Goddess Kali is one of the most popular Hindu Goddesses, even today. She may be one of the most mysterious deities of Hinduism.
Often described as “The Devouring Mother”, she is well known as the Goddess of Destruction and also Goddess of Rebirth. These somehow opposing elements fit very well in her archetype.
She exhibits traces of death and revenge, but also of love and delicacy. For this reason, she is feared but also venerated.
Kali is the uncontrollable aspect of Durga, the Warrior Goddess. She has unlimited power and she can defeat any threat she faces.
You can watch the video below. In this video, I talk about her, explain her symbols and tell her story, including her epic battle against Raktabija.
In Neo-Paganism, Kali fits the Occult Face of the Triple Goddess archetype.
Kali, as well as other Hindu Goddesses (Devi) are in my free Goddess Oracle! Use the button below to access it, flip a card and receive a message from a Goddess!
Who is Goddess Kali?
Goddess Kali is the Goddess of Destruction in Hinduism, also known as Mahakali (Maha means Great).
She is depicted as a dark-skinned woman or as a blue-skinned woman. She always shows long black hair. Her face and her body may be stained with red blood.
She is always showing her tongue and she always has three eyes – the third eye is in a vertical position.
She’s usually depicted as having 4 arms. Sometimes she’s shown with 8 arms too.
In each arm, she holds a Divine Weapon given by the Gods (Deva), just like Durga does.
An interesting adornment is her necklace made of human skulls. She’s always wearing it. Part of her charm also resides in her skirt, usually made of human arms.
Her myth has many variations, but the most common origin is that she was summoned by the Goddess Durga to fight a demon who was threatening people and all the other deities.
- Attributes: Goddess of death, of destruction, of rebirth
- Symbols: Serpent, downward red triangle (represents her tongue), the human skull
- Place: India
Why is Kali the Goddess of Destruction?
Goddess Kali is the most misinterpreted Hindu Goddess today. She is a Mother Goddess and at the same time a dangerous one, the Goddess of Destruction, who will wipe away the whole world.
Why is it like this?
Our western society today finds it difficult to accept duality in a single being. We are taught as children that there’s good and evil and that they are separated from each other.
So when we confront her, we see these two aspects clearly depicted in a single woman.
It can be confusing.
But it doesn’t require so much from us to understand it. If you, like me, grew up in a Catholic environment, all you have to do is to put aside the teachings and see everything from a new perspective. It’s easy.
She receives the “Devouring Mother” title for a reason.
During the battle against the asura Raktabīja (rakta means blood, bīja means seed), Durga wasn’t able to defeat him. For every time Durga hit him, he was able to replicate himself for every drop of spilt blood.
It seemed impossible to put an end to this battle. Durga was surrounded by the enemy, but she could continue fighting, no sign for her to lose either.
This is when Mother Durga summoned Kali from her forehead. She emerged as a manifestation of the uncontrollable part of Durga herself.
If Durga is considered to be the most powerful of all Hindu Goddesses, what can we expect from an “uncontrollable” aspect of hers? Immense power!
Kali started absorbing all the blood of a hurt Raktabija. This way, he wasn’t able to replicate himself anymore. Eventually, there was no more blood and no more Raktabija. He was finally defeated.
After the end of the battle, she became euphoric and danced over the bodies of the dead. Her dance was so heavy and strong that all worlds trembled under the impact of her footsteps.
No one could control her. No one could bring her back to her senses. If she continued, all the worlds would have been destroyed.
That’s when Lord Shiva threw himself among the demons she executed and let himself to be crushed by her feet in order to bring her back to consciousness and prevent the world from collapsing.
She finally came round and stopped the dance over Lord Shiva’s body.
Kali – The Hindu Goddess of Rebirth
Besides being considered a Goddess of Destruction, Kali is also considered the Hindu Goddess of Rebirth.
The word Kali means Time.
Time creates everything and also destroys it all. Nothing can escape time.
Somehow she is the one who starts the flow of time. Everything needs to be destroyed so it can be created again.
Just like many other Indian Goddesses, she is also worshipped until today in India.
Kali Puja is a festival that takes place on the first New Moon from the month of Kartik in the Hindu Calendar. During the festival, her devotees offer rice, lentils, hibiscus flowers and meditate during the whole night until dawn.
I read the following sentence somewhere, can’t remember who wrote it. But I never forgot it.
When all the colours merge together the result is black. It is said that, when all the things in the universe merge together, the result is Kali: The beginning and the end.Unknown
I once tweet it and someone asked about the result of merging colors. They said it should be white.
And yes, they weren’t wrong. However, it depends on how we’re merging colors. If we are talking about light – the source of color – all the colors together become white.
If we’re talking about ink, or tangible color when they are all merged we have black indeed.
Goddess Kali Mantra
Goddess Kali mantra is a very powerful mantra to chant when you feel the need to clean the environment from negative energies. It will also help to clean these energies from your body and soul.
Chant it daily, preferably 108 times each session, for its full power.
You can use a Japa Mala to help you.
Kali mantra lyrics are:
Om Kreem Kalika-yei Namaha
This means something like:
Salutations to the Divine Kali
Goddess Kali Images
Below you’re going to find all the images that were used in this post but formatted for Pinterest.
Feel free to collect them all and save them to your Pinterest folders!