The Lover Archetype in Modern Men: Soundcloud Rappers, XXXTentacion as Dionysus / by Sam Abelow

Part Two, Section One: Dionysus and Orpheus as the Artist-Type


In Part One of this essay series, we explored Dan Bilzerian as an example of the Lover archetype as the playboy, or Addicted Lover. In Part Two we will explore further shadow aspects of the Lover, by utilizing the examples of Soundcloud Rappers and specifically the singer XXXTentacion. These contemporary expressions aren’t the only domains in which the shadow aspects of The Lover, a form of undeveloped male psychology, manifest themselves. But, these selected examples represent broad cultural movements, and therefore the typical psychological states of many individuals in modern times. In other words, these specific examples are important because they are emblematic of many millions of others. It is vital to look at this material, because the collective shadow is emerging in these contemporary artists.

As mentioned in Part One, this essay series explores the masculine archetype of The Lover as connected to male bodies and the psyches of men (which is not necessarily the case). Further, it emphasizes the influence of adolescent, or undeveloped aspects of The Lover, as it relates to young men. Still, this article, as a cultural and psychological examination, will be of interest to people of all genders and ages. The narrow attention to the effects of masculine archetypes on men’s psyches (which also affect women’s psyches) is an attempt to simplify the discourse and therefore reach a clear vantage point of at least one perspective on the issues at hand.

Star of the Soundcloud Rap movement, XXXTentacion

Star of the Soundcloud Rap movement, XXXTentacion

I. Summary and Introduction

i. Orpheus and Dionysus

Both Orpheus and Dionysus are archetypes commonly active in the personalities of contemporary artists. An artist with an undeveloped “Orphic” disposition will tend more towards a longing, romanticization and dramatization —  a poetic, almost mystical love. The artist tinged more with an immature “Dionysian” typology will be affected by extreme emotionality and even reckless, violent behavior. These typical scenarios are caused by living out a collective pattern — an archetype — which has an impersonal disregard for an individual’s wellbeing.

The general concept of “The Lover” type is taken from Robert Moore’s book, “King Warrior Magician Lover.” This term refers to a certain set of behavior patterning which is active, mostly unconsciously, in many men, and particularly in artists. The patterns are archaic and perennial (in that they repeat throughout all time, varying according to a given culture) — which is what is meant by “archetypal.” These archetypes represent forces of a collective nature, which live through individuals over aeons. When an individual lives out a mythological pattern without self-awareness, they are not truly “themselves,” but rather “possessed by” or “identified with” the archetype. Part Two of this essay will continue to examine this state of affairs.

The use of mythological figures from ancient Greece to describe patterns of behavior in the male psyche is derived from Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book, “God’s in Everyman.” In that book, Bolen examines the image of Dionysus. The addition of the Orpheus image, and how it relates to The Lover, as the artist, is new to this essay.

In the histories of Greek culture and as archetypes in modern individuals, Dionysus and Orpheus are somewhat mixed together and in their similarity represent nuances of the same pattern. [1] In the common case by which the artist is possessed by this Dionysian-Orphic pattern, the individual’s conscious personality is left undeveloped and the typical patterns of the archetype are ascendant.

When a man is possessed by the archetype of Dionysus, his life is marked by lofty highs and dismal lows. In this Part Two, Section One we will further explore the “anima” and the “mother complex,” as it relates to this tendency for depression. The artist of the Dionysian-Orphic kind is often drawn in particularly by the dark aspect of the primordial mother, and by a corresponding anima, which can be called a “femme fatale,” “dark anima,” or “Persephone type.”

Here we can see the emergence of a cluster of negative motifs surrounding the archetypes of Dionysus and Orpheus: The “dark anima,” a romantic or poetic experience and tendency towards the “underworld,” or the “realm of Hades,” all of which, at root, is drawn down to the primordial archetype of the “Great Mother.” All of these connected themes will be addressed in this essay.

The powerful dynamics of Dionysus and Orpheus, with their close proximity to the anima and feminine powers, stimulates a man towards great aesthetic interest and creative expression. This essay will first examine the dangers of identification. Then the process by which a man may dis-identify and build his conscious personality will be outlined.

ii. Historical Context

A broad Jungian analysis of historical developments will reveal that the archetypal feminine has been steadily emerging in the past two centuries. Since the dawn of patriarchal consciousness (as touched upon in Part One — and which will be explained more later), and the development of a Christianized West, the archetypal feminine had been repressed. The patriarchal standpoint emphasizes the “logos” — reason, law and structure. In the ascendency of the masculine-logos, the feminine, “eros,” qualities of intuition and relationship to dream, feeling and the instinctual realm of the body are all repressed —  disregarded, ignored.

