Death - She Who Accepts So Many, Ruler of Many and Reciever of Many. She is the Crone aspect of the Goddess, now reaping with her skythe what she has sown and grown. She is pruning the Tree of Life to intensify its vigor.
She can appear as a hag, a beautiful woman, or a crow or raven. The anthropomorphic female Death of European folklore to this day is imagined as tall, bony-legged, and dressed in white - the white of bones. The carnivorous bird - raven, owl or vulture - has followed her from Paleolithic times when vultures who devoured corpses were regarded as her angels of death, since they carried the dead piecemeal to heaven. The cleaned bones were then put in a fetal position and covered with red ochre, red as menstual blood, the blood of death and the blood of birth. She stands in the river of death (Styx in Greek mythology) which the dead has to cross, the river of death in which flows the waters of birth.
We have been taught that death always is followed by more death. But that is not the case, each death brings new life. Death is not just something that happens once to our bodies. It happens continually, at many levels and not just in the physical. Each moment we die to the present so the future can unfold. Death has a way of making you concentrate on what is important. She is wisdom. She is the part of us who knows when something could, should, must be born and when it must die. Without death nothing has any value. Without death there is no learning. Life and death do not negate each other, one is the prerequisite for the other.
The worshippers of Kali think it essential to face her Curse, the terror of death, as willingly as they accept Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. Kalis boon is freedom, the freedom of the child to revel in the moment, and it is won only after confrontation or acceptance of death. This childlike nature does not stem from ignorance of things as they really are but from the realization of things as they really are. To ignore death, to pretend that one is physically immortal, to pretend that ones ego is the center of things, is to provoke Kalis mockering laughter.
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Created by Maria Näslund ©1997-2002.