Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas in the tantrik tradition. The Mahavidyas are different forms that Shakti, the feminine energy, has manifest herself on her own accord. They are essentially ten different approaches to knowledge. Her name and form Kali is representative of time where her dark complexion is representative of the cosmic womb, Brahmayoni, that is the universe. Under the concept of time, we are subject to karma, the cause and effect, that makes time appear to be linear. Moreover, under time, we are subject to the material death as well as ego-death.
The corners of any yantra are representative of the four cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west. However, there are usually two borders on the outer edges of the yantra with an interior backdrop. The two outer edges and the inner backdrop are representative of the three states of matter as solid, liquid, and gas. On the outer edges of the flower design, you will find the base of a triangle, where the tip of the triangle has not been completed. This is representative of the Cosmic Mother who is infinite, where Kali is only a particular manifestation. The eight petal on the lotus flower are representative of prakriti, the natural phenomena including the inner intellectual domain showing: akasha (ether); air; fire; water; earth; mind; intellect; and ego. The three circles bordering the inner triangles are representative of time as the past, present, and future. Enclosed and interrelated within the circles of time are the three modes of shakti, or gunas, known as sattva, rajas, and tamas. In the center is the bindu, the point that is the divine Mother Herself. Darker blues are associated with this yantra to express the vast universe where the interior crimson bluish color around the bindu is representative of love. Harish Johari, Tools For Tantra
The three gunas ("strands of rope" signifying tied together") are the qualities of nature that bind the soul to the body. Shambhavi L. Chopra, Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess. Sattva is the higher qualities of nature representing light, clarity, harmony, intelligence. These are the divine qualities said to move the soul upward. Rajas is the intermediate quality of nature representative of energy, action, turbulence, disturbance, violence, and passion. Tamas is the lower quality of nature, representing stillness, dullness, obstruction, and lethargy. However, these are natural qualities where tamas gives stability (earth and physical body), rajas gives energy, and sattva gives light. David Frawley, Astrology of the Seers. It is through these gunas that the elements, or bhutas, are created. William Levacy, Vedic Astrology Simply Put.
She is shown as the "so within, so without" or "as above, so below" where She is within the universe as well as outside of the universe as She is the one that creates time and frees us from time.
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"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions