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Kali is the Hindu name for the Black Goddess. In Sacret Sexuality, by A.T. Mann and Jane Lyle, Kali is described as " 'black as the limitless night sky.' " She is thought to represent the deepest and darkest aspect of the divine feminine. She is the embodiment of all that is hidden, mysterious, and sexual. She is the great mother — the patroness of virgins and prostitutes alike. She is fierce in her search for the truth and is the transformer of all that is linked to deception. "Kali dances and laughs with abandon, intoxicated with the mystery she is," say Woodman and Dickinson. (dancing)
The scapegoating of female healers and midwives in the 14th century was largely an attempt to control feminine energy. This impulse later evolved into the witch-hunt massacres of the 1700's. As a result, women learned that hiding their powers of divination and intuition was necessary for survival. (clarity) This in turn resulted in the suppression of other important aspects of their creativity. One of the most important of these was their sexuality. (sexuality / sensuality) A woman could be holy only if she were nonsexual: a cloistered, ascetic nun, for example. Female saints from this period had remarkably severe attitudes towards the body. Long periods of fasting, scourging, and physical chastisement were the rule. Kali was shut away at this point in history.
During this time, only the White Virgin Goddess was allowed to be worshipped. The Black Goddess was exiled into the subconscious, and with the exile came the revenge of the rat — the black plague. (black / white) The plague was transmitted from one rat to another via the intermediate host, the flea, which then transmitted it to humans. (dirtiness / cleanliness) During the mass hysteria of the plague, the only defense of the healthy was to quarantine the afflicted. (hidden) Fifty percent of Europe's population perished. In fact, it is estimated that rat-borne diseases have killed more human beings than all wars combined. Only now in the years right before the end of the millennium, do we see a shift in attitudes toward the body, feminine power, spirituality, and the color black. Our capacity for seeing the wholeness in the polarity — male / female, black / white, sun / moon — is starting to develop. Only with this willingness to see and accept all that is — as it is — will the Goddess be satisfied.
The number seven which came up in this proving ("..it's very important...seven petticoats") also seems connected to the rat and the theme of the Goddess. In his book, The Art of Life by Number, Jerry Terranova states that seven symbolizes an honest inquiry into the self. He says that fear and secretiveness keep us in isolation because we have the belief that there is "some deep dark horrible thing that (we) must keep running from." (secret / hidden) What we are really searching for is the truth. (clarity)