In Carl Jung's school of analytical psychology, anima and animus refer to:
1. The unconscious or true inner self of an individual, as opposed to the persona, or outer aspect of the personality.
2. The feminine inner personality, as present in the unconscious of the male. It is in contrast to the animus, which represents masculine characteristics in the female. It can be identified as all of the unconscious feminine psychological qualities that a male possesses. In a film interview, Jung was not clear if the anima/animus archetype was totally unconscious, calling it "a little bit conscious" and unconscious. In the interview, he gave an example of a man who falls head over heels in love, then later in life regrets his blind choice as he finds that he has married his own anima–the unconscious idea of the feminine in his mind, rather than the woman herself. The anima is usually an aggregate of a man's mother but may also incorporate aspects of sisters, aunts, and teachers.
The anima is one of the most significant autonomous complexes of all. It manifests itself by appearing as figures in dreams as well as by influencing a man's interactions with women and his attitudes toward them. Jung said that confronting one's shadow self is an "apprentice-piece", while confronting one's anima is the masterpiece. Jung viewed the anima process as being one of the sources of creative ability.
In Italian and Spanish, anima is most closely translated as "soul", while in Latin , animus and anima may both be translated as "soul" or "mind", depending on context.