Kali. Goddess of death. Warrior of change.
Embodiment of shakti; the divine feminine creative power of the universe.
The time of Kali is not one of gently, gently, softly, softly. Kali does not hold hands and sing koombayaa around the campfire.
She burns. She eviscerates.
She’s relentless and fierce.
When you want to shake things up, Kali’s your gal.
Kali’s been one of my chief guides for many years now. When I first put out a prayer for a mentor – a wise, loving, female who could help me to step up and move to the next level in my career and life – I wasn’t expecting Kali. For one, I was thinking I might meet a human being. Perhaps a spiritual teacher or business woman who’d managed to maintain her feminine essence within patriarchal corporate structures.
A fierce black Goddess standing on Shiva with a necklace of skulls around her neck, representing the death of the ego, was not what I had in mind.
Nevertheless, it’s what I needed.
I didn’t think I knew Kali when I first became aware of her. I’d been asked to adopt a spiritual name for a yatra I was attending and so I googled Sanskrit names (as you do). I was scrolling through a list rather innocently, trying on this and that – ‘How about Lakshmi or Saraswati, Shanti or Parvati?’ – when Kali rolled onto the screen.
In that moment everything shifted. I was hit with intense recognition. I inhaled sharply and tears streamed down my face. She’d come for me and I, her prodigal daughter, knew it was time to go home. Quietly, simply I said, ‘OK, I’m ready. Scared but ready.’
I knew my whole life had been building to that moment; the time of Kali.
I knew I was about to jump off a cliff and that I’d never be the same again.
So I took the name Kali and she took my life – my relationship, my home, my job, my community. I found myself adrift in lands unfamiliar. I had no idea where I was going and could barely manage to decipher the next step.
The terrain I was navigating was extraordinarily turbulent – both within and without.
I was on a fairly hairy apprenticeship to becoming me.
In those early years I was pretty scared of Kali. All I saw was fierce change when all I wanted was to be cradled and allowed back in my box.
Little did I realise just how held I was.
I didn’t see it as I do now – clean, loving, direct, focused and ruthlessly necessary evolutionary change.
The challenges and difficulties were all of my own making. Their size and magnitude all directly proportionate to my level of resistance at becoming someone new.
Today I have a very different relationship with Kali. She still strips my life of the unnecessary. She’s still as direct and ruthless as ever. But now all I see is love. Deep, expansive, eternal love that refuses to let me get away with a version of myself that isn’t true.
Of course Kali has always been this. The difference in our relationship is me. My willingness to accept change. To embrace it.
When Kali comes close now, my heart expands.
In sadness at the inevitable letting go she portends.
And most of all, in gratitude. Gratitude that a sacred time is upon me. That I have the great gift of her presence, her touch in my life. Gratitude that my deepest prayer – to serve, to make a difference, to evolve and not waste this life – is being answered.
In that space of gratitude, my dance with Kali changes. I no longer create huge waves of resistance. I witness the ebb and move into the flow.
And this is my dream for all of humanity. That we dance with Kali in gratitude and holiness. That we allow for the stripping that must inevitably occur – to our egoic attachment to so much that we hold dear and right and true – as she reveals something far more valuable to each of us.
Something priceless; our divinity, our eternal presence, our emptiness and our complete, perfect wholeness.
This is the promise of Kali. This is her time. Come closer. She’s calling you home.