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When Kali Trampled Shiva
A Parable For Men About Challenging Women
There’s a famous depiction in Hindu mythology where the demon goddess Kali stands atop Shiva, the destroyer of evil. There are many versions of the stories of these two deities, and many interpretations of what it means.
It’s most prominently an instruction manual for men on how to handle fiery women. Or on a meta-level how the collective masculine archetype handles the collective feminine.
Kali is the goddess most associated with death and destruction. She represents the chaotic element of femininity. Feminists often like this representation because she validates the wild emotions of women, often judged by society as “irrational.”
Shiva represents many things in Hinduism, but in general, he’s the fucking Man. He represents all the virtues of masculinity: the father nature (similar to Zeus), warrior ethos, higher consciousness and transcendence of materialism.
So why the image of Kali killing Shiva? Is Hindu mythology foreshadowing the destruction of masculinity by the new waves of feminism?1
It may seem that way, but actually the opposite is true.
Because Shiva doesn’t actually die.
And masculinity doesn’t die just because women let their rage out. It gets stronger.
In fact, the psychodrama of this myth must play out between men and women for any sort of harmony to be reached. Most men try to do the opposite. They either gaslight the woman and label her as “crazy”, or they cower in fear and try to appease her. Neither of those options work, and just leave us with even more chaos and drama.
“Blood” must be shed for all to live happily. This goes both for individual male-female relationships, and for society as a whole.
In the Hindu myth, Kali goes on a rampage killing innocents and destroying everything to zero. The other gods try to appease her… but that only increases her blood lust. Then they try to oppose her… but that only enrages her more. So Shiva (viz: the fucking Man), realizes a third strategy…
He lies down.
He let her “kill” him. Kali needed to get out her rage. She needed to taste blood. So Shiva let her embody that victory. She trampled on him in all her monstrosity. He chilled. She snarled and gnarled. He chilled. She brandished her knife covered in the blood of her enemies. He chilled.
He knew he wasn’t going to die because of her angry outburst. He’s a fucking god. And gods are icy as fuck.
After feeling his strength and compassion, Kali softened. She, just like all beings, was causing destruction in the world because she didn’t feel safe and therefore forgot that she was lovable. She just needed to re-assert her sovereignty (and a little mclovin’). Shiva could give it to her without judgment or fear even though she was kind of a hot mess. That’s because he was a secure man and not some chili pimp.2
The rage within women and the fear men have of it is an eternal narrative. Since the dawn of civilization, and perhaps earlier, women have been angry and men haven’t known what to do about it.
In our current era, women have finally gotten the platform and rights to expression, and with it, a lot of rage (some justified, some amplified) is coming out on men. Some men are tucking it in and hiding behind pussy hats so that they won’t get killed. Other men are fleeing from the battle to hide in jerk-off circles (viz: Men’s rights activism).
But this expression of rage within women is not an error of design nor a sign of bad times. It’s an opportunity. An opportunity for a man with balls to not only enjoy more from women but make the world a better place.
Actually, this opportunity has always been there. This rise of Kali within a woman happens every time she’s roused enough to drop the pretty facade and let us know how she really feels. Kali rises every time another male celebrity is ousted for sexual harassment. Kali rises every time a man doesn’t show up for a woman in her vulnerability. Kali rises every time you leave the toilet seat up.
The rise of Kali is an opportunity for real intimacy. Real harmony. And real very nice lovemaking.
If you can learn how to handle a woman’s demons, you win. In a few ways…
What you get out of handling a woman’s demons:
When you “play Shiva”, she gets to play out her Kali. This psychodrama completes both parties' archetypal expression. Her inner demon becomes a source of her inner fire. Your inner hero gets to feel like man. Everybody plays, everybody wins.
And you as the masculine pole in the drama receive some direct benefits aside from being a good man:
1. She will inspire you
If you don’t want to ever deal with shit from women, you don’t have to. There are many unexpressed women with low self-esteem who are “easy”.
Much of the “game” taught by many dating coaches targets such women, and influences women to stay demure and controllable. You can totally sleep with many using such tactics. At first, if you have any scarcity around women, it will feel pretty good and assuage your insecurities. It’s actually a necessary step for many men to get over their insecurities.
But once you become secure, you’ll get bored. Trust me.
Weak women will not inspire you to become a better man, to become more creative, and to do big things in the world. Such women only come in the fiery variety.
No troubadour has ever written an epic song about an easy girl. No fighting man has gone to war over a basic bitch.
Stoke the fire in women and they will keep you warm for a lifetime.
