Today’s Quiz: Your Guiding Goddess for 2014

Quiz: Your Guiding Goddess for 2014

Which face of the Divine Feminine is by your side in this year, urging  and encouraging you to be the person you are meant to be? Take this quick quiz  to see which goddess is your guide:

Which statement is TRUE for you?

1. This year, what I long for MOST is freedom.

2. This year, what I long for MOST is a fresh start.

3. This year, what I long for MOST is love.

4. This year, what I long for MOST is to be healed.

5. This year, what I long for MOST is wisdom and learning.

6. This year, what I long for MOST is creativity.

If you answered TRUE to 1, ARTEMIS is your goddess. To the ancient Greeks,  this goddess was a feisty, wild woods-dweller, in tune with nature and animals.  Artemis encourages us to connect with the outdoors, with animals, and with our  own fiercely independent spirits.

If you answered TRUE to 2, KALI is your goddess. This Hindu deity is the one  to call if something in your life needs to go in order to make room for  something new. Kali destroys what is stale so that new life can come in.

If you answered TRUE to 3, VENUS is your goddess. If love relationships or  the longing for love are paramount for you this year, the Roman goddess Venus  can help you to open your heart.

If you answered TRUE to 4, KWAN YIN is your goddess. This Asian bodhisattva  is the most prayed-to deity on earth. Kwan Yin reminds us that the healing power  of her understanding and compassion are always available to you.

If you answered TRUE to 5, ATHENA is your goddess. The ancient Greek goddess  of wisdom and learning is often shown companioned by an owl, the traditional  wisdom-bird to many. If you desire deep wisdom or want to do well in some course  of study, Athena will help you to clear your mind.

If you answered TRUE to 6, BRIGID is your goddess. This fiery Celtic goddess  of poetry and crafting (among other things) is a great help in unlocking your  creative potential.

You might want to do a little research on your goddess, and then find images  or statues of her to remind you of her help and guidance as you follow your path  throughout the year.

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Gracious Goddess, Let Me Be My Best Self Ever

New Age Comments & Graphics

Great Goddess
I ask that You lend me
Your strength
That I might excel
And be my best self.
 
At all times and places
When I need it most
Let my brightest self
Shine out like a star.
 
Help me to succeed
At all tasks at hand
And make the most
Of all the possibilities
made available to me.
 
Great Goddess
Lend me your light
That I might excel
And be my best self ever.
 

So Mote It Be.

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Today’s Goddess for December 4th – Kali, The Black One

Goddess Comments & Graphics
Kali, The Black One

“O Dark Primordial Mother!
Thou gives birth to and protects the universes
and at the time of dissolution
does withdraw to Thyself
this world and all beings.” (Karpuradi Stotra)

Kali (“the black one”) is the Hindu mother goddess, symbol of dissolution and destruction. She destroys ignorance, maintains the world order, and blesses and frees those who strive for the knowledge of God. In the Vedas, the name is associated with Agni, the god of fire, who had seven flickering tongues of flame, of which Kali is seen as the black, horrible tongue. This meaning of the word has meanwhile been replaced by the goddess Kali, the grim consort of Shiva. Her appearance is fearsome: baleful eyes, a protruding tongue, and four arms. In Her upper left hand She wields a bloody sword and in Her lower left hand She holds the severed head of a demon. With Her upper right hand She makes the gesture of fearlessness, while the lower right hand confers benefits. Draped around Her is a chain of severed human heads and She wears a belt made of dismembered arms. As the Divine Mother, She is often represented dancing or in sexual union with Shiva. As Bhavatarini, the redeemer of the universe, She stands upon the supine form of Her spouse.

She is also known as Kalikamata (“black earth-mother”) and Kalaratri (“black night”). Among the Tamils She is known as Kottavei. Kali is worshipped particularly in Bengal. Her best known temples are in Kalighat and Dakshineshvara.

Variations on the name Kali for female divinity can be found in many ancient cultures outside India, which suggests that in the distant past a common or related matriarchal religion pervaded much of the world. For example, in pre-historic Ireland people worshipped a powerful goddess known as Kele (Her priestesses were known as Kelles), in ancient Finland there was the all-powerful Goddess Kal-ma, in the Sinai region of the Middle East there was the Goddess Kalu, and in ancient Greece an aspect of the Goddess was known as Kalli. It is likely that these very similar names for the Great Goddess in different cultures was the result of the export of spiritual ideas and practices “out of India” by early invasions.

