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"Ask Baba Yaga"

Good day, and thanks for stopping by. It is a gorgeous, sunny and snow mantled day here in SW Colorado.


I have been looking for inspiration this week, dealing with a few bumps in the road health wise-that really feel like potholes-and I found this. It spoke to me and I wanted to share it this morning with you, perchance it might speak to you.


Wishing you a lovely week and may we all embrace the darkness and light, all within. Blessings.


This is from She Who Is:


Baba Yaga, folkloric witch of Eastern European tales, has long captured my imagination ever since Clarissa Pinkola Estes detailed her and the story of Vasalisa. A cannabilist and fearsome witch who lives in the forest in a ramshackle hut built on chicken legs, she represents female wisdom and power often misunderstood. Her iron teeth show she can nourish or destroy. Her chicken-legged hut - mobility and oddity. She stirs creation and death in her mortar and pestle.


Then I came across the wonderful book, “Ask Baba Yaga” as channeled by Taisia Kitaiskaia, and immediately knew I had to create her (and if you don’t have this book - you need it. Just trust me).

Like most of the fearsome witches of dark mythos, Baba Yaga is at the surface a cautionary tale, and presents as a hideous crone that lives deep in the forest. Vasalisa is the alternate half of Estes’ tale, and is sent into the forest by her cruel stepmother to visit her. Baba Yaga does not tolerate fools and gives Vasalisa several impossible tasks, but Vasalisa is somehow able to accomplish every one. At the end Baba judges her to be pure of heart and gives Vasalisa a skull lantern to find her way home again. Baba Yaga teaches us to embrace intuitive knowledge and natural cycles shunned by society. She tests us in our deepest fears but guides worthy seekers who brave the dark woods. As Estés wrote, Baba Yaga "adjudicates our failures of introspection." She forces self-reflection to spur growth.

In this portrait, Baba is hard to look at - she represents the mirrored aspect of us as we age. Will we gaze fiercely or turn away fearfully? She stands amid a sulfuric haze representing the veil of her power, in front of her famously strange house, gazing intently at the viewer. She sees through facades into our shadow, but knows too our resilience. Having Baba on my altar reminds me in my aging body to be fully authentic - celebrate my quirks, trust my instincts, never fear deviation from the norm. AND teaches me a thing or two about coming into my own power as a crone.


While the world labels powerful women like Baba Yaga as "witches," she represents our ability to direct our lives and determine our own fates. When I channel her unapologetic authority, I feel emboldened in my spiritual feminist practice. Darkness and light, Baba Yaga teaches me to embrace all within.



“Baba Yaga”

Mixed Media

2023

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