Calling Upon Kali: Awakening the Creative Rebel Within.
Writing is a deeply transformative process.
Sometimes, I don’t even know that I’m thinking till I put pen to paper. It’s a way of organizing otherwise scattered fragments of ideas into coherent thoughts. And, whether or not there’s some kind of resolution, it’s always a cathartic experience.
Of late, in order to manifest the freedom and expansion that my spirit is craving, I have found myself calling upon goddess Kali.
Even though I love and respect her energy, she’s always scared the shit out of me.
But I’m ready for her now.
Kali is fierce.
Kali purifies the ego so that elements of the true self can emerge.
Kali gets right up in our face (respecting boundaries isn’t one of her priorities) howling and screeching and bounding up and down, swinging a severed head in her hand, fresh blood dripping, begging us to wake the fuck up.
She is the savage impulse that forces us to our knees and has us supplicating for mercy — we pray to Jesus, Buddha, Yahweh, Cosmic Consciousness (whoever the fuck is listening, frankly) in our desperation for help.
Uncomfortable though the process is, change comes, and growth and expansion are the inevitable corollaries of such a shift in consciousness.
From the initial conception of an idea and the way we tenderly nurture it, allowing for its subsequent growth and development, right through to the birthing of a full-term piece, writing, a creative process, mirrors creation: the process of conception, birth, life, death and rebirth.
Writing is a catalyst for emotional and spiritual alchemy.
When we write, we become, like Kali, a spiritual warrior; our pens destroyers of illusion, dismantling the deluded perceptions of the unpurified ego.
Writing provides the opportunity for uprooting and etherizing unconscious impulses — our demons — laying them bare on the operating table of the page, dissecting them with the incisive scalpel of our intellect and healing them with the compassion that arises upon re-reading.
In doing so, we are healed and rebirthed.
Unconsciously, through writing, we replay the sacred drama of the Puranas.
Where all the gods had failed, they banded together and consolidated their collective divine energies into the creation of a being powerful enough to vanquish the hitherto invincible Raktabija. Garlanded with a necklace of severed heads, tongue lolling and brandishing a knife dripping with blood, she was the world’s last hope of annihilating the demon.
Arguably the most fearsome of the deities in the Hindu pantheon, a literal interpretation of her iconography would lead you to believe that she is the goddess of death. She is, in fact, the goddess of creation, preservation and destruction. Yama is the god of death. We learn that she becomes inebriated with the blood of Raktabija, initiating a frenzied dance threatening to destroy the very fabric of the cosmos.
Kali takes no prisoners.
She gives no fucks. She takes no shit.
And yet, it is her untamed, ferocious and unbridled nature that lies at the root of her boundless compassion. It is through the savagery of her insistence that moksha, or liberation, from that which is not real becomes a tangible possibility for us, her children.
When we write, the Kali impulse imbibes us with the courage to exorcise our inner demons, to deliver a terminal blow to the etheric cords that enslave us.
A gentle tap on the shoulder and a disapproving tut-tut is no match for the resolute hold of illusion created by the ego.
In her compassion, Kali jolts us out of our complacency and forces us from the passivity of seeing to the active state perceiving. She cries out for us to become active and mindful co-creators of our reality. She shrieks with glee as she ignites the flames of transformation and watches us emerge from them renewed, transformed, transfigured.
She exposes our most raw, aching wounds. Although we may flinch and grit our teeth as we are prodded and poked, we emerge humbled by our weaknesses and gain a deeper, more profound understanding of who we really are. We gain a deeper understanding of how our willingness to be vulnerable is our greatest source of courage because it allows us to experience life wholeheartedly.
Her purpose is to create an internal state so uncomfortable, so intolerable, so unbearable that we are forced between choosing to fall or fly.
I’ve put pen to paper when livid with anger, frantically scrawling my disjointed thoughts. I remember once stopping in my tracks with the awareness that anger was an inappropriate response to the situation. A sliver of realization dawned on me and, for a moment, I understood things as never before: the situation, when distilled through an unpurified ego, incited anger. But, through the alchemical process of writing, anger metamorphosed into compassion.
I was healed and rebirthed.
I have also written extensively during fits of anxiety and uncertainty. On one occasion, I clearly remember how anxiety found its appropriate expression in anger. My personal boundaries had been infringed upon, but I had not overtly recognized the transgression for what it was. A general feeling of malaise escalated into overwhelming anxiety. The process of writing unveiled a true perception of the situation: I was being used as a buffer between two individuals, and I was absorbing the impact of their dysfunctional relationship at the cost of my emotional well-being. I took action.
I was healed and rebirthed.
And so, as I reflect on Kali’s hitherto subterranean influence on my life through writing, I now find myself imploring her to intercede more directly: I give you full permission to shake up my life. Annihilate my Raktabijas. Do what the fuck you will. I surrender.
But my prayers are interrupted by the realization that the energy of Raktabija is all-pervasive.
It exists in manifold planes: within us microcosmically, but also out there, among us in the outer world, macrocosmically. I reflect on the global forces that threaten our existence: on the Raktabijas in Syria, China, Greece, the U.K., the U.S and beyond.
I surmise that the uprising against all and any Raktabijas presupposes an activation of our inner sacred rebel, which can be awakened by any mode of creative expression. Through our growth and expansion, we give the finger to the status quo while mouthing the words, “Fuck you,” as we edge closer to personal liberation. By activating our inner rebel, we can break free from culturally imposed expectations and finally heed the call of the voice of wisdom that comes from within.
Through our creativity, we instigate a perceptible shift in our emotional and spiritual fabric and we shift the quality of the energy in the realm of the collective unconscious.
Therefore, I pray that Kali awakens the activist and rebel within us all, to shift the collective planetary energy, for it is individuals who create the systems, structure and culture that govern our behavior.
Anne Marie Morello considers herself a free-range human: she is a Yoga teacher, a writer, a counselor and an English teacher. She has recently embarked on a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, and she is particularly interested in the benefits of therapeutic writing. Writing is an integral part of her life; it’s how she learns about herself and the world around her. It helps her deal with the ‘plot twists’ in life with some kind of grace and humility. Although she is no fan of spiders or parallel parking, she’s even less of a fan of the injustice she sees in the world. She tries to share kindness and love in her interactions with others in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same too. You can contact Anne Marie via Instagram or Facebook.