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 My progression to where I am now was mostly through being an armchair pagan, I started reading Cunningham, flitted briefly over Buckland and Silver Raven Wolf(yes, I know), perused some Arin Murphy-Hiscock. The cauldron(my favorite pagan forum), was how I discovered new things. The first thing that I connected with enough, that I could progress to some sort of practice was Kemeticism. Problem was at the time I found it I did not have the skills to create a practice. At around that time I also read anything I could get my hands on in regards to Feri, but there was a similar problem, I wasn't in a place where I could work at it. 

Fast forward to the start of this year, a chance conversation lead me to look at ADF. The same chance conversation knocked down one of my mental walls I'd been railing against for a while. Both those things were only possible because of the previous work I'd done on myself. The work took a long time, I had to address many issues and reevaluate many things I grew up thinking were true. That period of change, of slowly sapping at the foundations of walls, other times breaking them fast and hard, happened whilst I was mostly being an armchair kemetic. Now I don't know if there was a deity involved(at one time I was sure there was), or if there was if I had misnamed them. I really don't know. Point is, change happened in a time where I was otherwise slowly sinking further and further into my own bullshit. 

Back to this year. 
I found within ADF, my affinity for Slavic paganism. It just felt right. However it's not enough, I knew it wouldn't be, not even in an ADF framework. When I moved away from kemeticism, I knew it wasn't a permanent move, more just shelving it for a while. It looks like it's time to pick it back up(Feri has also been resurfacing inasmuch as it can with online materials)

My conundrum is how do I even bring together these practices?

I think it's going to be a case of working it out as I go, I just feel like I'm floundering around without a boat. 

savveir: star (Default)
The following is mostly UPG, just saying. 

Baba Yaga is an interesting character, and one that featured in stories throughout my childhood. Recently she's become something more to me, there is a calling that I'm not sure I want to answer, the things in those stories are not baseless. She is at times helpful and even benevolent, but more often than not Baba Yaga is the antagonist, she will kill you and eat you(possibly not in that order). And yet there is something else..

In all the stories I have read about her, she causes in one way or another necessary change. This is often unpleasant but it's still needed. In the story "Baba Yaga" the children are directed twice to see Baba Yaga, first by the wicked stepmother, then by their own grandmother. The children learn some lessons and Baba Yaga frequently threatens to eat them, Eventually they escape and run home to tell their father the story, the stepmother gets sent packing and things end up peachy. 

This story would not work without Baba Yaga, she is the cause of change, the reason the stepmother is gone. Something similar happens in another story called "Vasilisa the Beautiful"

Anyway, onto something more squishy
Baba Yaga, as we know her, is a more recent character than Slavic Gods we know of such as Perun or Veles. I read in "The Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend"  of the possibility that she has her roots in the Goddess Marzana(or Marena depending on the area). I can definitely see some similarities here. Marzana is a goddess of winter and death, in some cases also a sorceress. I'm not entirely sure of this squishyness, sure I can see some cross over but I just feel no connection for Marzana at this point. 

Other sources see Baba Yaga as a protector of liminal spaces, specifically keeping things in or out of the spaces. She is also the Witch.
There is a myth I have come across a few times, though I cannot vouch for it's authenticity, it interests me somewhat. It's the myth of how witches came to exist. 

Long ago, when the world was still fairly new, a young woman ventured into the woods to pick mushrooms. In no time at all, the skies opened up upon her and narrowly escaping the rain, she ran beneath a tree, removed all of her clothing, and bundled them up in her bag so they would not get wet. After some time, the rain stopped and the woman resumed her mushroom picking. Veles, Horned God of the forest happened upon her, and asked her what great magick she knew in order to have kept dry during the storm. 

"If you show me the secret to your magic, I will show you how I kept dry." she said. Being somewhat easily tempted by a pretty face, Veles proceeded to teach her all of his magical secrets. After he was done, she told him how she had removed her clothing and hid under a tree.

Knowing that he had been tricked, but had no one but himself to blame, Veles ran off in a rage, and thus, the first Witch came into being.

If this is the story of the origin of witches, it makes sense to me of who the woman in the story is. I see Baba Yaga as the first Witch(which also pokes holes in my squishiness above). The associations with Veles also make sense to me, though I think that will be another post. 

May 2016

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