Saturday, 23 November 2013

Kali Sadhana Day 4

This morning, I called a circle, then proclaimed my affirmations for change from the front of my yoga mat.  I practised for half an hour - 4 A's, 2 B's, 4 dancing warriors, and then rounded out the practice with standing, seated and reclining poses.  While I practised, I silently chanted Om Krim Kalikaye Namaha, except for a few bits where I was doing Pilates-type exercises, and chanted Jai Kali Ma to match the faster breathing pace :)  Afterwards, I chanted out loud, then sat for a while in silence feeling the energy within me.  Finally, I devoted my circle and gave thanks.

I've been thinking a lot about Kali, and about my approach to deity more generally.  Partially inspired by this sadhana, partially by an email I received yesterday from someone I respect a great deal.  She asked if I was sure I should be working with such a terrifying, destructive Goddess.

One thing this brought up for me was a recognition that I don't believe in Gods and Goddesses as real beings.  Lon Milo DuQuette, in one of his books (The Key to Solomon's Key, I think), talks about demons being aspects of ourselves that we can call up and project outward to better deal with them.  I feel a little the same about deity.  I recognise deity as being beyond and outside of mere human minds and souls, but the aspects of deity which we create and call upon are, for me, more the externalisation of our own inner divinity.  Calling these energies, I am trying to tap into those aspects of divine energy that are within me.

As for Kali being destructive, she has long been associated with death and fear.  However, I see her more as about ending that which needs ending, and coping with fear, facing it with courage.  Some might say this is a fluffy bunny approach to a frightening Goddess often depicted with a necklace of skulls, and sometimes dismembered arms as a belt, with a bloody knife in hand.

Another perspective is to recognise that death is no longer such a terrifying concept in our day as it was in the past when infant mortality was a lot higher and the average age people lived to was much lower.  Yes, death is still one of the great existentials of life, but it isn't as terrifying and all present as it used to be.  And I feel that change is echoed in how we perceive a Goddess like Kali.  She is no longer so much to be feared.  Rather, the positives of her fierceness and fearlessness can be applied to help us destroy bad habits and face fears, which is my intent in this sadhana.

When I call on Kali, I call a sacred circle first, and close it after.  I ground and centre, and focus my intent.  I do not fear her qualities welling up and overwhelming me, as I feel I have put appropriate safeguards in place, and set my will in this practice clearly.  For me, this is magic, not superstition, and I embrace Kali's help.

9 comments:

  1. I think we see divinity a lot a like. A little bit on the outside and a even more on the inside. For me Kali is just an aspect of God(des) as a whole. A certain energy you wish to align with and to awake within. Is doesn't matter if you call this aspect Kali or Sekhmet. Whatever makes your magic strong. I am glad you find your strength in these sadhana's and in Kali's empowering qualities. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ellen :) I love Sekhmet, too, such a fiery Goddess! And yes, as you say, the divine is both inside and out, but it's on the inside that we can most tap into it.

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  2. I also feel similar to you about divinity; I see it as an inner resource that I can tap into if I get my ego out of the way. For me, it is Something undefinable that runs through everything and everyone like a thread through a necklace of different types of beads. But I get the idea behind gods and goddesses - its hard to have a personal relationship with Mystery! I think Krishna even addresses this in the Bhagavad Gita if I'm not mistaken.
    I was so happy to read your view of Kali. So many people seem to portray her as some sort of "goth goddess." If I wanted someone to protect me, I would want them to look intimidating to others, lol. But I think people don't realize the stories about her aren't to be taken literally. As you said, the "demons" and such she slays are symbols of our unhealthy ideas and behaviors.

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    1. I love your necklace analogy tst! And yes, it's a good reminder that the demons she slays are symbolic :)

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  3. I don't believe in gods and goddesses either. They are emanations of energy in the universe. But we cannot be afraid of some energy; we cannot favour some energy over others. How can we be balanced, if we do not learn to use all energies in the universe? And most of us who consider ourselves pagans are always talking about how we don't believe in 'evil' -- just energy. I have no qualms about working with Kali. I do not believe more than I can handle will be dealt me. It is not my intent to whip up something 'evil' that might harm me, and so I do it won't happen.

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    1. Well, what I meant to say was, 'it won't happen' but my fingers got away from me there or something. ;)

      Another thing it, it always bothers me when people step in to give me 'warnings' or advice about my own spiritual practice. I'm a solitary practitioner for a reason. People are welcome to read about what I do, but no one should waste any time worrying about me. I'm perfectly safe.

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    2. Well, this person has known me a long time, and it's fair enough to worry about people you care about. As you say, though, I don't believe in evil, and I am clear in my intent :)

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    3. In that spirit of course caring concern is welcome. I suppose I was shot down a few times too many on a certain purple site, people telling other people they were 'wasting their time' because they weren't doing things 'right'. Ugh. (And maybe that's a little Kali salt coming out there as well :) )

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    4. Yay for Kali salt! If they aren't supportive, and aren't caring, then delete those purple people :D

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