You know that feeling when someone labels you as something and expects you to be that same person for the rest of time?
Yeah, it sucks. Because human beings are simple and monotone, without flavor, seasons or variations, right?
Pfft, could that statement be more off?
Let’s be honest, we all have our good and bad days.
You know, moments when we are living our best life and moments when we just want to curl up under the cover, Netflix and chocolate.
And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but society seems to be telling us that… all the time.
And don’t even get me started on how society expects us to be as women!
I’m all about being soft, patient and loving, but sometimes… sometimes there’s a fire in me and it just can’t be kept quiet.
And you know what? I think we’ve gotta start embracing that fiery feminine energy wayyy more often.
And who better to look to for inspiration on how to own and honor each aspect of ourselves, than Kali, Goddess of death herself.
Bear with me, because she might just be the most misunderstood Goddess of them all.
And that my friend is why this badass Goddess can teach us how to really embrace every part of ourselves.
So I’m not saying you’ve got to channel death and destruction per se, but that death is just a part of life and without it we would be pretty lost.
After all, without darkness, there would be no light.
Who is the Fierce Kali Goddess?
You could be forgiven for mistaking Kali as a devilish force of death and destruction.
I mean, she is the Goddess of death and her name even comes from Kala, which literally means ‘the dark one’ in Sanskrit.
Though it might be easy to assume this refers to evil darkness, it actually refers to the darkness before the world existed. So Kali represents the darkness from which everything is born.
She is the great mother of everything, including the universe!
Even so, there is more to Kali than meets the eye.
(Although what meets the eye is pretty damn fearsome with her necklace of skulls and tongue stuck out)
Though Kali is indeed a destroyer, she is a destroyer of evil forces…
…making her one of the most beautiful depictions of Goddess Durga that I can think of.
This deity can also be the destroyer of your illusions, fears and self-destructive tendencies.
That doesn’t change the fact that this fierce divine energy is a force to be reckoned with, though.
Often depicted brandishing a severed head, a necklace of skulls and donning a skirt of severed arms, I wouldn’t blame you if the mere sight of her sent you running for the hills.
Did I mention her skull cup of blood? Yeah, badass.
Her bright red tongue sticks out, and her hair is disheveled; she’s not exactly the picture-perfect 1950s housewife without a strand of hair out of place.
And thank goodness!
Though she is the Goddess of Death, her power and role as destroyer plays an important role in Mother Nature.
Kali is responsible for both the creation and destruction of the universe and represents the life-death-rebirth cycle that is key to Hindu beliefs and mythology.
She is multi-faceted, just like you and me. And like all Hindu Goddesses, she has many different interpretations and manifestations.
She is ferocious and takes no prisoners, sure. But she is also merciful and protective of those who are loyal to her. And that’s definitely something I can get down with.
Without a doubt the fiercest female archetype of the Hindu Goddesses, Kali is the embodiment of divine feminine energy, Shakti.
Kali’s First Cameo in Hindu Mythology
One of the earliest mentions of Kali in Hindu mythology was in the battlefield of Devi Mahatmyam in the Sanskrit text Markandeya Purana.
There are different interpretations of how Kali was called forth to save the day, but the takeaway point is that only Kali could defeat the demons who were about to take over the world.
Raktabija was the demon king and each time a drop of his blood was spilled, a thousand more demons sprouted from the ground and launched their attack.
This demon army was no match for the Gods and they turned to their female counterparts for help. (Yep, read that part again!)
Beautiful and almighty, Goddess Durga stepped up to the challenge, changing forms many times throughout the battle.
Each time she charged thousands of more demons were born from Rajkabija’s blood and let’s just say things weren’t looking good.
The demon army laughed at Durga and she became so enraged her eyebrow furrowed into one and Kali was manifested from her anger.
Only the fierceness and wrath of Kali was enough to defeat Raktabija as she drank every last drop of his blood from her skull cup.
The demons were defeated but Kali spans out into a destructive rage. In the end, she could only be calmed by the sight of her husband, God Shiva, lying under her feet. She bit her tongue in embarrassment after realizing her mistake.
Kali is often associated with Shiva and sometimes even depicted chopping his head off. This image represents the destruction of the ego, which let’s face it probably calls for someone as powerful and destructive as Kali.
Kali destroys the ego and attachment to the material world and so can also be considered the Goddess of liberation.
There are times when we need to show compassion and understanding.. And there are times when we ought to take point from Kali and not take things lying down.
Sometimes dark deeds call for dark deeds.
So next time, you’re thinking of toning down your inner fire or filtering parts of yourself out for others, ask yourself what would Kali do?
Can you own and honor every woman that is in you? Can you invite them in, smiling, laughing, decapitated heads, blood skull cup and all?
It’s time to step into our power and embrace all aspects of the divine feminine energy, just as Hindu mythology does.
You might also like: Is Yoga A Religion? It Depends On What You Believe
How To Harness Your Own Goddess of Death and Destruction
The story of Kali is obviously fictional…
…I mean, can you imagine a real-life human wearing a necklace of skulls or holding decapitated heads and being worshiped anyway?
But the way that Kali is depicted is meant to help your human experience, and that’s why she’s so damn powerful.
Because she is you, you are Kali.
Everything that she represents is also within you.
And that powerful divine feminine energy within you is certainly something to fear.
In my Kali challenge, we will meditate on the different beautiful aspects of Kali and all her raw energy. We will practice yoga daily with poses and breathing exercises to harness fearsome rage that is already within you. We will work through journal prompts to process our yoga and meditation practice.
It will be a two-week practice of devotion.
By the end, you will know how to use that inner rage to destroy obstacles and finally be free to accomplish exactly what you want in your life.
Ready to join me?