Goddess on the Edges: An Introduction

The Goddess as an all-encompassing, innately whole divinity, appeals to me very much. Devi, complete, if multifaceted, deals with the extremes of experience that are most often split into good/evil, right/wrong, dark/light, and other realtively useless categories. While humans may require morality in order to refrain from brutalizing other humans (and other lifeforms), death and destruction are universal, and a mother Goddess who can encompass, if not make sense of, the chaotic forces of human life, provides an alternate perspective to both a patriarchal moralism and a new-age white-light suburban image of the Goddess.

With this in mind, I began to look at the manifestations of the Goddess that balanced on the edges of social acceptability...disease in Sitala, whose play brings smallpox, corruption and death in Kali, who sanctifies the cremation grounds with her presence, and a contemporary Western phenomenon surrounding the power dynamics and social politics of the BDSM scene and its relation to the Goddess.

I have collected these brief studies of the Goddess in the in-between and present them, together with a meditation on our Western fascination with the darker aspects of the Goddess, as a series of aspects that, taken together, form the whole.