If you missed my article about Bacchus, you can find it here.
Baba Yaga is a Slavic crone who is a powerful witch. She is depicted as a skinny, ugly old woman with iron teeth. Baba Yaga may appear to be a frail old woman, but she possesses supernatural speed and strength and a voracious appetite. She is sometimes depicted as three women rather than one. All three are named Baba Yaga so it doesn’t matter which one you run into. Baba Yaga lives deep within the forest inside a hut.
The hut is supported by the legs of a chicken. I don’t mean little regular size chicken legs. These are two giant chicken legs. The house’s windows are its eyes. Its keyhole to the front door is filled with sharp teeth. The fence around her cottage is made of bone and topped with skulls. Just as incredible, she can remove traces of her travels with a silver birch broom.
She is not portrayed as a nice woman. An honorable woman who keeps her word, certainly, but not nice. In fact, those that did not or could not complete the tasks she gave them, she would eat them. No matter how many people she ate, she remained skinny. Those who are protected by love and virtue are protected from Baba Yaga, as well as those who are pure souls.
It has been said by some that Baba Yaga has three servants, three riders. Others say the riders are connected to the house. One Rider is white, with a white horse. He is Day. Another Rider is Red, with a red horse. He is the Sun. The last Rider is black, with a black horse. He is Night. You can ask about the riders and she will tell you about them, but she might kill you for it too.
One girl, Vasalisa, encountered Baba Yaga. Vasalisa is a merchant’s daughter whose mother dies before she is 10. On her deathbed, the mother give Vasalisa a doll as a gift and told her to feed and water the doll and it would help her. Vasalisa did as her mother said and after her father remarried, the doll helped Vasalisa a lot. The stepmother is cruel to Vasalisa. Eventually, Vasalisa’s step-sister sent her out to find Baba Yaga to get fire. With the help of her doll, she finds her easily. Vasalisa asks about the horsemen to which Baba Yaga answers her. She gives Vasalisa chores to complete to gain her help, not expecting the child to complete them. After doing chores with the help of her doll, Baba Yaga tells her to leave because she is protected not only because she is innocent and pure, but because she is blessed by her mother. She does give her a parting gift though. Vasalisa is given a lantern made of a skull. Her stepmother and step-sisters were burnt to a crisp on Vasalisa’s return.
Though Baba Yaga is revered as a Goddess by some witches, she is in fact a witch, not divine. Baba Yaga is considered by some to be a Goddess of birth and death. I disagree. She has been given symbols and what she rules. Baba Yaga is associated with the colors white, black, and red. She is also connected to garnets and bloodstones, brooms, mortar, and pestles. To try to get on her good side you can offer her tobacco, black Russian tea, and vodka.
What do you think of Baba Yaga? She scares me a little. I don’t mess with her at all. Do you like playing her on Smite?