Anima as Nixie and Nymph

Arjuna and river Nymph in Indian Myth and Legend by Mackenzie, Donald Alexander. 1913 US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Arjuna and river Nymph by Warwick Goble in Indian Myth and Legend by Mackenzie- 1913 US Public Domain via Wikimedia

Nymphs and nixies are found in Greek, Latin, Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Nymphs and nixies are female nature deities. These divine spirits are said to animate nature. In archetypal terms they  express the feminine elements of nature.

Carl Jung says that these nature spirits are an “instinctive version of a magical feminine being [called] the anima”. They are “spirits of forest, field, and stream” with “rather peculiar erotic charms.”  Jung associates the image with the projection and introjection of “erotic fantasy.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 53-54)

In the image above we see Arjuna and a river Nymph. In the epic poem called the Kirātārjunīya (tenth canto), nymphs attempt to distract Arjuna from his asceticism. They make the beauty of all six seasons appear and play music. Yet, instead of Arjuna falling in love with nymphs, they fall in love with him. [1]



  1. Carl G.Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – Collected Works volume 9i
  2. Indian Kavya Literature: The early medieval period (Sudraka to Visakhadatta) By Anthony Kennedy Warder