Many people in India observe fasts during navaratras for nine days and mother goddess Shakti is worshipped in a deity form with magnificent colorful display in many parts of the country. The word Shakti means Power. In general, power is a means to an end–something which fuels various processes is known as power. Power is what gets work done. The goddess who is worshiped is source of all power in universe. She is creatrix, nurturer and destroyer. She acts as Avidya until you’re supposed to sleep and when you need to wake-up she acts as Vidya. She is the one who puts you to sleep until she wants you to wake-up. She is the shock-absorber and shocker. She is alpha and omega. When you wake up she is nowhere to be found. The great spectacle is seen because of her but she is not different from you!
Shiva is consciousness and Shakti is Prana–the vital power which acts as the expression of consciousness. These two-Shiva and Shakti spring from the Absolute or silence. Shiva is absolute and so is Shakti because absolute alone is. When your sight is fixed on the expression of silence you observe manifestation–you observe Self in action and all action needs power–therefore Shakti is seen. When there is stillness only Shiva is–Shakti has merged into Shiva–Shiva and Shakti have become one. Only fools think that they can control Shakti–it’s like a drop of ocean trying to control ocean–Shakti controls you and she is death of false you. She gives birth to false you, destroys it and then gives birth to real you and then disappears.
Puranas tell about 7 realms or lokas above ours and 7 below it. All of these are expressions Shakti and they’re known as Devi Dhaam. Maya or illusory potency rules through all these realms namely Bhuh, Bhuvah, Swarga, Jana, Tapa, Satya(above) and Atal, Vital, Sutal, Talatal, Rasatal and Pataal below. Beyond these Maya can’t exist and only pure light exists. What is outside is inside too so some knowers say that this description is actually about inner chakras and so on. Gayatri is mother goddess who is also Kundalini or Creatrix. Since all life on earth comes from Sun God–the Gayatri mantra is a prayer directed towards active force of Savitur God(Sun). Puranas tell that Maya can’t come before God. It’s only a symbolic description to suggest that in the pure awareness there can be no confusion, darkness or illusion. As a creative force of nature–God and goddess are never apart and can’t be apart either. Shiva can’t be without Shakti in manifestation. Shakti can’t be without Shiva. Absolute is foundation of both Shiva and Shakti and absolute is one with Shiva and Shakti.