To define and to understand the anima archetype, I went straight to the source. CG Jung, in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, states that the anima is an "inner feminine figure (that) plays a typical, or archetypal role in the unconscious of a man" with both negative and positive aspects. The negative anima aspect is "full of deep cunning". The positive role the anima plays is described by Jung as "she who communicates the images of the unconscious to the conscious mind".
Emma Jung viewed the anima as elemental beings such as fairies, nymphs or swan maidens, with qualities "too nebulous and incorporeal to live permanently…in waking consciousness". Emma Jung writes that the anima "represents the feminine personality components of the man and at the same time the image which he has of feminine nature in general, in other words, the archetype of the feminine."
In sandplay scenes, anima symbols may take many forms. Items not necessarily in human female form may symbolize the archetypal feminine anima energy. Anima figures in the tray may represent an integration of the feminine and a bringing to consciousness the qualities associated with relationship and nature.
(see Bibliography Category for sources)