speaking her truth out loud freed her voice. It matters not whether she is believed, she is healed. Though there may be more steps for her to take to complete her healing, she is no longer frozen in time, held in  check by fear.

Our world finds itself divided, in deep polarization, with leadership modeling and fueling threatening and hurtful language and action, which certainly generates new ordeals for Dr. Ford, but nothing can erase the bridge she crossed in her deep personal healing.

Her testimony sheds great light on the ordeal of sexuality in adolescence as well. She has shed intimate light on the hidden truth of many a girl’s experience, blindsided by the uncontrolled sexual advance of pubescent boys and men. We are a race who, for all our technological genius, knows nothing of the most powerful energy in our animal selves, sexual energy. Yes, we must protect our boys, but the real truth is that boys need to be protected from being overpowered by their sexual nature, as it floods their immature egos in adolescence.

Sexual emergence, education, and regulation are simply downplayed, avoided, or underestimated in our thoroughly modern culture. This is the reason for mass sexual abuse in all cultures of the world. Dr. Ford has added to the recent mass sharing of the truths that most women have been too frightened to share. And though we may be entering a brief dark age that threatens every woman’s control over her own body, some young girl is preparing, right now, to take the human race forward, as Ms. Saga’s lifting of the sword portends.

The key for the rising feminine was modeled by Dr. Ford. Yes, the young girl still resides inside—we hear her voice—but her innocence is liberated and protected by her mature adult mind. She presents with clarity, innocence, and knowledge. She needn’t raise her voice; her calm demeanor resonates deeply with all who seek the truth.

In the end, it’s only the truth that matters. It’s the only way we can square with our spirit, the essence of real healing. Power can push it away, but power that ignores the truth is but a castle in the sand.

I look forward to the emergence of the steady feminine hand upon the sword, in both women and men. Watch carefully, and patiently. It is the real saga unfolding before us. I extend pure love to both Christine and Brett, integral parts of our evolving saga.

Honoring the rising Saga,

Chuck

*https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45753455

Love Is All We Need

May love be the only thing that comes between us…
– Artwork by Jan Ketchel © 2017

The feminine is rising. At this moment in human history we find ourselves in a singularly unique position. The rising of the feminine offers an opportunity for the world to head in a new direction, to take us out of an old world order and place us squarely and securely in a new world where the man/woman inequality, now so prevalent, finally gives way to a new social order.

This new order could steer us away from the battle of the sexes and in the mutual direction of an acceptance of each individual person as unique and valuable, each one of us as an equally valued member of society, as important in the grand scheme of things as every other individual. We are all unique beings who just want to be accepted for who we are, our true selves. Some things would have to change for such wide-sweeping acceptance. We are already encountering the difficulties of true acceptance of our uniquenesses in the quandary over gender issues currently raging as strongly as the #MeToo movement.

The feminine principle in nature during the daytime is the earth itself; Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Gaia, Pachamama, the natural one upon whom all of our lives depend. The masculine principle during the daytime is the sun, the powerful penetrating light from above that exposes and reveals, that shines upon us all and from which there is no recourse except to go inside, away from the penetrating glare and heat of this penetrating eye.

The feminine principle of nature at nighttime is the moon, a softly penetrating glow of pearly maternal light that guides us through our dreams and our encounters with other worlds while we sleep and while we make our way in the darkness. The masculine principle at night is the darkness itself, the concealer of everything that the sun had lit and revealed. The masculine principle at night masks it all, asking us to forget it even exists.

In psychological terms the masculine principle in woman is called the animus, a term coined by C. G. Jung. He called the feminine principle in man the anima. These two parts, the animus and the anima, play important roles in every human life, in our interactions with others and within ourselves.

The animus is responsible for stirring woman from her naturally comfortable state as earth mother and moon goddess and giving her grounding in the world. The animus is responsible for ego-building and strengthening, establishing rationality, providing guidance and stamina to face what life presents at every turn. When the animus dominates, woman is taken too far from her true nature. Becoming masculine dominated, she is far removed from her true feminine powers and her true feminine self.

The anima in men presents with a similar dilemma. It’s important for men to be feeling and emotional, sensitive and not totally dominated by the sun god and the darkness, but to bring into everyday encounters and actions the feeling side of their feminine nature. Otherwise men are alienated from their own true feelings, haphazardly and unconsciously thrusting themselves into the world with little regard for how they affect others. Should the anima dominate men they become moody and demanding, wanting and taking, seeking to please themselves, often in self-soothing disregard for others.

With the advent of the empowering #MeToo movement women have emerged from the masculine dominated darkness of secrecy and hiding with an important message for everyone. Women are shining the glowing light of the full moon upon the truth of a male dominated society that has brutally and selfishly taken, controlled, and repressed.

The glare of this bright light upon the truths that especially women have had to bear for centuries is crucial, especially now as we live in a country that is dominated by the golden sun god himself and all his cronies who rape and pillage not only women and the earth but every decent and loving aspect of the feminine that has painstakingly been implanted through a long process of working toward mutual caring, equality, and balance in our world. In exposing sexual abuses women are showing that they are not afraid, that they will not be quiet any longer.

Women are strong. There is no doubt about that. But women must not become so dominated by the animus that they become like those men who abuse their power. It’s not about one sex dominating the other anymore; it’s about balance between the two, within and without. Women are in a position of power right now. The key is to not dominate but to take things to a new level, bringing the sexes together in a totally new way, making it clear that one cannot dominate the other if there is to be peace and equality in the world, and if there is to be acceptance of and respect for the unique individuals that we all are.

In the Soulbytes and other messages that I have channeled over the past few weeks what has been coming through has been the importance and the uniqueness of love—love as a unifying energy to be used for good, for advancement of the human species, for taking things to a new level, for establishing a new social order. It’s the antidote to hate, to anger, to divisiveness, to blame and shame. It’s what powers the feminine and is the power of the feminine too. It’s also the magic we all so badly need right now.

Let’s not forget that love is the answer. Let’s spread that message, men and women alike. It’s time for the feminine principle of love to dominate within us all. And it won’t hurt anyone.

Love is all we need.


A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

The Monogamy Dialogues: Projectile Dysfunction

The projections we launch into our partners are the greatest cause of dysfunction in relationships, indeed, these alone can be the cause of erectile dysfunction itself!

The manly sun…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Both men and women have masculine and feminine sides within themselves, perhaps best symbolized by the sun and the moon.

For instance, suppose a man expects his sexual desire to be as instant as the sun itself that rises, fully, each day. However, inwardly, his inner woman—that is his anima, the feminine side of a man—may in fact be in a phase of her feeling cycle where she simply isn’t immediately responsive to his conscious sun-driven erotic intent.

This man, unaware of his true inner feeling state of non-readiness for sex, is likely to look over at his partner and “see” or project onto her, his inner anima, as lacking any erotic interest in him.

“You never approach me to have sex, I always have to initiate,” he might despairingly utter. “I don’t think you desire me physically.”

These could be his challenges to his partner. Of course, if there were any desire on the partner’s side, or an openness to exploring possibly having sex, this approach likely kills that possibility. Further, if the couple then tries to force coitus in this dysfunctional relational state, it is indeed likely that the penis itself might choose to go on a flaccid strike and ED, erectile dysfunction, ensues.

Women are very much under the influence of the waxing and waning of the moon, which corresponds to the menstrual cycle with respect to feelings, moods, desires, and physical comforts/discomforts. Women also have an inner man—the animus, the masculine side of a woman—who functions on the mental plane in the background of her psyche.

This inner man might take the form of a warrior who protects his woman. Perhaps this woman in the example above is preoccupied with the dark side of the moon in her emotional cycle, definitely not interested in sex,  just wanting to  remain innerly with her mood. Unbeknownst to her, and in her defense, her animus might launch into a critical attack upon her partner when he suggests she’s not interested in sex.

“You didn’t text me all day, I guess staying connected isn’t that important to you,” she might pose. “Seems like the only time you listen to me attentively is when you think there’s a chance for sex.”

These kinds of preemptive “attacks” are likely to accomplish keeping her partner at bay while embroiling the two in a standoff.

Alternatively, a woman’s animus may decide to override her true emotional and physical state with the intention of pleasing her partner. This sets up an inner civil war, as her dominant feminine nature will not be happy at being coerced into having sex. Her feminine nature might shut down her receptivity and sexual sensitivity, resulting in being unable to climax. She might project disappointment onto her partner for being unable to please her or she might sink into a depression at her own failure to “perform.” Here we have the feminine version of ED.