The First Wave of the Archetypal Feminine Emergence occurred in the late 19th century. At this time the avant-garde artists of France — including painter Paul Gauguin and writer Edgar Allan Poe — used symbology to express their intuitions of the unconscious psyche. [2] At this time a “bohemian” spirit was born, as artists began to explore their sexuality, rebelling against the morays of a Christianized Europe. At that same time, and quite independently, Sigmund Freud discovered the unconscious in a scientific manner.

These controversial movements influenced artistic and intellectual activity dramatically for the following decades. In the 1960’s the Second Wave of Archetypal Feminine Emergence occurred. At this time, particularly in America and England, the “Free Love,” “Hippy,” “Rock N’ Roll” movement represented a bursting-forth of intense feminine-eros forces, which sought integration. The emphasis towards the body, spirituality, non-rational or altered states of consciousness, were all aspects of the feminine repressed in the long-lasting patriarchal and Christian eras.

Member of The Doors, Ray Manzerik said of Morrison, “He was not a performer, he was not an entertainer, he was not a showman. He was possessed by a vision, by a madness, by a rage to live, by an all-consuming fire to make art.” [4]

Women who were driven to and largely succeeded in liberating their gender from restrictive roles and the balancing of social power is a part of an archetypal shift beneath the surface. But notably, in both of these Waves, male artists possessed by the archetypes of Dionysus and Orpheus, were vessels for cultural transformation, oftentimes personally sacrificed — quite literally by the collective evolutionary forces. Jim Morrison [3] and Jimi Hendrix as various mixtures of Dionysus and Orpheus, are quintessential examples of the personal danger of possession by an archetype in the context of historical powers.

Now, in the second decade of the new millennium, there is Third Wave, where the archetypal feminine is in a state of revival, and, according to the pattern, men possessed by Dionysus and Orpheus appear as mechanisms of this collective shift.

(It is important to note here that with this Third Wave there is an ever-more increased emphasis on the roles of women and other identities in the emergence and integration of the feminine. However, this will not be addressed further here, as this topic has been covered previously.)

When an archetypal force has been repressed for many centuries it remains in a primitive state, tied to the unconscious psyche. A cultural shift allows for an initial expression, but it first arises in that undeveloped form. This is true for the Orphic-Dionysian typology, by which artists feel that they are expressing themselves, when they are in fact possessed by a collective force — and an unusually exuberant and often fierce one at that.

Mugshot of XXXTentacion, which the artist used as as the photo for his streaming services.

Lil Pump mugshot, the goofy smile becoming a meme for the artist.

II. Soundcloud Rappers

i. Overview

Today there are a seemingly countless series of young, wild — often dangerous — drug using, auto-tuned music artists, referred to as “Soundcloud Rappers.” They are often known as much for their music as their lifestyle. The mainstream culture celebrates these unusual characters who regularly have a playful disregard for authority, are reckless and charismatic.

Face tattoos, outlandish styles of dressing, colored hair and all other sorts of wild antics can be attributed to an increased demand for gimmicks which can grab attention in the context of the internet’s over-saturated media marketplace.

However, since the the 1960’s, male artists have primarily been expected to fulfill the Dionysian and Orphic role of which the collective unconsciously craves — as, culturally the traditional barriers have increasingly been broken, and the access to these previously repressed energies proves intoxicating. The rebelliousness portrayed in the fashion styles and outlandish behaviors which fly in the face of “conventionality” are all hallmarks of Dionysus as the eternal youth — or puer aeternus — which audiences look towards to stimulate their psyche. These artists live “on the edge” — of rapturous musical creation, of destruction and danger, of sexual and lascivious adventure — that most are not willing to attempt, but are unconsciously mesmerized by.

ii. The Puer Aeternus and Terrible Mother

The emergence of the repressed feminine implies a new-found relationship to the unconscious psyche. The Lover, especially in the Dionysian disposition, compared to other archetypes typically active in male psyches, favors a particularly close relationship to the feminine dimension of the psyche. In a theoretically positive sense, Dionysian and Orphic personality types would be a type of modern “shaman,” which mediates and communicates with the world of imagination, dreams and mystery. Men of this type would have a close connection to women, be allies of women, and oftentimes transcend traditional roles ascribed to the genders.

