Animus Aeternus by Deldon Anne McNeely
I adore this book; I am half way through and have found it to be a great example of Jungian psychology of the anima and animus, the archetypes of the male and female unconscious minds, as used in poetry, and the story telling by McNeely. It explores deep into the past and present experiences of women, poets, their men (loved and lost) and the whole idea of women as heroes, and everything else found in the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Teresa of Avila, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver and many more, the author illumines the roles of every woman. I would highly recommend this book to all established and aspiring poets, and anyone interested in Jung or psychology!
“The animus is the deposit, as it were, of all woman’s ancestral experiences of man-and not only that, he is also a creative and procreative being.” -C.G. Jung …
Jung said that enmeshed in every woman is the energy that he called animus: her masculine side. Because as a woman develops psychology, the animus changes, almost magically transmuting itself back and forth as an adult or child, man or boy, lover or father, animal or spirit: all these expressions of animus energy are shown in her life experience of masculinity, via herself and via her experience of others.
Furthermore, as this review via Fisher King Press states:
“Animus Aeternus weaves developmental theories from depth psychology with the poetry of women-including Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, Teresa of Avila and Edna St. Vincent Millay-to trace the history and meaning of this lifetime companion, illustrating how animus participates in a woman’s life, whether we are conscious of it or not. Like dreams and active imagination, poetry speaks in images from the soul. In choosing women’s poetry as well as their dreams to illustrate the essence of animus, the author adds the immediacy of soul-made truths to the lucidity of her conceptual matrix. Deldon Anne McNeely received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University and is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. A senior analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, she is a training analyst for their New Orleans Jungian Seminar. Publications include Becoming: An Introduction to Jung’s Concept of Individuation; Touching: Body Therapy and Depth Psychology; Animus Aeternus: Exploring the Inner Masculine; and Mercury Rising: Women, Evil and the Trickster Gods.”
We can see Jung’s work still permeates into every aspect of great writers today in a way that affects a lasting change on the collective psyche of our modern day world.