50 Heads in Garland of Kali

Kali has a garland of 50 human heads. Each head represents one of the 50 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. This demonstrates her vast wisdom. Kali is linked with the last of the three phases of the moon. In terms of primal symbolism she thus becomes linked with simultaneoulsy with the wisdom of old age and with death as a warrior goddess. In later versions these characteristics are personified as different goddesses. In India, for instance wisdom becomes linked with Saraswati.and Durga becomes Goddess of War. It is noteworthy that the Greek Pallas Athene continued to combine the themes of warrior goddess and goddess of wisdom.

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