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Anima is a feminine Latin and Italian noun for "soul" or "breath". Ancient Romans believed that one's anima resided in the chest; when a person died, his or her soul escaped from the body with the breath. Anima was associated with emotion and the heart; its metaphysical counter part, animus, was manifested in the brain and in one's sense of logic.
In Jungian psychology, the Anima can be defined as two things:
- One's inner self, which is in contact with the subconscious, as opposed to one's outward persona.
- The subconscious (yet partially conscious) female psychological qualities, which Jung said reside in all males and is usually an aggregate of a man's mother, but may also incorporate aspects of sisters, aunts, and other important female figures.
Anima Sola, or lonely soul in Roman Catholicism, is usually pictured as a soul in Purgatory who has chains that bound her wrists, which when broken, mean she has repented for her sins. The Anima Sola requires not only divine assistance, but also the help of the living.