Vasalisa has her Doll, she feeds her, talks to her, asks her “which way do I go?” The Doll bumps along in Vasalisa’s apron pocket, indicating where to go, which way to turn.
The forest that she has entered has towering trees, low shrubby bushes, noises that startle, shadows that spook; and an unfamiliar air about it. Through all this, Vasalisa walks on, with the Doll as her guide and a willingness to move forward to Baba Yaga.
As she is walking, Vasalisa hears the distant gallop of horse hooves, and through the forest a white clad rider on a white horse rides past her and vanishes on the path ahead. A little while later a red clad rider on a chestnut horse gallops by, appearing and disappearing like the first. Sometime later a black clad rider on a midnight steed gallops past. Vasalisa, intrigued, keeps moving on. In time the Doll directs her to a
cleared site, with a strange house in the middle. This abode could only belong to one woman…..
This was the first task I illustrated, maybe because I had spent so much time myself‘Finding the Way.’
I could clearly envision Vasalisa walking into the forest, along a path that eventually leads to a fork.
Which one will she take? It is not clear, however she has her Doll and that is the most important thing.
By now you can see that the Doll is Intuition. Vasalisa feeds her and in return the Doll assists her in finding her way into and through the forest. The Doll is a constant because Vasalisa has been attentive to her. The Doll embodies ‘knowing’, and is the only way for Vasalisa to find Baba Yaga. This rich metaphor illustrates how we need to be attentive to our intuition. In our ‘gut centre’ we feel the messages from the deeper part of our being, our intuition. Ideas, knowing (as opposed to knowledge), understanding; our gut centre assists us in deciding what is right or wrong, we get uneasy, excited, scared, and nervous all in our tummy. These symptoms are the physical manifestation of messages from our intuition.
Vasalisa’s journey into the forest is similar to our foray into the ‘unknown’. There is so much that is familiar to us, things to spook and scare us, or make us want to run away. By paying attention to her intuition, Vasalisa has successfully traversed the path through the forest, and has arrived at the destination of her next challenge.
Our time spent ‘Finding the Way’ may be either long or short, and we may repeat the journey time and gain through-out our lives and through it all we have the company of our intuition.
(With regards to the horsemen, well, that is revealed by Baba Yaga herself later on in the story!)