|Vassilisa going home, by Ivan Bilibin|
February 25, 2013 3:26 pm EST
At this Full Moon, I offer the tale of Vassilisa, the beautiful, quiet girl whose wicked stepmother sends her off into the forest to the fierce hag, Baba Yaga.
This Russian story, from the time when animals and birds still spoke to us and magical happened every day, offers the perfect Virgo heroine––virginal, innocent, lovely and long suffering.
Clarissa Pinkola-Estes says Vassilia comes across as a bit irritating. Seriously, who could be that good, that uncomplaining? This, too, is Virgo.
So, this Full Moon takes little Vassilisa––and us too, in all our hope and anxiety––and places us at the edge of the deepest, darkest, mistiest forest you can imagine. Look at the chart! Can you see all that Pisces opposite our poor wee girl? Sun, Neptune, Chiron, Mars and Mercury. The gates of Faery are opening and who knows what will come riding toward us.
Vassilisa carries in her pocket a little doll, given to her by her loving birth mother, as that mother lay dying. That doll, Vassilisa's secret, is the clear voice of intuition and guidance, who Clarissa Pinkola-Estes calls the angel mother.
The angel mother at this Full Moon is Venus in the final, strong, anaretic degree of Aquarius. She is clarity and grace, even when she shows us something we would really prefer not to see. To pull in another powerful story, this Venus, at this Full Moon, is the vial of Galadriel that held the light of the Elves' most beloved star, the light that shines when all other lights go out.
In her house of bones, understanding to the finest of fine degrees the laws of boundaries and the limits of this physical life, Baba Yaga is the queen of the dark forest and giver of great gifts to those who know how to ask.
Magic is afoot. Mars in mystical and manipulative Pisces is squared by Lilith in Gemini, a trickster both powerful and angry. Vassilisa (and we, too) must use all her wits and listen carefully to the wise doll, to avoid the snares in this shadowy place.
Jupiter, the great storyteller, in tricksterish, playful Gemini, forms a very tight square to this Full Moon. He has the power to make the monsters in the dark wood appear huge, overwhelming, unconquerable––even when they are nothing more than mice scurrying about.
This Jupiter also has the power to make our power grow, inflating our sense of importance beyond what we can sustain, or giving us just the right boost at the right time to help us stand our ground and face the demons.
Vassilisa is sent into the forest to get fire from Baba Yaga, which she does. She brings it home inside a skull, the fire in the head, the ancient symbol of illumination. Pluto the alchemist is here too, trining the Moon, our heroine. Whatever happens at this Full Moon will transform us utterly. Let's keep our eyes open, so we can act from our best selves and embrace the coming changes.
To layer in yet another great tale, the illuminated skull is like the Grail, the ancient cup of power. The key question "Whom does the grail serve?" is a Virgo question, the quest for our life's purpose. Vassilisa and Parsifal have much in common, innocent and untried as they begin their journeys.
Yet where Parsifal watches the Grail go by carried by maidens, Vassilisa is the maiden who carries the Grail as well as the one who seeks it. In the ancient Celtic myths (of which the Arthurian cycle is one part), the final step of the journey of illumination is the willingness to take it.
Reaching our hand to take the sacred fire, we may––we will––get burned. Is the game worth the candle? Are we ready to do all we can, to become all we may become?
The Virgo Moon looks quite alone in this Full Moon chart. Remember that she (and we) have the angel in our pocket, the connection to our souls, our ancestors and our guides we need to carry us through.
Be kind to those you meet on your journey. Ask the good questions. Offer help when needed. Take the fire.