In men, the masculine sun dominates—things are either black or white, on or off. Men’s thinking seeks total clarity and knowing. This kind of thinking happens at any time, is not subject to the tides or the phases of the moon. However, deep within himself a man is very influenced by the phases of the moon. Often his female partner senses this and has to manage his moods on a daily basis, though he himself might characterize himself as completely rational, unaware of the influence of his emotions upon his life.

Moon woman…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Similar to a man, a woman is very much under the influence of her own inner man, with his hidden plots to protect, attack, or manipulate life through his own mental processes. Just as a woman might easily recognize the power of a man’s mood, which she has to manage, a man is often likewise aware of the intractable thinking of his partner in the part of herself that she is unaware is so dominant in her own psyche.

The ability to recognize and take responsibility for one’s self, including the contrasexual elements, the anima and animus, by working on them on an inner level before they explode outwardly and take over a relationship, clears the confusion that leads to dysfunction in relationships. With projectiles disarmed, true connection is possible. Sun and moon meet within each partner who then can meet in real union.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chuck & Jan

Chuck’s Place: The Hidden Relationship

Last week I wrote of spirit and soul, the divine twins that are the essence of what we are. Spirit manifests as logos, as mind and thought activity. Soul, as eros, manifests as feeling and connection. Spirit floats away from the earth, soul embraces it.

A man's anima might be quite delicate... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
A man’s anima might be quite delicate…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Logos is the dominant principle in men, eros the dominant nature in women. In the background of a man’s deeper unconscious lies his soul, eros, what Jung called the anima. In the background of a woman’s greater unconscious lies her spirit, logos, what Jung termed the animus.

The anima in men and the animus in women are autonomous, independent characters that greatly overshadow the ego and impact moods, opinions and relationships in a variety of ways.

For men, the ability to feel, create artistically, and form a loving relationship is greatly influenced by the quality of their relationship with their inner woman, their anima. Some mens’ egos are quite comfortable with their animas and they allow her a great deal of play in their choice of career, aesthetic sensibility, and quality of relationship. Such men are said to be truly in touch with their feminine side.

Oftentimes a man might cling too dominantly to his rational, logos side to the disgust of his inner anima. Her revenge might be to overpower his day with hurt feelings and dark moods. She might as well put a spell on him by projecting herself onto another person, entrancing him into a highly inappropriate relationship.

Women might find themselves lending their animus a dominant role in their lives as well, dedicating themselves to careers or causes requiring a strong logos spirit. On the other hand, women may also shut out or be unaware of the workings of their inner animus who can become the opinionated voice of their internal dialogue, casting a negative spell upon all they touch.

Most relationship problems can be traced to the hidden influences of anima and animus, which lead to hurt feelings and opinionated misunderstandings. To disentangle from the web of these battles requires that each individual get to know their own inner “soul mate.”

Interestingly, this inner confusion has found a concrete form in the transgender issue so hotly politicized in our time. The truth is that all humans are at least psychologically hermaphroditic, and they must get to know and bring these opposite parts into a working relationship to achieve wholeness.

A woman's animus might appear as strong and tough... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
A woman’s animus might appear as strong and sturdy…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico’s number one dictum, “suspend judgment,” is of vital importance in discovering the truth of the self. Both the anima and the animus, each in their own way, generate judgments. The anima overpowers with feelings that tell us we’re not being treated fairly or properly loved. The animus forcefully tells us what is right based on generalized “facts” that “everyone knows to be true.”

If we can suspend our tendency to be duped by these automatic feelings and opinions, which compulsively seek to take charge of our perceptions and reactions, we are freed to see and experience reality as it truly is. We are freed to experience clear objective thinking and genuine feelings in ways that lead to balanced wholeness within and real relationship without.

What is asked is that all muster the courage to truly know thy self. And the true self is a many faceted being of many part selves, all of which must be discovered, recognized, but also required to drop their prejudices for the sake of inner wholeness and genuine outer connection.

The true inner work of individuation, of becoming the true individual self we are, by reconciling the differences within with one’s respective inner mate—be it anima or animus—is the only hope for achieving individual fulfillment and a fulfilling relationship.

