Mon, 29 Jan|
In the Hut of Baba Yaga
Join me for this 3-part series to explore who Baba Yaga is. The SlJoin me for this 3-part series to explore who Baba Yaga is. The Slavic Witch-Goddess, the gate-keeper to the lands of death. Through stories, mythology, symbolism and folk-tradition we will explore her and the wisdom that she offers.
Time & Location
29 Jan 2024, 19:30 GMT – 12 Feb 2024, 21:30 GMT
About the Event
Baba Yaga is a witch, goddess, old mythological figure from Eastern Europe and Slavic culture. In this three-series workshop, Nana will tell a different Baba Yaga story on each week and we will explore the story's possible meanings, symbolisms and is relationship to us, to the natural world and to the wider community. Each week, we will dive into the mythology of Baba Yaga a little deeper.
Who is Baba Yaga?
Baba Yaga is a guardian of the natural world, and she can command the weather. She is the keeper to the lands of death, she is a midwife, a death doula, a witch and goddess. She is all this and more, and yet she is beyond the naming of these things. She lives in a hut on chicken legs which spins continually. Only the person who knows the sacred words will enter. Baba Yaga rides in a mortar, propels herself with a pestle and wipes her tracks with a silver birch broom. She is said to devour people for her dinner, and many who come to her hut will never leave. They will undergo a death. Baba Yaga stories tell of quests, with initiation, with life's difficulties. Women, men and children all enter her hut. None of them leave exactly the way they entered.
Nana is Bulgarian and grew up with stories about Baba Yaga as a child. Having walked with these stories for over three decades, they have uncovered more of their layers with each passing winter.
The Medicine of the Stories
Most of us have been through events which have been difficult. A death, illness, a birth, loss of our home, loss of love. We find ourselves in the dark forest in front of Baba Yaga's hut. When these events occur, it can feel as if darkness falls and life will end. These stories speak of such events through metaphor and symbolism. When we listen to stories we are able to make sense of our situation in a way that doesn't feel threatening, but in a transformative yet gentle way.
These workshops will be recorded for participants who cannot make the live sessions. The workshops will be divided into three parts: The story; discussions about the meaning and symbolism of the story; and a final part where participants can share more deeply, if they wish to make links between the Baba Yaga story and their personal story. This third and part of the workshop will not be recorded to maintain the integrity of the space.
Monday Jan 29, 2024, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM - Baba Yaga and Vasilisa
Monday Feb 05, 2024, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM - Baba Yaga and Ivanoushka
Monday Feb 12, 2024, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM - A Cloth for Baba Yaga
Who is this course for?
These workshops are for all who wish to explore the journeys into Baba Yaga's hut. The workshop is for adults. All genders are welcome. The workshop will be participatory, and we will explore the stories together and ponder on the questions and images that are alive for us at the time. The space will be free of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Autonomy and choice will be integral to the running of this course.
Baba Yaga and Vasilisa
This is perhaps the most famous Baba Yaga Story. This is tale of female intuition, represented by the doll, that Vasilisa holds close to her always, given to her by her own my mother, passed down through the female lineage. What do we feed our intuition? How do we ensure that it is sufficiently nourished? What do we feed it, to ensure that it is responsive to our needs, to our requests?
As Clarisa Pinkola Estés says in response to this story: "One feeds life by listening to it".
Baba Yaga and Ivanoushka
A story of loss and mourning, and the work that is required to be done in order to move through. Ivanoushka, the only son of a woman, plays where it is forbidden and he gets taken by Baba Yaga. The mother sends her trusted maids, but only one succeeds in her quest -why? Because only one of them is willing to do the work, the other maids are above it. This is a tale for the modern speed of life. We want success, change, transformation. But are we willing to work for it? What are we prepared to do?
A Cloth for Baba Yaga
A girl needs to face Baba Yaga in her hut. The girl receives advice of another elder, and help from Baba Yaga's servants. This story is about the importance of asking for help, somethingvulnerable many of us have forgotten how to do due to its difficulty. It is vulnerable to ask for help. The girl in turn offers simple gifts to those that she pleads to, they offer her help willingly. This tale is about facing the wild, ancient one face to face and standing your ground. It is about negotiating in times of difficulties without crumbling. It's about learning to face great power in others, and at the same time learning our own power. This story, like so many other Baba Yaga tales, holds the relationship with the more-than-human world closely and tenderly.
Content of Stories
These stories are for adults and they will deal with themes such as death, grief, rape, violence and exile. They will be told and explored sensitively. If you have been personally affected by any of the above themes, please ensure that you feel resourced and supported in order to attend in a way that allows you to remain connected with yourself and the material.
The stories and material of the course are for personal use and growth only. Any recordings received are not be shared outside of the group. Any personal stories cannot be shared without the explicit consent of the person who shared them. The content and structure of course cannot be replicated without the facilitator's written consent.