Imagine my delight when I opened up the beautiful gift sent to my daughter for her birthday by her Aunt Stevie (who hand-felted the doll):
Vasilisa is the story of a young girl whose good mother dies, and her father remarries a wicked stepmother with two horrible daughters who treat Vasilisa like a slave. Sound familiar?
As Vasilisa endures their torment and receives no protection from her weak, naive father, she keeps the doll her mother gave her tucked inside her apron. The new regime of commanding voices which berate her, and keep her enslaved, are never ending and Vasilisa is not yet experienced enough to stand up to them.
She is sent on an impossible mission for fire one night, deep into the wilderness, to scary Baba Yaga's house. Vasilisa consults with the doll to find her way there and is comforted by it's presence in her apron. When she finally reaches the hags hut, Baba Yaga barks a list of unreasonable chores at her, planning to eat her when she fails. But the doll provides the magic help, and day after day, she guides Vasilisa and helps her meet Baba Yaga's requirements and is eventually given what she has come for.
The maid survived her dangerous journey, and that which tormented her was burned away in the fire she returned with, thanks to the blessing given to her as a birthright. Her inner knowing and guidance, symbolized by the doll, sends her the message again and again that "The morning is brighter than the evening". She alchemically transforms her own destiny by trusting and following her inner voice.
Being a woman is to go on a long journey, up and over frightful mountains and through dark valleys, listening to harsh voices that we eventually discover do not serve us- and hopefully arriving triumphantly at the place where our intuition speaks louder and more clearly, and our hearts take direction eagerly.
Today I am so grateful for the strong women and new life that surrounds me: for You, who are triumphant as you listen evermore closely to your own guiding voices. You, who enjoy knowing, more than pleasing others.
I am comforted to run into you now and again on the mossy and sometimes shaded foot trails of this path!