A Study of Baba Yaga – Nonfiction, Folklore, Social Customs
Available now through our Kickstarter store!
Where to Purchase
Ebook (ISBN 978-1-949397-37-6): | Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords | Other Retailers
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-949397-38-3): | Amazon | B&N | Walmart | Waterstones |
Hardback (ISBN 978-1-949397-39-0): | Amazon | B&N | Walmart | Waterstones |
If you’d like your local bookstore to order a copy, please provide them with the ISBN.
Baba Yaga Posts
To get a feel for this infamous character, read what we’ve already posted about her…
Baba Yaga: Deity of Death or Regenerator of Life?
You thought the Wicked Witch of the West was evil, but have you met the Wicked Witch of Eastern Europe?
- Do you enjoy fairy-tale characters who are dark, complex, and ambiguous?
- Are you fascinated by the Slavic culture and want to consume everything you can about it?
- Have you ever wondered if, perhaps, Baba Yaga was or is real?
If you’ve said yes, then A Study of Baba Yaga is the perfect book to bring out your inner witch.
If you’re familiar at all with Baba Yaga, you’ll likely say she is a cannibalistic witch. This infamous Slavic fairy-tale character is also perhaps one of the most complex you’ll find. While most others are strictly good or bad, Baba Yaga can be both simultaneously.
Tales about Baba Yaga have terrified children throughout the ages. Not all are scary, though; some are enlightening or amusing. The assortment of old fairy tales provided in this book will show you a side of Baba Yaga you have never experienced. If you want to read the full tale of Vasilsa the Beautiful, you’re out of luck. That story is widely available. Instead, you’ll find a horrifying tale from the late 1700s, a story of how the Devil created Baba Yaga, and a fun story about Baba Yaga and strawberries (available illustrated in a tier reward), and many more.
But who was she really? Did she ever exist? And, more importantly, does she still exist today?
This in-depth study of Baba Yaga looks at not only academic studies, but it also digs deeper into her character and looks at popular and even controversial topics. You’ll discover a side of the witch as she is perceived by those who say they have had an encounter with her.
By the time you finishing reading her story, you’ll either want to crawl back into bed with the covers over you, or you’ll seek out the witch of witches for her guidance.
About the Series
This series about spirits and creatures from Eastern Europe developed from an idea about a future book in the Dragon Village series. In the first story, “Unborn Hero,” a character possesses a book called Lamia’s Bible, which holds the secrets of all the mythical creatures in Zmeykovo (Dragon Village). I wondered what those secrets might be. If I owned a magical book, I’d want to know the weak spots in my adversary’s character. How could I defeat each creature? How could I control them? I began my research with Kikimora and discovered a wealth of information—too much to include in a magical tome, but too much to discard as well. Thus, this book about household spirits begged to be written.
My original intent was for the book to contain beings that appear only in Bulgarian folklore—whether from Thracian, Slavic, or Proto-Bulgarian origins—since the focus of my work to date has dealt with Bulgaria. But again, as I extended my research beyond Kikimora, many of the Slavic spirits I came across were not popular in Bulgaria, but they add so much color to the world of Eastern Europe that to exclude them would have been a loss to the reader.
The stories and other information from across Eastern Europe vary from country to country, and even from region to region. I have compiled that information into a composite whole to paint a picture of each spirit. There are so many more spirits, too many to include in this book. What I have included are some of the most popular, plus a few that may be obscure.
Many, if not all, of the beliefs and rituals about these spirits originate from pagan times. When Christianity dominated the region, “double-belief” became popular—a mixture of Christian-orthodox and pagan belief systems. The old gods may have vanished or become insignificant, often being replaced with the saints. However, the lesser divinities, including the spirits, remained. Christianity did not “replace” the old beliefs; it merely added to them. Peasants viewed the new religious beliefs relevant for their life after death, but to survive in this life, they believed they needed the protection of the spirits who lurked everywhere.
This book is meant to be fun, to inform you about these fascinating spirits, to give you a glimpse into a culture you may be unfamiliar with. You’ll “experience” the spirits through more than words. Where I could, I’ve included various artistic interpretations of the spirits: in art, music, and video, as well as in literature, both old and new. I’ve also included additional material to enhance your understanding of the people and their culture.
As you read this book, imagine you live in a rural area, filled with the unknown. You make your living from the land, where nature is sacred. She can be harsh or she can provide you with plenty. Understand that all of these beliefs and rituals have not completely faded from existence. You can still find places where these spirits are a part of people’s lives. Who’s to say they’re wrong? I certainly won’t.
Whether you believe or not, it’s an enlightening journey discovering these spirits who have existed at least on the pages of stories and have spread from one generation to the next by word of mouth. And I hope it will be a journey you’ll enjoy and remember.
Kickstarter Campaign Project Backers
Here are all the wonderful people who backed our Baba Yaga Kickstarter campaign, plus others who preferred to remain anonymous. We greatly appreciate your support of this project.
Rising Goddess Meta
Dee Dee Chainey
Robert “MidwesternTanuki” Sroka
Deborah A. Flores
Tina M Noe Good
David Lars Chamberlain
Haus of Hudson
K. M. Sanders
Stephanie Houser @healedthroughart