I have written a lot about Matangi on the blog. When I found out she had a mudra I was overjoyed.
Mata means thought or opinion. Matangi is the goddess of thought and mind Matangi is the dark mystic, ecstatic or wild form of Saraswati. . . Saraswati is often a goddess of only ordinary learning, art and culture. Matangi rules over the extraordinary, which takes us beyond the boundaries of
convention…She is that part of Sarasvati that is allied with the transforming energies of
Kali.” (Frawley 1994: 140)
In the many descriptions of Matangi, she holds in her four hands: a noose, a sword, a
goad and a club. The noose is an instrument to hang the demons and deterrents to creative process
and personal. The noose may kill ego in order to make room for true nature and authentic self.
The sword cuts through fears and opposition and allows us to be the hero-ine’s of our own
story filled with strength and fearlessness. The goad, like a hook, encourages us to move
forward and remove all obstacles and troubles from our dharmic paths. The club celebrates our primitive nature, and reminds us to stay strong against self-doubt and any other enemies. The club also symbolizes devotion and surrender to a higher power.
Matangi is yama, the dark one. She encourages us to slow down and just sit and rest.“Creativity may involve ecstatic outpourings that are joyous and free, but it always also involves spending time in uncertain places which are frightening and unknown, times when all there is to do is to wait (for
the seeds to germinate), for the bread to rise, for the editor to get back with the comments on the
manuscript). All these, aspects of creativity are part of the process. Matangi’s great power is to be equally at home in all these phases.” (Dinsmore-Tuli, p. 309-310)
Matangi is worshipped with "food from stained hands and lips,” which is a huge reversal of
Hindu rituals that are usually obsessed with purity. She asks for leftover food, which is normally
considered highly polluting, because she emerged from leftover food. “Her special siddhi is the capacity for abundant creativity and the expression of unique vision.” (Dinsmore-Tuli, p. 309)
Matangi is beautiful and unapologetically sexual. One of her names according to Kinsley is “she whose limbs are intoxicated (with passion).” Mata means thought, opinion, wild, and passionate.
Matangi brings awareness of the ebb and flow of the creative process. We can’t force ourselves to create when it is not the time. She reminds us to be in the present moment and take it for what it is.
“Just as there is no point in pressing a woman for sexual intercourse if she is too tired, or too
premenstrual or otherwise at the wrong time of her particular cycle, so too there is no point
in pushing for productivity in the reflective or evaluative phase of the creative cycle.”
Her seat in the human body is the throat, the fifth chakra. It is in the throat chakra that we
speak our truth. “She also resides in the tip of the tongue, the place where in speech is
articulated and wherein we are able to taste the essence of things.” (Frawley, p.142)
In addition, Matangi, the elephant goddess, is related to the ear and our ability to listen and
understand. “Creativity and sexuality are two sides of the same coin.” (Dinsmore-Tuli, p.309)
Matangi is an avatar of Parvati when she dressed as an untouchable to seduce Shiva.
According to Kinsley, Matangi has a few other origin stories besides the Parvarti-Shiva
seduction. The first form is a Buddhist tale about hunter Matanga and his daughter
Prakrti (an early form of Matangi) who falls in love with Ananda. Ananda first encounters
Prakrti when he is looking for water. She refuses to give him water because of her low
Ananda responds “I am not asking you what your caste is, I am only asking for water.”
Affirmed as a person who is not just an outcaste, she becomes instantly enamored.Prakrti uses her mother’s magic to attract Ananda, who falls for her but later resists herwith the help of the Buddha.
Impressed by the power of the Buddhist teachings, Prakrti becomes a Buddhist nun.
There is also the story Uccista-matangi, who animates from remnants of the food Vishnu
and Lakshmi gave Shiva and Parvarti at a dinner party.Shiva blesses her with the ability to grant
people to control their enemies and obtain objects of their desire by repeating her mantra.
Because the guru instructs through the spoken word, Matangi represents the teachings of a
guru and the guru tradition.
Matangi is the jester. “…. her status as an outcaste gives her the power to inhabit the outer
regions of consciousness where no-one else will go, to say outrageous and alarming things, to be
vilified, despised and humiliated, and through it all to remain surrendered with a clear pure heart
so that what needs to be manifested can find its way out.” (Dinsmore, p. 309-310)
Matangi is also sometimes considered the daughter of the Rishi Matang/Matanga and
she was given to him as a boon for his merits as a sage. “Playing a ruby-studded vina,
ecstatic, delighting in sweet speech, I remember the daughter of the sage Matanga, who has soft dark- emerald limbs.” (Frawley, p.142)
“The Tantrasara at several points says that by meditating upon, reciting the mantra of, or
worshipping Matangi one gains power over others, the power of having everything one
says come true, and the power of attracting people.” (Kinsley, p.220)
“Matangi’s voice is brave and terrifying to those who are constrained by fear to live their
lives according to propriety and expectations. She rattles people, pokes holes in their comfortable boxes of convention, and embarrasses the cowed and silent by singing loud and clear.” (Dinsmore-Tuli, p.312)
I worked with Matangi Mudra using Joseph and Lilian Le Page's guided meditation for Matangi Mudra. I felt a warm yellow energy current extending straight out of my solar plexus. The words that stuck with me from the meditation were "Life Purpose", "releasing what no longer supports your life journey" and "allowing you to overcome all obstacles along your journey."
The affirmation was
"The golden current empowers me with abundant energy and vitality/"
My Matangi affirmation
"I am a dark creative and sensual woman."