The goddess Kali and Religious Naturalism, by Colin Robinson


Humanistic Paganism

Editor’s Note:  Although HP generally focuses on developing personal relationships with mythology from the Euro-Mediterranean culture zone (in order to encourage specificity and depth), it is also possible to learn what we can from other cultures.  Colin offers a picture of India’s goddess Kali.  Careful to acknowledge diverse opinions and distinguish his view from those of others, he delivers insights targeted for naturalists.

What can India’s goddess Kali mean to Religious Naturalists?

Like her male counterpart, Lord Shiva, Kali is often pictured dancing. In fact, she is often pictured using Shiva himself as her dance floor. Dance is about energy, self-expression, self-sufficiency. It is also about balance.

The image of Shiva as lord of the dance is a classic vision, which been appreciated by twentieth century scientists outside India, such as Carl Sagan (1985, page 214) and Fritjof Capra (1975, page 11). And yet, this is something about Shiva’s…

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