Your Animal Spirit for August 6 is the Polar Bear

Your Animal Spirit for Today
August 6, 2013


Polar Bear

Has Polar Bear lumbered into your reading? If so, he’s reminding you of the value of being flexible. Polar Bear instinctively knows how to conserve his energy and will observe a situation before he takes action. Once he decide it’s the appropriate time to move forward, however, he has the strength, energy, and fortitude to face whatever dangers lie ahead. Having problems making a change? Polar Bear is here to help, and his message to you is:  Take heart, have courage, build your strength, then MOVE!

Calendar of the Moon for September 25

Calendar of the Moon

25 Muin

Diwali – Kali’s Day

 

Colors:

Black and red
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a black cloth. Decorate gaudily with red flowers, bowls of vegetable-dyed rice and couscous, strings of red beads, sterile needles, and the figure of Kali.
Offerings: A drop of blood, wiped onto the base of Kali’s statue.
Daily Meal: Indian food.

Invocation to Kali

 

Black Mother of Death
Who drives us around and around
The wheel of birth and endings,
From whose dark womb we are born
And who eats us again at the end,
Lady who tramples the proud Shiva
Under her ruthless feet
Mounts him for her own pleasure
And tears out his guts.
Lady, let us learn the message
Of death in life, of birth in death;
Let us praise the eternal return,
The blade and the blood, the life
That you demand from us,
And that we have no choice
But to return to you at the end.

Chant:
Kali Kali Kali
Our flesh is yours
Our soul is yours
Unto your hands
Unto your womb
May we be reborn again
Kali Kali Kali

(All approach the altar and kneel. One who has been chosen to do the work of the ritual takes a sterilized needle and pricks the finger of each member present. If they request, a small cut can be made with a sterilized razor, but the worker must be skilled. The blood is wiped onto the statue of Kali and the upper altar cloth, which is never washed. All file out unspeaking; bandaging will be done in another room.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Mabon Prayers

Mabon Prayers

By Patti Wigington

Prayer for Abundance

We have so much before us
on for this we are thankful.
We have so many blessings, and for this we are thankful.
There are others not so fortunate,
and by this we are humbled.
We shall make an offering in their name
to the gods who watch over us,
that those in need are someday
as blessed as we are this day.

Mabon Balance Prayer

Equal hours of light and darkness
we celebrate the balance of Mabon,
and ask the gods to bless us.
For all that is bad, there is good.
For that which is despair, there is hope.
For the moments of pain, there are moments of love.
For all that falls, there is the chance to rise again.
May we find balance in our lives
as we find it in our hearts.

Prayer to Gods of the Vine

Hail! Hail! Hail!
The grapes have been gathered!
The wine has been pressed!
The casks have been opened!
Dionysus and Bacchus,
watch over our celebration
and bless us with merrymaking!
Hail! Hail! Hail!

A Prayer to the Dark Mother

Day turns to night,
and life turns to death,
and the Dark Motherteaches us to dance.
Hecate, Demeter, Kali,
Nemesis, Morrighan, Tiamet,
bringers of destruction, you who embody the Crone,
I honor you as the earth goes dark,
and as the world slowly dies.

A Prayer of Thanks Giving

The harvest is ending,
the earth is dying.
The cattle have come in from their fields.
We have the earth’s bounty
on the table before us
and for this we give thanks to the gods

Indian Paganism

Indian Paganism
image
Author: Kalaratri

A long time ago, what we call Aryans came from northern Europe to India to bring their faith all along their way. This happened maybe 1500 or 2000 years before our era, and changed the face of India forever.

I write this essay because I felt that a lot of Pagans are aware of eastern spirituality, know something about chakras or yoga, but do not go further. I will try to clarify the knowledge we have as westerners about real Hinduism, Yoga or Sanatan Dharma (the eternal religion) as they call it themselves. I am not a specialist about the subject, never been to India and if there is errors in the text just tell me I will be happy to correct them.