However, since the relationship to the unconscious has remained repressed for so long, the Dionysian type and the social context, remain in primitive form, an unintegrated state of neurosis.. This means that the negative aspects of Dionysus are salient, and the regressive pull of the Great Mother is dominant. The Great Mother, as we will see in this essay, represents the instinctual psyche, before a self-aware ego had been developed. Regression into her power, typical of puer aeternus, means a disintegration of the personality — either through the avoidance of maturation and commitment to life, or physical death.

The influence of this negative aspect of the mother is evident in all puer aeternus types who fantasize of suicide and take drugs. Marie-Louise von Franz notes that, “The whole psychology of the drug taker is connected with the idea of flirting with death, getting away from reality and its hardships. Generally, people who take drugs have quite a lot of snake dreams. There tends to be a direct connection between the negative mother and the tendency to poison oneself.” [5]

The so-called pagan gods of drunken revelry, dance and ecstasy, artistic spontaneity and eternal youth, all repressed in previous eras are now rewarded. The puer aeternus types who are most charismatic and talented will be supported by this society. Unfortunately, the Soundcloud Rappers become victims of this newly emerging, unsophisticated pagan hunger. Many artists will be casualties of this collective development which comes about in convoluted routes.

Lil Peep, Soundcloud Rapper, died at the age of 21 from an accidental drug overdose in 2017

Notable patterns of the puer aeternus, include a tendency towards suicidality and dangerous behavior, as a way of avoiding truly incarnating into life, which would require him to become an adult. The development of a mature personality includes the death of the child; the man identified with the puer aeternus unconsciously sees the death of the child-self in maturation as a total death. And so, the puer aeternus man ties himself to dangerous situations or the option of suicide as way of remaining a “child” forever.

The lyrics from “For the Last Time,” a song with 25 million views on YouTube, by the Soundcloud rappers, $uicide Boy$, with a striking unoriginality typical of a collective movements, touches upon all of the major patterns of this type:

“Suicide when I ride bitch. Scarecrow the walking shadow; Mozart with no piano. Kill when I'm Sleepy Hollow. That mystic motherfucker that's addicted to prescriptions. Xanax for the panic; Mental problems you can add in.” [6]

An odd combination of cultural influences, by which a vacuum of spiritual support has combined with a the long-awaited release of “pagan” archetypal energy, which had been repressed for so long, stimulates, encourages, instigates puer aeternus tendencies in the youth culture. This has given way to a large trend of nihilistic melancholy, associated with numbing drugs, a glorification of suicide and dangerous behavior, and an aesthetic of darkness and otherworldliness. All of this is connected to Dionysus who is yet to be consciously understood and thus boils to the top of society in an immature way.

iii. Extremity in the Mainstream

Most of these Soundcloud Rappers reference prescription pills and marijuana to help cover up a vague sense of anxiety, depression and rage. This sadness, colored by a tired, sleepy disenchantment with any sort of meaningfulness in the world and towards living, is exemplified in Soundcloud Rappers like Lil Xan, Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Smokepurrp and more.

In a Jungian view, these symptoms indicates that some important value has been “buried in the unconscious” [7] and is therefore unreachable. “Severe depression is a form of regression that the ego cannot handle,” The only way to recover this lost potential is to see what the depression is pointing to in the unconscious [8]. However, the “obsessing about delusions concerning their own negativity” are “ self-centered ruminations” which function as “defenses against the painful feeling of loss” experienced early on in life. [9]

These cycles of depressive moods and thoughts take on a romantic, or almost theatrical fascination with the Orphic-Dionysian type. It is this aestheticized depression that consumes the artist and many fans.

In our zeitgeist there is no sense of how to go about a quest of discovering the meaning at the bottom of depression. Instead, artists and many fans are consumed by a romantic – almost theatrical – fascination for darkness.

Trippie Redd’s demonic-Dionysian aesthetic.

This widespread anxiety and depression, although dangerous, indicates, psychoanalytically speaking, an emerging awareness of a lost value — as no emotional affect would be apparent in a complete repression. In other words, some degree of awareness is surfacing.

