Discovery of Rangda, the balinese queen of the Witches

Rangda is one of the main religious figures in Balinese culture.

You will see: its symbolic meaning is complex and, to say the least, difficult to interpret.

Some consider her to be an absolute incarnation of evil, while others will worship her as a protective goddess dominating evil spirits, and therefore able to keep them away from men.

In short, today we are going to try to learn more about Rangda, this little-known Balinese divinity.

Contents :

Description of Rangda

What are the powers of this goddess?

Rangda: An incarnation of the Queen of Leyak

Reflection on religion in Bali

The Calonarang: eternal struggle of two divinities

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Large Balinese stone statue representing an evil deity.

Description of Rangda

In fact, the word "Rangda" has been used in the local language for thousands of years to refer to widows.

The natives thus see this goddess as the incarnation of a feminine energy of hatred and revenge.

In this sense, some religious specialists consider Rangda to be a “Balinese style” representation of Durga, the wife of the Hindu god Shiva.

This famous Durga indeed occupies a role of personification of rage and anger in India.

The two goddesses also share another point in common: when they experience moments of intense emotion, their attitude can change completely, going in a few moments from apparent calm to terrible anger, and vice versa.

In terms of her physique, Rangda is characterized by large eyes full of hatred, long white fangs protruding from her mouth, similar to those of warthogs, and a bright red, hanging tongue, a symbol of her thirst for blood.

It is precisely according to this model that the Rangda masks used during Balinese dances and ceremonies are designed.

To give you a better idea, here are some photos of masks used by priests in Bali.

In short, all these characteristics fit rather well with her personality: Rangda is cruel, irascible, evil and proud.

So we are talking here about an evil goddess who has frightened the inhabitants of Bali since the dawn of time.

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What are the powers of this goddess?

Rangda is described in mythology as the queen of witches and the night, the one who governs the monsters, spirits and ghosts populating the island of Bali.

This goddess therefore has powerful magical powers and can work with great occult forces. In particular, the Balinese fear it for its power to cause death or prevent having children.

When she becomes angry in particular, Rangda becomes a powerful goddess of chaos, destroying everything in her path.

We could say to ourselves that this is a purely evil being, of whom nothing justifies his behavior. However, the reality is very different…

If Rangda is so angry, it is because she was once (during her lifetime in reality) mocked and oppressed. Yes, according to the Balinese, this evil deity was once human!

Legends tell us how her husband threw her in prison to punish her for being too interested in magic and esoteric practices, even going so far as to have her tortured.

This caused an immense hatred to grow within her which, upon her death, transformed her into the queen of witches we know today.

Stone sculpture of a typical Bali ghost, a Leyak

Rangda: An incarnation of the Queen of Leyak

With her terrifying appearance and her evil aura, Rangda is a terrible witch and a fearsome demon.

Balinese folklore tells us that in addition to her powers, she benefits from the help of a real army: the Leyaks.

Leyaks are ghosts, a type of evil spirit that lives near cemeteries and attacks village residents after dark.

Just like Rangda, the Leyaks will laugh at your misfortunes but, if you show them enough respect or show them more through a particular action, they will also be able to give you their help and blessings.

This position as queen of demons is actually not surprising for Rangda: we are talking here about a particularly powerful character.

Some inhabitants of Bali even say that she is a manifestation of Durga, the terrible goddess of the underworld.

Others see her rather as the incarnation of a legendary witch who lived on the island of Java towards the end of the 10th century.

In any case, one thing is certain: the most terrible spirits of Bali have decided to put themselves at his service.

A ring with Balinese inscriptions, a statuette of an Indonesian deity and a Barong mask

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Reflection on religion in Bali

There is one important thing to know if we really want to understand the Bali way of thinking.

For the inhabitants of the island, nothing can be entirely good, nor entirely bad.

We don't really have words to describe them in French and so, for simplicity's sake, we talk about them under the names of ghosts, demons and witches. The nature of these beings, however, is more complex.

While Rangda plots, steals, kills, and kidnaps, she can sometimes also lend some of her powers to heal or help communities that respect her.

Moreover, as we mentioned, she does not do evil out of deep desire, but rather because of a kind of uncontrollable furious madness.

So, even if the legends linked to Rangda are scary, the Balinese never forget that behind its inherent darkness there necessarily hides a part of light.

If you are interested in the exotic spirituality of Bali, you might like this collection of symbols and lucky charms from the island that we have created for you.

img class="lazyload" height="576" width="1024" src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0254/1564/7309/files/Iphone-spinner-1.gif " id="tag_4"> Ritual dance where the deities Rangda and Barong confront each other.

The Calonarang: eternal struggle of two divinities

Calonarang (sometimes written Calon Arang) is probably one of the most well-known and loved art forms in Bali.

We are in fact talking here about a ritual dance which sees the clash of spirits and deities then represented by artists disguised in masks and traditional costumes.

In this Calonarang, the goddess Rangda occupies a prominent place.

In fact, most shows end with a confrontation between her and her enemy and opposite: the god Barong.

While Rangda is dangerous and destroys everything in her path, Barong is a benevolent being who willingly helps and heals the Balinese.

Due to its evil character, Rangda's movements go against what the Balinese consider to be grace and beauty.

She often simply stands with her legs straight, trembling in all her limbs and attacking her enemies in large, unpredictable movements.

This particular dance sometimes makes the dancer who plays the role of Rangda fall into true mystical trances, making him forget his human nature.

Since Rangda's magical powers are very great, there are only a few people who have the right to don her costume.

In reality, the lucky ones are hand-picked and must have enough wisdom within them to avoid the risk of falling into the destructive anger specific to the divinity.

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Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.