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Exploring Kali, Chamunda and Athena

Kali Blog Series

The Kali Oracle was a joy to create. And it’s been a beautiful heart connecting experience to explore it with our beautiful community. Many of you expressed an interest and desire to get to know Kali more intimately, so we have created this blog series to dive deeper into the essence of Goddess Kali.

We have discussed ways in which you can connect with the goddess, misconceptions around her genuine nature, how you can receive wishes and blessings, and how you can honour her. In this article, we will explore the confusion between and similarities amongst Kali, Athena and Chamunda. My hope is that this will help you dig deeper into your connection and appreciation of the goddess Kali and rejoice in her ever-loving presence.

Exploring Kali, Chamunda and Athena

Is Kali comparable to Athena?

Kali and Athena are often viewed as very similar. They are both archetypal goddesses that represent aspects of human nature that calls to us. While their representations are particular to their cultural origins, and they are distinctive emanations of the divine feminine, there are certainly commonalities between this unlikely duo.


Athena was born out of the head of Zeus, in full armour and ready for battle. In a similar fashion, Kali Ma burst forth from the third eye of radiant divine goddess Durga – straight into a fierce frenzy of battle. There is a quality in both these goddesses of full maturity and strong development from their earliest moments. I would say that for those humans among us who had to grow up ‘before our time’ due to early trauma or abandonment, there could be a particular resonance with these goddesses.

There is a difference in the matrix for birth, though – Athena from the patriarch or masculine rulership and Kali Ma from the matriarch or feminine rulership.


Kali has the appearance of a chaotic, wild quality about her and a darkness that contrasts with Athena’s brightness, logic and restraint. Yet Athena also bears the darker goddess consciousness, and both Kali and Athena express a quality of divine justice.


The sword is a symbol that is associated with both goddesses as well, for the symbolism not only of justice, but also of cutting through obstructions to clarity, and as a form of spiritual protection.

Both Athena and Kali also wear the heads of their enemies – Kali’s mundamala is a garland of the freshly severed heads of demons and foes. And Athena bears a large shield which bears in its centre the head of Medusa. These symbolise the pushing back of ill-intentioned beings and expressions of negativity.

Destructive power that honours life

Beginning with the shield she bears, Athena is also profoundly connected to Medusa. And the Athena and Medusa interactions are an expression of the conquering of negativity, and the need to become conscious in how we express our rage.

This is Kali-esque territory. I have many thoughts about Medusa and the Death Mother complex and how that relates to Kali, which deserves a deeper analysis at a later time. For now, we can contemplate Athena as wisdom and Medusa as the rage that can consume a woman and all those around her – no matter how justified that rage may be, there must be protection from it. If it is not balanced with wisdom, it will destroy anyone and anything it encounters.

Athena calls forth Perseus to kill Medusa. In one version of the story, he uses a mirror to reflect her image and her poison destroys her, rather than him. It’s a complex myth and we have to remember that these are energies in the soul, not actual people that we are talking about! If we take myth too literally we end up scared and confused, whereas understanding the symbolism will offer guidance, comfort and inspiration.

Here we can see Kali and Athena are both goddesses who utilise the destructive power that honours life, as spiritual protection from that which would ultimately harm us (symbolised by the destruction wrought by Medusa’s unmediated rage).

How are Kali and Chamunda connected?

Kali and Chamunda are sometimes seen as two distinct goddesses, while others see Kali Chamunda – or Chamunda – as a form of Kali. I tend towards the latter personally, but I accept the different point of view as well because I feel that ultimately everything arises from and returns to Source. Even with my personal feeling of Chamunda as a facet of Kali, she still has her distinctiveness and one of her elements that I feel is profoundly significant is her ability to control masculine energy.

The capacity to control masculine energy flow without castrating requires deep healing around fear of the masculine and learning how to respect it. But it also requires the recognition of where and how it needs to give way to the feminine. Kali Chamunda is so very fierce because this is the level of fearlessness, power and unreserved clarity without an ounce of distortion or disrespect that is required to tame the interactions between masculine and feminine energies so that they can operate as one, serving and loving each other.

For those interested, I would encourage you to meditate on Chamunda to find how she manifests in your own soul experience. I have a card, teaching and process dedicated to her in the Kali Oracle and that may help you with that process.

If you would like to know more about the deeper Kali Chamunda teachings, please reach out to our team to join the waiting list for the advanced Kuan Yin Transmission™ Guardianship™ program.

Embracing Kali Chamunda and Athena

Embracing these goddesses, in their varied beautiful forms, is akin to embracing change. Kali is a wild, empowered and loving current. And Athena and Chamunda are guides through the transformation that dissolves self-limiting beliefs and negative attachments allowing you to move forward into creativity and fertile growth.

Read Next: Goddess Kali’s unconditionally loving nature

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