Our Work is Our Play!
I’m not even kidding, this old woman from Russia has to be my favorite god to date.
Russia being as metal and hardcore as it is sure doesn’t mess around and neither do their gods. Baba Yaga is the goddess of death and regeneration. But despite the cliche title, this ballsy woman is anything but ordinary.
Although Baba Yaga’s appetite is nothing to sneer at, this chick is stick thin and boney with a large nose that makes her house creak when she snores. Maybe the image of a decrepit old woman with a large black hat and broom comes to mind. You wouldn’t be too far off except her mode of transportation is way more bizarre. She travels by mortar and pestle. She sits in the little mortar with her knees to her chin and uses the pestle to scoot her way across the forest floor. But when that gets tiring she does use a silver birch broom to fly around when that gets old.
Her home is surrounded by a bone fence with human skulls whose inset eyes glow in the dark. But, if that wasn’t freaky enough, her house is mobile. That’s right, it moves. How, you ask? The hut has extra big chicken legs that it likes to spin around on. The windows serve as it’s eyes.
If anyone was crazy enough (or dumb enough I guess) to enter her house you absolutely must be invited. Otherwise she’ll turn you to stone with one gaze, crush and grind you with her mortar and pestle before eating you with her knife like teeth.
Told you Russia was metal. If you are pure-hearted though, she can’t hurt you.
But, if you are invited for dinner and you don’t let her eat you, she’ll give you all the knowledge you desire over dessert. Baba Yaga isn’t as insane as she seems and is actually all knowing and in many of the folktales she is the one that the protagonist seeks out for help on their journey. Because of her expansive knowledge she is thought to watch over the fountain of Waters of Life and Death.
Baba Yaga has three main servants; the White, Red, and Black Horsemen. She calls them “my bright dawn, my red dawn, and my black midnight”. This old codger has more game than I do and I am more than a little upset by that. She also has a bodiless and menacing pair of hands that she can call upon to do her bidding. She calls them “my soul friends”. That would be really cute if it wasn’t so creepy.
Despite her odd appearance and cooky tendencies this god of death and rebirth brings wisdom and fear to travelers across Russia and Slavic nations.