Shiva the Destroyer: Lord of the Left-Hand Path
There are many mythological gods and entities on the left-hand path. Lord Shiva is but one. Though not always viewed through the lens of the LHP, he is, in some manner, the greatest of these deities.
Shiva is one of the most important gods in the Hindu tradition and, along with Brahma and Vishnu, is one-third of the holy trinity of Hinduism. A deity of great complexity, he is often represented as a lord of love, light and protection. But he also has a darker side. Shiva the Destroyer is the leader of evil spirits, ghosts, vampires, along with being the master of thieves and villains. He destroys the universe at the end of each cycle (every 2,160,000,000 years) which then allows for a new Creation. His destructive powers are often terrible, but they also have a positive side in that destruction usually leads to new and better forms of existence. Shiva destroys in order to create, since death is the medium for rebirth into a new life. It is common to see Shiva depicted with four arms and three eyes. A glance from the third eye in the center of his forehead has the power to destroy anything in creation, including humans and gods. In this destroyer role he often lurks the cremation grounds, a serpent representing Kundalini coiled around his neck, along with a necklace of skulls. And it is not uncommon for him to be accompanied by a band of terrifying demons, hungering for blood.
Shiva seems to have a connection to the deities of Western traditions through an ancient horned god of the Indus Valley, a “proto-Shiva”, called Pashupati. In the Skanda Purana it tells how Pashupati used to find calm in a forest called the “Sleshmantaka” . It was here that he spent time being immersed in “the wilderness of this forest.” Depicted seated in a lotus position surrounded by animals, Pashupati had a striking resemblance to Cernunnos, horned god of the Celts, but there is a 3,000 year old gap, between these two gods (Pashupati dating from about 3,000 B.C.). Is this an example of racial memory, the collective unconscious, or do they both stem from a long forgotten Indo/European horned god? It is a mystery to be pondered, but what is also interesting is Cernunnos has been, over time, transformed into an incarnation of Satan, supreme lord of the Western left-hand path traditions, while Pashupati has morphed into Shiva, lord of the Eastern.
Shiva the Destroyer is the most ancient and powerful of all LHP deities. He is the ultimate adversary, adversarial to those aspects of the self that keep one from progressing upon the path. Shiva and the other beings of a mythological nature are not to be believed as objective truths, nor are they to be shunned as lies. They are to be experienced, experienced within the soul/psyche as meaningful poetry of the subconscious.
To meditate upon the image of Shiva,
to utilize the metaphor, to find calm in the symbol that is the deity,
does not make one a Hindu.
Just as contemplating on the image of Satan, does not make one a Hebrew.