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Who We Are: 

We are a referral network of peers and practitioners who offer various modalities of healing/grieving/processing support in sliding-scale and accessible ways. Think of themes of narrative medicine, storytelling, counseling, non-denominational chaplaincy, grief-work, pleasure-work, birth work, psychedelic integration, depth hypnosis. 


My name is Emily, the founder and accomplice. When I lived in Montreal 15+ years ago, I held a breakfast every Sunday at my place and everyone knew they could come and eat. People didn’t have to RSVP, so I would cook and make coffee and sometimes two people would come, sometimes ten. Low-key. Peer. Human. Supportive.


Fast-forward 7 years, I was sitting in my kitchen at 2am with a 2-month old navigating postpartum & existential sleeplessness. I thought about Montreal. I remembered a dream I had about Baba. In a fit of creative fury I purchased the domain with the dream that one day, when I had more energy, I would build a circle of peer support. 


Five years later I started weaving together what is now, and ever-evolving, The Baba Yaga Collective. I have 'worked' and supported folks in realms of birth, death, sex, transitions, transformations, and non-ordinary states. For the past 15 years being in these spaces I have realized just how profoundly healing it is to listen, share stories, eat food, and connect with each other as peers swimming together. 

Community as a "Teacher" 

One thing that we feel and often hear is "I wish we had been taught how to (...communicate; love; set boundaries; grieve; heal...). At the Baba Yaga Collective, we are learning. We are Peers learning together and weaving the fragments we each hold into an elaborate map and quilt to help guide us. We also (often) do not have ways to find teachers with ease/accessibility. Let's have community be one! There is a great talk by Thupten Jinpa on "Finding a Teacher" that sums up the dynamism of learning communities well.

Baba Yaga as a Mentor

While I was in Montreal I was studying to be an Urban Planner. I was also teaching sex-ed and hosting peer groups to help people process sexual experiences and I was having fun exploring the wildness Montreal has to offer. 


I had a dream one night that Baba Yaga was standing in front of me, wild, wide-eyed, cackling, and naked with a big fire between us and blackness surrounding us. It felt like a dream that lasted forever and I was just watched her in total awe. I woke up and thought... "Baba Yaga." I had heard stories as a child of Baba Yaga but hadn't thought of her since. I took her seriously, though. It felt like a message. I realized that following Urban Planning felt like a plan I didn't choose and I felt called into worlds of Baba Yaga's: birth, sex, death, non-ordinary states of consciousness, healing. 


Baba Yaga is a mythic figure in Slavic, Nordic, and Eastern Europe and most likely has roots beyond. She is a gender-bending Earth Mother who holds space for transformations and raw healing. She didn't fuck around. However, when dominant cultures came to the Pagan, Earth-based, Druid worlds in Northern and Slavic Europe, the message to children was "don't go into the woods or else Baba Yaga will eat you." Don't trust your body, intuition, plant-medicine, and worlds that are beyond the binary of dominant systems. 


Long story short, she is a mythical mentor in our current world of (what feels like) exponential chaos. Looking towards her to help weave, with integrity, systems of support and healing. 

Calling out the IMMENSE love and appreciation I have to Ruth Donovan for the beautiful Art below and in our zines <3  She is a wiley, beautiful, and skilled created who was willing to offer her craft to support the meaning of some of this beyond words!
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