Baba Yaga – Slavic Earth Goddess
By: Natalia Clarke – Moon Books, $10.95
Description: Slavic Earth Goddess is a unique perspective on working with Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess of mystery, intrigue and ambiguity, through apprenticing into her magic.
Verdict: In this introductory work Baba Yaga is re-defined outside of the dogmatic portrayals and becomes one of the most powerful and influential figures in an individual spiritual practice. An accessible guide to building a devotional practice, Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga is a journey of discovery and collaboration with deity, written to aid your own psycho-spiritual progression and offer a unique presentation of how we might work with the Goddess, psychologically and spiritually. In what is a most personal, beautifully written and highly informative new book from Natalia, the author brings forth lots of teaching and insight, all culled from decades of experience within the genre and of the writing style itself. For those unknowing, Baba Yaga is, in Slavic folklore, the wild old woman; the witch; mistress of magic; a mythical creature. She is also seen as a forest spirit, leading hosts of spirits. Stories about Baba Yaga have been used in teaching children the importance of reverence for the delicacy of nature and the spirit world. They were also used by worried parents in an attempt to frighten children from wandering far from home. Furthermore, Baba Yaga’s legacy is derived from several Eastern European cultural groups and her character differs depending on who tells it. The outcome of the story, however, usually emphasizes a purity of spirit and polite manners. Baba Yaga can also be a source of guidance when approached correctly. When Baba Yaga is approached without good preparation, sincerity, and due respect, she is dangerous. When too many questions (or the wrong questions) are asked, she is also dangerous. Only by maintaining pure heart and faith, proper respect for her as one’s elder, and loving care of her creatures can the encounter be successful. Here within Baba Yaga – Slavic Earth Goddess, Natalia shines her educational light and turns her personal beliefs on, what she believes to be, a serious lack of materials/teachings for those working with Baba Yaga; which makes this offering a real treat for those wanting to delve deeper into the myth (?) known as Baba Yaga. Thus whilst herself informing us of Baba Yaga in her own words, through her own experiences and beliefs, she also explores stories, tales told down the decades, exploring and even examining them as though she was a surgeon dissecting the good from the bad, so to speak. Merging together her very own Slavic origins, her extensive training in deep psychology, and natural spiritual practices, Natalia is our guide, our companion as we deep dive into the mysteries surrounding this most mysterious, and yet widely feared effigy known as Baba Yaga.
About the Author – Natalia Clarke is a transpersonal psychotherapist, writer, nature lover and an intuitive practitioner. A fiction, non-fiction and poetry writer with a passion for nature, emotions and magic, Natalia writes about intuitive living, magical practice, nature spirituality and soul relationship with the land. She lives on the outskirts of London, UK. Official Book Purchase Linkwww.JohnHuntPublishing.com
Exclusive magazine – https://annecarlini.com/ex_books.php
Category: sacred masculine
Pagan Dawn article
I set out to write Baba Yaga: Slavic Earth Goddess at the time when the collective was screaming with pain and fear and the call for making unconscious conscious was becoming ever stronger all around. My work with Baba Yaga intensified a few months prior when she was not just coming forward more but staying around for longer. That is unusual for an elusive and highly private deity. Yes, to me, she’s beyond literary and cultural archetype and a folklore figure. To me she represents the world in both its dark and light manifestations. She is the ultimate alchemist and magician of the highest rank.
Why now, I wondered after seemingly eternity waiting for her to speak? It was time she disclosed a path for collective to take, if unafraid and prepared. It was time for her to whisper, if not speak openly. Feeling overwhelmed and deeply honoured I began to listen to what she said and in that discovering who she really was beyond her collective labels.
The book was born that speaks of Baba Yaga in ways of who she really is. My journey was only just beginning when in 2020 she stayed around for longer than she, perhaps, wanted. She first appears around Samhain and remains throughout winter dwelling in dreams and shadows and post Ostara she begins to loosen her grip on the Earth and allows the Maiden to step forward. This time she stayed for longer to bare witness to events that unfolded and to offer assistance and wisdom, however, unheard of, to myself in writing the book and to the world in its state of chaotic fear.
