Astrology of Now: Vasilisa The Beautiful and Baba Yaga

Wednesday January 29th 2014
Vasilisa in the Wood, Ivan Bilibin (1899).

Vasilisa the Beautiful escaped from the child-eating witch of the deep, dark forest Baba Yaga, using one of the witch’s own torches, hand-crafted, as they might say on etsy, from a human skull.

Baba Yaga, a drooling hag who terrorises the innocent and keeps human bones under the floorboards, is something of an innovator when it comes to engineering. Her house is built on giant chicken legs, and she flies through the air in a heavy mortar, the pestle of which she uses for steering and whacking.

The thing about Baba Yaga is this: if you work out how to handle her, and play by her rules, a stay with her may help you. But make one mistake and your skull will be the next to decorate her picket fence.

Vasilisa the Beautiful was not just a pretty face; by dint of cunning, planning and kindness, not only does she get away from Baba Yaga – she steals her fire.

If you encounter dark energy cleverly and consciously, you may be rewarded.

Venus is approaching a conjunction with Pluto. This lord of the underworld is male, of course, but in earlier times he was a she. Ereshikgal was the Babylonian queen of the underworld; Hel was the Norse queen. And in our own system of astrology we have Lilith, an energy, like Baba Yaga, that we find in wilderness.

Venus will just miss an exact conjunction, because on January 31, she turns into forward motion.  Then she will make her way back through Capricorn to make an opposition to Lilith herself at the beginning of March. Challenging times for Vasilisa the Beautiful.

On the same day that Venus turns direct, Jupiter will come into exact opposition to Pluto and the Moon will renew herself in Aquarius — also a temporary disappearance into the dark.

January 31, 2014 Venus turns direct at 13° Capricorn
Jupiter opposes Pluto 12°17 Capricorn
New Moon at 10° Aquarius

This is a highly potent day, and the days before and after are also full of power. How it works for you will depend on your chart and your circumstances. But know that the Pluto-Jupiter opposition is emotionally charged. The potential here is for profound transformation (Pluto) put to good use (Venus and Jupiter are benefits).

Vasilisa brought home fire inside a human skull. She learned how to use Baba Yaga’s own tool, a things of death and darkness. But she uses it to carry light.

(Of course in some versions of the story, the fire burned up her wicked step-mother and step-sisters. Hey ho, justice was rougher in those the land of fairytales. Then she buries the skull and a rose bush grown on top of it.)



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  1. Diane L says:

    I’ve always been a fan of fairytales but those Russians were grim lot. Gorgeous illustration, BTW. 🙂

    Great post!

  2. weaver says:

    fun and informative 🙂

  3. Prospera says:

    My Aquarian Sun is within two degrees of this new moon, making for a startling solar return. Venus/Pluto in the 11th, opp. Jupiter in the 5th, square Uranus in the 2nd. Looks expensive.

  4. Christina says:

    Anyone tell me where I can find a human skull? Heather

  5. flame93 says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Love fairy tales, but this was always a weird one. You’ve made some sense of it! Remember, too, that Venus is “underground” before she comes out of her retrograde, so the energy of Pluto sitting there really emphasizes that this time.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh it works! Just wanted to say happy birthday me, and the new moon on my sun/venus degree to boot; and this Vasilisa story one of my absolute faves.
    Matthew x

  8. Jamma says:

    Oooh … I’m on board with this tale, even though Baba Yaga gets the wrong end of the stick (hehe) … but you know us power Lilith girls — any publicity is good publicity! … 🙂 … The opp between Venus & Lilith sounds very interesting, especially because it’s possible to read Lilith and Venus as two sides of the same coin (a power struggle with oneself?) … this time Venus is in practical Cap, while Lilith transits emotional Cancer … There Will Be Tears!
    And the story itself sounds so Plutonian — transforming raw instinct into intellect, resulting in … Enlightenment? …
    But I wonder — do you think Vasilisa paid a price for choosing Apollo over Dionysus?

  9. Rod JM says:

    All good points, but I don’t believe in just looking at certain sections of the sky and forgetting other parts, especially when they are all linked. What about the effects of transiting Chiron with its upcoming sextile to this Pluto/Venus conjunction and thus trine to Jupiter? Keeping in mind the dispositor/exaltation rules that apply here too.
    As is always the case with western astrology, If we want to keep perspective on all this, its more complex than it appears..

  10. Anonymous says:

    My fateher came from Eastern Europe, and I love the Baba Yaga stories. I see them as more of a psychological allegory. Baba Yaga possesses a kind of fierce, dark wisdom earned by living through a lot of harrowing things (I bet every village had at least a couple of them). She becomes a Shadow figure for the community, carrying all sorts of repressed stuff; very Plutonian. Vasilisa, who has had her fair share of trials and knows that life can be tough and scary, comes to reclaim the power that she has projected onto Baba Yaga. Just as every natal chart contains both Venus and Pluto, every human psyche contains both Vasilisa and Baba Yaga.

  11. Sabrina says:

    I have loved Ivan Biblin’s Illustrations sice I was a kid. Grew up among few lovely Russian ladies that were friends of my grand mother. One of them was quite a character and an amazing watercolorist. There is a rich, colorful imagery in that culture that is fascinating. I went to check her chart from the dates I remember. She has the moon, uranus and NN in Sag. Opposing Pluto-Venus Conj. in Gem. Had to leave her homeland and her husband would join her later, but were betrayed by a couple that knew them. She lived in an enchanting area of town and some neighbors said she would go out on full moons and howl like a wolf :). Don’t even know why I am telling all this. Anyway,this piece reminded me of her. Thanks! xox

    • Christina says:

      Oh, because it is a lovely story and clearly, she deserves to be remembered.

      I also grew up with some of those beautiful Russian children’s books — mainly about stork, bear and fox. They were all standing on their hind legs and dressed in beautiful peasant clothes.

  12. Iris says:

    This story reminds me of a story with a Russian woman with metal teeth. That’s all I remember and a vague Hansel & Gretal story. New Moon for that date 4 degrees away from my Sun and 5 from my Venus.