Vajra Varahi appears in different forms at different times. Here she represented how she is visualized in the Phowa, a prayer to help the deceased ascend. She is gazing upwards to the Buddha, playing her drum, and the parents of the person for whom the practice is being done are on either side of her. She is the most prominent dakini in Buddhism. She represents our individual energy mechanism, and personifies the idea of kundalini, or prana, or Qi energy. In human form she is depicted as a beautiful, red, dancing, joyful and fiercely strong young woman.
Her curved knife symbolizes her ability to cut through the veils of obscurations: negative emotions such as desire, hatred, pride, jealousy, anger and the veil of ignorance of conventional knowledge (belief in self and other.) She wears a garland of flowers that represent the siddhis – or magical abilities – that evolve from spiritual practice.