The animus has been associated an unconscious complex in female psychology according C.G. Jung’s pschoanalytic model (Hall, James A. The Jungian Experience, 1986 p.36). The Sun in the Huber method is symbolic of the will and is an ego planet. It can be a conscious structure that mediates between the inner world and reality (of relationships) (Huber, Louise and Bruno, The Planets, 1006, p.34). In the personal sphere of relationships, the animus can be cold, nonpersonal and take a general nature of critical remarks made to others with whom the person is emotionally close. (Hall, James, p. 81). The animus in a woman can subvert the intentions of the Sun ego and undermine the will effecting relationships by it subtle emotional distancing.
In the Huber method, the Sun in the natal chart represents “a consciousness in which we stick to our own thoughts, convictions and opinions… The thinking self therefore has the power to discriminate, judge, react clearly and lucidly to the world with greater self-confidence, as a real I-entity taking full responsibility for its actions.”( Huber, Louise and Bruno, The Planets, 2006 p. 34). The animus as an unconscoious structure can interact with the ego in negative ways and thus create conflicts in relationships. The aspects (or lack thereof) to the Sun, its position in the natal chart and it’s sign can give hints to the way in which the animus can contaminate the ego without our being able to stop it.
In the natal chart the Sun , represents her relationship with the father. The father historically in a female’s life represents the first male she has an emotionally intimate relationship with growing up. The archetype of the father is reflected in many possible manifestations of the real father: an invisible father or present force, disengaged or involved father, (in)dependent father, an authority father, a monster or hero father , a warrior or tyrant father, a thinking or reacting father.
“The Sun’s position provides useful psychological information about the father. It shows how we live the masculine paternal principle and can realise it with ourselves…The Sun’s position usually tells us something about our real father. If weak we too lack self confidence and are afraid to assert ourselves and frequently suffer from low self esteem.”(Huber, Louise and Bruno, The Planets, 2006 p.34). Thus, aspects, position in the Houses and sign of the Sun in the female’s chart can represent how she relates unsconsciously not only to her biological father but also how her ego, her self awareness and confidence in her ego strengths is manifested in male relationships.
Most psychotherapies are designed to build a healthy “executive function” of the ego through interventions to enhance cognitive strategies (Freud, Anna, The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense, 1936). The ego then, is perceived as the center of the psyche with ultimate say in the every day functioning of life. For human development and realization of potentials for growth, it is necessary to have a healthy ego to survive. But what happens if healthy ego development is hampered by factors which weaken it and subvert its role in personality development? What our concern is here are the unconscious determinants at play in the psyche that create attitudes that reveal self defeating behavior patterns that interfere with development and self realization. These unconscious attitudes are revealed by analyzing the position of the Sun in the natal, its aspects and sign and consequently, its relationship to the animus.
In the course of child development, the female’s relationship with her father is introjected or internalized and predisposes her to react/relate a certain way with the male friends, co-workers, etc… Early psychoanalysts in the 1900’s were somewhat limited in seeing woman as independent agents, with careers and autonomy. As Jung believed, “In women Eros is an expression of their true nature- the need to create and relate. (As she uses Logos) she gives rise to misunderstandings and annoying interpretations in the family circle and among friends. The animus consists of opinions instead of reflections or assumptions that lay claim to absolute truth. “ (C.G. Jung,Aion, 1978 p. 14). We have come a long way from that understanding of female psyche: now we see women as independent agents, with healthy ego development using or not using Eros images at will. She can also use Logos or thinking.
I am linking the concept of the animus and the Sun in the natal chart. How are they relevant to and associated with female autonomy and creation of psychic predispositions or attitudes toward men? Thus, an ever-evolving inner image from this paternal introject is morphed into unconscious attitudes and assumptions about the opposite sex. These assumptions can play a role in the capacity to attract or repel certain types of men. Men, that resemble in certain ways the father figure in the woman and are further understood by examining the Sun in the woman’s natal chart.
This inner image of the male inside the feminine psyche creates a changing symbol which can develop through the life cycle. In dreams the animus appears as a male figure depending on the development of the animus in the woman’s psyche. Immature dream images are foreign men, brutes, robbers, and monster men such as vampires. Mature animus images are wise old man, professor, magician, guide, or savior. These dream images actually refer to the woman’s male counterpart inside herself which can be useful in asserting herself to the world. As each individual has male and female chromosomes, we find these contra-sexual images in both males and females.
At earliest stages during the teen years, it can be projected as “love” of the hero, the warrior, the muscle man- tall, dark and handsome, emphasizing physical characteristics. As a the female matures so can her inner image of the animus as she can “love” the magician, the professor, the spiritual guru, the master. she is really loving a projected part of her Self. If she develops with the help of a more positive external experience and learns to have insight into her visual image projections of what a man represents to her; she can learn to recognize these images as her male side- the animus. Many spiritual guides are females who have evolved a mature animus which with a well-developed ego and an awareness of their animus projections; they can bring loving and healing support to others. In this case they have transcended their assumptions of males and own their animus as part of their relational identities. But in cases where the animus possesses their hosts with negative assumptions, they tend toward destructive patterns in their life.
