In her book, Animus and Anima, Emma Jung views the anima and animus as two archetypal figures of great importance who belong both to the individual and the collective unconscious. The animus is the masculine principle in a woman's unconscious and may be represented by powerful figures such as heroes, athletes, or jet pilots. Images from the unconscious animus may also appear "either as a plurality of men, as a group of fathers, a council, a court, or some other gathering of wise men".
The positive aspects of the animus are represented as the intellect or accomplishments. The animus may appear as a real masculine figure, distinguished by mental capacities or masculine qualities. The spiritual aspect of the animus according to Emma Jung, is the Father-God image.
Other positive aspects include the animus as a benevolent, superior guide or as an understanding friend. When held in consciousness, the animus can help to gain knowledge and balance, according to Emma Jung.
The negative aspects include an inner image or energy that is judgmental, a cruel taskmaster, a seducer, and an exploiter. Linda Leonard, in The Wounded Woman, discusses the consequences of dysfunctional relationships with fathers that result in an inner damaging masculine, an animus that caries man negative qualities.
Jung, Emma, Animus and Anima, Spring Publications, Dallas 1957