by Mari P. Ziolkowski
You the one who Opens Hearts. You who defy this westerner’s preconceived ideas and bring me to the ground in surrender, time after time. Heart opening, tears flowing. You the dark one, Kali awesome power.
You who are the creator of worlds – whether through lovemaking with Shiva, or through menstruation – you the Cosmic Creatrix, Black Time, Mother of Worlds, Dark Mother, Dark Matter. From whom all is breathed out, and to whom all returns.
You who slay the demons of oppression, greed and war on the planet when no one else can, in consort with your sister warrior goddess Durga. You who lick up the blood of demons to stop them from multiplying. You who shake the worlds with your bloodlust dance until you recognize your lover Shiva laying on the ground, and invite him to play with you.
You who are the energy of worlds, that which expands and contracts, that which allows involution and evolution of consciousness. You who are Kundalini, coiled energy at the base of the spine. You who rise with your three red eyes and tongue up my spine to my 3rd eye and out my crown when I am altered, when I feel the energy, when I am meditating, when I am making love.
You with your matriarchal tribal origins – warrior goddess who loves when she wishes, who calls us to love our fierceness, to honor our bodies and sexuality, who loves menstrual blood on the altar - who calls us forth on the wild woman path, the path of witches and Sybils, yoginis and Tantrics before us.
You who are Tantric Wisdom Goddess, who comes to us as we chant your name, whose image brings the ecstatic, whose geometric yantra can induce trance, who takes possession of her teachers and even her devotees. Who teaches us to pay attention to the energy, to come back to our power, our selves. Who shows us that the whole universe is within us.
You inducer of altered states - who gave me the star pillow as I floated up through the ceiling to visit you in dream-time. Who caused me to wake in the middle of the night with my body vibrating and my tongue sticking out. Who raised the sensual energy again and again, making love to me in meditation, until I really got it - the link between sexuality and spirituality. Who saved me in dreams only when I called on you and Shiva at the same moment. You who came through me as electric current, blanking out my waking consciousness. Who allowed the dream-time Voudou Loa to channel through me.
You, with your necklace of skulls, challenging me to confront my fears, calling me to meditate in the cremation grounds, bringing me so many dream-time images of skulls. Until I was no longer scared, and welcomed them, welcomed you.
You sky dancing Dakini – who scared me with your dance on top of the twin towers, until I understood that you were absorbing all back into yourself, including the demons of greed and destruction, including the fear of those who died, so that all were free to fly, so that all could come to you. You who help us confront our fears, our mortality, our death.
You Kali Maa, who came to me through my anger and rage at patriarchal authority - at those who try to control, or bind the power of women here and now, in this time - and in all times. You who confronted me with my shadow, so I could flex my warrior muscles and absorb my shadow self! You call us to look the beauty and terror of creation in the face and recognize it is all you. And that we are ‘all that.’ You who slay my demons and blow my heart wide open. You who rise again and again in the fire of my emotional cremation ground - you who devour my density, you who allow release.
You the dark one, Kali. Awesome power*
* Salutation from May Sarton’s “Invocation to Kali”, She Rises LIke the Sun ed. Janine Canaan (Freedom, California: Crossing Press, 1989)