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Featured Article: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin
Baba Yaga is, in Slavic folklore, the wild old woman; the witch; mistress of magic; a mythical creature. She is also seen as a forest spirit, leading hosts of spirits. Stories about Baba Yaga have been used in teaching children the importance of reverence for the delicacy of nature and the spirit world. They were also used by worried parents in an attempt to frighten children from wondering far from home.

Baba Yaga's legacy is derived from several Eastern European cultural groups and her character differs depending on who tells it. The outcome of the story, however, usually emphasizes a purity of spirit and polite manners. Baba Yaga can also be a source of guidance when approached correctly. When Baba Yaga is approached without good preparation, sincerity, and due respect, she is dangerous. When too many questions (or the wrong questions) are asked, she is also dangerous. Only by maintaining pure heart and faith, proper respect for her as one's elder, and loving care of her creatures can the encounter be successful.