Kali comes into our lives with skulls around her neck, blood on her tongue and a skirt made of demon arms. Her skin is blacker than night, but don’t let her dark appearance fool you; this goddess is here to free you of your heaviest chains, untie your deepest samskaras (karmic knots) and consume the darkness of your ego, all in the name of L-O-V-E. Kali takes from you what you have been hopelessly grasping onto, and don’t worry, you won’t have to ask – at least not on any conscious level.
Kali was born from Mother Durga’s third eye in the heart of battle. She sprung forth to kill demons with her many arms and lick up their blood with her tongue. It wasn’t until her beloved Lord Shiva lay before her that she was able to stop and see that she had won the battle against the demons and restored peace to the world. Kali’s energy is often felt in full force when it enters our lives. She is here to lift the illusions (maya) that we hide behind.
A cycle of Kali in your life can be represented by one big event after another. These events may seem terrifying in the moment, but as one illusion after the next is lifted from your life, you can find comfort knowing that you will feel grateful when you look back at what you have “lost”. Bad relationships, attachment to money… these are no problem for the beloved Mother Kali. Thankfully, she is not afraid to fight for inner peace.
Kali is associated with destruction. Everything in life has a cycle, and an end is part of that cycle. When we hold on and continue to throw ourselves under the bus for something that is finished, we get stuck. When we are stuck, our thoughts and energy fester and we can dig ourselves into a hole we have no way of exiting. This is when Mother Kali enters our lives, at this point when we must move on. When everything that is holding us down in the mud must be lifted; when we are both hiding from and begging for change.
I have always felt intimidated by this dark goddess, while simultaneously always being surrounded by her grace, thanks to my Guru, Ma Jaya. Ma had a way of getting to the heart of the matter with out letting anything get in the way. We all have our own paths to walk with the many aspects of ourselves, whether we are comfortable putting form to deities or not. Mother Kali has entered my life many times, and I can finally see her grace. I can finally say “thank you,” for every killing and for every demon she has destroyed. Not because I like the “fight”, but because I finally have a glimpse of what comes after the fight. What are we left with when the Kali energy has taken away our burdens? We are left with a new start, a clean slate. Yes, there will be another battle, another knot to untie – but I’d rather spend a lifetime untying new knots than holding onto the same one for eternity.
Check out the published version: Mother Kali, Elephant Journal
Check out the published version: Kali