Baba Yaga goes to the Moon
Baba Yaga does not just live deep in the heart of the forest. She may also be found on the face of the moon, if we have but eyes to see her. But we can only find what we are seeking at certain times, and unless we know when to look, we shall miss her brief sighting and the chance of learning from her long lived wisdom. To learn the most auspicious time to find her, we must first learn some moon lore.
There are 3 principle phases in the monthly moon cycle — waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon. The cycle begins with creation, which corresponds to the new moon; continues with preservation, which corresponds to the full moon; and ends with death and destruction, which corresponds to the dark and waning moon. Because this is a cyclical process it very quickly becomes apparent that in order for birth and regeneration to occur, there must first be darkness, decay and death. And so the stage between the dark moon and the birth of the new moon is a time of transformation. The original Dark Moon Goddess was a renewer and regenerating matrix, but over the millenia her face was altered through the lense of patriarchy, and instead she became known and feared as the malevolent destroyer.
The Dark Goddess is known by many names including Kali, Hekate and Persephone, Lilith, the Fates, the Furies, Medusa, Medea, the Sirens, Mother Holle, the Bad Fairy, the Wicked Witch, and most interestingly for us — Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga is a crone, a wise woman, a black goddess who emerges from the shadows during the last phase of the waning moon cycle, in the dark days. The Dark Goddess is wise, strong, compassionate and just. She is knowledgable about all that is hidden from daily view, she is party to the deepest, darkest secrets of the world, and she knows exactly the right time to call on oracles, magic spells and divination. ‘Her animal totems are those which live below the earth — snakes, serpents, dragons – and animals of the night — owls, ravens, crows, and white and black dogs and horses.’
The role of the Dark Goddess was to preside over the mysterious transformation from death to rebirth. All that is old, decaying and devitalized, she places in her magic cauldron and transforms it into new life. Baba Yaga is awaiting our arrival at the entrance to her temple, the dark womb, from whence we shall emerge reborn, renewed and revitalized. Baba Yaga is not to be feared. She will help us face our shadow selves, transforming our fears into an elixir from which we can sip our way into life anew. Let us go forth and meet this Wise Old One, this Crone, this Grandmother who will guide us to the Underworld and the realms of the spirit.
[adapted from Mysteries of the dark Moon, by Demter George]