When society encourages young, creative individuals to embody the Dionysian archetype and rewards them with success, a god-like inflation, a intensified grandiosity is inevitable. The young man, in this state of possession, will feel himself to be untouchable, that he, or his image, will live on forever. This is not contradicted by fantasies of suicide, which manifest as the flip side of such grandiosity.

Typical of an artist living out the Dionysus pattern as a puer aeternus, will be a rapid rise and fall. This is the case with the highly-successful rapper TekashiS6xN9ne, who’s outrageous, gangster antics have resulted in a stay in prison, with a substantial FBI case slated for trial.

In 2017 the New York Times, in a landmark article which shared the youthful movement of Soundcloud Rappers with the older generations, suggested that, “the open question is how much of this renegade energy — from the songs, which have more in common with hardcore than hip-hop, to the fistfights, to the drugs — will survive during the bumpy transition into the mainstream.” [10]

This skepticism was proven incorrect, as, in June 2018, Soundcloud Rapper XXXTentacion set the record for most streams in a single week.

So, now the more crucial question might be: Will the individuals embodying this lifestyle survive? And even more pertinent: What is the effect of these young influencers on their fans?

As theory and history reveal, these artists will, in many cases, come to experience the deadly fate of a puer aeternus, as they will be tempted by and attracted to danger and risk. This fate is vividly predictably, when watching videos like “Ski Mask,” by rapper Smokepurrp, which portray the singer sleepily playing with military weapons like they’re teddy bears. [11]

This fate was also met by XXXTentacion, when, in June 2018, the same week that he set records for music streams, the hero of the Soundcloud Rap movement was murdered.

The exceptional nature of XXXTentacion, in both musical ability and in the drama of his story, lends itself to further examination. Furthermore, this deceased singer embodies both Dionysus and Orpheus in extreme and compelling ways which offer much for analysis.

III. Consideration of Dionysus and Orpheus: XXXTentacion

Section One

i. Introduction to X

XXXTentacion’s live concerts were unpredictable, full of intense energy.

The musical artist XXXTentacion was a short-lived phenomenon. The young man, who’s given name was Jahseh Onfroy, had a rare combination of gifts: delicate, almost mystical eyes and a tough physique, an ability to rap, sing and a keen sense of trends and social marketing. Onfroy was born into a chaotic and traumatizing situation with a young single mother who worked as a stripper in Southern Florida. All of these factors combined with a disposition towards the Dionysian-Orphic pattern, which resulted in a tumultuous life of controversy, massive success, artistic contribution, an untimely death at the age of twenty.

Onfroy documented his life extensively and was remarkably honest with his past in interviews. The drama of his story and his sheer talent is compelling, but this article will focus on his deep-seeded depressive tendencies and creative longings, as it relates to the characterological typology of Dionysus, as well the theoretical connection this has with the anima and mother complex.

ii. Characteristic Bipolar Emotions of Dionysus

Understanding the diversity of masculine archetypes as they manifest in male psyches, brings attention to the patterns of The Lover as Dionysus with striking import. For example, “The Warrior,” as according to Moore, is “emotionally distant” and devoted to goals based on an ideal. [12] Similarly, “Apollo,” as according to Bolen, when active in a male’s psyche, will manifest as an interest in “clear definitions, is drawn to master a skill, values order and harmony, and prefers to look at the surface rather than at what underlies appearances. He will succeed in a career and can master a classical art form.” [13]

Conversely, Dionysus is, “often an unwelcome and disturbing element, a cause of conflict and madness in mythology, just as [he] can be in a man’s psyche.” [14] The same connection with the mystery of the unconscious psyche that can cause Dionysus, as The Lover, to be, “the source of spirituality — especially what we call mysticism” [15] in a man, is what causes “madness and violence [to] accompany him.” [16]

The fluidity of the Dionysian-identified ego — comfortable with the experience of inundations of the unconscious, in the form of intuition, feeling and vision (that the Apollo type would be averse to) — causes a man to be equally taken by instincts of a reckless, dangerous or even violent sort.