Apprenticing into her magic is a difficult task, perhaps, one of the most difficult tasks one can undertake as once on the path turning back has serious consequences and if staying transformation is inevitable and profound.
Baba Yaga is a world-famous character with which we are familiarised from early childhood and she stays for many of us in our consciousness for the rest of our lives. This speaks of her power and universal appeal, but why? I believe that is because her mysteries are deep and limitless. She inspires questions and sparks endless curiosity, yet she often remains as a static archetype of a scary Crone who lives in the woods and devours children. She continues to live in fairy tales that tells stories over and over in the same way they had always been told. In our consciousness she does not evolve and that is also for a reason. She’s full of darkness and darkness is a place of immense fear and avoidance for us humans. So, she remains hidden via the narrative and via our lives, as who dares look darkness in the face? Now we are faced with it in all areas of our existence. “Facing the demise of what is familiar and precious and becoming wild again is the quest of brave and raw ones. Are you one?” The thing that I discovered was just how much she resents repetition and lack of evolution and her imprisonment in the collective hive mind infuriates her. As I began my relationship with Baba Yaga, I discovered the light behind the darkness, kindness behind hatred, the well-hidden nuances of this folklore figure, her character, spirit, attributes, and magic.
She calls for a revolution and evolution, for rediscovery of spirit like never before. She is hugely relevant today to all of us individually and the world. For the first time in very long, perhaps, she is willing to offer some wisdom, however unnatural it might seem, as she is private and does not come forward unless there is someone truly ready on the other side. Are we ready? Many of us are. She can offer perspectives on balance, climate change, beauty and aging, motherhood, belonging and connection, partnerships, and gender roles. She is the world, the Earth, nature all wrapped into one energy that is immensely powerful and important and to know her is to know the deepest, the most meaningful and profound truths about yourself, others, and the world.
To fight or be?
The sacrificial demands of the masculine still angers me, but it no longer sends me into submission, which then fuels guilt, shame and a deep sense of loss. This is no more, yet the signature of masculine vs soul, external vs internal, still presents itself in my reality. I have learnt to recognise it, it is hard not to, as often it takes on a form of such drama that these days I flop my arms by my sides feeling frustrated every time. Sadness is no longer there and I keep my focus and centre intact. I have learnt not to rush into that automatic reaction to what is a very old patriarchal energy running through veins of so many women for generations and centuries even now. Will it ever go? Perhaps, but it will take a long long time to renew the cycle of what is patriarchal manipulation and abuse.
It makes me angry, yes, however, that anger is not reactive, projecting or in any way abusive towards the masculine, instead it is a supportive source to myself that lets me know my own strength and containment. It is holding and steady foundation on which my awareness of my needs is built. This anger lets me see deeper into my soul, my heart and what the feminine, individual and collective, really desires. Whatever it is, we are completely and unconditionally allowed to follow. The masculine demands, however, hold on with all its might for what it considers theirs. Voice of the wells, water, and the feminine of the underworld is still a threat no matter what they would tell you in the open. Just like the response of the feminine towards demands to sacrifice herself lives within psyches of so many, so does patriarchal views and expectations continue to live within masculine. There is no getting away from it. What we have these days is that awareness of both and once we have awareness we have a choice about how we speak, behave and treat one another. It all comes down to a choice and a considered response towards another human, male or female.
