Baba Yaga is well known in Slavic mythology as the crone witch (often referred to as a hag.)
She is most well known in the story of Vasilisa the Fair (sometime referred to as Vasilisa the Brave or Vasilisa the Beautiful) and Baba Yaga as a popular Russian folklore.
Baba Yaga’s myths over centuries has turned her into the wicked witch of the forest, seen as ugly and old.
This is more commonly a societal view of how many see elderly women set in their ways and often shunned by younger generations who value beauty and youth over age and experience.
However, the elderly women are often revered and their wisdom and advice stands true through the tests of time.
Short personal story:
I’m reminded of my own elderly Ukrainian great-grandmother, that when I was as a very young toddler, I actually feared her.
She only spoke Ukrainian, was strict and stern and definitely a matriarch. I realise now she was a resemblance to the Baba Yaga archetype which only now I wish I had appreciated it back then.
She recently visited in spirit on what would’ve been on her 106th birthday and was still the same!
But, back to Baba Yaga now.
Baba Yaga is associated with the dark forests, death, rebirth, sickness, dying, but also healing, renewal, sage wisdom and advice that comes from experience and a long life.
Her wise grandmother energy is strict and harsh, but for your own well being.
She’s the grandmother to whack you with a wooden spoon when you misbehave, give bitter tasting medicine to make you feel better, tell you to “buck up” when you wallow in self-pity, but all the while teaching you to be independent and self-sustaining to stand on your own two feet.
She’s not quite of this world or the next, and is in between the worlds – a sense of something heavy, but sweet in the air of forests and dark nights.
Her energy is most strongly felt in the autumn, leading up to Mabon and Samhain as the leaves change colour and the temperatures begin to get cooler.
In the next section, we’ll explain more about what that means when we talk about Baba Yaga being ‘between the worlds’ and how you can meet her there.
Between the Worlds with Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga is not quite of this world and the next as she remains otherworldly between the physical world and the spirit world/underworld.
A crone witch and often referred to as a goddess, Baba Yaga can be considered part of the dark goddess archetype.
Her magickal wooden home rests on two chicken legs/feet which can walk and spin through the forest; a special incantation can make the house stop in one place.
Baba Yaga’s home is strongly connected to her mythology, which is also associated with the familiarity of the home and kitchens of grandmothers that so many of us grow up with fond memories.
Her home isn’t seen with the physical eyes, resting and walking in the forests. Her mythologies and stories, connecting her to between the worlds, can be related to the stories of the Fae/Fairies who also reside between the worlds.
As noted in the book “Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to return to your soul” by Jane Meredith, shadow work and underworld journeys are a spiritual or emotional undertakings to go to the depths of the inner shadows, the psyche and/or the Underworld where such goddesses as Persephone and Hekate reside.
However, Baba Yaga as a dark/crone goddesss doesn’t reside in the underworld, but she is connected to what it represents.
Baba Yaga is found between the worlds, not exactly of the spirit world or the underworld and not quite of this world either.
Her connection to death, mortality, fraility can be connected to the same as ghosts who roam the Earth and the magick of the mythological forest creatures such as the Rusalka (русалка) and Leshy (леший).
However, Baba Yaga also offers healing from ailments and suffering through herbs and teas, wisdom and advice from her maturity and old age, wildcrafting and witchcraft from hexes and curses to breaking hexes and curses.
So how can you find and connect with Baba Yaga when she’s resides between this world and the next?
Here is a meditation technique that you can try.
How to Connect with Baba Yaga
Meditations and separation of the “self” from your surroundings can help to meet Baba Yaga.
This is a mental technique to shift the mindset or frame of mind.
This can be done any place indoors or outside, such as in a forest, where you won’t be interrupted and are safe and secure.
Music or headphones can be played to block out any outside noise. Incense can be used to help create a relaxing atmosphere.
Woodsy scents like cedar, pine or sandalwood are ideal incense scents for this meditation.
If you feel the need for some additional psychic protection for this exercise, you can use a protection amulet or charm, or protective crystals such as obsidian, black tourmaline, smoky quartz or jet. (Check out here for a list of protective crystals.)
Begin the meditation by pulling your energy to the centre of your core or drawing within yourself.
There are two techniques that you can try next:
The first meditation technique to meet Baba Yaga:
Pull your energy upwards beyond your head and shoulders.
This can help to create something similar to an out-of-body experience (OBE).