First of all, the world religion comes from Latin religare, and that means to link. The word Yoga means the same.

The fact that white skin people colonized India is important to make the connection between the two civilizations at this time. Actual historians claim that our ancestors were just a draft of civilization.

I am furious about this; my personal history studies confirmed me that intelligent and spiritual people were dwelling on earth more than 300 000 years ago (time of the first known grave).

So the known history of India begins there; the writing of the laws of Manu, an old moral and spiritual code from the colonization time, that sadhus (initiates) hold in high regard, just precipitate the unification of India under the same religious fever. But before the invasion, what were the religious practices in India?

The coming of Aryans defined the four casts, the highest being the Brahmans or priests. They had power over the Indian people for these 4000 years; the same way Christians had power over us in the West. Gandhi was a great man because he tried to destroy this system that kept women and untouchables outside society. A lot of people tried to do this before him, but he did and this was one of his great works.

The Vedas are a corpus of religious texts. We count four Vedas written during a dozen of centuries, and a plethora of treatises are linked to them. They would cover an entire library on their own. The Rig-Veda is the oldest one and the most “tantric” of them (1500 before our era); it mentions the use of Soma, or ecstatic beverage.

Tantrism is the oldest tradition that survives the patriarchal domination of the Aryan invasion. I will not cover the history or the differences between the sects of tantrism. To define Tantrism is almost to kill it. It is the way yogis and yoginis lived their spirituality outside the boundaries of accepted dogma.

They were often nude, doing strange rituals at night, in the forests or in the cremation grounds, or worshipped deities in ways not accepted by the Brahmans. For them, sex, as alcohol, drugs, meat or fish, were sacred because it was the body of the Goddess.

This created hate from the Brahmans community, who lived with a lot of restrictions. Tantrikas had to hide themselves in forests or lost temples; they lived the same persecution as the Inquisition.

Their Goddess has more than a thousand names. The most common are Devi (Goddess), Durga (She who is hard to attain), most revered in Bengal, Kali (Black Time, the destroyer), Lakshmi (the radiant) and many others that I will not list there.

The legend tells that Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are at Her feet; She is all the manifest world, matter and space. Kali is a powerful goddess. Shiva is Her consort; He lies under Her feet, maybe because without Her, He is a cadaver (shava).

The current image of Kali was drawn from a vision of a sixteen-century saint, who saw a girl bathing in a river. She was nude, and when she saw the intruder she lift her tongue and in a moment, he saw the goddess in her. He thought this would be a powerful goddess image.

She has eight or ten arms, dark blue skin and a necklace of skulls (meaning the fifteen syllabs of Sanskrit). She has three eyes, one white, one black and a red one. She always takes care of Her devotees and often goes straight to them, like myself. The Goddess as Kali came into my life when I did not have any interest about Indian culture.

Not all tantrikas are Kali devotees. But they always see Shakti the goddess as Manifest Universe (what they call the Tattwas, or Elements) and Shiva as the Pure Non-manifest God. They have a corpus of practices very effective like Ishnaan, or cold showers, Kundalini Yoga, or awakening of the shakti/goddess energy, or specific mantras that will awaken the energy into the body.

The goal is to destroy the boundaries between the matter and the spiritual, the self and the non-self, the divine and the mundane. Because for a Tantrika, everything is sacred and the ultimate divinity manifested

They worship in different ways; the most common is Puja. The Puja is like a ritual to celebrate the deity. There is thirty millions gods in India. All spiritual devotees have a specific deity, whom they choose and dedicate in their life; this is called Ishtadevata.

I see it as Pagans often have a favorite deity that has a deeper meaning for them; they choose to worship it more often or dedicate their life to, like Hekate, Zeus, Morrigan, Odin or Isis. They recognize other deities as the ultimate divinity with another form, as we see the God and the Goddess for others Pagans.

So Tantrism is still alive and maybe more than ever, because the Goddess still want Her devotees to know her, with all their desires, needs, and dreams. Some Indian Gurus and Initiates came to the West to teach what they knew here, because of the New Era. They say that in this Era, not only the Truth and the teachings will be open to everyone, but they will be shouted from the roofs, and nobody would hear them (excerpt from Kundalini Yoga, Michel Manor) I can not get tantra teachings were I live, so I hope you will try to get some if you can, and I really hope you will open your mind reading this essay and find your Way in this life.

