She is the “Dark One” who expresses total freedom and fearlessness. Kālī is the first of the Wisdom Goddesses and embodies the power of action. Her name is the feminine version of “Kālā”, which means “Time”, so she is recognized as both the creatrix and destroyer of the manifest universe. It is said her worship removes all fear.
She is associated with the Air element as well as Space, Chaos, and the color black. Kālī is said to have a mirror-like quality and all the Wisdom Goddesses are understood to be aspects of her totality. Though she is commonly portrayed as Shiva’s fearsome and wrathful consort, bliss and beauty are also expressions of her play, revealed to those who overcome their attachments and fear of death. She carries the head-chopper sword (discernment) and the severed head (personal ego), as well as displaying the gestures of fearlessness and generosity.
This illustration first appeared in Sally Kempton’s book, Awakening Shakti.