It is said that Kali is the most misunderstood of the Hindu Deities as she is often mistakenly seen as the Goddess of Death. While she is the “dark” aspect of the Primordial Mother Goddess Parvati, Kali’s domains are creation, destruction, rebirth, time & Shakti, or Divine Feminine Energy. She rides and is associated with the Lion, a symbol of courage. Other associations include the fire of transformation and blood. Kali’s association with blood – which is a carrier of energy and life sustaining oxygen – connects her to the mysteries of Life & Death.
Kali is the slayer of demons and the Ego, but not men (despite the depiction in the main image). She is associated with cremation, which itself is a firey transformation. Though she carries the spirits of fallen warriors and slain animals, she does not kill them. Instead, She is the compassionate mother who loves Her children by slaying their demons and egos, or illusory selves. In this way, She brings freedom through the removal of Karma. Our station in life can cause us to have different perspectives of this Deity: Bringer of Death or Bringer of Freedom and Rebirth.
Her sword of knowledge separates the lies from the truth. For this reason, she can be seen as a bringer of Death to the parts of us that need to die. This can be intimidating and feel like a true death to those who do not wish for change. Kali can also be seen as incredibly compassionate for those whose Karma and ego are cleared by Her grace. By separating the lies from the truth, She grants us a new freedom that we did not have before. Through this freedom and release of Karma, we feel Her motherly compassion.
Additionally, “She consumes all things and denotes the act of tasting or enjoying what society regards as forbidden (i.e. Her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world’s “flavors”).” This is why she is often depicted with her tongue sticking out. I love this aspect because I enjoy exploring many things that “society regards as forbidden.”
After being introduced to Kali through a recent Jungian dream analysis, I must say that I have fallen in love with Her. Her energy is very much a part of my own. With each post, I allow a part of myself to be brought to the altar to be altered. Writing and sharing my experiences frees me while helping others in seeing paths to greater levels of freedom. This is my passion and I’m seeing more clearly that this is also my purpose.
It’s fascinating to me to look back today and see how much Kali’s presence has been quietly infused into my life over the years. I smile to think back at the resistance I felt when Lord Shiva‘s influence first came into my conscious awareness. While Pavarti naturally came up at that time, I did not identify with her the way I do now with Kali. Her name alone now brings a smile to my face, for I can better see the strength and courage within myself through Kali. I see now how frequently I write from her view, even with this last post where I describe breaking open to become more free in The Allowance of Grace.
It’s interesting to note that I have attempted several times to connect to and write about the archetype that most represented my nurturing and mothering side. Now I see the Deity that I sought all along was in Kali, and now so many pieces have fallen easily into place.
Additional qualities and characteristics of Kali
- She is the feminine energy or Shakti for Lord Shiva, creator and destroyer
- Her mantra is “I am that I am. I am Spirit.” Parallels well with my own, “I am that I am Love.”
- Kali lives in the Anahata (true heart) Chakra.
- The Kali Yantra has within it the fires of transformation
- She is the “tough love” aspect of The Primordial Mother, guiding us into our greater potentials
This following meditation very much has the energy of Kali; healing through letting go of what no longer serves, creating a new level of freedom through transformation. I hope you find the time and space to listen and follow this loving guided meditation.