By Elle North
Dark Mother Goddess, Protectress, the Source of all that is.
Wild One, Liberated One, She Who Dances Naked in Freedom and Purity.
As someone who was raised to keep strong emotions to myself, who was told that because I was a woman I needed to do things in a certain way, who has kept things quiet in order not to ruffle any feathers, I have been inspired by Kali.
Kali shows us that it’s okay to be strong, it’s okay to cause chaos in the name of truth. It’s okay to shift and transform into a reality that serves our true selves.
As I have been working with Kali’s energy in different ways over the last few years, her fierce and badass ways have inspired me in the greatest of ways.
Here are 5 ways Kali inspires me to be a fierce badass:
1. Kali reminds me that it’s okay to be wild.
Kali is the kind of woman who lets her wild spirit shine with such freedom and purity of heart. We can find her totally naked, dancing in ecstatic wild joy, tongue sticking out, almost as a symbolic middle finger to the judgement of others. Her fierce roars, her fangs, the skulls around her neck — these are all ways in which her wild energy is channeled for the good of all humankind — with the end result being the destruction of both evil and the ego.
She is a symbol of freedom, providing inspiration to those who have been told they need to be tamed, for those who have been told they are too much and too intense, for the misunderstood, for those who have been told to keep small and quiet and to be a ‘good girl’.
She reminds us that when we approach life with a sense of pure freedom to be our true selves, we are able to carry out our destinies.
2. Kali shows me what I’m *really* afraid of.
When I first learned about Kali, I admit that I was a little weary of her. I mean, with the blood and skulls and fangs and all. She kept calling to me from the shadows… and my heart kept telling me to go to her. Within her mothering embrace, we dove into the realm of shadow together, and uncovered what actually frightened me about Kali — it was her ability to totally eradicate the ego.
Her ability to free me from the labels I had given myself, her ability to bring destruction to the structures that I have set up for myself within life because I *think* I need them. With this release comes total liberation — something that is so different from the reality we have constructed for ourselves that it can be pretty friggin’ scary.
What was absolutely fascinating was that once I realised this, I began to see that the root of all of my fears was actually my ego. As someone who originally dove deep into meditation practice in part because of a desire to find release from anxiety, this was a huge realisation for me.
With Kali by my side, I have been able to explore my fears. Little by little, I am able to look at them with the energy of bravery and to release the control that fear can have over one’s life and actions.
3. Kali helps us to bring it all down.
One of the things that I love most about Kali is that she can provide us with the strength to (symbolically) burn down the structures around us that no longer serve us.
Kali’s energy can motivate you to leave the job that wears down your spirit and find another one that totally lights you up. She can help you to release false ideas about yourself and your abilities so that you can give birth to new creative projects or ways of being. She can inspire you to transform the negative into the positive, the dark into the light, the false into the true.
She understands that it’s not always easy, and it’s not always tidy. But it’s necessary to serve the needs of our spirit.
4. Kali reminds us of our inner divinity.
One of the things that Kali helps to destroy is our perception of duality with the divine. In fact, one of Kali’s names is Chamunda, which translates to destroyer of ignorance (chanda) and duality (munda), referring to the time when she triumphed in a battle between these two forces, personified as demons.
In this battle, another goddess, Durga who was fighting these demons. The demons representing aspects of human nature that give us a false structure for what we see as reality. Durga became so determined and furious at the attack of these demons that she furrowed her brow in such intense focus and concentration, that out of her Third Eye space, Kali came forth. Having just emerged from Durga’s third eye, Kali went forward, with the wisdom of spiritual sight, intuition, clarity, and the ability to see the inner and outer worlds. And she slayed the demons.
Kali reminds us of the non-dual nature within ourselves not only in this battle, but also in the fact that she, wild, free, fierce and at the same time mothering, protective, and full of ecstasy, is a form of the Goddess. She reminds us that we are all different expressions of the Goddess, and desires to remove the illusion that we are separate from her.
5. Kali stands witness as we navigate through the shadow.
Kali’s fierce presence can be comforting and protecting when she stands by our side, unwavering, as we navigate through change, transformation, and destruction to emerge fully liberated from the shackles that once bound us in the realm of the shadow.
She holds space for us and provides us with the energy to move forward on our journeys, empowering us and cheering us on with her wild dance through the fire. It is the light from this fire, this symbol of deep transformation, that shines a different perspective on the realm of the shadow and allows us to walk through the darkness, slay our demons, and leave what no longer serves us behind.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga.