The Dark Mother

Q: Do you feel that the Divine Mother is also the dark mother? I heard that the Divine Mother is only the compassionate mother, not the destructive Feminine. Do you agree with that? I’m not sure I do. I feel they both offer the Divine in their special way. What do you think? Blessings,

A: The Divine Feminine is known as Adi Shakti, the Primal Power that is woven through all of Creation. Kundalini is a manifestation of this power. As we invoke Adi Shakti we are invoking Kundalini to become active in us. The Goddess represents the cascade of Eternal Energy into the field of time. Goddess Kundalini illuminates the stations of consciousness called chakras to unify us with the Divine and her with her Supreme Lover. Her play in the field of time is called Lilas. The Goddess is the cycle of time. She is the womb. She is the moon, governing the tides of life. The world finds solace in the cool shadow of her wings. The Supreme Goddess is the song of victory itself. She is said to incarnate herself to kill the enemies of good. All her incarnations are the result of her will to be in the world for the benefit of humankind. She chooses when and how to effect her lilas (play of the Goddess in the world). She explores the interplay between demon and goddess, male and female, son and mother, lover and beloved, victim and sacrificer, hero and deliverer, and the dynamics of the laws of opposites.

There are a number of wisdom goddesses in the Shakti tradition. They cover a whole range of feminine divinity, from the “dark” goddesses on one end, to the beautiful and beguiling on the other. They include Kali, the Goddess of Eternal Night, and of dissolution and time; Vajra Yogini, The Self-Decapitated Goddess; The Fierce One; The Widow Goddess; The Paralyzer; The Outcaste GoddessTara, the Goddess Who Guides us Through Troubles; She Who Is Lovely in the Three Worlds; She Whose Body Is the World; and The Lotus Goddess. These are archetypes that exist in all of us. When Kali, for instance, who is depicted wearing a necklace of skulls, is unincorporated in us, we tend to destroy everything in our path. When we reconcile with that part of us she eats our pain and we can help to ease the pain of others. The Divine Feminine is not all sweetness and light. The Universe couldn’t exist if it weren’t for Maya and Laya in their eternal dance.

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