Dakinis are powerful goddesses who are often taken as personal meditation deities (yidams) by practitioners. They can appear either in peaceful or wrathful forms. In their wrathful forms, they are often portrayed as a naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup with blood in one hand and a drigug (knife) in the other. She may be adorned with a garland of human skulls around her neck and on her hair. She may also be depicted as trampling over a human corpse, which represents her complete dominance over ego and ignorance. Her nakedness symbolizes our natural mind or rigpa stripped of all obscurations and defilements. Her dance pose also signifies the great movement, force and energy required to sever the deep roots of ego and ignorance from which all our delusions arise.
Despite their sometimes terrifying imagery, Dakinis are images of wisdom or insight into the understanding of shunyata (emptiness). They are particularly powerful in helping practitioners overcome obstacles in their aspirations for spiritual progress. The Dakini Puja is held every 25th of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.