Goddess Oracle (U.S. Games, 2006) is wonderfully illustrated, with women of all shapes, ethnicities, and ages. It also isn't shy when it comes to some of the scarier Goddesses.
This is a fearsome, beautiful card! Kali - whose name derives from the Sanskrit word for black, time and death - was originally revered as a creatrix and destroyer who lived in cremation grounds. Associated with the black of night, the passage of time, and the sacrifice of the ego, we can see why she is a Goddess to fear. And yet, she is also the nature of the Universe.
We fear losing our sense of self, and we fear death, yet in the Hindu religion both of these were seen as things we have to get over if we are to be spiritually free. Yet it is frightening, too, to think of being truly free, unbounded. This reminds me of a spiritual teaching by Ramana Maharshi, where he advises self-enquiry as a form of liberation. His simple practice is to ask yourself "Who am I?" I might answer, "A woman, a mother, a daughter." Asking again, "Who am I?" this time I say, "A teacher, a homemaker, a student, a tarot reader." Asking again, more layers will emerge. Yet none of these are ultimately I. So, Ramana Maharshi taught self-enquiry as a route to still the mind and realise our ultimate oneness with the Universe. It is scary to be without the labels we have grown accustomed to, and this is one of the fears that Kali brings.
Today I am meeting up with an old University friend. I realise that with this person I always feel stupid and uncultured. With Kali's help, I will try to let go of my fear of feeling a fool, to enjoy my friend's company without losing my sense of being a worthwhile person.
I am grateful for the reminder that I am good enough.