Fierce and female formed; Kali is the goddess of destruction – in particular, the destruction of evil forces. With sharp teeth and a blood red tongue, a belt made of human arms and a necklace of severed heads, she’s the epitome of the sheer force needed to remove ‘evil’ from our lives. So if you think your PMS makes you cranky, Kali is a whole other level of female ferociousness….
The world of Hindu, Buddhist and Tantric deities is full of symbolism, divinity, worship and ritual. The richness of these cultures means that gods and goddesses really are a part of everyday life. For instance, they’re revered regularly through prayer, puja, the lighting of incense and offerings of specially prepared foods. When it comes to equality, the male and female deities are both considered incredibly important and powerful. Therefore, Durgha, Lakshmi, Parvati and Kali appear often throughout key yogic texts. Many of these female forms can seem scary and fierce, but it’s just because they care.
The deities hold deep symbolism, and each god or goddess is a representation of certain aspects of all of us. Kali’s ability to destroy evil, overcome challenges and create change is something we’re all capable of. But sometimes we need a role model for guidance. Not only do they offer help. The deities can even present us with challenging situations to help us learn and grow. If you’re experiencing a particularly challenging relationship, a turbulent month or a change that has shaken things up, this is Kali helping you become your very best self. Think of it as tough love. She just wants the best for you, and doesn’t take kindly to slacking off.
The word Kali actually comes from the Sanskrit word kala meaning ‘time’, and just as the ticking hand on the clock keeps moving, her energy is representative of the continual change and impermanence of life. She destroys the old to make space for the new. One of her many hands shows the Abhaya mudra, meaning ‘fear not’, whilst another holds a sword for cutting the bondage of ignorance and ego.
Using Kali Mudra
Remembering that we indeed do have the power to remove the evil, damaging, or energy-sucking forces from our life. It is vital if we’re ever going to become the best version of ourselves. If you’re going through a tough time, use kali mudra to remind you of your strength and the impermanent nature of life. If you’re about to embark on a new chapter or you know there’s a job or person you need to detach from, use kali mudra to remind you that in order to make space for new opportunities, we need to get rid of what no longer serves us. Kali is a constant reminder that the challenges and painful situations we face are always an opportunity for profound personal growth and the discovery of our true potential.
To enhance the use of this mudra: Clasp your hands together in kali mudra, with the index fingers pointing outwards. Visualise yourself overcoming a challenge you may be worried about, making the change you’re determined to make, or if you’re facing a frightening situation. Recite the mantra ‘Om Krim Kali’ to ask for her protection and guidance, and to cultivate her fierce feminine power.
Read more: yogamatters.com