Exploring the hidden,

Chuck

 

Chuck’s Place: Trickster To Trickster

At a certain level of reality, I and We become One. Growth might be defined as an ever-expanding realization of our essential Oneness. In the meantime, we grapple with the discovery, ownership, and coordination of our many parts.

Who is really in charge here? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Who is really in charge here?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Within the self of every “individual” are many parts: some known, many unknown, and still others disowned. Psychology has coined the terms conscious and unconscious to differentiate between those parts that we know about from those that we don’t know about but also are.

At the center of the known self—the seat of consciousness—is the ego. The ego has many “parts,” including the “face” it shows the world, called the persona, as well as a younger child state, and an adult state. Each of these parts has its own ambitions, needs, and motives. Being conscious “parts” allows each of these centers to have relative accessibility to awareness. That is, we are basically familiar with these states of being. They may, and often do, squabble among themselves.

For instance, the persona—the actor that we present to the world—often sees itself as the true self. The fact that I am a psychotherapist is indeed a real part of me, however, it is not the whole of who I am.

In another example, the adult ego, with its capacity to plan, organize, and make things happen, may trump the needs and desires of its child part, who wants to play.

The permutation of struggles at the ego level alone are staggering, particularly when the parts become tricksters in their maneuvering.

Trickster is a character who has an ulterior motive, a secret ambition or intention that powers its behavior. Trickster has little interest in fairness, cooperation, or consciousness. It’s goal is to get what it wants.

Trickster may be intelligent and cunning, or foolish and obvious, but trickster definitely does not play by the rules. Nonetheless, if we are willing to slow down the action and reflect, the trickster in all our conscious parts can be identified and a resolution to contradictory motives becomes possible.

However, when we approach the depths of the unconscious mind the plot thickens, as trickster can allude all but a very determined introspection.

The unconscious mind, all that we don’t know of who we are, is composed of countless layers. The uppermost region houses all that once was conscious but for a myriad of reasons has been erased from conscious awareness. Here we find many traumatic experiences, as well as parts of the ego-potential deemed unworthy of development.

Traumatic parts have a life of their own and often function as tricksters bent on being discovered by the conscious mind. For instance, a news item on TV might trigger an intense emotional overreaction, brought on by a traumatic memory insisting on being consciously redeemed.

Similarly, rejected ego parts—forming what Jung called the shadow—may function as tricksters by projecting a compelling but distorted perception onto the motives  of a friend or foe that actually reflects the true feelings of the rejected inner part but completely distorts outer reality.

As we go deeper into the unconscious mind we encounter what Jung called the anima/animus parts, the contrasexual components of the psyche, unrealized at a conscious level. These parts have their trickster ability to project themselves in powerful attractions to people in the world that distort completely who they really are. These trickster entrapments form the core of many troubled relationships.

At the center of the unconscious mind is the Self, the CEO of the entire psyche. The role of the Self is to establish balance in the entire psyche—conscious and unconscious. The Self is the higher power of the psyche. Ideally, the ego center of the conscious personality will subordinate itself to the dictates of the Self, which has the interests of the greater whole in mind.

Unfortunately, the ego often takes on its own trickster side, subverting the true needs of the Self, using all its power for decision and free will to accomplish its own aims.

If the imbalance thereby generated is too extreme, the Self counters with its own trickster side and generates symptoms of fear in the ego, such as an agoraphobia, where the ego can’t leave the house. To rein the ego in, the Self can also create psychosomatic symptoms, such as panic attacks or physical illness, to interfere with the ego’s willfulness.

The Self might also generate dreams that preempt the ego’s control through a terrifying nightmare that restores the waking ego to humility.

Yup, that says it all! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Yup, that says it all!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The difference between Self as trickster and all the other personality parts as trickster is its selfless intentions. The Self seeks unity and balance as its aim. When the other parts of the personality employ the trickster, it generally reflects a power play to meet individual needs, often at the expense of the greater needs of the overall Self.

The Self is only forced to become the trickster when the ego refuses to listen to its guidance. When the ego, like a good General, looks to the Self as Ruler, the Self responds with supportive guidance, energy, and freedom from symptoms.

So, trickster to trickster, stay in alignment with the Self, a much smoother ride to wholeness!

Bumping along,

Chuck