With all its transitional energy, October 2019 brings a flurry of emotion as well as opportunities for personal and spiritual transformation. This month, it is the dark magick of the Divine Witch BABA YAGA that guides us through.
In Eastern European countries, Baba Yaga is the hag, the ancient witch, the Grandmother, the Mistress of Magick who lives deep within the forests. Western influence has evolved Her into a Goddess figure and a Divine Feminine archetype. Author Andreas 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."
Called the Mother of Day and Night, Baba Yaga is a Life/Death/Rebirth Goddess, and the teacher of all the lessons in between. She represents adventure, wildness, coming of age, and acceptance of the mysteries of aging, decay, and mortality. Greatly feared and revered, She commands the spirits of the dead and is the Keeper of Wisdom, as well as the guardian of the Waters of Life and Death.
As the representation of the untamable and the end of puberty, Baba Yaga is the guide to the shadow side of the self, teaching the lessons needed for growth and expansion. She controls time, the elements, and answers any question to those brave enough to ask.
Under Baba Yaga’s tutelage, our instincts in all regards are honed. We begin to understand the difference between what is true in our lives and what is false: true or false love, true or false ego, true or false friendship, etc. We can recognize those things which were never or are no longer authentic to our life journey. These lessons can be the hardest we’ve ever encountered, but the knowledge gained transforms us in a way that is necessary for healing, wholeness, and holiness on the spiritual path.
During this developmental time in Baba Yaga’s care, we see the parts of ourselves that need to die in order to be transformed. We learn how to make those ‘negative’ qualities work for our benefit instead of against us on our journey. We acquire the wisdom to let the negative pieces die in order for our rebirth to commence.
Baba Yaga is generally portrayed as an old hag-like woman, with iron or broken, razor sharp teeth; warts, a long curved nose, and stained fingers. She lives deep in the forest, in a house that stands on chicken legs and dances a different jig for each season, and is decorated with teeth, claws, human bones.
She rides through the air in a mortar, the pestle used as an oar, sweeping up her tracks with a broom made of silver birch. Her servants include all forest animals and creatures of the dark, as well as the classical figures of the White Horseman, the Red Horseman and the Black Horseman, who she describes as “My Bright Dawn, my Red Sun and my Dark Midnight” in mythology.
She is thought by many to be the original inspiration for the witch in various fairy tales and folklore, most notably the tale of Hansel and Gretel. However, one of the most popular and invoking tales of Baba Yaga is the story of the young maiden Vasilisa, which can be found here: The Myth/Fairytale of Baba Yaga and Vasilissa the Beautiful.
OCTOBER 13th 2019: FULL MOON IN ARIES
Within this fiery Aries energy, everything about life can feel like a fight, an obstacle, a popcorn kernel in your teeth. Family and significant others may work your last nerve this week, and let’s not even talk about that job you don’t want to go to anyway. Suffice to say this lunar cycle it’s important to think before you speak, to take a breath before you act. The Full Moon in Aries promotes a quick temper, impatience, and tricky communication. So you’ll want to be careful about allowing pettiness, annoyances, and anger to write a check your butt can’t cash.
Forget about being right, about proving your point, about winning, and see if there is anything you can learn from these outbursts. Work with Baba Yaga to learn how to use your anger wisely, and perhaps to get to the truth behind any disagreements and crises. The Full Moon is a wonderful time to reveal subconscious motivations and to call in new prospects for learning, growth, and happiness. And as Baba Yaga is the Keeper of Wisdom, She can guide you to the experiences and opportunities you need to move into wholeness. Baba is also a Goddess of intuition and inner knowing, so spending time with your divination tools is a good way to start.
OCTOBER 27th 2019: NEW MOON IN SCORPIO
New Moon in Scorpio conjures an innate focus on the naughtier side of your emotions: the mystical, the sensual, the downright debaucherous. Desires slink, slither, and tantalize this lunar cycle, calling forth your need for the wild and profound.
This New Moon wants you to stop wading in the shallows and dive deep to find the treasures in the dark. This isn’t the time for shallow connections and hookups. And this isn’t the time for the same ol’ meditations, the same ol’ rituals. Do something wild, something new, something illicit. Joseph Campbell said it best: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Now is the time to explore your magickal self as well as your romantic self, to create new levels of intimacy and discover the sacredness of your sensuality.
In Goddess spirituality, Baba Yaga is considered a Goddess of the Wild Self. To embrace your wildness is to claim your freedom. Within your untamed, uncivilized Self, there are no restrictions, no buckling to fear, no illusions. This lunar cycle, dare to break the rules – especially the emotionally hindering, fear based ones you’ve made for yourself.
October 31 2019: Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
You know the drill. Watch what you say, and how you listen, particularly to those your looking to sex up. Don't talk yourself out of creative endeavors and adventures. And maybe up your insurance policies or put some funds aside for unexpected repairs of computers, cars, etc.
Colors: red, silver, black, navy blue, forest green, grey
Metaphysical properties/rules over: intuition, wisdom, life, death, rebirth, adventure spirit, wildness, enlightenment
Crystals: any dark-colored gem, such as obsidian, jet, and black tourmaline; crystal skulls, garnet, smoky quartz, bloodstone, forest rocks/stones
Fragrance: mugwort, cinnamon, patchouli, clove, sandalwood, black spruce, vetiver, oak moss, birch, clove, allspice, chamomile, ginger, cardamom
Symbols: skulls, bones, mortar and pestle, birch, broomsticks
Offerings: chicken feet, red berries, poppy seeds, bleached bones, beautiful fabrics, yarns, and threads
BABA YAGA Guiding Goddess Oil (limit quantities, available only during October 2019)
Meeting the Dark Goddess: an ecourse with Priestesses Brandi Auset and Kimberly Moore
The Wild and Sensual Woman: an ecourse with Priestess Brandi Auset
The Myth/Fairytale of Baba Yaga and Vasilissa the Beautiful A wonderful analyzation of this myth can be found in Women Who Run with the Wolvesby Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia
Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folktale by Andreas Johns
Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga (Illustrated) by Alexander Afanasyev