Denzel Curry, a fellow rapper, friend and roommate, said of Onfroy in an interview that, “One day he’ll be super angry, one day super happy, one day super depressed. He would just go through a lot of moods. That’s one reason [our friendship] was so turbulent.” [17]

In an uncanny way, Curry describes the exact pattern that Bolen defines as Dionysian: “He can be very moody: one moment he may be in profound despair, the next, ecstatically transported to a new high by someone or something. He is drawn to whatever intensifies experience for him. Mood-altering or hallucinogenic drugs attract him, as does music.” [18]

In XXXTentacion’s song, “Woah (Mind in Awe),” he sings about “all my lows and all my highs,” in a musical ecstasy. In an interview with No Jumper he speaks of doing astral projection (a New Age spiritual activity in which consciousness transcends the body and enters a world of vision) while in juvenile detention. In the same interview, Onfroy describes how he “spent a year in jail” for “armed burglary, possession of a firearm, resisting without violence, grand theft, possession of oxycodone." Further, Onfroy recalls beating another young man within inches of death while in that juvenile prison.

Equally as much as Onfroy was given to musical expression, creativity, he was, as this article will explore further, violent, aggressive and marked by controversy. All of the Dionysian tendencies towards extreme emotions were that much the more intense in Onfroy because of his upbringing, particularly in regard to his relationship with his mother.

Iii. Elaboration on the Mother Complex and Undeveloped Anima

It can be astonishing just how completely an individual lives out a mythological pattern. Events in life play out mythological patterns as the theme of destiny. The ways in which the theme of destiny is connected to the unconscious will not be belabored here. This has to do with the mystery of psyche and synchronicity that — rather than autonomous free-will — rules an individual’s life. Just to note on this topic: It is important to emphasize that all of us live out archetypal patterns, and not until we become self-aware and can reflect upon these forces, can a life truly be called “one’s own.”

In Greek mythology, the peculiar and harrowing relationship of Dionysus to the mother and to women began as, “Dionysus’s mother died while he was still a fetus. In his mythology and worship, he was surrounded by foster mothers and nursemaids, who were inconsistent and unstable in their nurturing. Later Dionysus descended into Hades to find his mother.” [19]

In the terminology of various psychological schools, Dionysus could be said to represent an individual who has had “insecure attachments” (according to Winnicott), or “unmet nurturing” needs (according to Klein), an “unsuccessful crisis or stage” (according to Erikson), “narcissistic injury” (according to Kohut) and “ego-strength” and “mother complex” issues (according to Jung). When a man with a disposition towards Dionysus experiences such a lack of mothering in his life, he will suffer immensely.

The mythological search for the mother in the underworld, mentioned previously, indicates an archetypal path towards healing: finding the eternal mother in the unconscious psyche, and (metaphorically) “mothering” oneself to wholeness.

The highly intense relationship between mother and son, typical of Dionysus, was lived out in Onfroy, who did not receive the nurturing he needed. In a now famous interview with No Jumper, Onfroy elucidated the way in which his mother’s abandonment from a young age affected him. First, he began to explain how, like the myth above, his mother passed him off to others as an infant. Astoundingly, Onfroy recalls an episode that occurred when he was six years old, in which a man attacked his mother, so the boy, “bit [the man’s] flesh out and stabbed him with a glass shard.” [20] In middle school and early highly school, Onfroy recollects: “I used to beat kids at school just to get my mom to talk to me, to give me some attention.” “I was always after my mom; I just wanted her attention.” “My mom made me insecure. I don’t like my face. After my mom left, I had no confidence in myself; she dressed me, told me when to take a shower; my mom was my voice.” [21]

In this No Jumper interview, Onfroy explains that in coordination with his time in juvenile detention, he worked with therapists who explained his need to learn how to “self sooth.” It is this reference that indicates he had likely been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder.

Rather than learn to manage their negative inner dialogue and intense emotionality themselves, individuals with this psychology will often project their parental needs onto a love interest and develop a dependency. Bolen explains: “Often men who are identified with [Dionysus] also seem to be seeking an idealized woman who is both mother and lover. This is especially true when there has been a physical or emotional separation between mother and son.” [22]

In the No Jumper Interview, Onfroy freely admits to how desperately dependent he became to his girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, relying on her for his sense of stability and nurturing. XXXTentacion expresses the extremity of this dynamic in his song “SAD!” in which he says of this relationship, “Suicide, if you ever try to let go.”