If you want to know more about Tantrism, you may search about any of the Indian goddesses, Ramprasad, Ma Ananda Moyi, Shree Ma Sarada Devi and Ramakrishna, Shree Rajneesh, Dadaji, Devi, Durga, Kali, or Shiva, or Kundalini Yoga.

EGYPTIAN KNOT AMULET FOR HEALING

EGYPTIAN KNOT AMULET FOR HEALING

 
–Red string (embroidery floss)
–Basic altar setup (Salt, Water, Incense, Candle)
The Spell:
Knot or braid the red string into a bracelet while visualizing your need.
You may also want to chant a few words or speak an incantation.
Knot the bracelet seven times. With each knot, say the seven names of the Goddess.
(Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demetere, Kali, Inanna)
Bless the bracelet with Air by passing it through the Incense three times.
Bless it with Fire by passing it over the Candle three times.
Bless it with Water by passing it over the Chalice three times (you may also want to
sprinkle it with water). Bless it with Earth by passing it over the salt bowl three times.
Each time, visualize each Element empowering your spell. Finally, bless it with Life by
blowing across it three times, and tie it around your wrist with a square knot.
With this say, “With this, the Lord and Lady shall shine light on shadows cast and
keep me from harm’s way, let this be done! So mote it be!”

Stumbling Blocks to Following Your Own Path

Stumbling Blocks to Following Your Own Path

Author: Alfred Willowhawk, MMsc, RMT, CTM, Shaman

Introduction:

In my last article I spoke on how to choose and began the discussion on following one’s chosen path. As we defined this earlier a spiritual path is one where an individual is taking a route whether physically or metaphysically that pertains to the non-physical being of a person. The most important part of such a path is that the individual grows, learns, and expands and comes to reconciliation with their understanding of the metaphysical realms and their understanding of Deity (s) .

Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Growth

As one researches, and gets in tune with their path they may find some stumbling blocks to their growth. Dictionary.com defines a stumbling block as: “an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding”. In other words, something that stops the movement on a particular path. These blocks are usually temporary unless an individual chooses to make them permanent.

These stumbling blocks may be in the form of lack of understanding, fear, abandonment, (by friends and family) , rejection, (personal, or societal) , pressure to be normal, or even unfortunately, pressure from people in the Business of Paganism, to keep people to themselves. Take this example:

Research

An individual feels a connection with Kali. A cursory search of the literature shows Kali as a terrible aspect of a goddess. In fact some say that she is actually a demon that eats people alive. Interestingly enough, in the definitive work, The Magic of Kali, translated by Michael Magee, it states that this interpretation of Kali comes from the suppression of a group called the Thuggies, who were such a problem for the British during the empire days. In fact, Kali or Mahaprakrti, is “ the destroyer of anxiety, giving boons, seated on a corpse, and gives all desires.”

Similarly, the Morrigan, of Irish repute, is sometimes considered a “Battle field Goddess” when instead she is actually a Goddess of prosperity and peace after war, and according to some other traditions, while she may indeed release the two ravens that are depicted with her to her followers, she morns and guides the dead of BOTH sides to the Summerlands.

As you can see, this could become a stumbling block to an individual who has neither the time nor the inclination to do proper research.

Fear, Abandonment, and rejection

Fear, abandonment, rejection and pressure to be normal are related to our culture and society. In the first article in this series (Choosing and Following Your Own Path) I stated that we are social creatures that desire acceptance. As the nature of a personal spiritual path is not necessarily the same as those around us, these pressures can be intense. It is only by being truly grounded and committed to our own path that one can stand up to these pressures. In my time as a Spiritual Coach one thing is constant. In the beginning parents, friends, relatives, and spouses can be frightened by, (what they perceive) , as a rejection of their values and ideals. Sometimes these loved ones exhibit psychological projection.

As cited in The Language of Psychology, (a psychology dictionary) : Psychological projection (or projection bias) can be defined as unconsciously assuming that others have the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or positions on any given subject as oneself.

