In the Devi Mahatmaya, the great demon Mahishsura threatens the cosmic order (the Dharma) through having obtained the boon that he can only be killed by a naked woman. The Gods, being unable to remove this stubborn force of evil, create Durga in all her radiant beauty to kill the demon that they were unable to kill themselves. Notice the emphasis in images & statues of Durga (scroll over), that show her wearing thick dark eyeliner (kohl or kajal), which has a very special spiritual meaning. The color black attracts, absorbs, and holds negative energy. In certain magical spells for cursing or removing negativity, Kajal or "lamp black" is used to transfer the negative energy to another, or remove it from a location all together. This also ties to the purposeful use of black sacrificial animals in witchcraft traditions around the world for absorbing and removing negative energy, as well as in cultures that practice animal sacrifice as an element of Goddess worship. For example, on Yom Kippur (the holiest day of the year in Judaism), the high priest takes a goat and symbolically lays upon it the sins of the Jewish people, kills it & throws it out in the wilderness or off of a high place. The choice of a black goat is interesting in regards to the mystery of the spiritual significance of makeup as well; on Yom Kippur, the goat is sent to the demon Azazel, who is the one who is said to have taught women how to wear makeup and cosmetics, as well as how to teach man to make weapons of war. Although cosmetics & weapons are two things that seem quite different, in reality they have a lot in common in terms of the end result. Skillful makeup use by women increases her ability to attract men and exaggerate her feminine polarity in a way that is magnetizing and absorbing, to increase the energy she draws from those in her environment. Mars (tying to both sexuality and violence) rules over the outward flow of the body’s energy, and ties to male sexuality, which revolves around the shedding of semen (a quintessence of blood), and weapons are used to shed literal blood.
Like the scapegoat used on Yom Kippur, Azazel taught women how to wear makeup and accentuate her beauty in a way that increases the expression of any impurities within her perceiver, through the agitation and lack of self-control she inspires in him (or her). The more she emphasizes her feminine power, the more “mirror-like” she becomes, in that the energy that is rapidly flowing towards her takes shape and form— into a snake that ensnares him or a dove that elevates him— and determines the inner state of those who feel pulled on by her. This mirror-effect means that— in parallel— a woman’s embrace of her power and beauty, increases equally with the “femme fatale” effect of her danger to the impure around her, and thus increases her perceiver’s tendency to blame her for his own faults and weaknesses, similar to the way the black animal has the imperfections and negativity laid upon it before being thrown out. In this way, we can see why women who behave in any way sensually are physically threatened and abused in many cultures, and even referred to as witches, while those who hide themselves are called saints.
It is the severe spiritual function of a woman to absorb and destroy evil, that men— due to their inherently anabolic & life-giving nature— cannot destroy, as their every action in someway benefits the evil being (expressing yang Solar energy towards it). This is why in many old myths, individuals become enlightened when they are killed by Vishnu, and Shiva is often running from a demon that he gave a boon to, and who is now using it against him. Thus enters Durga; she's not a bearded male God but a woman, and she's described as being quite beautiful and attractive, and yet it is she and she alone who destroys this demon. In this myth, the feminine power is highlighted in the sense that by showing her vagina to the demon, he is stunned to stare, and she destroys him. There is nothing that the male imbalanced ego hates more than female sexuality, as it shows him exactly what he is and puts him in his "place" so to speak. It targets impurity at a deeper, more subtle, and instinctual level and therefore burns away even the most shrouded falsehoods. This is why the Yoni is ruled by Bharani nakshatra, who is ruled by Yama, the protector of the Cosmic Order or Dharma, and this Nakshatra’s power is Apabharani Shakti, the power to take away. A woman doesn't need to do martial arts or any mundane forms of violence to truly destroy a demon; the catabolic and purifying effect of her own raw femininity is enough to expose, root out, and purify all impurity. This is the difference between male and female power-- one is excitingly direct and one is beautifully subtle. Here we can even consider the slang use of the word “slay” in the beauty community in response to an individual skillfully embracing and amplifying their own magnetic power, a subtle form of warfare.
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