Vasalisa Approaching the Hut of Baba Yaga from MYTHING LINKS Baba Yaga page
I am still reading Chapter 3: Nosing out the facts: The Retrieval of Intuition as Initiation in Women Who Run With the Wolves. My plan was to finish the chapter and then write a summary but I think it is too complex for just one post and I am going to follow my intuition on this.
In this chapter Dr. Estes discusses the Russian folktale "Vasalisa". In this tale, the heroine, Vasalisa goes through several trials or tests and is helped by a small doll that her dying mother gave her. Vasalisa's wise doll symbolizes her intuition.
...the doll represents the inner spirit of us as women; the voice of inner reason, inner knowing , and inner consciousness. The doll is like the little bird in fairy tales who comes and whispers in the heroine's ear, the one who reveals the hidden enemy and what to do about it all. This is the wisdom of the homunculus, the small being within. It is our helper which is not seeable, but which is always accessible.When I first started on my journey of self discovery I became very interested in intuition. I read a few books on developing it. I felt cut off from any inner knowing and I didn't trust my hunches or gut feelings.
We, like Vasalisa, strengthen our bond with our intuitive nature by listening inwardly at every turn in the road. "Should I go this way, or this way? Should I stay or go? Should I resist or be flexible? Should I run away or toward? Is this person, event, venture true or false?"I started to do this a few years ago. Once in a while, I would act on a hunch, an impulse. I did it when nothing too unpleasant could happen anyway. I don't know how successful these initial, feeble attempts were. I remember having the feeling I should give a CD to my landlady, that she would like it. I didn't let doubts stop me. (She'll think I am crazy, she won't like it, this is stupid) I just bought it (Enya's Memory of Trees) and gave it to her. I don't know if she thought I was strange or if she even liked it. Nothing really wonderful happened as a result of this small act of following what I thought was my intuition. But I still remember doing it, years later. I still feel glad that I did it even if I don't know, and may never know if it was the right thing to do. I guess this is one time when I can live with the ambiguity of it. I have tried to repeat this 'hunch-following' tradition. I have to admit there is something freeing and joyful in doing something and not analyzing it over and over again, just getting an idea and doing it.
A woman's grasp of her intuitive wisdom may be weak as a result, but with exercise it will come back and become fully manifested.I wouldn't say that my intuition is fully manifested, but I feel more comfortable about trusting it. And that is a big step for me.
Later in the chapter (I am skipping lot's of good parts about woman's fear of her own power and about the 'myriad faces of the subterrene feminine.') is the discussion of the 'fiery skull' as another symbol of intuition.
Each woman who retrieves her intuition and Yaga-like powers reaches a point where she is tempted to throw them away, for what is the use of seeing and knowing all these things? This skull-light is not forgiving. In this light, the old are elderly; the beautiful, lush; the silly, foolish; the drunk are drunken; the unfaithful are infidels; things which are incredible are noted as miracles.....I am not sure I have a fiery skull yet. I am probably still in the small doll in my pocket stage and so I haven't really felt this desire to put out the light. But I can understand it and in understanding it, I hope I can be ready for it.
Yet, when one sees thusly and senses thusly, then one has to work to do something about what one sees. To possess good intuition, goodly power, causes work....
It is true, I will not lie to you; it is easier to throw away the light and go to sleep. It is true, it is hard to hold the skull-light out before us sometimes. For with it, we clearly see all sides of ourselves and others...
And further, Dr. Estes discusses how intuition gives a great power of discrimination which we can use in choosing friends, lovers and teachers who are supportive of our wild growth. She describes life as a smorgasbord, where we be satisfied to choose what is near us on the table, or we can use our intuition to determine what we want, independently from what is available.
The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is you want.I think this is especially important in this age because everywhere we are being bombarded with messages, advertisements, slogans telling us what we should want. After hearing these all day, it is so difficult to sort their external screaming from the internal soul whisper. But I have tried to do it their (society's) way and I wasn't happy. It is a good question, "What do I want?" I don't have an answer yet, at least not one that I really feel deeply satisfied with. I will keep asking it, keep following the murmurs of my emerging intuition, my blossoming power.
... There is around us a constant beckoning world, one which insinuates itself into our lives, arousing and creating appetite where there was little or none before.
...To chose just because something mouth-watering stand before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-Self. And that is what intuition is for; it is a direct messenger of the soul.