Kali is the dance of creation and destruction:
one cannot be without the other.
In choosing one and rejecting the other, she appears
as a fragmented sense of self and world.
Day 5 was Sunday. I woke up, lit a candle at Kali's altar, and read this email about creation and destruction, grief, and these two demon kings Shumbha and Nishumbha, who symbolize arrogance and self-doubt/unworthiness within our consciousness.
I really loved the way "demons" were defined in this email, as "rejected parts of ourselves." And in my practice of self-inquiry and dialogue with these demon kings that morning, what I discovered was that although they differ in many ways, what's similar is that both of them want a rest, and they both need to be loved and to feel safe and secure enough to relax and let go, to just shut their mouths and chill. And they need to know they are lovable just as they are.
It reminded me of this:
When I felt complete with that practice, I went to Ecstatic Dance. A beloved community member/poetess/healer/friend/teacher/dancer/beautiful-soul had just recently passed away. And the air was thick with grief. I recalled the poem shared in the morning's email:
Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
I felt into my own grief, my grief over many losses, mostly recent, some old. And I danced with this grief and those demon kings. I acknowledged destruction and death as part of creation and life. I left dance feeling pretty good. Feeling a sense of oneness and acceptance with all that is.
But then I went to do a move-out inspection at a condo I own, and when I discovered that my tenant, who was breaking her lease early, not only failed to clean the place, but also scratched up the floor, I lost it. If only I'd lost it in an angry, empowered type of way. But no. Instead I lost it, as in I felt distraught and disoriented, disappointed, and stressed out.
That night I went home and re-lit the candle I'd started burning for Kali in the morning. The first 4 days I'd always let the candle burn all the way down. But Sunday morning, I had to leave home before it was done. So i lit this candle again, sat at the altar, started chanting kreem, kreem kreem, om kreem kalika-yai namaha, but I wasn't feeling it. I stood up, walked away, leaving the candle burning, and out of my mouth came these words as a song: Burn, burn, burn away, anything that's no longer serving me."
As I walked through my house taking care of various things, like the dishes and getting ready for bed, these words continued to be sung through me over and over and over again.
Burn, burn, burn away, Anything that's no longer serving me.
I went to bed feeling pissed off, but in a peaceful way, excited to see what gets burned away.
So I'll leave you with these questions:
What parts of yourself are you rejecting?
What's no longer serving you that needs to be burned away?
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."