You may not be able to visually/psychically see your surroundings with your eyes closed, but you should try to get a sense or feeling of being separate between body and the spirit world.
The second meditation technique to meet Baba Yaga:
Pull your energy to the left side or right side of your body as if you’re sliding out of your body.
These two techniques are different than raising your vibration through the chakras or connecting with “source/the divine” such as in spirit communication.
These techniques can help to give you the feeling of being “between the worlds” such as you’re not quite of the physical world and not quite high vibrational to connect with spirit guides, divinity, the Akashic Records, etc.
This next step can be done in the meditation:
In your mind’s eye, picture yourself in a dark forest as you approach Baba Yaga’s house. A fence of skull and bones lines the path towards the house.
You may see Baba Yaga outside her home working in the yard or she may come to the door to greet you. She will likely ask why you’ve come to see her, which you must answer truthfully.
Depending on your reason for contacting her, she may offer you to go inside her home, likely to her kitchen.
Spend time with Baba Yaga in her home. She may be talkative or quiet. Allow your meditation to unfold.
When you’re finished with your meditation, thank Baba Yaga and proceed back to the place in the forest where you started.
As you get ready to end your meditation, you can slowly ease back into your body either through the head/shoulders or through the left side or right side of your body.
If Baba Yaga has imparted wisdom or healing for you, it’s customary to leave an offering on your altar or someplace in your home.
Later in this post, we’ll talk about the type of offerings that can be made for Baba Yaga.
Working with Baba Yaga
Working with Baba Yaga can be for reasons such as:
- Healing (physical ailments)
- Relationship advice
- Hedge Witchcraft
Baba Yaga gives straight-forward advice, knowledge and wisdom to those who respectfully request and want to improve their witchery skills.
Her witchery expertise is in areas of herbology and wildcrafting (using wild and natural items found in nature and forests), along with hedge witchcraft.
Witchcraft and Healing with Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga can help to give wisdom and teachings when it comes to witchcraft (folk magick) and healing.
She uses natural items in forests and nature that bring healing in herbal salves, ointments and teas and herbs that can be used in folk magick.
If you work with herbs in your practice, you can work with Baba Yaga to help you perfect your craft and improve your skills and knowledge with herbs and healing with herbs.
In meditation, Baba Yaga can offer healing teas and herbs that can work to help ease discomfort and minor ailments such as upset stomach, minor colds, seasonal allergies, rashes/hives, headaches, etc.
If you’re looking for the right herb for a spell or natural healing, you can call on Baba Yaga to guide you to the right resources or materials.
You may possibly hear Baba Yaga tell you which on you need (which you can then look up to verify and confirm – especially when it comes to any potential side effects.)
Herbs such as from the nightshade family can be used when working with Baba Yaga to bring healing as some of these herbs in small doses can bring relief and healing.
However, extreme caution and research should be used when using such toxic herbs and plants.
Next, we’ll look at how you give thanks for receiving help and advice from Baba Yaga.
Thanks and Offerings to Baba Yaga
When working with Baba Yaga, offerings of thanks should be made each time after making a connection with Baba Yaga or asking for her advice, guidance or help.
If you know some poetry or words in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish or any Slavic language, you can give thanks to Baba Yaga in these languages.
At your altar, you can leave tokens of appreciation and thanks to Baba Yaga such as:
- Tobacco / cigarettes
- Food: kovbasa, borshch, patychky, varenyky (pierogis), bread (хліб), potato pancakes (картопяні млинці)
- Decoration: wheat, traditional embroidery or rushnyky (traditional embroidered towels/rugs), matroshka (nesting dolls), pysanky (decorated Ukrainian eggs), skull decorations, bones (ethically gathered or sourced), images or statues of Baba Yaga and/or her house.
These offerings can be made right after the meditation, but if you asked for healing and aren’t well enough to make these offerings right away, it can be done as soon as you’re physically able to.
These offerings can also be left in forests at the foot of a tree or a special area that you dedicated outside for Baba Yaga.
Hopefully this post here can help you develop your own connection with Baba Yaga and help to understand more about Baba Yaga.
Working with Baba Yaga can be a personal experience and her grandmotherly wisdom and advice can always be counted on.
Looking for wisdom from Baba Yaga?
The Baba Yaga Tarot Reading connects to the wisdom and energy of Baba Yaga to deliver guidance, advice and messages needed at this time.
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