The Order of the White Moon Goddess Gallery Presents
Queen of the Witches
A Level 2 Final Project for the Sisters of the Rising Moon School
Level 2 Adept and Member of the Order of the White Moon
(© 2017. All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.)
Rangda is known as the demon queen of Bali. She has several names. Queen of the Witches. Queen of the Leyaks. Queen of Sorcery. Queen of Black Magic. She is the manifestation of Indian goddess Durga.
HERSTORY and MYTH
According to myth she was the incarnation of Calong Arang who is said to be a legendary Demon Queen who practiced witchcraft, she was known to destroy farmer’s crops and cause disease.
Another myth says that she was the Kings’ consort known as Mahendradatta and was banished from the kingdom by the king because she practiced black magic. She was a devotee of Durga and after her husband died she seeked revenge against the kingdom by summoning the Leyaks known to be vampire like beings that were human during the day but vampires at night. Hence she became known also as the Queen of the Leyaks.
Balinese belief in black magic and that illness and certain death causes these humans to become Leyak This is Rangda’s Cave in Bali.
RANGDA’S ROLE IN BALINESE CULTURE.
Rangda is part of Balinese healing traditions. She is fierce and dangerous but also a protective force. She is the embodiment of the dark negative female force. The female force gone wild, the dark shadow. But she is a necessary evil, as she is a protector and is needed to keep the light and dark forces in equilibrium. She keeps chaos in balance.
She is depicted as a frightening old woman with bulging eyes, long tangled hair and a protruding tongue similar to Indian goddess Kali. Despite her fierce look, she is considered a protective force. For example, her mask in temples is visited by students who request her blessings in order to successfully pass their exams.
wooden mask of Rangda common creative.
The ritual of Borang and Rangda is considered sacred in Bali, but there is a commercial version of it to support the economy and this has become a popular tourist attraction in Bali.
The Javanese story tells of a widow who possessed supernatural powers, but, she used these powers for evil. At the end of the story, she fights with the clergyman Empu. During this battle the widow became known as Rangda, a name given to her to describe a widow of overwhelming desire or unsurpassed fury sparked by revenge. And Empu became Borang. Borang is usually depicted as a tiger or lion in some cases a buffalo, and in some circumstances the Borang is to describe a dance.
Borang and Rangda common creative.
Calonarang: The Battle Between Good and Evil
The Colonarang is probably one of the best known forms of drama/dance in Bali, in which Barong and Rangda play central roles. The theme of the Calonarang drama is black magic.
The story goes that Calonarang becomes furious that no one wants to marry her daughter. She and decides to seek revenge against the Kingdom. When the King hears of the widow’s intention to destroy the kingdom, he sends out his minister to meet with her. By the time the minister arrives, the widow is in a rage and has turned into Rangda - a witch with supernatural powers. She begins to stomp her feet and starts trembling frantically and puts herself in a trance.
The villagers try to fight her off with their daggers but with her powers she manages to put them in a trance and they begin to turn against themselves by stabbing themselves. As they all lay on the ground, a priest known as the holy man enters and waves incense smoke and holy water on the bodies and one by one they were revived.
This is a brief interpretation of this well known drama performed for tourists.
There are several videos on YouTube of this famous dance.
Rangda’s Purpose in Ritual
This ritual performed by the Balinese Hindu, was considered sacred and originally performed to ward of an epidemic. Rangda protects the community by defusing the power of those who practice black magick. She is the dark shadow of the soul. The ritual is performed to create a balance between light and dark, and Rangda’s purpose is to keep this balance between the light and dark forces. These forces of positive and negative are in an ongoing battle.
Original pastel drawing of Rangda by Aquilla
Rangda is an interesting character as She plays a dual role as healer/protector and destroyer. Rangda is an integral part of Balinese healing traditions. She is fierce and dangerous but is also protective. She is the embodiment of the dark negative female force. The female force gone wild, the dark shadow. But she is a necessary evil, as she is a protector and is needed to keep the light and dark or male and female energy in equilibrium. She keeps chaos in balance.
Her colors are Red, Black and White. She has many similarities to Indian goddess Kali, She may have been Kalis sister. And like Kali, Rangda has to destroy in order to heal.