Persona

anima_and_animus_by_pockacho-I don’t want this piece to devolve into dry psychological theory, so I chose this lovely art by Madison Simpson to spruce it up. She goes by the persona Pockacho on Deviant Art and this piece is titled Anima and Animus.

The Anima, as you probably know, is the unconscious female aspect of Self inherent in men. Likewise, the Animus is the male aspect in women. Both are archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, upon which Chrysalis Tarot is based.

In other words, when we use Chrysalis, we communicate with other Collective Unconscious archetypes via these two. Chrysalis, somewhat intentionally, engenders this communication by redefining the unhelpful reputation tarot has acquired over the years away from a woo-woo contrivance akin to a Captain Midnight Decoding Ring toward honest, forthright, fun conversations with the Unseen World. Carl Jung, who defined the Collective Unconscious, calls such conversations active imagination. They are essential to enlightenment (self-awareness).

The Anima and Animus represent the persona, the public masks we wear when interacting with others; we see ourselves one way, others see us differently. Together, these two archetypal symbols, along with the everpresent shape-shifting shadow, formulate the archetype of Self.

Chrysalis, as I noted in a previous blog, was designed to increase self-awareness. Here’s an example of why that’s important.

patton-1970-george-c-scott-sicilyIn the movie Patton, the famous general’s aide (far right) reminded Patton that his subordinates (staff), who’d just been severely scolded by him, often did not know if he was acting or if he was serious. Patton replied, “It’s not important for them to know,  it’s only important for me to know.”

Patton was a great general, one of America’s greatest, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that he was keenly self-aware: he held in his consciousness a clear demarcation between his persona and his true Self – a key to attaining one’s destiny (self-actualization).

Self-awareness is a rare commodity in today’s world. That’s because self-awareness creates existential anxiety, sometimes called the “trauma of non-being.” Non-being implies we no longer choose to hide behind the comfy mask(s) of persona.

15-bella-rosaOur politically correct pop-culture, as well as pop-psychology itself, promote self-esteem rather than self-knowledge. We are encouraged to avoid “negative” thoughts in favor of a delusional “feel good paradigm,” as author Neel Burton phrases it.

He adds, ” Facing up to non-being can bring a sense of calm, freedom, even nobility and—yes—it can also bring insecurity, loneliness, responsibility, and consequently anxiety. But far from being pathological, this anxiety is a sign of health, strength, and courage.”

Self-aware reality vs. self-deceptive delusion.

© Toney Brooks, 2018

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