Her disheveled hair forms a curtain of illusion, the fabric of space-time which organizes matter out of the chaotic sea of quantum-foam.
She is full-breasted symbolizing her abundant motherhood.
Her garland of human heads represent the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet, symbolizing the repository of knowledge and wisdom.
She wears a girdle of severed human hands- hands that are the principal instruments of work and so signify the action of karma. Thus the binding effects of this karma have been overcome, severed, as it were, by devotion to Kali. She has blessed the devotee by cutting him free from the cycle of karma.
Her lolling tongue dramatically depicts the fact that she consumes all things and denotes the act of tasting or enjoying what society regards as forbidden, i.e. her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world's "flavors".
The bloodied sword and severed head symbolize the destruction of ignorance and the dawning of knowledge. The sword is the blade of knowledge, that cuts the knots of ignorance and destroys false consciousness (the severed head). Kali opens the gates of freedom with this sword, having cut the eight bonds that bind human beings.
The trident represents the past, present and future.
The cup holds the blood the enemies of Dharma have spilled, when being annihilated by Mother Kali.
Her three eyes represent the sun, moon, and fire.
The image of a recumbent Shiva lying under the feet of Kali represents Shiva as the passive potential of creation and Kali as his Shakti. The generic term Shakti denotes the Universal feminine creative principle and the energizing force behind all male divinity including Shiva. Shakti is known by the general name Devi, from the root 'div', meaning to shine. She is the Shining One, who is given different names in different places and in different appearances, as the symbol of the life-giving powers of the Universe. It is she that powers him. This Shakti is expressed as the 'i' in Shiva's name. Without this 'i', Shiva becomes Shva, which in Sanskrit means a corpse. Thus suggesting that without his Shakti, Shiva is powerless or inert.