Posts Tagged ‘kali’


Great Time,
Not the small time that wriggles,
That evaporates, that divides,
Slows, quickens, dissolves matter,
Nor crumbles the certain little boundaries.
Not the time of long ago,
Nor the time of memory-
Not the rope and web
Or stories that buoy up why and why not.

Great Time,
that remains.
Great Time,
the horror and remorseless.
Great Time
where any silence
Would be excessive demonstration,
Where qualities, incoherent irrelevance.

From outside,
(that mistaken myth of outside),
It is a wall of annihilation
Void of edge and shade
A denial of everything.
Senseless, unable to be apprehended.

From inside
Great Time sustains itself in itself,
A round vowel of circular breath
With no flow nor any sound.
and between name.
and between space.
and between desire.
and between despair.

Looking for Great Time
Here or here,
Looking for its dark matter,
Looking for its dark space,
Looking for the reason, the cause,
The origin, the point of entry:
Weighing shadows, calibrating the edge.

Her necklace,
A string of heads, lolling, vacuous.
Take it as a clue, sir.
Great Time will deny the slyest philosopher,
The most particular investigation,
Will eat the reasons why,
Will collapse the measurement.

On the tip of that red tongue
Dancing, tingling,
Feeling without saying,
Lost ullulation, glossolalia,
Speaking in tongues, hanging,

Do not wish on yourself
The nightmare of never.
Do not break that fine, thin porcelain,
Genteel mind, translucent void.
Between, before, beyond.

Great Time:
Where you are not looking,
The smallest omission,
The inevitable victory
Of the insignificant.
Aeons and galaxies
Are its shadow,
Its laughter.

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MAHARATRI – Great Night

Continuing my exploration of the Mahavidyas, this piece tracks and picks out words, phrases and ideas from Danielou’s work. I don’t know how it will stand by itself for those not familiar with any of the imagery or symbolism, but for me it is acting as a trigger and an introduction to how both visuals and text might develop in the future.

Object of transcendence. Maha Ratri 1

Eternity, ten nights long
Five for the god,
Five for the goddess.
The power of Siva –
To know it, one word,
No other word were needed.

Ten objects:
The divine night, destiny mapped,
Destruction mirrored,
Fear revealed.
The power of time,
The last manacle of sky iron,
Melted, irrelevant in the bliss
Of our supreme nonexistence.

The state of deep sleep,
Our little dream, ocean’s drop
Of perfect quiescence,
Nothing remaining,
Not time acting on,
But time itself:
Absolute night.

Beyond the beyond,
Sleeper withdrawing
Into the power of time,
A diadem of illusion:
Licks of lightning
At the corners of the sea,
Surface, iridescent, unmoved.

This absolute night,
The night of destruction,
When things
That are not things,
When the objects
Of our philosophies,
When even the bare bones
Of is and now,
Slide and smudge
Decorating no longer
The resounding passageways
Of thought,
The geometries
Of measured edge.

For there is now one thing
That is the only thing,
A no thing,
A perfect surface
Curving to infinity,
Our lady
Of the spheres,
Resplendent emptiness.
The little light
That does nothing but divide,
Distend, distort,
And shatter into matter
Finally engulfed,
By the Giver.

Returning in the evening
All the birds nest in happiness,
All nestle to the welcome night,
Enfolded by calm.
All, all come to rest
Upon her lap-
Mother of Happiness,
Mother of Night.

( I shall step into the still,
mild darkness,
the rush of silent air,
fragrant after a day of rain.
Feel my purpose dissolve,
my need and reasons waver,
words and names becoming uncertain,
then soon submerged.
Passing clouds,
passing clouds).

That tears asunder
All things,
Destroyer of worlds,
She herself
Is your dance.


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The Ten Mahavidyas

The mahavidyas, or “great wisdoms”, “wisdom goddesses”, or “Ten objects of Transcendent Wisdom” is a medieval Indian system of metaphysical thought that brings together aspects of goddess energy in a powerful and evocative manner. In certain aspects it falls outside the more familiar Hindu orthodoxy, whilst deepening and adding commentary to the esoteric traditions of the Himalayan region.

I first came across the Mahavidyas in my fourth year at the University of Edinburgh and was drawn to the powerful imagery- especially as presented in Alain Danielou’s “Hindu Polytheism”- so that I incorporated elements of symbolism in my sculpture projects. At the time I was using the image of the bowl a lot in my work and it seemed an ideal form to express the numinous within the familiar. A container of space, requiring emptiness to define itself, the bowl has often been employed as a metaphor for the polarity of existence.
Much more recently I was asked to make images representing each Mahavidya in the same way that I found symbolic forms for tree energies. It took a while to consider. It is one thing tuning into a tree energy and seeing how to visually freeze that unique energy dance, it is a different matter of scale to do the same to a powerful universal energy presence. Resolution came when I acknowledged that the Mahavidya energy patterns are transgender, transhuman, transspatial, transtemporal, transcultural entities. In other words, it was not necessary to get “permission” or authentication to begin this work. They do not belong to any one species or gender or time or theology, though their symbolic references will be culturally specific. I am possessed wholly by these energies as I am with the frequencies of the electro-magnetic spectrum. I do not need to achieve knowledge or understanding outside of myself. In fact they have a more permanent existence than what I consider to be my own personal reality.


Great Time
Time accumulating,
your considerate sciences,
Your careful measured certainty.

Definitions cease.
Knowing Her
There is nothing else to know.

Beyond subatomic passion,
Endless rest, but awake.

Untramelled Reality,
Radiant darkness
Embedded, entangled,
Woven into solidity

Solid time
Still time
Waiting time.
Ungraspable, unavoidable

Warm red tongue
Licking your soul.
Warm lips clasping.

Atrocious vastness,
Contigious unity,
Invisible light

Exploding souls

The image above is one of a series of prints I made of the Mahavidyas and related energies. This one is Kali, the Great Night of Time, Deathless Silence, Perfect Bright Darkness. Kali means ‘time’.
Though these energies are personified and worshipped as deities, they transcend all human categorisation and all cultural niceties. They are raw reality, which is why they are so scary! Any image is Mahakali, every concept is Mahakali. This image I have made is therefore perfectly MahaKali, though not exclusively so!!

If you are interested inseeing the other images or purchasing a few(!!) please go to click here

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