Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

A B C D E F G H I J [K] L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z


Variations: Cause of Time, Force of Time, Kalaratri, Kali Ma ("Black Mother"), Kalika-mata, Kottavei, Maha Kali, Mother of Karma, Nitya Kali, Raksha Kali, She Who Is Beyond Time, Shyama Kali, Smashana Kali ("Lady of the Dead"), The Terrible
Kali is the vampiric goddess of Change and Destruction in the Hindu religion. She is attended to by the DAKIN collectively known as the ASRAPAS. Kali is described as having an exceptionally long tongue that she uses to drink blood with, eyes and eyebrows the color of blood, jet-black skin, and long, loose HAIR. She has four arms and each hand wields a sword. The only thing she wears is a necklace of human skulls and a belt made of severed arms.
Kali, whose name means "black," became ablood drinker only out of necessity. She was fighting a demon named Raktavija, and each time a drop of his blood was shed, a thousand new demons came into being and added themselves to the confrontation against the goddess. Finally, in order to defeat Raktavija and his ever-increasing horde of minions, she had to drain him dry of his blood.
Kali is a destroyer of ignorance and only killsin order to maintain the cosmic balance to things. Whenever she acts in violence, change comes in her wake. It is said that her image can be seen on a battlefield after a particularly long and bloody engagement.
As recently as the 1880s a tribe called Thugeeworshiped Kali with human sacrifice. It was estimated that they were responsible for some 30,000 deaths each year that were offered in honor to the goddess. Thugee garroted their victims, rob them of any valuables, drain their blood, and roast the bodies over an open fire before an image of Kali. The British claim that they were able to put a stop to that brand of worship by something short of tribal genocide. However, it has been alleged that small pockets of worshipers still practice human sacrifice to their goddess in remote areas of India.
Source: Crooke, Introduction to the Popular Religion, 31, 43, 50, 78, 81­82, 91­92, 105, 152; Leeming, Goddess, 22­25; Masters, Natural History of the Vampire, 1 71; Turner, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 257

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