2. She will give you her heart (and possibly outstanding head)
Kali-like behavior is a defense mechanism. It’s the second line of defense when the outermost facade has dropped. It’s there to protect her tender heart.
Kali’s dagger is often a tool of love avoidance. At some point in her development, she took on the idea that her caretakers would not or could not keep her safe. So she looks for evidence that she cannot be loved. Every man who either folds or runs from her wrath only confirms her fear.
The PUA world calls it a shit test. She subconsciously gives you shit to test if you’re man enough. If she’s testing you, that’s often a good sign. Most women aren’t even aware they are doing it. It’s subconscious. Her baby-making instincts want to know if you’re safe to be vulnerable with. If she’s only polite with you, then she’s probably not considering intimacy with you at all. (Viz: The Friend Zone.)
But if you can handle her shit (and yours), she will open up the secret gates. And when a woman is open and in her power, lots of fun happens.
Many men will note that upon becoming “official” with a new girlfriend, she really lets out a new freak in the bedroom. This is because the relationship security lets her feel safe enough to let go. The safety gives her permission to release the wild thing.
Kali is only the goddess of destruction when she’s constricted. When she’s free, she’s the matron saint of enthusiastic blowjobs and reverse cowgirl.
Only after handling her wrath will she know that you can handle her love, her attention, and her orgasm. It’s not that she was intentionally holding back before. It’s that her subconscious didn’t trust that you would stay alive if she opened up.
3. Handling fiery women will make your balls bigger
To be fair, not all women are worth taking shit for. It’s not your job to free all women. Use your discretion with whom you want to do battle for. There are unlimited manifestations of Kali in women, and you can’t spend your life catching them all.
However, all tests are worth passing. Because every test you pass increases your XP and contributes to your evolution.
Each test is really a test of your security. Every time she does or says something that hurts your feelings you have a choice: Remember the truth that you are a grounded man of high self-worth, OR indulge in insecurity.
Insecure thoughts are an addiction, no different than binging on junk food or smoking cigarettes. Even though they are painful, insecure thought streams actually create a level of comfort.
Any thought stream that suggests the beliefs “I am a loser” or “See, I’m not good enough to have what I want” actually feels comfortable because they create certainty. Painful certainty is way more comfortable to the ego than the possibility that she loves you.
Respecting yourself as a god is uncomfortable. It means taking responsibility for everything you experience. It’s much more comfortable to play victim to mediocrity.
Having bigger balls doesn’t mean you go numb to hurt feelings. Being secure doesn’t mean being invulnerable. It means you are so confident in your resilience that vulnerability doesn’t bother you.
It means you can take hits while staying icy like Shiva (viz: the fucking man). You can lay down and chill on the battlefield and let her experience a kill. You can show her, that even when she’s at her worst, she’s still lovable.
How do you Shiva her?
1. Compassion for her fear
While many women idolize the idea of Kali, few actually give themselves permission to let it out. This parallels how many men idolize anti-heroes like Walter White and Tyler Durden, but few would cook meth or fight in a club (Viz: The Anti-Hero’s Journey).
In a woman, this often shows as an internal battle of fear. The whole reason she feels rage is because of the fear that she needs to create high drama in order to be heard (viz: Fear of Oppression). But the reason she usually restrains the rage is the fear that she will be ostracized if she lets it out (viz: Fear of Abandonment).
Just like a long civil war, these battling fears can wreak havoc on her internal landscape. Often this shows up as anxiety, apathy, or even her body shutting down. Many of the women I’ve counseled with anorgasmia (the inability to orgasm) had numbed out their sexuality because they didn’t want to keep feeling the internal struggle.
So if and when Kali does finally rise, it’s usually with dramatic emotional rage. It’s been backed up for so long that it comes out with a force disproportionate to what triggered it. This is the female equivalent of “going postal” (let’s all be grateful that women are not the gender that errs towards physical violence, else #MeToo would have been waged with bullets, not Facebook posts).
Most men try to correct her emotions. They mansplain. They shame her. They argue back. Or they try to fix “the problem” (Kali didn’t actually have a problem other than wanting to be heard).
If you can learn to approve of people despite their undesirable behavior, you win. You will have recognized the truth about why people suck sometimes:
All destructive behavior comes from fear. Every time someone consciously harms another, it’s because they are afraid and it’s easier to externalize the fear than to feel it.
When you approve of her in all her emotions, you solve both her fears of abandonment and oppression. Like a good offensive lineman, you stay light on your feet and move with her so she has nothing to push against.
2. Give her boundaries and consequences
Not all women will suddenly mellow out from an ounce of compassion. Women aren’t going to stop being angry just because you read this article. She might not trust it. She might need time before she can accept that love.
