The Dark One. Time destroyer. Ego slayer. In the Hindu tradition, Kali is the goddess of creation and destruction. An aspect of Nature in divine form, she represents the force from which all life flows, and to which all life returns at death. From nothingness, she is the energizer and enlivener. She is the life that begets life and that sustains itself on death, since it is a law of nature that the survival of all beings is dependent on the killing and eating of something else. Human consciousness is bound by the experience of time and of ego, predicated on a consensus reality of the individual self and the passage of time. Mother Kali says, lovingly, fuck your ego and laughs in the face of time.
Kali is fearsome to behold. Blue- or black-skinned and red-eyed, she exults in battle-fury. Savagely, she displays fangs and a lolling tongue. In one of her four (sometimes 10) arms, she wields a sickle-shaped sword, dripping with blood. In another, she holds a severed head. In another, a trident. Around her neck, she wears a garland of skulls or human heads. Serpents, tigers and fire—ancient symbols of power—surround her. She is often depicted standing atop the god Shiva, one foot on his chest, as he pacifies her insatiable bloodlust with calm submissiveness.
Sometimes Kali is pictured dancing, keeping time with the pulses and rhythms of life, whether it be the heartbeat, the menstrual cycle, the hands on a clock, the phases of the moon, or the seasons of the sun. In this aspect, she is the divine Creatrix, through whom all things generate and regenerate. Spinning naked, her long black hair unbound and free-flowing, she is also the wild, orgiastic liberator.
In spite of her terrifying appearance, Kali is considered a benevolent protectress. In one myth, she devours a self-multiplying demon and dances on the battlefield of corpses. Many of her symbols are apotropaic—invoked to ward off evil. Her third eye, crescent moon-shaped crown, and the skulls in her necklace numbering 108 (or 52), all have mystical associations with divine wisdom. One of her right hands forms a gesture that means “fear not.” Kali bestows blessings on those who recognize her power. I think we would be wise to keep her in our minds and our meditations during this time of crisis, and as we fight our own self-replicating enemy. But if we invite her in, it must be with the utmost respect and reverence. And courage.
Right now, Mars is conjoining Saturn at the doorway of Aquarius. Soon, they will be forming a square to Uranus in Taurus. Also in Taurus is Venus, who is sitting over the fixed star Algol, the head of the Gorgon Medusa. In Aries, we have Black Moon Lilith. And in Capricorn, Pluto, Jupiter and Pallas Athena are exactly conjunct.
Here’s one way you could translate all that: there is death, destruction and volatility in the air, and the gods want blood. We are at a crossroads in time where ancient wisdom and novel foresight will both be needed—anything, but the status quo. We are all evaluating our relationship to fear, to uncertainty, to control and to time itself. It is the end of the world as we know it, but it’s also the beginning of something new. Whatever is being born right now, I hope it liberates us instead of destroys us.
Or, you could just describe it all in one sentence: Kali is here.
The preservation of nature is a divine dance. For humans, it is a balancing act between chaos and order, which at times requires us, like Shiva, to be calm and submissive in the face of the Dark.