I was just saying to Mum yesterday something that’s been bothering me – that we hadn’t gotten round to explaining the use of the Mahavidyas (forms of Lalita Maha Kali) though we have mentioned them before and spoken about Kali. I thought it might be confusing due to their general representation. Note – the Mahavidyas can also simply be called Kalis (plural), though their number is disputed, the most famous number being the Dasha (9 + 1, they being the 9 and Lalita being the 1). But any number comes after Lalita or in that sense Lalita Maha Kali (Great Lalita who becomes Kali or Lalita and Her Kalis) and the Kalis are not her only forms, and those forms have forms of forms – a great many needed to be space/creation.
Then today it came to my attention that Nag Hammadi and early Gnostic researcher John Lamb Lash is using the name Kalika (another form of Kala or Kali etc basically meaning ‘Black’/dark/time) for action based upon what he’s probably most well known for and what he calls the Sophianic Myth – his interpretation of the Nag Hammadi (and it seems channeling or inner voice) on the divine feminine. I’m not massively au fait with his work only having seen/heard a few of his interviews though and having tried to read his book Not In His Image. That said there is probably quite a bit of crossover in information I have presented on this blog but I feel it best to put this note here. I don’t have any affiliation with his work, party, belief or manifesto and I do not agree with/approve of the use of the patriarchal version of Kali and hence also her Mahavidya sub/extra-parts/forms of being.
Interestingly enough he’s also using the name Kalki which is a completely masculanized version of Kali implying a male avatar and that it’s ‘coming’, perhaps he thinks its already here or is trying to make/bring it, or sees himself as the name since he’s acting as figurehead. I never agreed with his eager acceptance of the ideal man or person being that which laughs scornfully at nature (Sophia) making the most of what she has to offer, nor the privileged ancient Greek lifestyle. Kali is a completely feminine (original feminine not feminine of what we’d consider feminine nowadays) concept or character – masculanizing it in Hinduism was always completely twisted. It should also not be associated with anti-LGBT since, and as he infers but doesn’t go into in one of his interviews, our current awareness of creation and reproduction is not in line with what was considered as ‘real’ in the time where she was in ‘original’ or at least older form to the point where we remember her earliest. Our current sexes and genders would not apply and feminine was an all inclusive term – hard to explain or recognize to today’s standards, the terms ‘man’ and ‘god’ did not relate to ‘masculine’. Lalita Rajarajeshvari for example means ‘King of Kings’ but is entirely feminine and refers only to Lalita (Red, She Who Plays, Love and made creation/manifestation/existence from the void/source through ‘pure joy’ and not the type of joy associated with sexual intercourse which is actually pain relief so confused with joy. It was not viewed as through a plug style penetration/harnessing of source energy, it’s the stolen/vampiric energy that is associated with the Fall of creation, the Demi-Urge, the separating from Mother to Mother-Daughter and the Fall of the Daughter into fallen creation to help it – later referred to as Krishna and even later referred to via the Jesus the Christ/kryst/crystalline story), though nowadays you’d have to say ‘Queen of Queens’ to be commonly understood.
Perhaps it seems a natural progression for him to go from Sophia/Lalita/Dea to Kali as the more practical/hands on route for Sophia’s Correction as he puts it but Kali as most know her today is a morphed version of her former self. Her and the Mahavidyas are seen as fringe and the remnants of a root culture, they pre-date modern Hinduism. She and the forms of are currently associated to many with tantra, sex, death, vampirism, necrophilia, ‘Black magic’, ritualistic hedonism and sacrifice; her age has also been commonly ignored as she is now seen as a feminine form of Shiv(a) and apparently even Durga. All of the those characteristics are later additions and the latter characters are younger, separate and conveniently the current heads of the prevailing ruling ‘divine’ triads in modern-post Vedic Hinduism (with the male one – Shiv(a)/Brahm(a)/Vishnu and Indra – being higher than the female – Durga/Laxmi/Sarasvati – and the female mainly being referred to as consorts.) Shiv(a) and Durga are thought of as the almighty and the creators of the universe though they, like everyone/thing else was made by Lalita who is the first/greatest/Maha Kali from which Kali and her Mahavidyas came before Shiv(a)/Durga et al. Typical re-categorizing and distracting behaviour with regime change (e.g. building a temple over an older temple and mixing things up a bit, omitting some, changing some, adding some… Until you forget which is which and who is who, where the entrance and exit was, which way is the loo? Oh heck when did they add a gift shop, I totally need to get me one of those t-shirts – eh why do I need money again and why does it look so weird?) Yeah…
The association with the Thunderbird is also ‘hmm’ since in South Asian terms it’s referring to Garuda and hence Jatayu so Vishnu forms/seats not Kali related proper unless… I’ll get to that. They, along with much of Hinduism, can be found in early or now fringe Buddhism (not the watered down Western ideas we have of Buddism) and obviously the phoenix – other forms of – and can be linked to the Benu bird, and perhaps most well known in Native American beliefs (where it can take on the reptile form of Quetzalcoatl) as well as a straight up animal aka eagle. But remember in Asia thrones were traditionally viewed as animals and represented transport or even gates/portals or access to those. To Kali – or actually, her mother Lalita, her chariot/throne or flying seat can be seen as a whole dark star system and some think of it as Nibiru et al. So that links in with the use of ‘Kalki’/’coming male’ and perhaps ‘Lord Nibiru’ – kind of like putting reins on the ‘divine feminine’ energy/power and fitting it into a patriarchal view/use. Like using the term Maha Kali for humans or males since they are not mothers, even Hindus who love naming their children after divinities don’t do that. Then there’s ‘”5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Thunderbirds are go!” *explosive projectile blasts*’ puppets.
