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Baba Yaga


Dandelion

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I had a book called "Vasalissa the beautiful" that I read when I was a child. I remember the old witch of the story was called Baba Yaga. It was an old Russian fairy tale but I wondered if anybody else had read the story or knew anything about Baba Yaga that they would share. I've always had a fondness for the story since my name is Lissa.

 

I did some searching and got a general view of her as a goddess of rebirth and death. Just wanted to know what your views were on her. And any good links to information would be great!

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I had a book called "Vasalissa the beautiful" that I read when I was a child. I remember the old witch of the story was called Baba Yaga. It was an old Russian fairy tale but I wondered if anybody else had read the story or knew anything about Baba Yaga that they would share. I've always had a fondness for the story since my name is Lissa.

 

I did some searching and got a general view of her as a goddess of rebirth and death. Just wanted to know what your views were on her. And any good links to information would be great!

 

She is not just Russian, I am Polish and it is part of the Slavic folklore of Goddesses. She is called Jezi Baba in Poland.

 

When seaching look into Slavic paganism.

 

Sometimes called "Grandmother Bony-shanks". She flew through the air in a mortor using the pestle as a rudder and sweeping away her tracks with a broom made of human hair. Lived in a house that revolved and has 3 pairs of chicken legs that dance. Her fence was made out of human bones and was topped with skulls, the keyhole to her front door has a mouth filled with sharp teeth. She would aid those who are strong and pure of heart and eat the souls of those who were not visiting her perpared and clean of spirit. Besides seen as the Goddess of death, rebirth and initation she is said to be the Guardian Spirit of the fountain of the water of life. If she doesn't kill you, she can help you with advice and magical gifts.

 

I have also seen her described as a wild women goddess, the dark lady and mistress of magic. She is also seen as a forest spirit that leads a hosts of spirits.

 

Actually I use her energy in alot in my spells, should say hexes. I have incorperated much of my Polish hertiage folklore in my craft. My mother told me that years ago that the stories of her were to keep children on the straight and narrow.

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Wow thanks for that information. I didn't even occur to me that she might be Polish/Slavic as well. I'll have to go check out Slavic Paganism.

 

I always love the story, and as far as keeping kids on the straight and narrow Baba Yaga sure scared me as a kid. Its not until now that I've come to appreciate the story and Baba Yaga's role in it more.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Wow thanks for that information. I didn't even occur to me that she might be Polish/Slavic as well. I'll have to go check out Slavic Paganism.

 

I always love the story, and as far as keeping kids on the straight and narrow Baba Yaga sure scared me as a kid. Its not until now that I've come to appreciate the story and Baba Yaga's role in it more.

 

 

How ya doing on the Slavic paganism, Dandelion ?

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  • 1 month later...

She's in the book "women that run with the wolves" but I can't remember who wrote it. I'll try to remember to look it up, double barrelled name i think pinket something oh poo my head is terrble, i have it somewhere.

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When my wife gets back, I'll have to ask if she's heard of this. She's half polish.

Her mom is 100% polish, and my wife's grandparents spoke polish fluently (I think they came off the boat).

Her family continues a number of their traditions so I'd almost be surprised if she hasn't heard of Jezi Baba.

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Guest K8tdydBel

Sometimes called "Grandmother Bony-shanks". She flew through the air in a mortor using the pestle as a rudder and sweeping away her tracks with a broom made of human hair. Lived in a house that revolved and has 3 pairs of chicken legs that dance. Her fence was made out of human bones and was topped with skulls, the keyhole to her front door has a mouth filled with sharp teeth. She would aid those who are strong and pure of heart and eat the souls of those who were not visiting her perpared and clean of spirit. Besides seen as the Goddess of death, rebirth and initation she is said to be the Guardian Spirit of the fountain of the water of life. If she doesn't kill you, she can help you with advice and magical gifts.

 

I have also seen her described as a wild women goddess, the dark lady and mistress of magic. She is also seen as a forest spirit that leads a hosts of spirits.

 

 

I have this fantasy novel by Patricia A. McKillip called, "In The Forest of Serre". It's about a prince who crosses paths with the "Mother of all Witches"

I immediately thought of this book when you described the Goddess' house, and how it had 3 pairs of chicken legs that dance. Now the witch in this book isn't exactly like Jezi Baba, but I wouldn't be surprised if the author knows about her, and maybe inspired by the folklore around her.

Kate

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I added that book to my amazon wishlist :) Thanks for the suggestions. I always like to read books that have historical or mythological influences.

 

I've been so caught up in school, and life I haven't had much time to do research. Its on my list of things to do. But if anyone has any good books or websites I'd love the help.

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  • 4 months later...

Women who run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Yes Tiffany quite a few mentions of Baba Yaga in this, and a great book in my opinion.

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  • 8 months later...

Baba Yaga scared the crap out of me when I was a kid!! Since then, my understanding of her has grown more nuanced (though I still wouldn't want to cross her!). Much to my surprise, my late wife, who studied Russian as a college minor, had never heard of Baba Yaga! :jawdrop:

 

White Bear

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ive heard the Baba Yaga story since i can remember. she shows up all over, she's even in the Anime movie Spirited Away (great movie). i didnt know she was in Slavic lore though. im Polish and German on both sides (Penn Dutch too) and havent really found much Slavic lore. i got into the Norse-Anglo Saxon mythos, how different are the two and can i get a few book suggestions? im going to check it out now.

i love to get into new stuff.

:Spider-1:

jamie

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  • 2 years later...

As said above I think, Russian Queen of Witches. Baba appearantly means grandmother in Slavonic languages. She's mentioned in Radomir Ristic's book "Balkan Traditional Witchcraft", there are several demons and deities called Baba in Balkan lore according to this book. The Serb Baba Yaga is less scary than the Russian version. Says she could be an ancient deity of fertility and death. Anyway this book has a couple of pages of different aspects of Baba, though mostly from a Balkan perspective.

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