According to the theories of Sigmund Freud, it is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings—basically parts of oneself—onto someone else (usually another person, but psychological projection onto animals and inanimate objects also occurs) .

In this particular example, a loved one projects their own fears, abandonment issues, and rejection onto the individual who has chosen another belief or spiritual path than what they perceive is acceptable. In most of my clients, over time, these same loved ones come to realize that the person in question becomes more peaceful, happy, and balanced as they settle into their own spiritual path.

The Business of Spiritual Growth

As for those who are “in the business”, this is unfortunately what happens to spirituality, when it is replaced with business. In my personal opinion, jealousy, prosperity, (monetary) , and mean spiritedness has no place in ANY business. As a facilitator of spiritual paths, I have no investment, or agenda, that I am following, and neither does ANY spiritual coach, facilitator, reader, shaman, or other worker in the field, who is truly following a Spiritual Path.

According to the Ethics Research Center, in 2005, 75% of those polled said they saw NO unethical behaviors in their workplaces. It is incumbent upon us as individuals to understand that ethical behavior is generally demonstrated in the workplace. Unethical behavior, when demonstrated is more easily spoken. Individuals who have been mis-treated by business people are more likely to share their stories than those who are treated well. Any competent businessperson will tell you that their employees are trained to be pleasant to customers. This is true in the business of Spiritual Growth as well.

First, investigate a potential spiritual guide with individuals who have actually worked with the individual, who can honestly evaluate if this person is worth perusing as a potential coach. Remember that not everyone is happy with the messages they receive from a spiritual worker. Your best choice is to speak to as many people as possible who have worked with that individual. One source of this type of information is testimonials from these actual clients.
Secondly, be cautious of individuals who are susceptible to gossip, or rumors, as these individuals tend to exacerbate and exaggerate issues that may or may not be present. After all, most individuals who facilitate spiritual paths that are not in the mainstream religions/spirituality don’t fit the traditional mold of a leader.

Thirdly, listen to your own guides and intuition. These are your BEST guides for YOUR path.

Each individual that truly facilitates or teaches within this discipline knows that bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds, and paths to bring about the individual’s highest spiritual enlightenment doesn’t waste time bashing other workers. Many of my associates, follow Wiccan, Christian, Hindu, and First Peoples, (Native American) , paths and we all work together, as there is room for all. After all, since a person’s path is INDIVIDUAL, a particular facilitator cannot help everyone.

Financial Remuneration

Everyone has financial needs in this society. In tribal societies, the shaman, or spiritual worker is cared for by the community he or she serves. However, the individual in question is not doing this work as a JOB. Most of us, have been called to do this work, and are happy and honored to be able to facilitate other people’s paths. This isn’t to say, that a spiritual coach, teacher, or facilitator, should never accept support from their clients. It is all about intent. If the remuneration is paramount, then the work is secondary. I for one, and all those I work with, while we accept the funds that are offered, we don’t turn our backs on individuals who are guided to us, who do not have the financial wherewithal to “support” our work.

As one progresses in their particular path, they find various combinations of these and other stumbling blocks. Remember, it is YOUR choice what you follow.

Enjoy your Journey.

Bright Blessing,

Alfred Willowhawk

The Wicca Book Of Days for February 17th – Kali, the Killer

The Wicca Book Of Days for February 17th

Kali, the Killer

It is generally said that Kali, “the Black One,” the Hindu Goddess of destruction and death, was born on February 17th, 3102 BC, and that her birth inaugurated the Kali Yuga (“Evil Age”) in which we are still living. As the shakti, or dynamic feminine energy, that emanates from Shiva, “The Destroyer.” Kali is envisaged with a black tongue and skin, and as having a ferocious temperament and an insatiable thirst for the blood that sustains her. She is typically depicted wearing a necklace of severed heads and wielding an arsenal of blood-drenched weapons in her many hands.

“Serpentine Shakti”

Shakti energy lies coiled and dormant at the base of the spine, but bliss can be attained after it has been awakened and has risen through all seven chakras to the crown of the head. If you long to experience the ecstasy of Shiva’s union with his shakti, either practice kundalini yoga tonight or sign up for classes!

