“The other most important quality of Vajrayogini is her intense heat.
She blazes in two ways: she is wrathful and she is passionate. Her most obvious manifestation is threatening. She is brilliant red in color because she is “enraged against the hordes of maras,” the forces that would draw us into worldly concerns. When she defeats the maras, she is defeating tendencies toward self-cherishing. Her fangs are clenched in rage as she bites her lower lip, and her hair streams upward. As a semiwrathful deity, she has the power to immediately cut off emotional and conceptual obscurations using her hooked knife. Her wakefulness is so sharp and penetrating that it is perceived as threatening to habitual patterns.
Vajrayogini is also associated with passion, “the wrath of passion,” which fiercely burns the fuel of emotional obscurations. Hers is passion in the coemergent wisdom sense—it is unconditional freedom from lust. With her passionate appearance, she magnetizes the practitioner and intoxicates while she consumes; in her left hand she carries a skull-cup holding liquor that intoxicates concepts into nonthought. Around her neck she wears two seductive garlands, one of fresh red flowers, signifying nonattachment, and one of fifty-one freshly severed heads, each exhibiting a different expression, representing the fifty-one emotional obscurations, which she has cut off before they arise. In her wild dance, she warmly cradles in the crook of her left arm a beautifully fashioned full-length staff (khatvahga) with an eightsided shaft, the hidden representation of her consort Cakrasamvara. Without this staff, she is not complete, for the feminine principle is merely one aspect of the realized mind.”
~ Judith Simmer-Brown
‘Dakini’s Warm Breath‘, pg. 143
*Image: “Vajrayogini” by Images Of Enlightenment