Anima McKertcher

The Dreaming Garden

The Anima Controversy

I've seen a lot of blank stares on people's faces the first time they hear my name. "Ani - what?" they may ask. "Anima," I reply. That's pronounced Ah-Nee'-Ma, not Animo, Amoeba, Enigma, Anemic or 'that girl whose name is a disease' - though I have been known to respond to the preceding. I've even been called George, but that's an entirely separate story.

When my husband first met me he wrote down my name phonetically - I guess he realized he'd never be able to remember it otherwise. Now after I'm introduced to someone, I'll tell them that my name is spelled "like 'Animal' without the 'l'." It's amazing how much that helps.

People often tell me how unique or different my name is, that's why I'm so surprised when I "Google" my name. First I'm asked if I meant "Anime" which I find kind of funny. Then I come across a gamut of different ways that the name Anima is used:

  • in Latin it refers to passion and living essence

  • Carl Jung psychology uses Anima to mean the unconscious, true inner self or the feminine inner personality in the unconscious of the male

  • at least a couple different music groups use Anima in their name

  • DC Comics publishes a comic book named Anima

And on and on it goes. My favorite comes from my mother: She's always told me that my name means beautiful. I know I was named after my uncle Anim, so how can that be true? But why ask too many questions? She's my mother therefore she must be right and therefore my name means beautiful.