For Women Growing Older: The Animus

by Jane Hollister Wheelwright

Book, 1990



Call number


Call number



The C. G. Jung Educational Center (1990)

Physical description

6 inches

Local notes

Jung and Jungians have written volumes about a man's Anima and how it manifests, but there is not a lot about woman's Animus. This book fills that gap beautifully. Jane Wheelwright, a Jungian analyst, is the wife of Joseph Wheelwright who founded the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. Her psychological type is INTJ, a type she shares with Jung's protege, Marie-Louise von Franz, and Wheelwright's book like von Franz's beautifully articulates and clarifies the concept for us. This book is so concise, so quotable, and still so timely today, but also eminently practical. It gives women a way to apply Jung's concepts. Here are a few quotes:

“The animus is an archetype which corresponds to an outer professional impersonal task.” 42

“Ideas can pile up in the unconscious without her being aware of them, once the animus libido has withdrawn. One thing that sometimes helps to get the animus moving again for this type of woman is the necessity of responding to outer demands” --36

“When one is discriminating and discerning, one is invoking the animus in a positive way … Otherwise the animus gets bogged down in an overriding need to complain or be critical” 36

A woman “can learn about the animus through a break in the relationship with the man who is carrying her animus projection. A woman caught in an open or secret compulsion to force her husband or friend to fit her animus ideal of what a man should be may have to face her partner falling in love with another woman. It is as though the animus, by driving the man away, engineers this situation … to solve the impasse. The animus no longer lodged in the man comes home to roost.” – 31.

There is no judgment here, merely description. This the voice of our inner masculine figure; this book gives us a way to identify that voice and work with it constructively.
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