The Art of Shadow -x-


The Shadow is a positive function. It has a vital instinct which can help: We could say that the shadow is positive as long as it stays in the inner world and does not act up in the outer world, where it is the province of the persona to move and act and protect.

Animus possession may take the form of criticizing everybody and everything , and the damnable thing about the animus is that he is quite right , but likely to be wrong in the specific situation. A way to stop the arguing and criticizing is for the woman to say to her animus, “if you are so terribly fanatical about what is wrong and what “should” be, let’s look at my shadow.” Then there is an impact inside which is very helpful to the woman in sorting out what she really believes.


If you check on the standards used by the animus in his constant criticism, you find that they are always a collective truth, something much beyond the Individual. Therefore every identification with it is a secret inflation.

When you go around saying “you should do such and such” it means, “I am the person who is in a position to tell people what they should do.”

That is god-like; it is an inflation of the ego.

The way to get out of such state of possession ( by the animus) is to be humble, to admit that you might be a failure, that you might not know, and so on.

When people put themselves high up, it is like standing on a mountain: all the water of life flows away from them . But down in the valley the water can reach them.


The mirror is an instrument of reflection. When a woman comes to grips with her animus, when she reflects on his influence in her life, he drowns in her reflections, while she herself is saved from drowning.

Marie Louis Von Franz, The Magic Horse: Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales

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