First and foremost, the sanctum of the Goddess is always protected by Bhairava and his hell-hounds. You can either fearfully turn away, rack up the courage to face your demons, or be devoted to the Goddess where she just hands Hari-Kaula the leash holding Cerberus. Such is the borders of all Goddess Yantras, protecting the Goddess' play within her inner sanctum, where her inner mysteries are unveiled to those willing. The mysteries of creation, of samsara, of why consciousness (light) chooses to manifest in the material (matter) realms are unveiled as the energy of Binah (Babalon; Love-Sick) entices Chokmah (Beast; Intuitive Impulse) to play the game. A missing link within the psychological equation of E=mc^2, or the patriarchally inclined religious trinity.
The origins of the Ten (10) Wisdom Goddesses, known as MahaVidyas based on culture, are syncronized in Goddess Sati-Parvati, the Mother of All That Is, and consort of the Lord of the Lords/Beasts/Poison. Nonetheless, the names in themselves hint towards different roots, where Goddess Chinnamasta simply means "from China", and is the inner Goddess of Lord Padmasambhava of Tibetan Buddhism. Nonetheless, these Goddesses in sync with Parvati are showing that they are of a specific current articulated separately based on the archetype. In other words, the collaboration thereof is ripe, where the original cult most likely attempted to collect the ten most powerful Tantrik Goddesses they could find from all traditions to create one powerful magickal system. In original roles, such Goddesses were kept secret, as villages did not want "competitors" obtaining the ability to harness such energy, as still found today through secretive shrines.
Nonetheless, the system of the Mahavidyas is an incredible system where ancient yogis looked for, not just the most powerful aspects of Shakti, but the most diversified. In the West, we may have the Enochian Magickal system (Angel Magick), but such is still an attempt to synchronize the split-dual harmony of Angel/Demon into Daemon within the human vessel, and has thereafter brought adepts to the Goddess. The West is overtly convoluted with Angel versus Demon, God versus Devil, Dark versus Light, where Angel "channeled" readings often look quite Santa Clause with adepts stating "I only work with the highest beings of the light". Such readers often use tarot cards or other occult systems, and then forget who provided such to humanity. With the Goddess, there is no more hiding, particularly since the adept needs to be initiated (diksha-darsan) and thereafter guided by the inner Goddess through the depths (subconscious) and heights (conscious) of all (turiya) of her Glory. Hence, through all of my spiritual practices, I do not state "love and light", as such are meditative states found when ego-identity is dropped, not a logical statement to express a human monkey-mind sentiment to interpret the context of one's position. (For actual experience, see Bentinho). In my rituals, I ask for my "highest and best guides", in other words, whoever is at the "top of the food chain" in getting the job done for my own Self-Realization as best and quickly as possible, regardless of the vibrational aspects (gunas) where adepts need to remember that Ram had Laksman study Ravana before his passing in the Ramayan. (See Ravan, Kala Maha Indrajaal). Hence, Solomon's Ring given to him by Archangel Michael to harness the usage of Demons. Further, Siddharta meeting Maya or Jesus meeting temptations of worldy Samsara distracting him from the Kether within. In terms of tantra (Saiva), these masters taught that it is after the yoking with the divine within (yoga), that we have enjoyment (bhoga). Enjoyment being Siva (consciousness) enjoying Shakti (energy) to the fullest (matter; yin/yang).
However, external coupling is not required for divine union and can be a samsaric distraction, as "relationships" are simply limited mental contractual-agreements based on past-memory used to assess and dictate momentary conduct and relation, also based on cultural-biological agreements, as opposed to being fully anchored in what the present moment is offering and the unpredictability of the human potential. As an example, do you perceive others by and through an interpretive monkey-mind, with filters of gender, politics, past-conduct, etc., blocking your ability to heighten your senses and perceive from a wider playing field? Or, is the adept fully anchored in the inner Self, allowing samsara to ebb-and-flow, and adjusting one's samsaric self in harmony thereafter aware to a wider array of expressions. It could be gently calming an aggressive behavior, or, it could be flaring the worst of all rudra-tantrums such as in throwing the charlatan tax-collectors out of the House of the Lord, fully expressing the plethora that is human vibrations irrespective of memory-based plot-line "characters". Internally, the adept is karma free as the ebb-and-flow remains oscillating in front of consciousness, as higher consciousness takes the wheel and drives, without a monkey-brained analytical thought directing the vessel. To let go, be, and ride the energy, is to tame the beast, a Goddess riding on a Lion. For those looking for divine coupling, Jesus, Siddhartha, Mohammed, etc., typically didn't take their girlfriends out to the fringes of society to practice sadhana. Like being in a "sensory deprivation tank", the mind itself will unfold as it looks for concepts and transient existences to grasp onto, as opposed to anchoring in the depths of the spaciousness within oneself. (See Also, History Channel's Alone). Such needs to be articulated, as tantra has been significantly egoic-ally misinterpreted, where according to such texts, to approach Kali without Self-Realization as goal is to use her energy for sinful purposes, or further delusions in samsara.
