The Bhairavi is “the horrific one,” a “hot,” as scholars say, or nonorthodox, form of Devi and a counterpart of Bhairava.
She was also one of a very ancient group of eight Ambas, or Matrikas (mothers), who were non-Vedic and identified with the feminine energies of great gods (Brahmani from Brahma, Mahesvara from Siva, and so on). The seven other Ambas were Rudrarcika, Rudracandi, Nateshvari, Mahalakshmi, Siddhaca- mundika, Siddhayoeshvari, and Rupavidya. The count increased until the Ambas, or Matrikas, were beyond number. They can also be shown as worshipping Siva and attending his son Karttikeya.