I could get angry over and over, I can see myself easily going down that path, but it will only weaken me, as that voice will not be heard if we base that dynamic of the very old signature of ‘silencing the feminine’ even through killing her, as we all know. The masculine is solely responsible for a complete absence of trust in my life to a point that trust, as a concept, feeling, and behaviour is completely alien to me, yet I am more than capable of functioning successfully within all relationships. Yep, it is possible. I have never come across masculine energy that spoke to me of honour, honestly, loyalty or devotion. I have seen examples of the opposite multiple times that turned my stomach with disgust and a deep sense of pity. And no, a female doesn’t need to be a victim of abuse to witness this energy in everyday life, which, in many ways, even worse. So, you see, I can easily turn towards hatred and become a persecutor having been made a victim for centuries. This will only hurt me and other women. In many ways we don’t have to fight, as we know who and what we are. Time showed us over and over the ultimate power of the feminine. The most important thing is to remember our souls’ callings whatever they might be, are free to manifest. We are allowed to fly as high as we want and feel glorious about it. If one embraces its own containment, centres their actions around good and kind and exercise personal power daily there is a possibility of coming to a place of meeting one another in our humanness.
If you are experiencing the presentation I talk about above, consider not the why you feel this way, as this is easily recognisable for women, but what you choose to feel instead, what you become fand how you are going to grab your soul in your hands and carry it like the brightest torch in a place as dark as this world can be. Never give up on yourself no matter what voices you hear or forces that visit you when you are weak, hold on to that heart of yours with pride. It is in the softness our strength lies really.
Return of the masculine
As a battalion of horsemen charged into my awareness I realised just how much in need we are of the masculine energy, the feminine needs the other half and the earth calls for its active involvement. More than ever the planet needs protection, service, loyalty and hard work of the body, mind and spirit. Sacred masculine, healthy Fire energy, is indispensable for us all in the collective and individually right now and it can be utterly stunning and powerful.
As last year it was predominantly about beautiful qualities of soft, calm, gentle and pure, this year we are going into more of a ‘battle’ from within out. I am being asked to call upon my inner masculine to resolve things that, perhaps, only that energy is able to do in the way that is needed. My masculine is protective, assertive, just, immensely grounding, rational and objective and I have found those qualities a life-saving dynamic when feminine was drowning in chaos and confusion. It holds, it contains just as well as feminine does, but yet so very differently and it is that ‘otherness’ yet warm in its essence that I need right now. The energy of Fire within me is a healthy one and the vibrancy of it had been able to break through walls literary in the past. It is the energy that keeps us moving, it invites productive and authentic action into what needs to be done. Water element/feminine can stagnate and get stuck within us all for reasons of exhaustion and helplessness and that is when Fire is required to come in with intent and passion to catch the feminine mid-fall or pull it out of grey shallow water. There isn’t a lot of negotiation. We need a decision-making that is strong and assertive and fairly quick. As I write this I understand the relevance of this energy now in the collective and things that are happening in societies and in nature. The heartbreak of the feminine, the Earth and her screams and outburst of pain, which manifest in floods, winds and earthquakes is being heard by the masculine. Please do hear her! She often cries in silence that can be breathtakingly beautiful and otherworldly, but also that deep sorrow of the feminine seeks containment and support of the good masculine. It is time we engaged with it and went into a battle on all fronts for the good of the collective, nature and each and every one of us individually.
I can’t tell you how helpful and transformative it can be to summon certain energies from within to aid us in life. Exploration of your masculine and feminine is an absolute must on the road to full awareness and integration, as those two are incredible resources residing within us all and something we can actively use and embody when needed.
In time of spring it is unusual to call upon the masculine, but what is being observed is extra vulnerability of the feminine right now and during this time of year. It is a period of uncertainly and doubt of whether growth will come, if the birth will be successful. I also feel feminine is weakened emotionally this year in particular and needs a helping hand of reassurance. As I watch a silver birch outside my window I hear the call of the masculine, the warmth of the Fire and rejuvenation that is needed.
I bow in front of them both, in front of my own ability to discern what is needed at any given moment and without hesitation or doubt give it to myself and others from within myself. It is not easy, but it is not impossible either once you get to know the energies that live and breathe within us always. Direct it towards doing good and small things grow into manifestations of utter beauty and power for everyone. The world becomes not as scary and ugly, but a place that deserves protection and loyalty, a real place of authentic engagement.
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