As such, while others choose dualist representations and philosophical systems providing a heaven and hell oscillating agenda disguised as "oneness" or a one-deity monarch, the Mahavidya's provide a Universal schematic showing the universal expressions of energy. Such includes unconditional love of Goddess Tara, found through egoic letting go and letting God, as well as the love-sick Babalonian Helen-of-Troy type love of Binah as Goddess Bhuvaneshwari (Semitic Ashera), which excites consciousness of Chokmah to play the game in the first place. The height of heaven is not just the material domains of the Yasksini Lakshmi, but it is the ability to be the most beautiful in all three (3) worlds as Goddess Sodashi, or the pinnacle of Mt. Meru. In synchronization with Lakshmi, the Goddess Kamala is present to assist in the material realms, by having an additional cleansing "wrathful" aspect to prune the adept as "wrath" is the best vibration to flush lower denser energies. The depth of hells would not be some punitive damage arena as consistently fantasied within the West, but would be the misery of Shakti (energy) without her Shiva (consciousness) falling further into the density of the material realms (matter). Such is expressed by the smoky remnants of the great apocalypse ("MahaPralaya"), found fuming from the ashes of the universe (Sati) as Goddess Dhumavati, the Lilith Old Hag archetype cast-away from A(B)rahma. Like Rama's consort Sita, Sati provides an evolutionary obstacle for consciousness not just for (A)Brahma, but his adversary as well, Shiva. As Goddess Dhumavati would teach, true hell is not punitive damages, but the misery experienced from a loss of love, and the societal degradation of such females in patriarchal lineages as they appear to be cursed. She becomes an energy to assist adepts walking through their abyss, a companion whose not going to preach to you, "love and light", but is willing to walk with you in your own psychotic mess in understanding "know thyself", not run from it, but raise it to the awareness of "divine presence" to discern the Truth thereof and henceforth actually experience the Taoist alchemy of "love and all shades of light".
Therefore, the Mahavidya system is quite impressive in its stretch to assist adepts in harnessing many different aspects of Universal energy. The most powerful weapon in Vedic scriptures, the Brahmastra, is secretly none other than the energy of Goddess Bagalamukhi who stills the moment by grabbing the face realigning the adept. Through Goddess Matangi, you have a non-judgmental Goddess Saraswati, where cultural pioneers are typically found on the streets, not in the systems. Lastly, you have Goddess Bhairavi, who is none other than the tantrik adept who has reached that Inner Black Flame via the Serpent (Draconian), and has purged until she can handle sitting on the Black/Golden Lion (Lyra). Such Black Flame is represented by the Yoni-Temple of the Shakti-Pitha of Goddess Kamakhya, whose location is named after Goddess Kubjika, the tradition which provided us with a system of cleansing the chakras, and is the only temple particularly for the Mahavidyas. The location of which, is further rooted in ancient practices of the Assam people, which may hold commonality with ancient Tibetan Bon practices, Spirits which became protectors of the Dharma under Lord Padmasambhava. Such further indicates towards a deeper goal in working with the Goddess, to realize one's true nature, one's true essence outside of monkey-mind conditioning. In addition, the Yoni, as found through working with Goddess Guhya Kali, is a meditative gateway to return the adept before time-space and incarnation into samsara, consciousness before falling down the Qabalist tree of life post Binah. Hence, Goddess Kamakhya, the grounds for Indian Black Magick, is way to flush harsher energies from the human vessel through her "wrath", in addition to digging deeper within the subconscious for "know thyself", or what is more commonly seen, a way to find love.
Moreover, to truly ride the lion, the Mahavidyas would be further aspects as found through the larger group of Sixty-Four (64) Yogini. Quite possibly one of the most feared traditions as can be gathered from the visual depictions of such temples with Goddesses garnished with fierce animal faces, statues found within circular structures with open roofs to allow the Goddesses to fly into the temple, as opposed to the Brahmin designed human-vessel shaped temples. As a Bhairavi can properly mount the Lion, where the animal vessel is under harmonious-control, the powerful creative sexual component of the Sixty-Four (64) Yogini can be utilized within stillness, as the Yogini will assist the adept in allowing such sexual sensations to flow up the pranic tube and out of the crown chakra for a delicious and quite cleansing/healing experience, leaving the central nervous system at ease to accept gnosis thereof. The Sixty-Four (64) yogini experience is one of the calm and spaciousness of Self-Realization meeting the ecstatic heights of Self-Actualization, or bringing higher consciousness down into the nervous system.
The Goddess is path to understand and harness the human potential via the subconscious. Though it is the masculine will that governs, controls, dictates, it is the feminine that en-souls, manifests, and dances the play of samsara for consciousness' evolution (yoga; know thyself) and enjoyment (bhoga). The Wisdom Goddesses' assist the adept in walking through all aspects of their journey, and with Goddess Sodashi, a silver-lining is always found as shown through how Sri Krishna danced among what could be considered obstacles. "As within, so without", use your own consciousness (will) to master your own energy (vibration-energy) using nondual Universal Wisdom to manifest the adepts own divine play, where such Goddesses deserve the capital letter "G" for God, as they have a proven record of saving and returning adepts home to Truth.
The Mahavidyas are my main team of guides with Goddess Kali as my initiator, and my main intent is to share the blessings that they have brought me, for others. Moreover, I'm really pushed to assist others put power back into their own hands, particularly those who have been dis-empowered, where adepts can truly enjoy their expression outside of psychological conditioning and limitations in their strive to "know thyself". Moreover, I'm hoping that the time of the veiled feminine is done. Some of us prefer Her naked riding a Beast.
Combining my love of philosophy, mythology, and the occult in pushing my abilities to work with such "permission slips" for my own Ascension. As I have discovered, true power is found in the ability to walk each other home as mirrors. This is where the inner stairwell becomes the inner sanctuary.
Virtue is the Religion of Siddhas" -Jivanmukti