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The Cottage Sept/Oct Samhain 2002
Monthly Deity

Baba Yaga

Related essences:  Patchouli, sandalwood, geranium

Related gemstones:  Garnet, bloodstone, tourmaline, smoky quartz (red stones), scapolite, amazonite, chiastolite, prase

The ancient Slavic goddess Baba Yaga is the wild old crone guardian of the Water of Life and Death. She is the goddess of death and birth associated with Autumn, who sings while sprinkling corpses with the Water of Life to let them be reborn. Although she is fearsome to look upon, like all forces of nature that are often wild and untamed, she can also be kind.

Often depicted living in the deep centre of earth, or in a hut surrounded by a fence of bones, she represents the power of old age, of witch, and of the life cycle that is birth, death and rebirth. She is therefore also associated with birch forests (birch being the tree of beginnings and endings). Another image is that of "White Lady", or Death Crone, as she is stiff and white and carved of bone (she can also be referred to as Goddess of Old Bones).

If you're feeling directionless and an emptiness in the spirit and emotion, acknowledge Baba Yaga's presence in you. Being depressed in not to be feared, rather the process and emotion should be honoured, and allowed to move on. While the Water of Life and Death can be taken by trickery or synthetic means (eg through drugs), by taking time to work in gentle silence the Water can also be given to you as a gift.

Behold Baba Yaga, she is here to force us to examine our soul in the dark mirror and to be forever transformed.

Wear black, red and white scarves this week and use the colours to remind you of Baba Yaga. Black represents night and the breakdown of the personality (the crushed and broken body ready for Baba Yaga's Water of Life and Death), white represents the dawn and purification (the gift of the Water of Life and Death), and red represents day and vital life force (the powerful rebirth).

Work through the cycles of dawn, day and night gently, succumb to Baba Yaga's vibrations and trust that she will be kind to you. At the end of the week say good-bye to destructive influences as you tie the scarves around a tree in your garden. There they will be connected to the earth via the tree's roots, tapping into kundalini energy of the dark side, and also to the wind which will pick up your depression and carry it away.


Baba Yaga is the old woman of autumn, the archetype of the fearsome witch. Her roots lie in the ancient Slavic goddess of death and birth, whose wheat sheaves in the autumn fields hold the promise of winter survival and spring's growth. Baba Yaga flies through the air in a mortar, rowing with a pestle, or in a cauldron, sweeping the traces of her path with a broom. In some tales, she is the guardian of the fountain of the waters of life; in other tales, she lives in a hut surrounded by a fence of bones. In all cases, she is a crone, hideous to look upon, and much to be feared. Her realm is the birch forests, birch being the tree of beginnings and endings. Baba Yaga represents the power of old age, the power of the archetype of witch, and most of all, the power of the cycles of life, death and rebirth.

From Inner Goddess website