I’ve returned to this book over and over again. This book was what introduced me to the Baba Yaga, the nature goddess, who lives in a hut that spins around dancing on a chicken leg. She is the dark side of The Good Mother. She does not tolerate anything inauthentic, she will gobble you up. Her intention in devouring you is not to harm you… just eat away at all the things that will harm you. She might swallow up a job, that is sucking the life out us. She might cause us to get sick, so we can go within and find the real source of life. She might leave you directionless… so you can go on the search for meaning. She is death in the service of life.
The wicked stepmother on the other hand is life in the service of death. Her motives are selfish and block creativity. It’s that voice that says, “you’re crazy? who do you think you are? You’re just going to embarrass yourself. You’re not good enough to paint, it’s a waste of time. Get to work… stop being lazy.” The stepmother is also known as the culture mother. The Baba Yaga forces us to stop blaming and accept responsibility for our own lives and live creativity—there are no guarantees as to what might come out of truly living. We don’t ever know what will come of it. But there comes a time where we all find ourselves in a place where we cannot tolerate living authentically—that place is known as the Baba Yaga’s house, where all that we have accepted is challenged. Dealing with her requires that we be in touch with our own Life-Force, our essence, our Soul.