BANISHING DEPRESSION

BANISHING DEPRESSION

You will need:

Goddess candle – white. One at the center of the altar or two at the back.

Banishing candle – black. Placed at the left front of the altar.

Invoking candle – pink or red. Placed at the right of the altar.

Incense – Sage, cedar, rosemary or pine at the beginning of the ritual, changed
later to rose or amber. Burn loose herbs on charcoal blocks to do this.

Oils – Use Goddess or Altar oil on the Goddess candle, sage, pine or other
banishing oil on the banishing candle, and rose oil on the invoking candle for
self-blessing.

Symbol objects – Use a black gemstone for banishing and a piece of rose quartz
or a rose quartz pendant for invoking. Place the pendant on the altar and put it
on before doing the self-blessing.

Matches to light candle and incense, charcoal blocks for loose incense, ritual
wand (if used) to cast the circle.

Ritual Outline:

Light candles. “Dress” the candles with the oils, working base to tip (away from
you) for the banishing candle and tip to base (towards you) for the invoking
candle and Goddess candles. Visualize the intent, banishing depression, when
handling the banishing candle and invoking joy and self love while “dressing”
the Goddess and invoking candles. Light only the Goddess candles at this time.

Purify – Start the charcoal block and give it time to heat up. Sprinkle loose
herbs of sage, cedar, rosemary or pine on the hot coal and use the smoke for
purifying. Visualize the intent of the ritual at this pint, and visualize
banishing depression and emotional pain while smuding with the smoke. Then light
the black candle from the Goddess candle.

Cast circle invoking a Crone Goddess or Goddesses to help in banishing, and a
Goddess of gentleness and peace for the invoking part of the ritual. Try Kali
the Destroyer or Hecate for banishing, and Kwan Yin for gentleness and invoking.
Use Goddesses for the five elements or these two aspects only, or whatever feels
right. Do a full casting and invoking to make the circle.

Invocation – Dear mothers of wisdom and grace, I invite you here to ask your
help. I refuse my depression and choose to banish it, and ask instead for joy
and peace of mind. Help me in my work tonight, Kali and Kwan Yin.

Body of ritual – Focus on the flame of the black candle, thinking of all the
things that need changing. Remember fully all the reasons for depression and
pain, acknowledge all your anger, all your rage and all your fear. Dwell on
every hurt, every feeling, every negativity. When you have focused them all onto
the candle, shout “NO” and blow the candle out in a decisive, quick motion.
Watch the smoke rise from the extinguished candle and feel all the negativity
dissolving in the rising air. Breathe the banishing incense for a while.

Now light the invoking candle from the Goddess candle. Sprinkle rose incense on
the charcoal block. Let the light of the pink candle and the fragrance of the
rose incense fill you as you watch and breathe them. Breathe the energies in
deeply, remembering the qualities of Kwan Yin or other Goddesses of mercy
invoked in the ritual. Ask Kwan Yin for her presence and help.

Focus on the candle flame and think of all the good things in your life. Refill
each banished item and negativity with some positive attribute. Where there was
pain before, replace it with love. For every wrong, remember something to give
thanks for. For every pain, remember something joyful. Remember your
accomplishments in life and how good a woman you really are. Do a series of
affirmations, “I am” or “I have”, to list your good qualities and the qualities
you choose to become or gain. Continue stating the positives and affirmations
until you fell filled with pink light and the scent of roses.

Self-blessing – Put on the rose quartz pendant or hold the rose quartz stone. Do
the self blessing ritual slowly and lovingly, anointing your chakras with the
rose oil. Breathe the scent deeply and draw it into your body, emotion, mind and
spirit.

Thanks Kwan Yin for your joy and Kali for her energy of change.

Open circle and ground.

Allow the pink candle to burn out itself, for extinguish and relight it nightly
until at least the next full moon. Do affirmations nightly with the flame.
Continue burning pink candles for as long as needed to remind you of new joy and
positivity. Repeat the ritual on the next waning moon if needed. It will be
needed less each time you do it. Each time, bury the remains of the black candle
in the hearth along with the ashes from the incense. Visualize your pain being
buried and recycled with them. Repeat the self blessing at any time and do it
often, at least every new and full moon. Continue wearing the rose quartz
pendant or carry the piece of stone with you at all times. Remember, YOU ARE the
Goddess.

