Raktheshwari is a fearsome and merciful goddess whose story is woven into the tapestry of Kerala's culture and spirituality.
Raktheshwari is a multifaceted goddess who embodies both destruction and creation. She is worshipped by a variety of families and sects, including Brahmins in Kerala and the Tulu region. She is often depicted as having a thousand arms, each wielding a different weapon, and cascading red hair. Her eyes are the color of clotted blood and she is often surrounded by serpents. Despite her fearsome appearance, Raktheshwari is also a source of compassion and protection. She is revered as the ultimate medium for covert sorcery and her statue is often found in the sanctum of Brahmin homes, flanked by ancient grimoires and texts.
Raktheshwari is also honored in the Theyyam ritual, a living spectacle in which performers embody the goddess and dance in trance-like devotion. The performers' faces are adorned with intricate facial writing, known as Theppum Kuri and Prakezhuthu, and their headgear is a crown of cosmic wonders. For the families and communities that worship her, Raktheshwari is more than just a deity to be worshipped. She is a living, breathing story that cycles through generations. She is both fearsome and merciful, and in fearing and honoring her, her followers find the path to boundless wisdom and celestial grace.