Religious Icon Tattoos: The Goddess Kali
Often mistaken as the Goddess of Death & Destruction, Mahakali (Kali) is one of the best known but poorly understood Hindu deities.
Dark and gruesome in image, she appears allied to the forces of evil though Kali is actually the Goddess of Enlightenment and Liberation. Destroyer of the evil tenacities within all humans, the death Kali brings is to the self-centered reality of the Ego.
Kali is usually depicted with her tongue out, wearing a skirt of dismembered arms and a garland of severed heads. These trophies are said to symbolize having liberated her children from attachment to the limited "I-am-the-body" delusion. Thus reinforcing the belief that the body is a temporary condition. It is widely accepted amongst the Hindu that we as humans are not beings of flesh, but of spirit- and freedom from our ego can only truly be conquered when connection to the body ends.
Whether Kali appears terrifying, fascinating, or loving to each individual will depend on one's own level of spiritual development and consciousness. But she always invites us to a radical form of ego transcendence. A Multifaceted and multi-layered Goddess, teaching us all to reserve our judgment the next time we run into naked blue girl brandishing a bloody sword.
(And without further ado, some beautifully detailed Kali tattoos)