Today We Honor The Goddess Kali

The Goddess Kali

Kālī, also known as Kālikā is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means “the black one”. Since Shiva is called Kāla—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess.

Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.

Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: the popular four-armed form and the ten-armed Mahakali form. In both of her forms, she is described as being black in color but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication, and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling. She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on a seemingly dead Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path.

In the ten-armed form of Mahakali she is depicted as shining like a blue stone. She has ten faces and ten feet and three eyes. She has ornaments decked on all her limbs. There is no association with Shiva.

The Kalika Purana describes Kali as possessing a soothing dark complexion, as perfectly beautiful, riding a lion, four-armed, holding a sword and blue lotuses, her hair unrestrained, body firm and youthful.

In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali Ma is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And, because of her terrible form she is also often seen as a great protector. When the Bengali saint Ramakrishna once asked a devotee why one would prefer to worship Mother over him, this devotee rhetorically replied, “Maharaj, when they are in trouble your devotees come running to you. But, where do you run when you are in trouble?”

According to Ramakrishna, darkness is the Ultimate Mother, or Kali:

My Mother is the principle of consciousness. She is Akhanda Satchidananda; indivisible Reality, Awareness, and Bliss. The night sky between the stars is perfectly black. The waters of the ocean depths are the same; The infinite is always mysteriously dark. This inebriating darkness is my beloved Kali.

-Sri Ramakrishna

Charge of the Dark Goddess

Goddess Comments & Graphics

The Dark Goddess speaks to us, through the mouths of Lilith, Kali, Tiamat, Hecate, the Black Maddonna, Nemesis, and Morgaine.

I am the Darkness behind and beneath the shadows. I am the absence of air that awaits at the bottom of every breath. I am the ending before life begins again, the decay that fertilizes the living. I am the Bottomless Pit, the never-ending struggle to reclaim that which is denied. I am the Key that unlocks every door. I am the Glory of Discovery, for I am that which is hidden, secluded, and forbidden.

Come to me at the Dark Moon and see that which can not be seen, face terror that is yours alone. Swim in the blackest ocean to the center of your greatest fears–the Dark God and I will keep you safe. Scream to us in terror and yours will be the Power of Forebear. Think of me when you feel pleasure, and I will intensify it, until the time I can have the greatest pleasure of meeting you at the crossroads between the roads.

~Magickal Graphics~

Honoring Ancestors

Autumn is the season when the dark of the year arrives. It is a time to turn inward and reflect on our ancestors and on those we love who have crossed to the other side of the veil. Begin building energy to welcome your loved ones on Samhain by placing photos or mementos of them on a table, bookshelf, or windowsill in the east area of a room. (East is the direction associated with ancestors and family.) Along with ancestral photos, you may want to include goddess images of Hecate, Cerridwen, Kali, Inanna, or Cybele. Samhain is when the goddess enters her crone aspect as Dark Mother and Wise One. She takes away what she has created, but in her dark womb is the seed of the next New Year. All that is old is new again.
 
By: Sedwin

A Visit With The Crone – A Short Story

A Visit With The Crone – A Short Story

Author: Jadalya Boudicca

 
The inspiration for this short story came to me after a very turbulent and uncertain time in my life. I had just taken a major leap of faith that would have long-lasting effects, and whether it was positive or negative I didn’t know. Basically, one period of my life was ending, and another was beginning. I was terrified and unsure of myself, peering over the edge of the proverbial cliff and readying myself for the leap into Goddess-knew-what. I was coming face-to-face with the Crone, that unpleasant and brutally honest Hag that always appears when a death is imminent.

