“By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created
By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end
You who are eternally the form of the whole world,
at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,
at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
and at the time of the dissolution of the world
you are the form of the destructive power
You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
intellect and compassion”
From the Devi-Mahatmya
In Hinduism, the Goddesses are “Devi”, which means “deity”. She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali. Kali’s name means “Time”.
Her stories are bountiful. Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening. She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces. She killed other demons during another battle, and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring, Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.
She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction. When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She holds weapons in her numerous hands. Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth. She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. Do not ask from Her which you are incapable of receiving as she is fierce in her love for Her daughters.
This is why She is also worshipped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshippers surrender to Her utterly. Abrahim Khan, an anthroplogist, said that “to belong to Her, the worshipper must surrender not jus the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.” To me, that is the key to working with Kali.
To this day, Kali is still one of the most worshipped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world. Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys. She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on. She is strength. She is courage. She helps us to face our own darkness. She will help you destroy the obstacles blocking your path.
The following is a meditation from one of my workshops called *Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini*.
“Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes. Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth. Breathe into your sacred feminine energy. Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds. Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her. Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself. As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.”
This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:
I also recommend what I call the Dance of Kali’s Dakini,(also from my workshop). The idea behind this is to just dance, allowing your body to move freely without inhibition. Feel free to stomp your feet or yell loudly, mouth open, tongue out. You may find it helpful to start with a slower song, moving into progressively faster ones to get the full benefit of the dancing meditation. As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.
(Note: a Dakini translates as “sky dancer”. She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personfication of the Divine Feminine)***
I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations. Take several long, deep breaths, stretching fully and completely before rising.
May Kali bless you (and challenge you)on your journey!
Resources: ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by
Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee
**Previously published at Motherhouseofthegoddess.com