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This week Ana and I are exploring a fascinating story: that of Vasalisa the Wise and Baba Yaga. I remember reading that story as a kid, it was in my Time-Life fantasy book. I remember loving the images and being creeoed out by the Witch.
I was inspired to make two spreads because I really liked Clarissa Este’s retelling of the story and her archetypal explanations. The first spread focuses on Vasalisa listening to her intuition (the doll). I had the idea of using the matryoshka dolls as a metaphor for her going inward. I placed her in the woods. The first layer is Vasalisa in the woods.

 The second is her naked and with her hair completely loose. This is her listening to her self.

The third layer shows Vasalisa’s bones, her structure.

And the last layer is the doll: her heart, her core.

 Here is a video to see how these layers move:

The three horses on the right represent the horsemen that Vasalisa encounters on her way to Baba Yaga’s house.

I loved working on this spread! I wanted to make a second one that shows a bit of what we are meant to take away from each character. In particular, Baba Yaga. She scared me a little when I was younger but now I see she is a woman who is fully in her power and is accountable to no one but her. And I love that.

The thread connects these three characters, it’s almost as if they are the same person.

Wish my legs had such cool tattoos! Be sure to take a look at Ana‘s pages too.