The point of this ‘disclaimer’ of sorts is to reiterate that I’m not religious, I don’t have political affiliations, I’m not a member of groups. However since there’s some similarity in our presentation it’s probably best to say this now as I’ve learned about it – that just because out of all the research I’ve done I’ve been kindest to Lalita (Mother) and Kali (Dark Mother) doesn’t mean I agree with other people’s interpretations/use of them. I don’t think the Dark Mother is represented correctly as a counterpart or form of Shiv(a) (could be called the Demi-Urge) and Durga (the usurper of Lalita in current culture) and I believe her connection to death is hampered by cultural norms e.g. the differences of social attitudes towards types of death or fear of the unknown between the West and East such as moral derision to suicide common in the US but a very different view from traditional Japan. As for the other controversial connotations she and her forms of have – poppycock is pretty much how I view them (not as valuable manure but more just waste/garbage) and that means whist I don’t disbelieve in people partaking in those things and there being consequences I’m not personally a believer/partaker.
I see Kali as a representation of or the Dark Mother but not cruel or spiteful as compared to a number of old Eur-Asian belief systems where harsh to downright awful mother/daughter figures or even triple goddesses can be found nor is she the ‘evil stepmother’ as per could be later/currently thought of as a Disney syndrome. I’d never noticed a preference from Lash to Asian (or South Asian at least) names though of course since Kali is a root Goddess and she is/can be linked to many other goddesses worldwide (as the Daughter is/can be linked to characters feminine or masculine defined by virgin births, sacrifice, cave analogy and resurrection) hence as aforementioned I can see why he’s picked her name but I disagree with his use/interpretation of it and the Mahavidyah names for his Thunderbird structure. I see her name in it’s wide-sweeping cosmic/space form – meaning the darkness of space and distance (the measurement of being time) and from that which everything comes, and ends. She is a protector of the Divine Mother and hence destroyer, ‘Dark Mother’ is generally an honour/acknowledgment title for her status being a major part of the Mother when she separates into the Ma-tri(x)/Creatrix (triple Mother): Mother-Dark Mother-Daughter. She is not a or the Creator, more a maintainer (the Daughter represents creation – but also has the respectful Mother association title as she is still directly from/a part of/the Mother but is also separate from her and is generally the one referred to in religions when we hear about a divine child being sacrificed/falling away to look after those who are not seen as direct creations/divisions of the Mother i.e. parts that are diluted enough to exist at all and be separately sentient – in effect questioning/confused – from the Mother and her high forms such as Kali/Mahavidyas, otherwise they wouldn’t be separately sentient and would automatically disin/reintegrate.) Kali/Mahavidyas don’t talk much, conversational communication appears in scripture when the later ‘gods’ become prominent, her character is altered and the Mahavidyas become even lesser known.
Lalita, Kali or Bala are not Earth/Gaia though ultimately she is part of them like all the other cosmic bodies. This duality – all from one, one dividing into all – is what leads to the Divine/Cosmic Mother or Divine Feminine terms being used interchangeably with Mother/Earth/Solar/Galactic Goddess, and the triple/tri/trix importance where one is three and three is one. (In later systems/modifications that can be seen as 3 + 1.)
On a sidenote – I’m also not a New Ager and don’t agree with/approve of unconditional love and don’t see anger as a negative or bad emotion and do think you have to be tough as nails to survive on/in/around (whatever) Earth. I don’t confuse revenge with retribution and I’m not scared of judging and thinking that not all opinions or beings are equal but as someone on Earth I strive for equality of opportunity/fairness. I’m not scared of being strong and ‘warrior’ like but would prefer things to be peaceful so I could just lay under a tree in the sunshine or something that to many might sound lazy or sadly even ‘boring’ but to me that’s pure harmony, I don’t want bad things to happen to prove myself or drama to pique my interest. I don’t think there needs/should be struggle or suffering to be ethical/aware/learn/appreciate. I’m not interested in forgiving and forgetting especially not for the sake of personal evolution/ascension – I’ve too much social conscience for that type of spirituality. I’ve never thought that good beings need leaders, perhaps assistance from time to time or temporary guidance but as long as creatures aren’t going beyond their default nature of parasite (which we all are as long as we need something else to survive let alone thrive) to invasive, ruling, harmful, using/abusing, making a business out of life etc then leadership shouldn’t be necessary. That’s unrealistic in life as we know it though and whilst I don’t like it survival of the fittest or those with the strongest will/resources who shout the loudest longest tend to get their way and later ‘die’ in relative comfort surrounded by people they at least prefer over others/’outsiders’. We’ll see who’s strongest, who’s left standing – or better yet Lalita MahaKali will ensure we’re all re-absorbed/unmanifested into source again ;-). In the meantime… 🙂