Anima/Animus Projection

(When) a man projects his anima onto a woman and falls in love with her, two currents of energy are set in motion.  The lover experiences an affect directly, as if from the impact of an arrowshot, and sees it as coming from the god Eros (Amor, Cupid), a symbol of the Self.  Another current of energy “activates” the anima-imago in his unconscious and projects it (throws it forward) onto the outer woman, who in this way becomes forthwith fascinating to the man.  The obvious assumption is that the reasons for this detour via the outer object are analogous to the reasons that a ray of light does not follow a direct linear path, namely, because there is “impermeable material” between consciousness and the anima-image in the unconscious that stands in the way of an unmediated psychic perception of the anima-image.  We know today that when the person affected opens up a way, through active imagination, to the inner anima-image and comes into direct contact with it, the image that appears externally in projected form begins to fade.  P&R 88

Only an inwardly open, “naïve” attitude to the unconscious on the one hand and an honest, conscientious, and painstaking devotion on the part of ego-consciousness on the other can bring the creative contents of the unconscious matrix successfully over the threshold onto consciousness.  Play, with neither plan nor purpose, is the best precondition.  P&R 89