Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Goddess Kali

I recently read an article in Yoga Journal that discussed the goddess Kali. Many people mistakenly think that yoga always represents serenity, peacefulness, and nonviolence. However, there are times when we need to find the goddess Kali in ourselves. Archetypes are symbols that personify qualities that are within each of us. Deities are archetypes of the higher forces of nature. The goddess Kali is the form of Devi that represents the archetype of wildness and destruction, while at the same time she symbolizes spiritual liberation.

Kali is often shown in art with wild hair, a sword, and either a necklace of enemy skulls around her neck or a pile of skulls near her. She usually is shown sticking out her tongue. In orthodox Hindu religion, Kali Ma is a loving source of blessings. In traditional rural areas of India, Kali is a forest goddess that protects the people and represents the rebirth cycle that is always present.

Part of what Kali represents for us is the power to release us from conditioned beliefs and false personal identities that we put up as a social front. We can become as Kali and stand up to the demons within ourselves. Kali gives us permission to become free and liberated by knowing how to stand up for what we need and to say no to what we do not need or want.

There are unending distractions in life. I am looking to Kali to guide me and help me to say no to many of the distractions that are keeping me from deepening my practice. We will see how that works.

I have been working on developing a writeup and set of exercises to teach students how to use spiral force in tai chi. Too many distractions lately. We'll see how that goes in the near future.

NOTE: Image from

© 2010 Eric Borreson

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