In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being (or one of a trio of sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs (or sometimes a single chicken leg). Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp’s folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.
Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as “one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in Slavic European folklore,” and observes that she is “enigmatic” and often exhibits “striking ambiguity.”Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as “a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image”.
It was Clarissa Pinkola Estes who depicted Baba as giving the flame to Vasilisa after she completed her labours. Participants in Travels With A Donkey travel, with a wise donkey to her house to bring home the creative flame. They are cautioned about letting the precious flame go out upon their return.
When you are residing in the House of Baba Yaga she insists that you complete a series of tasks. You may need, like Vasilisa, to have help as you make space for intuition. Personally I find my peg guide invaluable!
Going to Baba’s house is a bit like undertaking the Fool’s Journey! We have to begin somewhere!
Learn about the Carrier Bag of Fiction and Creative Medicine Bags.
Use this Meditation/Visualisation to help set creative goals.
Work with Tarot cards to gain insight into where you have been and where you need to be going.
Take a virtual tour to the Mayan temples on the Isle of Women and spend time with Changing Woman. Visit the underwater sculptures. Listen to the beautiful sound track and contemplate the ways in which you have changed and are continuing to change.