Obviously, some of you have become fans of the experimental bellydance troupe "Hands of Kali". I think they are just mesmerizing; I love body paint, I love exotic costumes, especially with an ancient or rustic theme, and I love the power of human expression in music and dance. I admit that I can't dance (unless I've drank a few Captain Jacks, and even then, not well) but almost nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing talented dancers. How much more pleasing is the sight of four modern Earthbound Devi-Dakinis dancing their powerful and talented hearts out? Even the name... "Hands of Kali"... it's just awesome.
There's something about dancing styles, like belly dancing, which frightens many men. To see women completely unafraid to show sensual swaths of flesh, to sway and writhe serpent-like, the way these dancing women stare at you when they catch your eyes during their shows, the small smile that always hovers about their lips... and sometimes, the way they seem so mystically withdrawn from themselves and the world around, they are radiating a power that men have always desired, and later feared. It's ecstatic and dangerous to the forces that want to calcify human consciousness into a simple, predictable construct.
The tamed and docile women of the late patriarchal era, whether sitting unseen and silent in their homes, isolated behind clear glass walls of social convention and condescension, or walking the streets of eastern cities with yards of cloth and veils covering their natural beauty, are no threat to bloated masculine ego. But the liberated women? The ecstatic women? The women who have somehow escaped the veil of repression? They become the new Goddesses of our era, the Dakinis, the sky-flying witches, whom the Tibetans call "Khandroma"- sexually powerful and brutal divine females holding the bloody body parts and remains of social conventions in their hands, and feasting on entrails. They embody the notion of Kali dancing on the Body of Shiva, on the ruined remains of the world that has passed away, in preparation for a new era of regeneration and ecstasy. In the female, all things begin, and as ancient peoples all knew, in Her, things will end, awaiting a new birth.
The entire world has been scourged with masculine fear for the natural beauty and raw power of women. Now that this era is rapidly drawing to an end, and the birth of a new era is upon us, we see the swift decay of these threads of fear and stupidity that have stifled the human spirit. I'd say they only stifled the feminine spirit, but this is only half of the story- when men repress and imprison the female spirit, they repress and imprison themselves. If men can offer women physical fertility, the crucial gift that gives continuity to our species, women offer men the every bit as crucial spiritual and creative fertility required for them to feel at peace, and be whole. Patriarchal crimes against women are not only crimes against women, but against humankind, regardless of sex.
I've been fortunate to see many powerful women in my time, true daughters of the Aeon-Devouring Mother Goddess, in her darkest and most energetic form. But I feel fortunate to have found Hands of Kali- those friends of mine who have seen them dance speak of them in only the most glowing terms- of course, the "glow" I'm talking about here is not the bright glow of the masculine heavens, but the dark glow of the eldritch Underworld, full of inexhaustible and hidden root-potentials upon which all things depend. I myself look to the images I do have of these dancers as icons of a spirituality which is born inside women, and which emerges outside of the control of the greedy powers that hold my world in chains.
So, my anti-patriarchal rant is done. I made some Hands of Kali colorbars for you all; please, take use them. The code is placed below each one. If you click on each one, it'll take you to their site. If you can see their shows, go to them. If you can't, try to get them to come to your area. Pass the link to this page of colorbars on to others, and tell people about them. A member of their troupe is a brilliant artist who is doing her own Tarot deck- The Tarot of the Pomegranate. You can see her amazing artwork here: http://www.an-magrith.com/gallery.html
It goes without saying that you should get the deck, whenever it becomes available.
Hail the Dark Mother, and her Daughters!
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