In the development of a healthy personality, the psyche begins in a complete “unity” with the mother; he is totally dependent as an infant. Gradually the personal mother’s nurturing gives way to the nurturing of the larger environment. Eventually, the child’s ego and identity begins to consolidate and strengthen, so that a sense of their own independent desires and abilities develops. As a teenager, the psychic energy available to the ego — the libido — moves from attachment to mother (psychologically associated with the the familiar environment of the home) to a love-interest and goals in the world. The love relationship and work accomplishments become a vehicle for the development of the personality as separate from the parental or adolescent stage. [23]

However, if from a very young age, as in Onfroy’s case, the child’s nurturing is not only unsatisfactory, but insufficient or unstable, the adolescent ego will depend on the unconscious for all varieties of protective measures which nonetheless leave the individual a neurotic. In Onfroy’s case, as Bolen describes is typical of the Dionysus type, he will project the original need for the nurturing of the mother onto girlfriends. In a severe case, as with Onfroy, the dependency on the other is so complete that he feels sure of death if a separation were to happen. This extreme emotional tendency leads inevitably to one form of abuse or another, by seeking to control the other based on real, or fantasized abandonment. We will return to this more later, but, suffice to say now that the mother, as a personal and archetypal influence, plays a central role in this predicament.

What is important here is that the experience of an unstable nurturing and threatening world, will emphasize the negative aspect of The Great Mother in a man’s psyche, This means that the ego-personality has not overcome the mother complex, and his psyche is more-so familiar with “world” as unsupportive of life, than as worthy of his trust and productive engagement. In fact, a tendency towards chaotic and violent states, caused by early conditioning and familiarity, may be so strong, as is the case with Onfroy, that the fragile ego is easily overcome with a death wish, fantasies of abandonment, rejection, self-hatred and all other sorts of self-immolating, or castrating moods. Outwardly, he may seek out girlfriends and success, but the experience of his childhood will cause him to always unconsciously expect the world to injure him, and he will experience a totality of unworthiness despite any accomplishments. [24] Additionally and unfortunately, his expectation often becomes a reality, as he will tend to self-sabotage and act out of an unconscious tendency to hurt others or himself.

A man with this psychological state will have a mother complex and anima that are fused, or undifferentiated. The “anima” in this context represents an aspect of the total personality which can readily overcome the ego. All men are susceptible to the anima possessed state, of which Edward Edinger explains:

“When a man is anima possessed, a condition that usually comes and goes with moods, he is sensitive and resentful, and his feelings are very easily hurt. I would say that the key word for the anima-possessed man is resentment, a sour, disappointed attitude. Another way of putting it would be that the anima-possessed man is inappropriately soft.” [25]

The anima is responsible for the unconscious patterns which overwhelm the personality with depressed, self-immolating moods. Individual’s who have such anima and mother-complex rooted depressive tendencies have most often “suffered a severe loss of love quite early in their lives,” as was the case with Onfroy. [26]

For an individual with a very strong mother complex issue, a chronic anima-possessed dynamic can mean a feeling of hopelessness and urges towards suicide. Many men, despite not having such wishes, still avoid life in a symbolic sort of “suicide” in which they unconsciously prefer to avoid pursuing the tough reality of living. In this way they’re stunted and their development “dies,” or psychoanalytically speaking their masculine ego is “castrated” by the mother. This is the problem of the puer aeternus.

An excuse of one’s “specialness” is often used by a puer aeternus as a way of avoiding the responsibility of, and commitment to truly living. According to Bolen, if man identifies with the Dionysian archetype, “he will often find it difficult to adapt to ordinary life. He will expect special treatment or recognition. Psychologically speaking, he becomes inflated by an overblown and undeserved sense of importance.” [27]

Marie-Louise von Franz explains further:

“The puer aeternus constantly plays with the idea of getting out of life if things get too hard. He is never quite committed to the situation as a whole human being; there is a constant mental reservation: ‘I will go into this, but I reserve my right as a human being to kill myself if I can’t stand it anymore. I shall not go through the whole experience to the bitter end if it becomes too insufferable, for if it does I shall walk out of it. And therefore the person does not become whole. If one cuts off the wholeness of the experience, one cuts oneself into bits and remains split because transformation can only take place if one gives oneself completely to a situation.” [28]

And so we can now see that it is the negative mother complex and undeveloped anima which is at play behind these sorts of reservations — either in a literally dangerous or psychologically limiting manner.

