By Laudadio Cynthia,
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Extra resources for Mnemosyne: Remembering and recovering the self through identification with The Great Mother and her daughters, Athena, Artemis and Hestia
These helpers can derive from either the anima or the animus, 30 providing the hero with specific sensibilities depending on the situation. A male hero might need to utilize the anima's attribute of patience in order to best assess a dangerous encounter in which rashness might prove disastrous. Conversely, he might need to summon the raw strength of his animus in order to endure extreme physical challenges. A female might need to draw on her animus in order to remain dispassionate in the face of violent destruction, or she might want to temper her raw emotions by concentrating on her calmer anima aspects in the nature of Hestia's soothing and stable hearth or Athena's cultivation of the family group.
A woman can realize this force and summon the courage to use it if she is truly willing to travel into the unknown realm. Since many people possess a deep, often paralyzing fear of the unknown, individuals can carefully cultivate a connection with the spirit of the archetype that resides inside by listening to her quiet, gentle nudge that calls us home to ourselves in such a way as to alleviate rather than exacerbate any anxiety. Her tiny voice is in effect a preamble to a much greater and all-enveloping presence.
An obstacle stands in the way of the integration process and its resultant authenticity: the persona. According to Jung, the persona functions to protect the self from harmful criticism by helping the individual mirror acceptable social behavior. But it also can overextend its reach, causing a woman to modify or limit her actions and 23 reactions in an attempt to avoid outside criticism. Social acceptance, while desirable on many levels, can stifle the authentic self. Again, a careful balancing act is required.