Wherever an impassioned, almost magical, relationship exists between the sexes, it is invariably a question of a projected soul-image. Since these relationships are very common, the soul must be unconscious just as frequently. [“Definitions,” CW 6, par. 809. ]
The soul-image is a specific archetypal image produced by the unconscious, commonly experienced in projection onto a person of the opposite sex.
For an idealistic woman, a depraved man is often the bearer of the soul- image; hence the “saviour-fantasy” so frequent in such cases. The same thing happens with men, when the prostitute is surrounded with the halo of a soul crying for succour. [Ibid., par. 811.]
Where consciousness itself is identified with the soul, the soul-image is more likely to be an aspect of the persona.
In that event, the persona, being unconscious, will be projected on a person of the same sex, thus providing a foundation for many cases of open or latent homosexuality, and of father-transferences in men or mother-transferences in women. In such cases there is always a defective adaptation to external reality and a lack of relatedness, because identification with the soul produces an attitude predominantly oriented to the perception of inner processes. [Ibid., par. 809.]
Many relationships begin and initially thrive on the basis of projected soul-images. Inherently symbiotic, they often end badly.
© from Daryl Sharp’s Jung Lexicon, reproduced with kind permission of the author.