Jung identified animus possessions as autonomous complexes or as Assagioli calls them sub-personalities (Psychosynthesis: the elements and beyond, Parfitt, Will p. 220) which are in part identity and relational structures in the psyche. (Hall, James, The Jungian Experience, Analysis and Individuation,1986 p. 36; ). If you can imagine a mental state in which a woman is calculating- her thinking, filled with malice and intrigue that gets her into a state that she even wishes the death of others to achieve her own ends. Thus, she identifies with her inner image, externalized; she is possessed by a negative animus or sub-personality. As this image is projected, not internalized and made conscious as part of her own psychic ego state; this process is unconscious and she does not realize that the male opponents she attracts and perceives, have been created out of her own unawareness of her animus.
If negative male experiences traumatize a young woman, this inner image can congeal into a robber, thief or monster that is projected on men and result into outward hatred of men. Consider our case study Cynthia Burbank who had a negative animus possession.
Cynthia had a difficult childhood full of traumas. The sudden death of her mother created an inner child experience that compounded her awareness that she lacked protection from the nurturer. Saturn is stressed right before the 1st house which indicates her holding back with restraint ‘fear to be born’ which is ripe for ego battles in encounters accompanied by fear of failure. (The Planets, Huber,p232).Pluto is stressed before the MC and exaggerates the ego powers to create a better world; when she witnessed her father beating her sister, she was probably wanting to intervene and be a catalyst for change in her family. She could not help her sister let alone herself. The MOON is at the Low Point(LP) of the 3rd House and her Sun is unaspected at the LP of the 2nd house conjunct an unaspected Node. These indicate that she is not capable of expressing her will and needed to develop as a person by following others if she hoped to build self worth and grow as a person. But how could she follow others, if she cannot trust that she will be safe and secure? Thus she may have felt she had to keep a partner as a codependent having the delusion that she could control their angry moods even her husband who treated her badly (Node in 2nd house and South Node in the 8th house).
Cynthia’s unconscious attitude and image of a male partner manifested in a partner “Bluebeard, who secretly kills all his wives in a hidden chamber. “ (M. Von Frantz, Man and His Symbols, 1964). How could she feel secure and love such a man? Since this image was projected outward in the form of her husband who robbed her many times, she may have tried to reform him as many co-dependents do. But since Cynthia’s animus was bound with a man who was a criminal, who raped her and who beat her in a blind fury whenever the mood struck him, she was engaged with a narcissistic emotional manipulator who would not ever treat her fairly.(The Human Magnet Syndrome, p. 104, Rosenberg, Ross) Her psychological set up and life experience attracted people, situations and events that poisoned her relationship with men and further traumatized her. She did not have the ego strengths to stand on her own and became a codependent with a narcissistic manipulator. How could she but carry assumptions and opinions that all men were cruel, stupid and mean? What was really happening was a self fulfilling prophesy buried deep in her psyche, based an animus projection and possession.
What we want to show with the case of Cynthia is how a negative animus father- image which was reflected in her unaspected Sun and Node in her natal chart, may have contributed to a life pattern of self-imprisonment. And how eventually through therapy, her life was turned around.
Cynthia’s Sun and Node was unaspected in the low point (LP) of the 2nd house. Cynthia’s Sun, “act(ed) independently and often unconsciously…and (was) not integrated into her chart as a whole and therefore, not a fully integrated part of the personality. (Hopewell, Joyce and Llewelyn, Richard. The Cosmic Egg Timer,2004 p. 69) . Cynthia would project her negative inner male onto others and see them as controlling her. With a stressed Saturn before the 1st house and the Moon in a one way aspect to it, Cynthia’s inner child reached out for protection and safety toward men. But she was trapped in a battle within herself as she could not obtain the type of reciprocal relationship that would allow equality. So she ended up being a victim of abuse. The only solution was to fight her way out of power struggles with men to become a fully integrated being. Consequently, after a series of abusive events in her relationship with her husband, she eventually stabbed him with a pair of scissors. And she ended up in jail.
Thus these introjections of the male animus started with the father reflected a self fulfilling prophesy playing itself out in Cynthia’s life. Was she destined to live out such self destructive patterns indefinitely? Her therapy with the late Maureen Demot, a Jungian astrologer, helped turn her life around. In 2000, her Age Point was in the 8th house and opposed to her natal Sun. Transits of Saturn square Saturn, Pluto Conjunction of Natal Venus helped tear down her false beliefs about the powerlessness of her life. With Maureen’s guidance, the negative tape loops in her life were resolved in psychotherapy and her inner animus image of the imprisoned male died away…she finally left her husband for good. This process was difficult for her, she had to take responsibility for creating her own reality. She eventually found that she had the potential to live a life that had no compulsions to be with a partner and she was free from the vortex of bad relationships. To do this she needed to integrate her subpersonality of the co-dependent and seek in the environment an autonomous yet alone identity. She found this and then in some future time, she maybe could relate to men again without negative assumptions which could lead to her own entrapment again.