Troma Nagmo, or Kali

 Prints of Troma Nagmo (Kali) may be purchased in multiple sizes at my Etsy shop at

Original: gouache and 22 carat gold on linen                                   


Here Kali is represented as Troma Nagmo, the primary deity of the Buddhist Nyingma Chod practice, the Great Wrathful Mother of compassion, pure relative truth and perfect wisdom.

She is the wrathful form of Prajnaparamita, the Queen of all Buddhas. Her wrathfulness expresses the intensity of her compassion for all beings, and burns through the fabric of duality, the illusion of this and that, right and wrong, God separate from me.

She is huge, vast as space. She is the ground from which all manifestation arises and into which it subsides. She represents complete uncertainty as well as complete potentiality. She dances completely surrounded by the flames of pure awareness, and she steps on the heart of a human corpse, representing her conquest over ignorance and delusion. Her flaying knife represents flaying the enemies of faith – doubt and hatred. She wears the traditional six bone ornaments that demonstrate her accomplishment of the six tantric vehicles. In her left hand she holds a skullcup, representing the gifts she is giving from her heart. Her staff subdues all uncompassionate motivation. Her garland of severed heads represents the conquest and transmutation of the 51 defining egotistical thoughts. She is free, wild, fierce and loving, passionate in her compassion for all, and her wish to help us to be free.