Facing the Baba Yaga

Once upon a time, a beautiful young maiden named Vasilisa was sent by her wicked step-mother into the dark forest to borrow fire from the witch, Baba Yaga. The step-mother knew that most who entered the witch’s hut never returned. Knowing this too, the girl steeled herself, and obediently set about her task, knowing that she might well not survive. But sometimes the dark forest yields the unexpected...

While the witch does demand Vasilisa stay as her servant to pay for the fire, she neither kills nor eats her. Rather because of her cleverness and bravery, Vasilisa’s time with the crone changes her life beyond her wildest dreams bringing into it magic, riches and happiness she never dared imagine possible. And do you know why she was able to do this? It was because that magic doll she possesses teaches her to trust her own wisdom and intuition. This same magic resides inside all of us. It's just that we sometimes forget to listen. Lucky for us, there are stories and tools like meditation and journey work to remind and help us cultivate that gift.

You know, one of the things that I love about fairy tales is that these stories connect us to the ancestors and the breath of the eternal. It is always amazing to me to think that these stories survived by being passed down through generation upon generation through the oral storytelling tradition.

Some of the tales we work with in my programs have roots as far back as the Bronze Age and archetypes that hearken back to ancient goddesses. And Baba Yaga is no exception. In fact, she is has roots going back to pre-Christian times and, like other witch figures in these stories, is a proxy for our fears and blocks. If we can overcome them, the rewards are huge, just as they were for Vasilisa.

Stories like that of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga teach us to overcome our fears. Our stories are a way of explaining the world and fairy tales teach us that we can face the witches and big bad wolves that live in the dark forest of the subconscious and we can emerge victorious. And these stories are OLD. They are containers for teaching lessons and knowledge about our world, the world of spirit and the nature of life itself. And that is why they are such powerful healers.

You can listen to a beautiful retelling of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga here