Baba Yaga and Koshei Bessmertny: Russian Fairytale Characters or Extraterrestrial Visitors?

Where do you think fairytales come from? We know very well that some fairytales have been written in the relatively modern times (Brothers Grimm, H.C. Andersen). But even then, the authors took a lot from old folklore, from legends of the ancient times.

Baba Yaga

There is no culture in the world that doesn’t have fairytales. Even Egyptians did! And so did the Romans! It is very possible that the origin of fairy tales dates thousands of years or even more: long before humankind could write, the legends were carefully passed down from generation to generation.

Naturally, every generation told those tales a little differently. And a little differently. And a little differently again. Some of the details were inevitably “lost in translation”. Some details were added. But if we look into the essence of those stories, we might see something that no one has ever seen before: the truth about how the world was then, when those seemingly fairytale creatures actually walked the Earth.

Today, I would like to talk about two of the most famous Russian fairytale creatures: Baba Yaga and Koshei Bessmertny.

Who Is Baba Yaga?

In Russian folklore, Baba Yaga is an old ugly woman (baba here means “grandmother”). No one knows exactly how old she is. She lives in a hut which is very interesting: it has chicken legs. Normally, the hut is facing the forest, but if you say certain words, it uses those chicken legs and turns to you.

Baba Yaga has the power of flight. She flies, sitting in a bucket and helps herself with a broom. All the children are taught to be afraid of her: she cooks and eats them. However, it is surprising that sometimes she actually helps people, especially if they are righteous. She tells them secrets about how to defeat their enemy and even gives them tools to do so! One of the best examples is the fairytale about Vasilisa the Beautiful (or as she sometimes called, Vasilisa the Fair).

Who Is Koshei Bessmertny?

Baba Yaga has a buddy (who is sometimes depicted as a relative): Koshei Bessmertny. His name means “someone thin as bones and immortal”. He is incredible skinny, and some fairytales even describe him as a skeletal being. Koshei is immortal in all the conventional ways, but there is something that can nonetheless kill him: his death is in a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a quail which is in a hare, which is in a chest under an oak on a faraway island…

Koshei

Even though Koshei looks frail, we know that he can be a pretty powerful wizard, and some folklore even describe him as a “king” who likes his gold.

What If We Dig a Little Bit Deeper…

As we know, fairytales develop from old folkloric legends, which had been passed from generation to generation, even before humans could write. The events in those legends happen in the ancient times, when the world was different and gods walked among humans. Just like Egyptian, Sumerian or Mesoamerican gods, let’s imagine for a minute that Baba Yaga and Koshei Bessmertny existed. Who would they be? But most importantly, WHAT would they be?

Russian folklore was not the first place where Baba Yaga found herself. Before Christianity, ancient Slavic people practiced paganism, or Slavic Vedism. Various gods were worshipped: god of the Sun, gods of wind, air and fire….

The Real Baba Yaga

  • In Vedic culture Baba Yaga was a powerful wizard, protector of the nature and animals, basically a goddess of the Earth. She brought people of the villages knowledge and taught them useful skills, just like Greek gods, Egyptian, Sumerian and Mesoamerican gods…. The fact that every now and then she helps good and righteous people makes me think they haven’t completely forgotten her real nature.
  • Besides helping with knowledge, Baba Yaga gives people tools and weapons, unknown to them, and therefore, magical. For example, she gives Vasilisa a talking doll that helps her complete some impossible tasks and a skull that emits deadly light. Others get a magical “horse” that can fly, liquids that can kill (or paralyze to fake death) and later bring back to life and many other interesting items. Could that also be technology, mistaken for magic?
  • Another interesting thing is that when she flew, she moved with clouds of thick smoke and even fire, trees broke around her path and the noise was horrendous. Does it remind you of anything?
  • What does she fly in? In Russian fairytales Baba Yaga flies in a mortar. But let’s look at the Russian translation of the word “mortar”: it translates as “stupa”. A stupa is a bowl that you use for grinding herbs (a mortar). A stupa is also a flying machine, used by Hindu gods. Those flying machines are also called “vimanas”. The conic structures for prayer and meditation in the East, built after vimanas, are still called “stupas”. The whole Vedic culture came to the ancient Russia from ancient India, so it’s not surprising that some words got adopted from Sanscrit. Naturally, with time people forgot the second meaning of the word “stupa”, and Baba Yaga “transitioned” into a mortar.
  • Baba Yaga lives in a tiny hut on chicken legs. If you think technologically, what do chicken legs remind you of? That’s right – a tripod. The hut also turns around itself, when magic words are said. Tiny dwelling on tripod stands that rotates around itself?

So, we have a member of some advanced race, so advanced that she is treated as a goddess, who flies in a fiery personal craft and lives in a rotating dwelling on stands. She is a protector of the environment. Additionally, she passes her knowledge on humans and every now and then lends them powerful otherworldly technology. Hmmmm… Baba Yaga, what or who are you?

The Real Koshei Bessmertny

Koshei is not any less interesting. Let’s see:

  • He is depicted as a very skinny man and sometimes even looked like a skeleton (Koshei can be translated as “made out of bones”). But no one says that he is some kind of a zombie. He is very much alive.
  • Even though he is thin and looks frail, he is ridiculously strong. Besides, he is incredibly resilient and can stay alive without life support for a long time (aссording to some legends, he was held in chains without food and water for three hundred years). He knows how to fight and ride a horse.
  • Koshei cannot be killed by any conventional weapons. However he can be defeated. His death is very well hidden (remember? It is in a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a quail which is in a hare, which is in a chest under an oak on a faraway island). What is that needle? Some kind of a crystal? A chip? An antenna? Are quail and a hare and everything else in this complicated setup just some metaphoric descriptions for something technological? Only because the ancient Russians didn’t know how to find words for this technology, we have a needle, a quail and a hare.
  • Koshei collects gold and is known to abduct women. However it’s not clear what he abducted them for, because in fairytales the women were always released before he did anything to them. Why did he collect gold? Well, we learn from many legends that gods always wanted gold. If we assume that all the gods of Greece, Rome, Egypt etc. are the same individuals as the first gods of Sumeria, everything becomes even more logical. According to Sumerian texts (eloquently explained by Z. Sitchin) their gods Anunnaki even created homo sapiens to help them collect gold. Was Koshei created for the same purpose?

So, based on this description, could it be that Koshei Bessmertny was some king of a cyborg if not an actual robot? Extremely skinny appearance, but at the same time incredible strength and ability to survive without food and water make this conclusion entirely logical. The further proof is the fact that he couldn’t be killed except by destroying his main “processor”.

Let’s imagine that one day Koshei was sent to Earth to collect certain data, gold, and possibly, even human females for the purposes of the gods. But something happened and no one came to pick it all up. However, Koshei continues with what he had been programmed to do. With time, his gold collection becomes enormous, legends about female abductions spread across the land, and Koshei Bessmertny takes his place as the main “evil” figure in Russian fairytales.

Are There Other Characters?

Baba Yaga and Koshei Bessmertny are not the only ones who could be something more than just fairytale characters. There are plenty of other magical creatures: for example, a three-headed dragon. Don’t you think it’s strange that dragons (or dragon-like creatures, such as snakes and serpents) are mentioned in pretty much every world culture? There is a talking doll (another robot?), Solovei-Razboinik, who is a scary demigod that can kill with its whistling (remember Jericho trumpets in the Bible?), as well as a bunch of mystical rulers of the forests, lakes and seas… The list is long. And if we don’t look at fairytales as some made-up stories, but treat them as serious ancient texts, we might discover all kinds of cool stuff. Just open your mind!

All images used in this article are courtesy of www. wikipedia.com and are listed as Public Domain

And what do you think about the possibility that fairy tale characters might have been real ancient entities, perhaps even of the extraterrestrial origins? Do you know of any myths, tales or legends like that? Share in the comments!

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