Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kali the Destroyer: Death vs Rot

Kali is the dark mother goddess of Hindu mythology. She is death and time, both, blue-black as deep space and blood-thirsty. She was created as an aspect of Durga, a warrior goddess, to drink the blood of demons so they could not regenerate, and to destroy those demons. Her blood-lust shook the world so hard, it nearly came apart.

But Kali is a mother goddess. She does what she does for her children - all of humankind. She is a protector, though we don't always see what she does as protecting.

When Kali realized she was destroying the world, she stuck out her tongue. This is a symbol of shame. She was not trying to lick more blood, as some interpretations say. The Hindu symbology on this is very clear. She regretted her loss of control.

Kali is the goddess of disease, specifically plagues. She doesn't cause the plagues, though. Hindus pray to Kali to save them from plagues.

Kali is the goddess of time, which, at its core, kills us all. In many ways, she is the goddess of inevitability. (I just thought that in the voice of Agent Smith of the Matrix... lol.)

So what does this all mean? What place does Kali have in our lives?

Kali is the vaccine that gives you disease to prevent disease. She is the vomiting and fever that kills the virus in your body. She is the sad determination of pulling the plug on a loved one when all that is left for them is pain.

Kali is the impassive march of the days and years that wears us down eventually. She is the death and decay that makes room for new life. She is the mama bear that tears apart those creatures who would threaten her children. She is the rage and violence we feel in defense of our friends and loved ones.

Kali is also the bullet that takes out a war buddy who is too injured to move out of the line of the enemy. She is the knife that cuts off a breast riddled with cancer. She is the poison of chemotherapy that takes care of the rest of that disease. She is the old member of a pack who disappears one day so as not to be a burden to the others.

Kali is the hard, painful choices. She is the actions that we don't take unless they are absolutely necessary. She is the tears we weep when we have to do the hard things. She is the good-byes that cannot be avoided or taken back. She is the pain we feel when we realize our mistakes, but she is also the actions we take to admit those mistakes.

In many ways, Kali represents the harshness of life and the darkness within us all. She accepts the realities and moves on, but not without emotion - often anger, or blood-lust, or even shame.

Though she is often seen only as a goddess of death, she is a very real manifestation of our own human nature - that determination to survive as a species, to protect our own, to live with the pain and passion of our own fleeting nature.

"You were only killing time and it can kill you right back" - Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire) by Meatloaf

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