The energy of the Creator/Destroyer is a very fierce face of the feminine, and one that is disowned for many women today. Yet her energy is celebrated in a number of cultures across the world. Kali and Durga from the Hindu tradition are great examples, as is Pele the volcano goddess for Hawaiians.
In my women’s wisdom circle this month, we dove straight into the arms of Kali. With a necklace of skulls and hair that is matted and wild, she asks us “what stuck pattern have you continued to perpetuate for lifetimes?” And with her dagger raised, eyes glowing, she continues “Are you ready to release it NOW?”
For those truly ready to release, her dagger can be used to cut away old ways that no longer serve us. Her electric wild fire energies rip through the dead, husk-like layers to re-awaken energies that have been dormant. And while it may seem scary or unfamiliar for some, inviting in this energy is also hugely empowering and liberating.
And we do need to integrate this energy. As a woman walking alone down the street at night, we can call on the energy of Kali if someone who seems threatening approaches us. We need to be able to touch into our bellies and our genitals and shout “DON’T MESS WITH ME!” We need access our own fierceness to fend off anyone or anything that threatens us. As we burn through the triggers attached to our anger, we can reconnect with this energy that is our life force, our passion and spark.
We can also use this energy to cut through the sinews of our misplaced attachments. Are you busy trying to keep yourself cozy and safe? Most of us are guilty here. Gulp. But Kali howls with a laughter that peels away our clawing hands. She reminds us that there IS no real safety. Are you willing free fall away from anything that is not real? What is your commitment to your own liberation?
One of the ways we keep ourselves safe is hiding behind layers of masks that we show to the world. Many wear an outer mask of being attractive, nice or pleasing. Others wear the mask of being a victim or being helpless. We might wear the mask of the seductress or hide behind our role as mother or wife. Or it could be the mask of indifference, when the truth is that we deeply care.
No matter what the mask, there’s deep value in identifying them, claiming them, noticing the gifts that each mask has offered us through time, and then making a choice about which ones we may want to let go of in Kali’s fire.
Here’s an assignment that I offered to women in our wisdom school.
I invite you to do the assignment yourself and then post your experience in my blog. You are invited to take a picture of your masks and share your process. Or if you want to be a part of an ongoing community to support this type of soul exploration, check out our upcoming Soulful Women Course on Sacred Practices.
Here are the instructions:
Consider making a set of simple mask out of construction paper. These can be layered one on top of each other-representing different aspects of your self. Here are possible layers of the mask. Of course, you can do fewer layers and lay them out in your own way, as you feel moved. The instructions below can merely serve as a guide.
1) 1st layer represents the primal rupture of trust, the “loss of innocence”
2) 2nd layer represents core layer of beliefs, pain and hurt. It can also include behavioral shields, coping mechanisms, compensating behaviors.
3) 3rd layer represents reactions/patterns/trigger points. For example, anger, annoyance, criticism, judgment, impatience, irritation that forms a layer to COVER pain and hurt
4) 4th layer represents the questions “why me?” This could include feelings of unfairness, injustice, giving away our power as a creator and becoming a victim. It could also be the ways you hide out with a smile… saying, “I am fine.”
For each layer, as you create it, ask, “What is the gift and teaching of this layer?
Please remember to hold yourself in Love and deep compassion as you explore each level. For those masks that you feel ready to release at this time, you might choose to release them into a blazing fire, with gratitude. If possible, it’s ideal to release these masks in front of one or more sacred witnesses.
Whether or not you choose to do the assignment above, there’s many ways to invite in the energy of Kali. The first step is being willing to look at the patterns that bind, the ways you stay small, the ways you hide, and the ways you are disconnected from your anger. You call on her in your meditations or prayers, use music that vibrates with Her frequency, and take a risk in showing up in your power and your fierceness. And as you do, you claim the power that has always been yours. Touché!
Devaa Haley Mitchell is a spiritual guide, public speaker and musician, offering Soulful Women programs and devotional music to support the awakening of our planet. Rooted her deep desire to “democratize access” to some of the most stimulating women alive today, she founded and hosts the Inspiring Women Summit. This virtual gathering has grown to 55,000 participants from more than 160 countries.[www.inspiringwomensummit.com]
Devaa also founded and co-leads the Soulful Women Wisdom School, along with Elayne Doughty, offering deeply experiential and highly transformative programs for hundreds of women each year. She is considered a true pioneer in translating the ancient mysteries into a very modern and accessible context. Devaa also serves as the Chief Transformation Officer at the Shift Network, Inc., which she launched with her husband, Stephen Dinan.
For the past 20 years Devaa has studied and experienced many systems of personal growth and spiritual development. She is finishing her doctoral work and will receive her D-Min in 2012, after being ordained an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute in 2005. In addition, Devaa received a BA in Anthropology with Honors and an MA in International Development from Stanford University. In her former life, Devaa was the founding Executive Director of the Full Circle Fund, dedicated to building a new generation of civic leaders. Full Circle uses the “venture philanthropy model,”–identifying great nonprofit organizations and serving them with financial grants as well as hands-on help in key areas and access to to networks that can accelerate organizations to the next level.
In addition, Devaa worked as an Associate Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where she offered management advice to Fortune 500 Companies.She also served as the Director of Member Engagement at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. She also worked as an Associate Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where she offered management advice to Fortune 500 Companies. In addition, Devaa was awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation and was also one of 26 contributors to a book called Radical Spirit, which focuses on Gen-X spiritual perspectives.
A core part of Devaa’s path includes sacred music.
She recently launched her first CD, Sacred Alchemy, an album with a transformational purpose– to reawaken and liberate the many dimensions of the sacred feminine. Each song has a specific feel or texture to it evoking the archetypal energies of different Goddesses from the world’s spiritual traditions. For example the song “Tara” explores the softer yin aspects of compassion, “Saraswati” reveals the playful and creative energies of the muse, “Shekinah” offers the wisdom of the Crone, and “Aphrodite” expresses the sensual pleasures of life.