However, there is more to this situation with the anima, of which can be termed the “dark anima,” and a related “borderline anima” which feeds towards one’s destruction. This is the active, dynamic force behind the Dionysian tendency towards untimely death.

iv. The Borderline Anima: Harrowing Events, Violence and Suicide

Naturally, any man with The Lover active in his psyche will have a strong connection to The Great Mother and to the anima. When it is healthy, this provides the gift of creativity and a sensitivity to the inner world of emotions, visions and to his interpersonal relationships; he will have a sensuous connection to the world and to his romantic partners. Dionysian men who develop a mother complex issue and have a “dark anima” will have a peculiar familiarity with “the underworld” in various manifestations. The “borderline anima” refers to a particular nuance of the general “dark anima.” The Dionysian man is chronically possessed by his anima, and this brings about, “rapture and destruction, passion and coldness, immediacy and distance” in his moods. [29]

A man with a “borderline anima” may experience these moods himself, or by way of projective ties which attract him to a woman who will bring about these affects through identification and activation of the latent anima. In Onfroy’s case, it’s certain that he acted out of his own inherent borderline anima and was, from what evidence is available, likely given to attracting women who could also bring about such intensity.

This natural proclivity of the Dionysian man to follow his moods into the “borderline” dimension, leaning into the psychotic, is what makes him so attractive to the pagan experience of a contemporary music concert. Jean Shinoda Bolen explains:

“Dionysus was known as the god who was mad and the god who drove his follower insane. Something Dionysian can happen at rock concert, especially when the star suddenly appears on stage, and the audience goes mad. There is the frenzy, the drugs, the dancing, and on faces in the audience, expressions of ecstasy and rapture. When Dionysus the god appeared to his followers, pandemonium broke out, followed by a numbed silence of sorrowful melancholy after he just as suddenly disappeared. This arc, from ecstatic heights and communion with the god to melancholy, describes a psychological process of intense inflations allowed by a benumbed depression, or a period of hallucinations and delusion behavior followed by shocked horror and guilt.” [30]

An experience that audiences watch and experience momentarily is something that the Dionysian man and his close relations must live with regularly.

Jahseh Onfroy details his relationship with Geneva Ayala in his No Jumper Interview: “In the beginning it was perfect; she was everything. I did a blood bond with her a couple of months into dating. My ex saved my life. She stayed with me as long as I was insane, and saved me. I got insecure. It breaded a madness in my head. I loved her so much; I wouldn’t let her leave me alone. So, I ruined it.” [31]

Onfroy first experienced a fusing with his girlfriend, which is why the union was experienced as “perfect,” and why he felt the urge to blood bond with her. She could save his life; she could be the ultimate protector —  a mother and lover for him.

But, extensive details of their destructive downfall reveals that, while temporarily being held in prison, Ayala slept with another man, then lied about it. Allegedly, this caused Onfroy to beat her so badly that she left him and pressed charges. Also, her injuries were so desperate that Ayala eventually reached a goal on, to raise $25,000 for orbital surgery. [32]

A roommate of both Onfroy and Ayala prior to the fame, detailed her firsthand experience of abuse. This roommate also recorded what called a “Confession Tape.” [33] The slang used in this video makes it unclear as to what precisely is the content of the admission, but it is clear that he was capable of violence.

Furthermore, depressive, wild behavior and even suicide surrounded the superstar artist. A young woman named Jocelyn Flores , whom Onfroy invited to model for his clothing line, committed suicide while staying at a hotel after Onfroy ended a dispute between Flores and another model over missing cash. The experience of loss, death and mental illness surrounded Onfroy, but also inspired him. XXXTentacion’s song titled, “Jocelyn Flores” has roughly 350 million plays on YouTube alone.

Geneva styles herself with fake blood on Instagram post, circa late 2018.

Onfroy claimed, as a pending court case of assault and battery were held against him, that Ayala was mentally ill, claiming she had been admitted to a “mental hospital.” A video surfaced in which the young woman is in a psychotic state and Onfroy, as well a few adults, attempt to restrain her and bring her to consciousness. [34]

In Onfroy’s story there are several themes connected to the dark anima and negative mother. These are: the femme fatale and borderline anima, harrowing episodes and loss of life.

It can be observed now that, through projective vectors the man with a mother complex issue and Dionysian-Orphic disposition may instinctually find a woman who can embody the dark anima. Through the synchronicity that constellates when archetypal forces are at play, the Dionysian-Orphic artist will live out the femme fatale motif. First, he will love with passion and experience a perfect unity, an ecstasy with the Great Mother (in her voluptuous, positive aspect as Ishtar-Aphrodite), and then finally a disintegration, or “castration” through some conflict. This “fall” or “deadly” conflict will be either generated by his own anima moods, or by the behavior of an actual woman he is attached to and in love with.

