In my meditations over the past couple of months, I have continually found myself running into a young woman. She has followed me down forest paths, or waved to me in passing, in almost every meditation I’ve done. If I haven’t seen her, I have seen her house in the distance. She isn’t anyone I know in “real” life, certainly. Recently I finally figured it out: she is my anima.
An anima is a female archetype in the subconscious of a man. According to Jung, who coined the term, the anima is a composite of female figures that have influenced the man strongly — beginning with his mother, and later influenced by teachers, girlfriends, and so forth. It is a source of intuition, creativity and inspiration. It is a place where the man projects female aspects of himself that he may be uncomfortable with. Analogously, females have a male archetype, the animus. Less is known about the animus, probably because so many psychologists, Jungian and otherwise, have been male.
I first met my anima during a meditation in which I wanted to see if I could get a message from my higher self. I ended up wandering on a dusty track through fields of tall brown grass to a ramshackle house. A young woman welcomed me in. She was quite short with wispy blond hair and delicate features, wearing a purple dress. I couldn’t really make out her eyes. I had no idea who she was.
She said she was a medium, and she would do a reading for me. I thought it was a little odd for someone in meditation to do a reading — the possibilities for infinite recursion were dreadful — but I agreed. She sat down, holding my hands, and went into a trance.
Her voice became very deep, almost menacing. She said, very firmly, that I needed to make use of my creative powers. I should design and create my own Tarot deck.
I thought this was very odd. It had never occurred to me to do that before; I have nowhere near the expertise needed to do that properly. I said, “How do I know this is a real message, and not just my imagination going crazy? Can you give me a sign of some sort?”
“In three days,” said the medium in the deep voice, “you will receive a sign. The sign will be 44A.”
That seemed to be all, so I thanked the medium and ended the meditation.
Three days passed. On the third day, I saw an eagle flying overhead, which is rather rare for these parts, and may have something to do with this. Then, that evening, out of nowhere, I realized that 44 was twice the number of cards in the Tarot Major Arcana. I had already worked out a way of matching up the 22 Major Arcana with the first four circuits of the eight-circuit model. Maybe the 22 Arcana repeated in some way to match up with the second batch of four. This was intriguing, but was it a “sign”?
I had no idea; and I really didn’t have time to make a Tarot deck. So I didn’t, and I still haven’t.
But after that, this same young woman kept appearing in my meditations. Usually she would sort of keep to the background, watching. Finally, a couple of days ago, I confronted her.
“Who are you?” I asked.
She didn’t answer, just cocked her head to the side and waited. I still couldn’t tell what her eyes looked like.
“Wait,” I said. “Are you my anima?”
At this, she jumped up and gave me a hug. “You guessed! You guessed!” she said.
After that, I was able to see her more clearly. She is small and thin, and her hands and fingers are quite long. Her hair is also thin and almost white-blond with hints of red. This is quite different from me: I am reasonably tall, with a solid build, and blond-brown hair. But her eyes, when I could finally make them out, looked just like mine: blue and slightly almond-shaped.
Since she had a house, I decided to see if I could visualize a nicer one for her. The house, she made clear, was not for her alone; I’m not sure who else will be there, but she was quite firm on that point. So the house is large and has a fair number of rooms. For herself she took one small room with a window on the sea.
During this morning’s meditation I saw her again, and asked if she could try contacting the spirit who had earlier advised me to create a Tarot deck. She agreed readily. We went to a house in the woods that she had prepared, and sat down.
This time, when she connected with the spirit, I could see her eyes go black. That was pretty freaky. The “44” did indeed refer to the number of cards in the deck. As for the “A”, I couldn’t get a clear answer — something about beginnings, perhaps. Then I saw the deck of cards in my hands. It had the word “Stargazer” on it, which I thought was wonderful. I have enjoyed astronomy since I was very young, and my wife and I had stargazer lilies at our wedding. The spirit emphasized that I should use my creativity — it said that I was in a position to bring the spirit world into reality, and I should do that. The Tarot deck would be a way to do it.
After the reading, I thanked my anima, and I asked her if I could see how she’d decorated her new room. She has an extremely soft, thick carpet (not what I would choose — hardwood floors are much easier to clean) and a bed nearly as soft. Most of the walls were lined with bookshelves. Above the bed were pictures of the first house I remember living in. It was very nice; but it was very clearly someone else’s room, not mine.
Next time I visit, I should peek and see what books she has on her shelves…