Feeding my dolly: becoming the brave one

Apr 26th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

A few weekends ago, I was in the presence of priestesses. In a monthly gathering where we remember ourselves as powerful witches and magick makers.

And we told / remembered / entered the story of Baba Yaga and Vasalisa the Brave.

Here is one version of one part of the story:

In a certain Tsardom, across three times nine kingdoms, beyond high mountain chains, there once lived a merchant. He had been married for twelve years, but in that time there had been born to him only one child, a daughter, who from her cradle was called Vasilissa the Beautiful. When the little girl was eight years old the mother fell ill, and before many days it was plain to be seen that she must die. So she called her little daughter to her, and taking a tiny wooden doll from under the blanket of the bed, put it into her hands and said:

“My little Vasilissa, my dear daughter, listen to what I say, remember well my last words and fail not to carry out my wishes. I am dying, and with my blessing, I leave to thee this little doll. It is very precious for there is no other like it in the whole world. Carry it always about with thee in thy pocket and never show it to anyone. When evil threatens thee or sorrow befalls thee, go into a corner, take it from thy pocket and give it something to eat and drink. It will eat and drink a little, and then thou mayest tell it thy trouble and ask its advice, and it will tell thee how to act in thy time of need.”So saying, she kissed her little daughter on the forehead, blessed her, and shortly after died.

Little Vasilissa grieved greatly for her mother, and her sorrow was so deep that when the dark night came, she lay in her bed and wept and did not sleep. At length she be thought herself of the tiny doll, so she rose and took it from the pocket of her gown and finding a piece of wheat bread and a cup of kvass, she set them before it, and said: “There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, and drink a little, and listen to my grief. My dear mother is dead and I am lonely for her.”

Then the doll’s eyes began to shine like fireflies, and suddenly it became alive. It ate a morsel of the bread and took a sip of the kvass, and when it had eaten and drunk, it said:

“Don’t weep, little Vasilissa. Grief is worst at night. Lie down, shut thine eyes, comfort thyself and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening.” So Vasilissa the Beautiful lay down, comforted herself and went to sleep, and the next day her grieving was not so deep and her tears were less bitter.

The story often sneaks up on me.

I remember invoking water at a Yule ritual a few years ago, and I called in grief and the buckets of tears that it can create.

I called in Vasalisa because what most people forget is that she was not always THE BRAVE. She was also a little girl that had just lost her mother.

I know that feeling.

So as I brought people into the story of finding our allies in these unknown times, I realized that bravery arrives on the songs of those who love us. On the wings of desperate prayers and moments of nearly giving up.

I hadn’t felt brave in a while.

I realized I hadn’t been feeling my dolly.

It was so simple. It was completely gone from my mind. When all the world is swirling around you and making things noisy, it’s easy to forget.

Feed your dolly. Sing to it.

Feed your heart. Sing to it.

Feed your spirit. Sing to it.

I looked at my dolly and began to apologize. I took her close to my heart, stuffed her in my shirt, and started to sing.

The morning is wiser than the evening. The morning is wiser than the evening. The morning is wiser than the evening.

I put myself in a bath and then to bed. I dreamt of wide open spaces and flowers and things healing.

I dreamt of beloveds and magick and the feeling that springs from relief.

I don’t have to do this alone.

And neither do you.

You can feed your dolly by:

  • Taking a nap
  • Going out for a walk
  • Singing
  • Lighting a candle
  • Writing
  • Reading a book of magick and wonder
  • Bathing in moonlight
  • Closing your eyes and breathing for a few minutes

You can be brave and wondrous and steady again.

Feed your dolly. She knows what to do.

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