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The Meaning of Anima


The influence of Jung's personality theories on Anima's character may be more than just her name; it may have influenced her character design(s) as well. From researching the theories, I have found evidendence of the influence of his theories regarding the anima, animus, and syzyny as well as the four stages of love represented in anima projection and the different syzyny pairings.

One of the unique aspects of the aeon Anima is her two-halved nature. Just as every man contains a feminine side to his subconscious, each woman has a masculine side to her subconscious. This masculine side is known as the animus. According to Jung's theories, the anima and animus combine to form something known as a syzyny; a marriage of the minds.

Anima herself could be said to be an aeon representation of a syzyny. It can be theorized that Anima's upper half represents the anima while her lower half represents the animus. Yet, though she is a depiction of her son's anima and her own animus, Anima is still wholly a female aeon. According to Jung, "[t]he androgyny of the anima may appear in the anima herself."

The syzyny has two archetypes: the animus joined to the anima is known as the Wise Old Man archetype while the anima joined to the animus is known as the Chthonic Mother archetype. The lower animus half of Anima does resemble an (albeit demonic-looking) elderly man whose crown may suggest wisdom. The upper anima half of Anima is chthonic (underworldly) in apperance and Anima herself is a mother. However, the connection goes deeper than that.

Another name for the Chthonic Mother archetype is the Great Mother or Earth Mother. The archetypal Chthonic/Great/Earth Mother is driven by love, but destroys as a result of her love. She has good intentions that fail in their execution. Anima had Seymour's best interests in mind when she chose to become a fayth, but she failed to protect him due to his own lust for power.

The anima is also divided into four stages: primitive woman, romanticized beauty, love and feeling, and wisdom. These four stages are in turn represented by four women: Eve, Helen of Troy, the Virgin Mary, and Athena. The primitive woman/Eve stage represents motherhood in its biological and instictive sense. The romanticized beauty/Helen of Troy stage represents a woman as an individual; one with a desire for romance and pleasure. The love and feeling/Virgin Mary stage represents love and emotion elevated to an almost spiritual level of devotion. The fourth and final stage, the wisdom/Athena stage, represents the wise and knowing spiritualized woman.

Although all four stages are represented in Anima's three forms (Eve and Helen of Troy by the woman and Athena by the fayth), the love and feeling/Virgin Mary stage is present in all of them. Although it is the most brutal looking of the three forms, the aeon contains the most symbolic imagery of this stage. The most obvious of these is the pendant that she wears, which depicts her in human form in the attitude of a medieval Madonna. A second, more obscure, one is in the wing-like strips that run along her sides. These wings are ultramarine on the outside and red on the inside. The color ultramarine has long been associated with the Virgin Mary as the pigment was so rare and costly that it was used only in paintings of great importance. The color red, before being associated with witches and prostitutes, was also associated with the Virgin Mary as it was a color of power (the two sides of the anima are that of the goddess or holy woman and that of the witch or prostitute

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