I set out to write Baba Yaga: Slavic Earth Goddess at the time when the collective was screaming with pain and fear and the call for making unconscious conscious was becoming ever stronger all around. My work with Baba Yaga intensified a few months prior when she was not just coming forward more but staying around for longer. That is unusual for an elusive and highly private deity. Yes, to me, she’s beyond literary and cultural archetype and a folklore figure. To me she represents the world in both its dark and light manifestations. She is the ultimate alchemist and magician of the highest rank.
Why now, I wondered after seemingly eternity waiting for her to speak? It was time she disclosed a path for collective to take, if unafraid and prepared. It was time for her to whisper, if not speak openly. Feeling overwhelmed and deeply honoured I began to listen to what she said and in that discovering who she really was beyond her collective labels.
The book was born that speaks of Baba Yaga in ways of who she really is. My journey was only just beginning when in 2020 she stayed around for longer than she, perhaps, wanted. She first appears around Samhain and remains throughout winter dwelling in dreams and shadows and post Ostara she begins to loosen her grip on the Earth and allows the Maiden to step forward. This time she stayed for longer to bare witness to events that unfolded and to offer assistance and wisdom, however, unheard of, to myself in writing the book and to the world in its state of chaotic fear.
Apprenticing into her magic is a difficult task, perhaps, one of the most difficult tasks one can undertake as once on the path turning back has serious consequences and if staying transformation is inevitable and profound.
Baba Yaga is a world-famous character with which we are familiarised from early childhood and she stays for many of us in our consciousness for the rest of our lives. This speaks of her power and universal appeal, but why? I believe that is because her mysteries are deep and limitless. She inspires questions and sparks endless curiosity, yet she often remains as a static archetype of a scary Crone who lives in the woods and devours children. She continues to live in fairy tales that tells stories over and over in the same way they had always been told. In our consciousness she does not evolve and that is also for a reason. She’s full of darkness and darkness is a place of immense fear and avoidance for us humans. So, she remains hidden via the narrative and via our lives, as who dares look darkness in the face? Now we are faced with it in all areas of our existence. “Facing the demise of what is familiar and precious and becoming wild again is the quest of brave and raw ones. Are you one?” The thing that I discovered was just how much she resents repetition and lack of evolution and her imprisonment in the collective hive mind infuriates her. As I began my relationship with Baba Yaga, I discovered the light behind the darkness, kindness behind hatred, the well-hidden nuances of this folklore figure, her character, spirit, attributes, and magic.
She calls for a revolution and evolution, for rediscovery of spirit like never before. She is hugely relevant today to all of us individually and the world. For the first time in very long, perhaps, she is willing to offer some wisdom, however unnatural it might seem, as she is private and does not come forward unless there is someone truly ready on the other side. Are we ready? Many of us are. She can offer perspectives on balance, climate change, beauty and aging, motherhood, belonging and connection, partnerships, and gender roles. She is the world, the Earth, nature all wrapped into one energy that is immensely powerful and important and to know her is to know the deepest, the most meaningful and profound truths about yourself, others, and the world.