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Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision

November 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, 2023

4 Live Classes | Offered Live via Zoom

Program Description

What you will receive:

  • 4 Live Webinar Sessions with Q & A
  • 4 Links to the Recordings
  • 4 CEC’s

Course Description

Animus, Psyche and Culture is a Post Jungian reading of the animus and its lived experience in culture. This course presents the contra-sexual animus as not just an inner archetypal figure, but also one that is in dynamic relation with the environment. In close ties with culture, the animus occupies a liminal realm – a subjective world inner world as well as an outer, social. Inner and outer are conceived as not two separate realms, but fluid, interactive spaces in which the phenomenology of the animus is discerned.

The four modules of the course explain the concept of the animus and its lived experience in culture through narratives of history, myth, religion, gender and politics. The archetypal animus is constellated in the unconscious psyche in interaction with a social world, where innate values about gender prevail. The broad spectrum of culture in which the phenomena of the animus is explored in this course, shows remarkable variations of meaning from Jung’s original formulations. We use depth psychological ideas of archetypes and collective unconscious, individuation and stages of life, Self, feminine and masculine psyche and synchronicity, to trace unconscious contra-sexuality in psyche and social. We explore the deep and far-reaching implications of Jung’s ideas in current contexts of gender dysphoria, war and violence, racial intolerance, xenophobia and a looming environmental crisis.

This Course is Ideal for:

  • Those aiming to use narratives, myths, dreams, history, films, political and cultural phenomena in studying psyche and the collective.
  • Cultural studies & myth scholars, and those with interest in philosophy and religion
  • Students specializing in gender and psychosocial studies, human rights activism and decolonization of psychology
  • Jungian analysts and psychotherapists
  • Jungian Studies scholars pursuing Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral programs

Course Overview

Week 1 – The Animus and Culture – Bridging Inner and Outer

The scope of the animus broadens as we bring the notion of culture into understanding the unconscious. Deemed an archetype of the collective unconscious, the animus is traced to lived contexts of the feminine in social and cultural worlds. This module explores the animus as an archetypal construct, as well as a phenomenon of the unconscious in culture. The feminine self is in a paradoxical relation with the contra-sexual other – both in the inner subjective world, as well as in the outer. The animus thrives in creative tension between inner and outer, masculine and feminine. The module shows how the dynamics of the animus is a compensatory drive of the psyche to induce equilibrium and wholeness, in individual and collective realms.

Week 2 – Narratives of Rising – Contra-sexuality as an Enabling Principle

This module describes narratives of agency and becoming, in which both the disruptive and creative aspects of the contra-sexual animus are discussed. The animus evokes dual images in the psyche and also oppositional emotions and energies. The psyche struggles to integrate these paradoxes, experiencing these tensions in a widely imbalanced social and cultural environment. The accompanying struggles produce a unique, animated, ascendant feminine self, that is both oppositional and creative, many-layered and fluid, with autonomous qualities. The narratives contextualize the animus in contemporary histories and events, bridging the psyche with social.

Week 3 – The Many Faces of the Animus

Jung’s notion of the animus, pioneering in psychology, has resonances in archetypes of the collective unconscious, and in myths and symbols of culture. We discuss two prominent Indian myths that reveal the archetypal character of the animus and its expression in culture. The myths affirm the primordial basis of the animus – psyche’s intimate other and the inherent tensions of contra-sexual dyads, showing its archetypal recurrence in contemporary scenarios, in personal and collective psyche.

Week 4 – Stages of Life and Contra-sexuality

Jung’s stages of psychological life relate closely with the four stages of life in Indian concept of ashrama. In this module we explore the developmental journey of the animus from its unconscious constellation, autonomous eruption, affect and chaotic manifestation to its maturation into

intentionality, purpose and conscious reflection. The life stages reveal the individuating and synthesizing impulse of the archetype. The stages of evolution of the animus also reveal a developmental trajectory, or an expansion of consciousness from personal to the transpersonal, and from individual experience to collective concerns.

By the End of This Course You Will Be Able To

  • View the animus not only as an archetypal phenomenon, but also as one that is culturally and politically shaped
  • Understand the significance of psyche’s interface with culture in evoking contra-sexual dynamics.
  • Apply the notion of animus in understanding feminine emancipatory histories and transformation in collective consciousness.
  • Broaden the understanding of animus from a problematic masculine other to a complex, contra-sexual principle that fuels individual and collective transformation, and reveals many nuances of gender-relatedness and gender-fluidity.

Course Addendums:

C.G. Jung’s Collected Works

Jung’s writings on the animus can be found in the following Collected Works:

‘The Syzygy: Anima and Animus’ (in Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, CW 9ii); ‘Definitions’ (in Psychological Types, CW 6);

‘Anima and Animus’ (in Two Essays in Analytical Psychology, CW 7);

‘Woman in Europe’ and ‘Mind and Earth’ (Civilization in Transition, CW 10);

‘Marriage as a Psychological Relationship’ (in Development of Personality, CW 17).

Sengupta, S. (2023) Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision, Routledge, U.K. Sengupta, S. (2020) ‘Indeterminate States in Transcultural Histories: “Cultural Other” in Jung’s India’. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 12, pp. 88–108.

Sengupta, S. (2020). Earth, Ecology and the Feminine in ‘Exploring Depth psychology and the Female Self’, Routledge, U.K.

Spivak, G. C. (trans.) (1997) ‘Introduction’, Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi. Kolkata: Seagull Books. Doherty, M. (2020) ‘The Long Awakening of Adrienne Rich’, The New Yorker, November 30, p. 2020.

Devi, P., Cuny, M., and Rambali, P. (1997) I, Phoolan Devi: The Autobiography of India’s Bandit Queen, 2nd ed. London: Sphere.


Udaan, 2010,

Geeli Poochie, 2021,

Program Details


November 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, 2023
5:00 – 6:30 PM PST

Registration Fees

  • $225 General Rate
  • $175 Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
  • $125 Pacifica Student Rate
  • $30 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) Fee

Program link will be sent out prior to the event. For those unable to attend live, the presentation will be recorded and the link shared after the event.

Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.


About the Teacher

Sulagna Sengupta is a Jungian Studies scholar and consultant based in India. Her first book, ‘Jung in India’ (2013) was a pioneering study on Jung’s history with India, based on original archival research. Sulagna’s first career was in international development. She has been involved with Jungian education and research for over two decades and has lectured in India, the USA, Zurich, and for Brazil and South Africa. Sulagna has authored many publications. She is currently working on a Jungian interpretation of the Indian epic, The Ramayana at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, U.K. Her second book, Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision has been selected as one of the seventy-five success stories of Indo-Swiss partnership of seventy-five years. It will be presented at the prestigious Kolkata International Book Fair in India, in January 2024. Her website is:

General Information


Hosted Online


Cancellations 14 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. After 14 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.

Registration Details

November 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, 2023

  • Number of Classes: 4 Workshop Classes
  • Class Length: 1.5 Hours
  • Class Time: 5 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
  • Total Duration:  6 Hours
  • CECs: 4 CECs