She is perhaps the least examined and most feared of all the Tantric Goddesses, She who has a taste for Blood, chews the corpses of Demons, is ugly, filthy and carries the horn of Yama, the God of Death, Dhumavati. Her worship if often forbidden and She is said to inhabit desolate deserted spaces.
Unlike all the other Goddesses, Dhumavati has no spouse, She is a widow, completely alone, Her name meaning “one who is composed of smoke”; She is Dhumra Varahi , “the smoky swallower of the universes.” These macabre images of Dhumavati carry powerful Tantric secrets and act as Gnostic keys for the initiate yet act as a smokescreen for those who will not respect nor comprehend Her Kosmic gift of ultimate independence.
Dhumavati represents the deepest primordial Darkness, the original chaos from which all worlds will emerge and eventually dissolve. This is the Void which consumes all, even Death itself. Devotion to Dhumavati will ward off all negative Qliphotic influence and cultivates a smokescreen of protection around the sorcerer upon entering the Nightside realms. Qliphotic entities are drawn to the scintillating smokescreen of the Widow and are consumed by Her insatiable appetite for the transitory and empty.
Dhumavati is the ultimate source of Non-Being, the study of which is termed in Voudon Gnosis as Meontology. However while She births the Void and states of Non-Being, She also creates within the devotee a deep longing for independence and solitude rather than non-existence.
This ecstatic and erotic longing is crucial to the Voudon Gnostic for independence and isolation is paramount for establishing a Kosmic identity leading to kaivalya. ” Dhumavati, the ultimate primordial Darkness, ushers the initiate into the realm of Non-Being in order to alchemically form an embryonic form of consciousness that is utterly independent and isolated from the realm of the Living.
Once birthed, the initiate can cultivate this consciousness and live in realms of Being and Non-Being. This is what Nisargadatta Maharaj refers to when he states “ I want you to dwell on the borderline of consciousness and no-consciousness”, and “ when the Dhyana-Yoga is done correctly Beingness dissolves into Non-Beingness.” Dhumavati is what the Vedas refer to as “darkness hidden by darkness” yet within this darkness, the Sol Niger can be found.
This is why Shankaranarayanan refers to Her as “darkness impregnated with the embryo of light, the smoke carrying hidden in its particles the heat of the flame.” She can birth a consciousness within the initiate which can withstand the icy realms of the Meon, but to birth this consciousness the initiate must journey into the deepest most primordial realms of Non-Being.
Dhumavati is also the ultimate symbol of superconscient sleep or yoga nidra. This is the deepest most embryonic level of consciousness in which the initiate can incubate new levels of growth and alchemical transmutation. We can learn to see that states of inactivity form the basis for future levels of transformation, just as the realm of the Dead holds many doorways into the Kosmic future.
Deep states of meditation can become a doorway into awakening rather than a somnambulistic coma. We can learn to see that what appears on the surface is not always representative of what lies waiting to be born. This is the gift of Dhumavati, to find the darkness within light, and the light within darkness. When the initiate learns to grasp this level of Gnostic Knowing, the pathway to Kosmic Resurrection is revealed.
Dhumavati stands beyond existence and non-existence, She is neither one nor the other; She is beyond both; beyond both Time and Space.
This clearly brings to mind Austin Spare’s Neither-Neither principle. She allows the devotee to see the Life within the Dead, as well as the doorways to the Nightside within the rays of the Sol Niger.