The Goddess is the mysterious source of life, the Earth herself, Substance, Soil, All Creating and All Consuming.
Kali is said to have emerged from the brow of Goddess Durga (slayer of demons) during a battle between the divine and “dark” forces.
Durga's name means "Beyond Reach" and so She is therefore an echo of each woman warrior's fierce virginal autonomy. As such, then is Kali considered the 'forceful' form of the great goddess Durga.
She carries a sword, in another the head of the demon she has slain, with the other two she is raising the spirits of her worshippers. She wears a necklace of skulls and her tongue protrudes from her mouth. Her eyes are red, and her face and breasts are often shown smeared with blood. She is depicted standing with one foot on the thigh, and another on the breast of her husband, Shiva.
Those who adore and worship Kali as The Divine Mother, believe Kali's blackness symbolizes Her all-embracing nature, because black is the color in which all other colors merge. Also, black absorbs and dissolves all things. As all colors disappear in black, so all things disappear in Her. It is also said that black represents the total absence of color, again signifying the nature of Kali as ultimate reality. Either way, being black symbolizes her transcendence of all form.
In her nakedness she is free from all hidden illusion. She is Nature stripped of her 'clothes'. Kali is the bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by the clothes of ignorance. Such truth simply burns them away.
She is full- breasted; motherhood and ceaseless creation. Her necklace of fifty human heads represent the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, and wearing them She is the repository of all knowledge and wisdom.
The image of Shiva lying under the feet of Kali represents Shiva as the passive potential of creation and Kali as his Shakti. The generic term Shakti is the Universal feminine creative principle and the energizing force behind all male divinity including Shiva. It is she that powers him. Shakti is expressed as the i in Shiva's name. Without this i, Shiva becomes Shva, which in Sanskrit means a corpse. Thus suggesting that without his Shakti, Shiva is powerless.
Kali is a very appropriate image for demonstrating the idea that our world is the play of the gods. The spontaneous, effortless, dizzying creativity of the divine is conveyed in her wild appearance. She presents a picture of that world as unpredictable by nature. In her mad dancing, with Her wild and disheveled hair, and eerie howl there is the idea that the world is running out of control.
This world is created and destroyed with Kali's wild dancing, and we are invited to take part in that dance, to yield to the chaotic beat of the Mother's dance of life and death.
Kali's human and maternal qualities continue to define the goddess for most of her devotees to this day. In human relationships, the love between mother and child is usually considered the purest and strongest. In the same way, the love between the Mother Goddess and her human children is considered the closest and most tender of relationships. Kali may be frightening, the mad, forgetful mistress of a world spinning out of control, but she is, after all, the Mother of All. As such, she is accepted by her children- accepted in wonder and awe.
Kali's favors may be won with acceptance of Her and the realities she dramatically conveys. The image of Kali teaches us that pain, sorrow, decay, death, and destruction are not overcome by denying them or explaining them away. Pain and sorrow are woven into the texture of our lives and to deny them is futile. For us to realize the fullness of our being, we must accept this dimension of existence. Kali's gift is freedom, the freedom of a child to revel in this moment, and it is won only after a confrontation or acceptance of death.
To confront or accept death is to realize a way of being that can delight and revel in the play of the gods. To accept one's mortality is to be able to let go, to be able to sing, dance, and shout. Kali is Mother to her worshippers not because she protects them from the way things really are but because she reveals to them their mortality and thus releases them to act fully and freely, releases them from the incredible, binding web of "adult" pretense, practicality, and rationality.
Black as the petal of a blue lotus at night,
She is Maha Kali, Great Mother Time,
Yet others say that She lives in the triple heaven,
It is this Kali who dwells forever
Daughter of the Ocean, Mother born of Anger,
For who does not know that this is the Kali Yuga,
From a non-Hi
From a non-Hindu Kali lover ....