For those unacquainted with Crone energy, She can be one of the most terrifying aspects of the Goddess to face. Whether She be Black Annis, Baba Yaga, Kali, or one of the Fates, She always evokes a sense of foreboding, and it is well that She does, for She is not surrounded by flowers and sunshine, like the Maiden, nor does she carry a countenance of nurturing comfort, like the Mother. She is the essence of wisdom in its most raw form; She sees what lies in the murky darkness beyond and stares into it without fear. By communing with the energy of the Crone, one learns to accept death in life and acknowledge its necessity in growth. This is a hard lesson to face, and many of us will continue to struggle with it time and time again; however, when we learn it, we are graced with the ability to accept life’s flow and live in continuity with it’s cycles rather than fight it, and by doing so, we grow.

Let me introduce you now to the Crone.

A Visit With the Crone – A Short Story

I have met the Crone once or twice. Her fearsome eyes look you through to your bones, the houses of your stories, and read there all that you are and from whence you have come. She judges there where you will go, for she knows where all things must go.

The first time I met her, she scowled at me. “Your stories are dry; your words have no flavor and your lips are all but dead. One day you will die, and then what? Ha! Come back to me when you learn of it, and THEN share with me a story worth hearing, and I shall give you one as well.”

“But I do not know how, Grandmother, ” I said. “The only way I know to learn IS to die, or become near-death, and I fear it…Grandmother, I fear it’s grasp!”

“Heh…you are dead enough now, living as you are, “she replied, her voice harsh and rasping. “Go from me, now, and do not return until you have something worth saying and something worth hearing.”

I departed from the Old Hag then, forlorn. What is this she asked of me? To die, and THEN tell a story? One cannot do such a thing; it is impossible! Foolish old woman, I thought. Better to never go back…she spins old wives’ tales from the cobwebs of her senile mind!

I went to sleep then, and dreamt of great suffering, and of the Grandmother gnashing her teeth and swallowing me whole. “No, Grandmother!” I screamed. “Do you not recognize me? Do your eyes not know me?”

“I do not know you, ” she said, her eyes dark and glistening, her teeth yellow and tearing at me. “I do not know you because you do not know yourself.”

I leapt awake then, sweating and gasping for breath. Just a dream, I told myself. The old Hag has me scared out of my wits, with all her talk of death and dying! Let me throw her off now, out of my mind. And with that, I rested my head once more, and fell back into dreaming.

Once again, the Grandmother appeared in my dreams, with her fearsome grin and watery eyes. “Grandmother, ” I screamed, “why do you do this to me!”

“I do not do this to you, ” she smirked, “for you do it to yourself.”

Once again, I leapt awake, trembling and fearful. Were these just dreams? I shall face the Hag, once and for all, I thought. And a third time I slept, and a third time she appeared, more terrible and ferocious than before, making wrathful sounds and threatening to tear me apart.

“Grandmother, ” I said, my voice small from fear. “Three times you have appeared to me, and three times you have come to me with death. I am afraid, but I am here to face you now.”

“Then face me you will, ” she said, and swallowed me up. Down into the darkness of her belly I fell, but it instead of pain, I felt only warmth. How strange, I thought. The softness cradled me, and down I went, until a light could be seen. The light terrified me, but on and on I went, until I was enveloped no longer in darkness, but in light, and I felt arms around me, cradling me. “There, there, my sweet daughter, my beautiful one, ” a voice whispered, and when I opened my eyes I saw not the Hag beast, but a beautiful woman, and I knew this to be Mother.

“Mother, where has the old Hag gone?” I asked.

“She is here, too, ” the Mother said. And with that, I awoke, no longer afraid.

I rose and sought out the old Crone. “Well, ” she croaked. “What have we here! You are not the same sniveling girl that was here yesterday. Sit, and tell me what has changed. Tell me your story.”

I told her of my dreams, and as I told her my story, her eyes softened. “I have learned not to fear endings, Grandmother, for with all endings come beginnings.”

The Crone nodded, and her bones creaked as she roused herself. “That is a good story, child, ” she said. “Now, as promised, I shall tell you one myself.”

She looked at me then, and the darkness of her eyes drew me in until I once again could see nothing but black. In the darkness I saw swirls of light, small suns and stars. I saw these lights split and come back together, until they took the shapes of animals, great and small, all coming from the same light, and all returning to the same light. I saw men singing their songs, and women weaving their tapestries, until sound and material became one, intertwining all life together.

“You see, child, ” she whispered. “All comes from One, and all is connected. You are I, and I am you.”