Masculine and feminine creative forces

Further thoughts on creativity, confidence and love:

I’m still reading Women who run with the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes), and came across a very interesting section that’s relevant to my last post:

“By classical Jungian definition, animus is the soul-force in women and is consdered masculine… Animus can best be understood as a force that assists women in acting on their own behalf in the outer world. Animus helps a woman put forth her specific and feminine inner thoughts and feelings in concrete ways – emotionally, sexually, financially, cretaively and otherwise…

“But when there is damage to the animus through all the myriad forces of culture and self, something very weary, or mean-spirited, or a deadness some call ‘being neutral’ interposes itself between the inner world of psyche and the outer world of the blank page, clear canvas, waiting dancefloor, boardroom, gathering.

“There is an odd phenomenon in the psyche: when a woman is afflicted with a negative animus, any effort at a creative act touches it off so that it attacks her. She picks up a pen… thinks about applying to school, or takes a class, but stops in the middle, choking on the lack of inward nourishment and support.

This really strikes a chord with how I have been feeling lately about my efforts to take forward my singing. And I think I can see a bit more of why I have been feeling this way.

My emotional life and my creative life are deeply entangled. While I was together with my ex, he was like an external animus so powerful that it left me with very little need to draw on my own internal resources. Ironically it was him who told me how, by trying to meet others’ needs, we can end up unintentionally weakening their ability to take care of their own needs – I didn’t realise until it was too late how much he was doing this to me. Unfortunately when he tore himself out of my life, he not only suddenly withdrew that support, but also damaged my confidence through the reasons he gave for leaving. So in many ways I am left with my inner animus weaker than it had been before, and I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that.

“How to banish this pollution? By insisting nothing will stop us from exercising the well-integrated animus, by continuing our soul-spinning, wing-making ventures, our art, our psychic mending and sewing, whether we feel strong or not, whether we feel ready or not. It is essential, even though often painful, to put in the necessary time, to not skirt the difficult tasks inherent in striving for mastery. If you would avoid hambre del alma, the starved soul, name the problem for what it is, and fix it.”


2 responses to “Masculine and feminine creative forces

  1. Pingback: Reliable signposts for personal growth « Words that sing

  2. “Women that run …” again! Hello this is a lovely place… I’d googled animus and creativity andsaw this place. beautiful blog. Read ‘Breaking the Silence’ and cried’Welcome to your garret …so pithy and true… could have been recited by Heathcliff

    anyway a really lovely blog. back to the grindstone:)

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