In understanding myths and religion cross-culturally, Carl Jung observed archetypal themes and entities. These themes and entities originated in the dreams and fantasies of individuals; however, their widespread occurrences suggest a link to the underlying connectedness of mankind. In this manner, Carl Jung establishes the collective ‘dreams' of cultures and coins the term “Collective Unconscious” (Relke, 2007). The Collective Unconscious refers to instinct shared by all humanity (Collective) that manifests in universal images or concepts whose origin lies deep within the human psyche (Unconscious). Such images and concepts are known as archetypes and according to Jungian theory are core to understanding the stories shared in myths for they elucidate fundamental aspects of human psychology. In this manner the epic of Gilgamesh lends itself to analyses, particularly when surveying the representation of the anima.
According to Jung, the anima refers to the archetypal female in mythology and religion as an embodiment of profound female attributes located in the male's subconscious. Dr. Joan Relke, in his article “The Archetypal Female in Mythology and Religion: The Anima and the Mother of the Earth and Sky” states that the anima is