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Dancing with Kali: Holy Darkness through the Great Wisdom Traditions

A 4-part Webinar Series with Vera de Chalambert

Originally recorded on May 20th, May 27th, June 3rd and June 10th, 2017. Cost $49

View in Video on Demand

“Whom should I turn to,
if not the one whose darkness
is darker than night, the only one
who keeps vigil with no candle,
and is not afraid—
the deep one, whose being I trust.”
― Raine Maria Rilke

Alan Watts tells the story of the astronaut who comes back from space and is asked what he now thinks of God. “She is Black,” he responds, referring to the supreme transcendent darkness and silence of space in which our planet is enveloped like a womb. As it turns out the mystical traditions agree with his revelation and have venerated both secretly and openly forms of the Dark Feminine for millenia. In this 4 week webinar we will explore the theological implications of Holy Darkness and work primarily with four emanations of the Dark Feminine from the world’s great wisdom traditions: the fierce Hindu goddess Kali, the single-breasted Tibetan protectress Ekajati, the mysterious Christian Mother of God, the Black Madonna and the exiled feminine aspect of the Divine, the Kabbalistic Shekhina.

The Dark Mother is the Great Mystery in its dark, deep, unknowable totality. It is said that any contact with her transfigures the soul. She might make us uneasy because she is so full, so primal. She is everything that our culture does not allow- rage, terror, wildness, sorrow. Yet, she is also the tenderhearted mother, offering unconditional refuge and miraculous healing, and holding relentless vigil for all her children. Jung says the secret is that “only that which can destroy itself is truly alive,” and walking into Kali’s fires is the initiation ~ she is the womb, the tomb and the resurrection. The awakening process asks us to accept the fullness of reality, and the dark goddesses invite our fearless heart to dance with the beauty and the terror of life as it is. Contrary to spiritual myths that insist on positive thinking, studies tell us that embracing our dark emotions- anger, fear, despair- is vital for psychological wellbeing. Similarly, dark mothers model radical acceptance of all our experience from the most painful to the most blissful and teach us to use it all as coal for the fires of awakening. Making contact with the Dark Feminine aspect of our being, whether we are men or women, can be a revelatory experience and birth new wisdom, courage and compassion in our life. Lay it all down at Her feet and come dance.

Read some of Vera’s aticles:

Kali Takes America: I’m with Her


Vera de Chalambert, MTS, is a spiritual storyteller and Harvard educated scholar of comparative religion working at the feet of the Great Mother. Vera speaks and writes about spiritual culture, mindfulness and the Divine Feminine and has shared her work at SAND in the US and Europe, Sister Giant, and other gatherings around the world. Vera holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and has mined for her soul at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and Jason Shulman’s Institute for Nondual Healing and Awakening. Her work explores the meeting place of creativity, psychology and spirituality. She is deeply influenced by Buddhist and Kabbalistic lineages and is a lover of the world’s great wisdom traditions. Vera is writing her first book on the Dark Feminine.


Course Description:

Module 1: May 20 – Hinduism: Kali ~ Dancing in the Flames
Introduction: Holy Darkness and spiritual maturation. Cutting through illusion. Other forms of Kali in the Hindu tradition. Veneration in Tantric Shivaism. Aghora. Working with negative emotions. Facing annihilation and radical acceptance.
Duration: 90 mins

Module 2: May 27 – Buddhism: Ekajati and the Blue Tara
The Single Breasted Protector. Other Tibetan forms of Dark Feminine: Palden Lhamo and Troma Nagmo. Chod practice. Working with wrathful forms and psychological wellbeing. The gifts of impermanence.
Duration: 90 mins

Module 3: June 3 – Christianity: Black Madonna
The Sorrowful Mother; Dark Night of the Soul, Cloud of Unknowing, Kenosis, Apophasis, Via Negativa, working with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of brokenness.
Duration: 90 mins

Module 4: June 10 – Judaism: Shekhina
The Indwelling Presence of God. Biblical exegesis. Exploring the Kabbalistic tradition: Tsimtsum, Tikkun Olam. The gifts of radical receptivity.
Duration: 90 mins

tv_demand-icon All the sessions will be recorded and available on demand so you may view at anytime. Check your email for details. Once you signup for the course on our website you will need to also register with zoom. Have any questions? Read our FAQ for webinar support.

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