Supporting her Kali doesn’t mean bending over for her. Shiva didn’t give her free reign to destroy the countryside. The myth never got that far, but I’d imagine that if Kali continued to burn and destroy after Shiva’s gesture, his plan B would be a little more heavy-handed.
Remember, a woman’s wrath comes from fears that she’s not safe and loved. And even though everyone says they want to be free, people need boundaries to feel truly safe. (viz: Everybody wants a daddy.)
This means calling her out when she’s out of line. It means laying out clear consequences. It doesn’t mean shaming her or giving her an ultimatum.
For some, this point might seem to contradict the previous one. Here’s how to combine compassion while holding solid boundaries:
Approve of the human being, disapprove of the behavior.
Just because you love her, doesn’t mean you take her shit. Just because you take no shit, doesn’t mean you don’t love her.
Many of our wounds from childhood replay themselves in our romantic relationships. Especially if someone has a recurring pain pattern in relationships, chances are it’s from an unmet need from childhood. While it’s not your job to heal your romantic partners, there may be moments where you can help complete her childhood and return to adult status.
Being a good parent means combining both unconditional love with right boundaries. There’s no universal formula for what “right” boundaries are (that’s the core subject of every parenting debate), but personal boundaries in relationship are certainly important. And more important than what the boundaries are, is how you assert them.
And that comes down more to you and your insecurities.
3. Deal With Your Insecurities (and Learn to Love Yourself)
To play Shiva you need to be Shiva (viz: The Fucking Man). This means you have your shit together.
Having your shit together means not acting through insecurity.
If you’re insecure, your attempt at compassion will come out as Nice Guy Syndrome. If you’re insecure, your attempt at holding boundaries will come off as Being An Asshole. And a gorilla pimp3 ain’t no pimp at all.
If you are secure, both your love and discipline can come out cleanly. That doesn’t mean everything you do will be perfect. But it means your actions won’t be diluted by ulterior motives to get your needs met.
There is no one right way to be a great man, or great lover, or great father, or great leader. But there’s one thing all great men have in common: They have dealt with the practical insecurities.
To be secure does not mean you think your shit smells like roses. Arrogance is usually a defense mechanism for a sensitive ego, just like Kali wrath is defense for a tender heart.
Security means being able to know the truth, feel the truth, and still not indulge in mediocre thinking. It means being able to face reality and still take care of business.
Maybe you’re not good-looking. Maybe you don’t have a big dick. Maybe you’re short. Maybe you’re bald. Maybe you’re poor or have a lame job. Maybe you stutter. Maybe you have a weird medical condition. Or an embarrassing past. Or a third nipple.
Get over it.
If something in the above paragraph is true for you and you have feelings about it, use this exact moment as practice. Accept the truth: We all have imperfections and you can still be an outstanding person despite it.
The active verb here is to love yourself. Love the person that is You despite your annoying imperfections and habits. It’s the only ‘technique’ to confidence and security. And the only way to truly love someone else.
This is how you get better and better at dealing with tests. And ultimately grow your balls to Mega Venusaur size.
Yes, many imperfections can and should be dealt with externally. Some totally should. You can go to the gym. You can buy nicer clothes. You can learn social skills and work hard to make more money. You can even get plastic surgery. But that doesn’t fix the root of the insecurity. If anything, the motivation to get yourself to the gym (or work towards any goal) is a result of how much you love and respect yourself.
If you haven’t noticed, becoming secure is both how you handle a woman’s chaos AND a benefit from doing so. I’d argue that becoming free of all insecurities is the ultimate goal of man and another way to describe self-actualization.
Kali is not only inside of every woman. The dark feminine archetype is in all people to varying degrees. This archetype is collectively rising in our culture.
And that’s a good thing.
Kali only rises in moments of vulnerability. While it’s uncomfortable to witness, it precedes the most empowered and loving expression of her. It lets you experience the joys that only a woman can give a man: inspiration, love, purpose, growth, and passion.
Freeing a woman’s chaotic feelings in an enjoyable way isn’t easy, but you now at least know what to do. Put your trident down, lay down on the battlefield, and be The Fucking Man like Shiva.
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The more common derived meaning of this myth is that Kali is the introduction of three-dimensional existence within the all-pervading consciousness represented by Shiva. But I think it’s the same thing.
chili pimp (American slang): A panderer of prostitutes who is physically cold because, despite his posturing, no hoes want to keep him warm. Therefore, he is “chilly”.
gorilla pimp (American slang): A panderer of prostitutes who maintains influence using violence instead of charisma.