Kali, Dark Mother

Week 21 (K): Kali, the Hindu goddess of time and change

I became acquainted with Kali while walking home alone from school one night. I was terrified of how dark the street was, and the silence that seemed to follow me, and so I began to meditate on all of the strong goddesses. Kali, with her necklace of skulls and fearsome expression, was the first image that popped into my head. This is when I started to consider all that Kali had to offer. Prior to this, I had primarily been in service to Brighid (more about that here).

Contrary to appearances, Kali is loving to me. She has been called a goddess of death, though this is inaccurate: she’s actually more about change. The change of seasons, while sometimes harsh, is ultimately positive; the cycle must continue. As the goddess of time and change, she often stirs things up. Kali has been a warmth at my back, a protective presence in my life that has been very welcome. Kali is a mother goddess, which might seem strange to you if you’re not familiar. But fierce women can be mothers too. Mistress of the Hearth wrote an excellent post on misperceptions.

not the kind of mother you want to screw with

Not the kind of mother you want to screw with

Now it’s been almost ten years of worship. Kali’s picture has hung above my altar, prompting more questions from visitors than the rest of my altar put together. I affectionately refer to Kali as the black bitch goddess, because I believe that “bitch” can be an empowering title. She has taught me how love can be fierce, how sometimes something you perceive as a threat is actually working to protect you. I am grateful for her fierceness. I’ve found Brighid and Kali to be excellent complements to one another.

Further Reading

Kali: The Dark Mother

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