Anima rising,

Queen of queens

Wash my guilt of Eden

Wash and balance me

– Joni Mitchell, Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow

 

I’ve always enjoyed learning new words—or, as is more likely at my age, relearning words I’ve forgotten—so I was pleased to put syzygy in the headline of today’s post.

It’s been a while since I read Jung, but it turns out that the syzygy is a combination of the anima, or feminine image in the male psyche, and animus, or male image in the female psyche. As I found on verywellmind.com, “The combined anima and animus is known as the syzygy or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification, and wholeness.” 

Why am I thinking about Jung today, of all people? Well, I wanted to write about the shadow side, one of Jung’s four archetypes (the other two are the persona and the self), and that led me down a bit of a rabbit hole, reading about anima and animus.

 

Where We’ve Been 

I don’t know that I’ve actually committed this to print so baldly, but I feel like we’ve been living in the shadow side here on planet earth for quite some time.

As a guy who was born not even a year from President Kennedy’s very public assassination, I’m not sure I’ve lived during anything but the shadow side.

I well remember back in the late eighties, late at night, listening to New Age gurus, and wannabe gurus, talking about how we were going to be entering an age of Aquarius or whatever, where we would all be living in peace, love, harmony, and lots of free drugs.

Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic, but in all seriousness, it does feel like things have gotten increasingly darker—not only because of this awful pandemic but also because of the fomenting of violence, the naked, unabashed racism, the scorched-earth approach of seeing all opponents as “enemies.” There’s been a sense for some time now that things are lurching toward chaos on a global scale.

 

Where We’re Going?

All that’s to say, I’ve been deeply pessimistic about human beings and our future prospects for years. (“Weren’t we all supposed to be flying around with jet packs now like George Jetson? We can’t even fix the roads!”) But I guess hope really does spring eternal, because I’ve been allowing myself a bit of hope as we move into 2021. 

I’ve got this image in my mind now of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I feel something about it. In its way, it’s almost primal. Maybe it combines that anima/animus for me on some subconscious level—a guy who’s known real suffering, and therefore has real empathy, at least moderately in touch with his so-called “feminine” side, and a tough former prosecutor, at least somewhat connected to the traditionally “masculine” role of law enforcement. 

The combined anima and animus is known as the syzygy or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification, and wholeness.” Caucasian and mixed-racial, male and female. A glass ceiling historically shattered for the first time. The promise of a greener future. Might we move toward something better for the 2020s? Certainly, we have been living in the shadow side for far too long.

remember 80s

Remember The 80s? Placing Scenes in History in My Upcoming Novel

Remember the 80s? How about the 70s, or even the 60s? Of course, I know the old expression: if you remember the 60s, you weren't there. But in my house, it was different. I was born in the 60s, but in my house it was pretty much like the 50s. No discussion of the war...

Strictly Business

So lately I've been looking a little bit like this guy - although this dude is younger, and probably better-looking, than me.  I mean I've been hunched over an iMac or MacBook quite a bit, working furiously on building my business. Now, I know that the people who...
repetition

Insanity: Writing the Same Thing Over and Over?

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of those steps. I’ve been really lucky: I’ve had the good fortune to publish and sell four of my novels, and I run a freelance writing and editing business as well. I have great clients who love what I do and send me...
launch team

Turning a Street Team Into a Launch Team

If you're reading this blog post in April or May of 2019, you probably already know that my fourth novel, Whizzers, will come out later this year. I'm working on launch ideas of all sorts, and the launch itself is likely going to be late July. For the uninitiated,...
book-building

Book-Building 101

This week's post is called Book-Building 101 because I want to provide my fellow indie authors a little info on the mechanics of putting out a completed book. And I'm not talking about plot, structure, or basics like editing or proofreading. I'm talking about the...
wrap

… Aaaaand That’s a Wrap

​How many of you will be glad to wrap up 2020? Can we have a show of hands? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Man, oh man, did anyone have a great year? I suppose a few billionaires were sheltered enough from the storm, or profited heavily from the work-at-home trend, that...
biscuit

“What Do You Want for Nothing—A Rubber Biscuit?”

Readers who are old enough to remember the Blues Brothers’ cover version of The Chips’ Rubber Biscuit will no doubt understand the reference in today’s headline. For everyone else: just shorten it to “What do you want for nothing?” I guess that’s my way of saying,...
healthcare

Feeling Wiped Out? Get Up and Out!

I don’t really think of myself as a healthcare writer, although I did earn a living for many years by marketing a variety of healthcare services—from traditional to alternative medicine. These days, I’m more in the Author-Speaker-Publisher mode, writing books and...
MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Self-Publishing: The Trouble with Going It Alone

Indie publishing is on the rise but tread carefully. Self-publishing is exactly how it sounds:everything depends on you and you alone. Sure, you get to make all of the decisions, but that also means you have to make all of the decisions. Editing, proofreading,...