The general nature of the femme fatale is that of a man who, stimulated by projection, is drawn into a premature liaison or marriage with a woman, and then blames her for the eventual conflict and downfall. This common experience of the femme fatale, which always has a corollary within the male’s psychic substructures (as the anima), will have a special borderline nature with the Dionysian-Orphic type.

A femme fatale, as we will see in a later part of this essay series, may simply be the threatening aspect of the instinctual unconscious as experienced through the feminine and, by projection, in a woman. As Erik Neumann notes, the primitive male psyche experiences “all women [as] the womb of the unconscious [which] threatens the go with self-naughting, self-loss, death and castration. For the ego and the male, the female is synonymous with the unconscious and the non-ego, hence with darkness, nothingness, the void.” [35]

Trippie Redd’s x-girlfriend, an artist/musician named Ayleks

The borderline anima is found especially in artists, who are attracted to women who traverse into the realms of darkness; the are attracted to the mystery of sorrows, the intense emotionality of despair, the hazy, altered states of deep depressions, and the “crazy” look in the eye of someone who is existing between the upper and lower worlds — the edge of sanity and insanity. This borderline anima is synonymous with Jean Shinoda Bolen’s description of the Persephone type, in her book “Goddesses in Everywoman.” Geneva Ayala portrays these characteristics, as an enchanting and mutable personality, which can be playful, girly, sexy in one moment and grave the next.

For this reason, the Dionysus artist-type often finds himself in a tumultuous relationship with a Persephone type. The current Soundcloud Rappers, as Dionysian personalities, such as with Trippie Redd, and XXXTentacion, find their match in a woman identified with Persephone, with tinges of deeply instinctual aspects of Aphrodite’s voluptuousness madness.

For the Dionysian-Orphic artist type, these attractions, by way of projection of the anima, can be examined and give way to a fruitful realization about the nature of depression — in mythological language, the “underworld” — and of longing itself. This, I hope to explore further in this series on The Lover.


1. Jean Shinoda Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 255

2. David Sweetman, Paul Gauguin: A Life.

3. For more: See Jim Morrisons archetype-possessed state in footage in Netflix’s documentary The Doors: When You’re Strange, 2009

4. As quoted in: Dylan Jones. Mr Mojo: A Biography of Jim Morrison.

5. Marie-Louise Von Franz. The Problem of the Puer Aeternus, pg. 88

6. “$UICIDEBOY$ - FOR THE LAST TIME” music video:

7. V. Walter Odajnyk, Jung’s Contribution to an Understanding of the Meaning of Depression.

8. Warren Steinberg, Depression: Some Clinical and Theoretical Observations, pg. 9

9. Ibid, pg. 10

10. Jon Caramanica. The Rowdy World of Rap’s New Underground. The New York Times:

11. Smokepurpp - Ski Mask (Official Music Video) (Shot By @_ColeBennett_)

12. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine, pg. 84 - 85

13. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 135

14. Ibid, pg. 25

15. Moore, Gillette. King Warrior Magician Lover, pg. 124

16. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, Bolen, pg. 253

17. Denzel Curry Opens Up About His Relationship With XXXTentacion | Everyday Struggle:

18. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 256-257

19. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 257

20. No Jumper — The Xxxtentacion Interview:

21. Ibid

22. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 257

23. Richard Frankel, The Adolescent Psyche: Jungian and Winnicottian Perspectives, pg. 89 - 90

24. Maxson McDowell, Narcissistic Injury and Healing:

25. Edward Edinger, The Aion Lectures : Exploring the Self in C.G. Jung's Aion Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, page 32.

26. Steinberg, Depression: Some Clinical and Theoretical Observations, pg 7

27. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 256

28. Marie-Louise Von Franz. The Problem of the Puer Aeternus, pg. 84

29. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 271

30. Bolen. Gods in Everyman, pg. 272

31. No Jumper — The Xxxtentacion Interview

32. Geneva Ayala’s GoFundMe page:

33. Marc Hogan. XXXTentacion Confessed to Domestic Abuse and Other Violent Crimes in Newly Obtained Secret Recording:


35. Erik Neumann. The Origins and History of Consciousness, pg. 158