In Hindu mythology, the gods could not kill
a demon who was attacking heaven and earth. Each time they cut
at the demon with their swords. each drop of blood that hit the
ground would turn into another demon.
The gods asked Kali for help, who unraveled
her huge tounge so she could lap up every drop of blood before
it hit the ground. Drunken by the blood of the demon, Kali began
hew own killing spree. She didn't end it until her husband, Shiva,
sacrificed himself at her feet.
The pendant of a recumbent Shiva lying under
the feet of Kali represents Shiva as the passive potential of
creation and Kali as his Shakti. The generic term Shakti denotes
the Universal feminine creative principle and the energizing force
behind all male divinity including Shiva. Shakti is known by the
general name Devi, from the root 'div', meaning to shine. She
is the Shining One, who is given different names in different
places and in different appearances, as the symbol of the life-giving
powers of the Universe. It is she that powers him. This Shakti
is expressed as the i in Shiva's name. Without this i, Shiva becomes
Shva, which in Sanskrit means a corpse. Thus suggesting that without
his Shakti, Shiva is powerless or inert.