Inextricably enmeshed in the life of every woman is a constellation of autonomous energy that Jung called animus, her masculine side. As a woman develops psychologically, animus changes, appearing and reappearing as child or adult, lover or enemy, king or slave, animal or spirit. All these manifestations of animus energy are reflected in her experience of masculinity, both in herself and in others.
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.