Connecting with the Goddess Kali

The goddesses in hindu tantra are representative of different parts of ourselves we can activate and call in, as we need them. Each goddess holds a different shakti, power, that can benefit and support our spiritual evolution.

I’ve been drawn to working with the energy of the goddess Kali in the past few months. Initially, she can feel like a terrifying and wrathful energy to work with. Kali is connected to all things fierce and taboo about feminine energy. She represents:

  • our ability to feel and express anger

  • fierce mama bear protection

  • wildness

  • liberation and freedom from control

  • intensity and boundaries

  • death

  • messy creativity

  • the death of the ego (our limited sense of self)

  • menstruation and birth

These qualities are an embodiment of the wild woman archetype that lives within us all, regardless of gender. She is often dormant, bubbling under the surface and ready to come back to life.

Our inner Kali gets shut down within us when we believe we are crazy for expressing anger, rage, or sexuality. When we are called hysterical and react by making ourselves smaller and more timid. When we set a boundary and it is laughed at rather than respected, so we just stop making boundaries all together.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes puts it beautifully in her book, Women Who Run with the Wolves:

"A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life-force, life giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghostly, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life."

Healthy, wild, Kali energy is our ability to "establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act on one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, and to retain as much consciousness as possible."

Kali is a powerful goddess to work with at this time of year, as we begin to energetically move away from wintertime, associated with death, into the spring, a time of rebirth and renewal. Change and transition can be a terrifying catapult into the unknown, and Kali teaches us to approach change with deep trust, grace, and acceptance. Without death, there is no space or opportunity for things in our lives to be born anew.

During these cycles of change, you may wish to journal on or consider the following:

  • What is it that I would like to bring with me into the future? (feelings, intentions, desires, etc.)

  • What is it that I am willing and ready to let go of? (limiting beliefs, old stories and identities, etc.)

  • What boundaries can I make within myself and my relationships to support this process?

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