Archetypes in the Tarot: Anima / Animus
Carl Jung proposed a number of psychological archetypes he deemed to be present in the collective unconscious, and one of these was the Anima or Animus. The anima is the female representation of the self in the male psyche, and the animus is the male representation of the self in the female psyche. These opposites of the self are often seen as a shadowy not-self figure, an other within oneself who seems to act against one's own agency.
For others, this umbral figure, while still cloaked in shadow, is a friend and guide to mysteries beyond what is normally within our ken.
Coming closer to the anima or animus within us, when it presents itself and its ideas to us, is an aid to healthy psychological development. Rigidly formed gender identities are often brittle, and getting acquainted with our inner gender opposite is a positive step that involves having a growth mindset and working toward a common understanding with the different aspects of one's own being.