LA LLORONA V.S. BABA YAGA
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Last weekend I took a stand against the movie critics who panned the new Hellboy and attended a screening of the film. I have been a fan of the films and while we have been spoiled with the Ron Pearlman performance I was intrigued by the choice of David Harbour to play the role. Many people know David as Police Chief Hopper in the Netflix TV show, Stranger Things.
When I attended the movie with Janine, we were both ready for a good popcorn film and as I watched the story unfold on the screen, I was reminded of all the cartoon gore that was seen in the movie “Evil Dead.”
It is so sad that the critics panned the movie because I found it entertaining and full of characters that can only be formed in your nightmares. What was most interesting was the film was chock full of some of the symbolism that we spoke of when we talked about the “Hag and the Pig” on the show “The Big Sleep in the Year of the Big Pig,” with Tracy Twyman.
It appears that with many demons unleashed in the Year of the Pig, there are Hag images that we have been exposed to and as I had predicted the succubus and the changeling are fighting their way into the pop culture.
If you remember the show about the “The Big Sleep in the Year of the Big Pig” talked about men who died in their sleep from night terrors that stopped their hearts. It was reported that many of the men had died because they were dreaming of an old hag that would come to them in their sleep.
Well, in the Hellboy movie, there was a character that was resurrected from the comics that I thought was synchronistic — it was the Baba Yaga, a Russian version of the old Hag who was known to ride a pig and in some stories she also had legs and claws of a Chicken, quite similar to those of Momo another Hag that had 15 minutes of fame on the Internet.
The Momo story has been dismissed as a hoax but the spirit or the specter of the Hag as predicted on this show has turned up in the zeitgeist a number times and it has no sign of abating.
She is, in reality, a Japanese Demon that is really called Umbe Yokai and the image that was seen on the internet was actually a sculpture that showed the “demon” with a terrifying grin and the legs and feet of a cock or rooster.
The Umbe Yokai has many of the same traits as the succubus except she has a penchant for drowning children.
The succubus is part of a hierarchy of female demons that surprisingly were was once male. Usually the succubus appears as a beautiful woman that preys on a man but original depictions of the demonic hag were much like the Baba Yaga, a female demon or witch, that has the head of a female wearing a white or grayish type body of glove over its body, some depicted with a robe or a shawl. This demon in earlier depictions has its name on one leg and the name of its commanding Leviathan on the other. This is so other demons will know who is who. She also has been depicted as having the legs of a cock.
In the film, Hellboy, the symbolism and the monsters are well-researched. There are blood queens and pig demons, the most unsettling scene in the movie belongs to a Baba Yaga – an old Crone witch who lives in a Rooster-legged house and moves like no creature you’ve ever seen.
Baba Yaga has captivated Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola since fifth grade when a classmate gave a book report on her. He wrote Baba Yaga into one of the earliest Hellboy comics, and she’s been both family and foe to Hellboy.
Her appearance seems to be appropriate for the times we live in.
Baba Yaga is a fearsome character from Russian folklore who lives in a hut that walks on chicken legs, and either cannibalizes her visitors or offers them help. Tales of her exploits vary, but typically she either aids young visitors who stumble upon her hut in their journeys, or she cuts things short by attempting to eat them.
Across folklore and within single tales, Baba Yaga shifts between a maternal helper and a cannibalistic villain. She’s well-known as a frightening witch, but Baba Yaga is also an ancient and complex manifestation of origin myths and shifting cultural anxieties.
As the story goes the crone eats children and men “as one eats chickens.”
In some ways, she’s an “earth mother” figure; in others, she’s closely associated with death and cannibalism.
She is a creature that is responsible for winter storms in the spring and has been seen riding the clouds on a pig during severe weather at sea—in this form she has been called the Sea Hag.
She has also been seen in a more empathetic character, Khatun, in the Netlix series The O.A.
Khatun is the mysterious woman whom Prairie, the main character encounters in a dark and starry abyss between dimensions on each of her NDEs. Khatun takes the young Prairies eyesight from her.
The name Khatun is an Arabic title for a queen or an empress. In the popular RPG Game Diablo III Khatun is a demon. There is also a World of Warcraft Old God named C’Thun.
In Hellboy, the Baba Yaga and another character called the Blood Queen played by Milla” Jovovich are actually associated with a boar – a large upright walking pig named Gruagach. Both Baba Yaga and the Blood Queen seem to also be similar to Persephone or Isis.
Always depicted as a long-haired, pale beauty that is sad because her lover has been taken into the underworld.
It is this depiction of the witch or succubus that shares the same traits as the woman shrouded in white that is saddened and cries in the woods near the water.
Coming this weekend is the movie “The Curse of La Llarona” which again pushes the meme of the female apparition or demon that cries over the deaths of small children, and seeks out other children out of vengeance and drowns them in the river.
La LLarona or the weeping woman, a ghostly woman, with long black hair and dressed all in white, wanders alone at night wailing for her lost children, children that she drowned.
A haunting figure in Latin American folklore. For some, to hear her cry is an omen of death. For others, it’s a siren’s song that leads to your own death. But most commonly, La Llorona is ghost in constant search of wayward children to snatch up to replace the ones she lost.
Baba Yaga is a fearsome character from Russian folklore who lives in a hut that walks on chicken legs, and either cannibalizes her visitors or offers them help. Tales of her exploits vary, but typically she either aids young visitors who stumble upon her hut in their journeys, or she cuts things short by attempting to eat them. Across folklore and within single tales, Baba Yaga shifts between a maternal helper and a cannibalistic villain. She’s well-known as a frightening witch, but Baba Yaga is also an ancient and complex manifestation of origin myths and shifting cultural anxieties.
The most common version of La Llorona tale is that of Maria, a beautiful woman born of a rural, poor village. When a traveling nobleman passes through her village, he’s so taken with her that he marries her despite her low station. At first, they’re happy and she bears him two sons. Eventually, though, his travels mean he’s away from his family more and more, until he returns with a new wife- one more suited for his wealth and class. Distraught and wrathful, Maria takes her sons out to the river and drowns them. When her anger subsided and she realized what she’d done, she spent the rest of her days weeping by the riverside in a state of profound grief, wasting away until death claimed her.
There are variations to the details, but the core remains the same: the ghost of the grieving woman haunts bodies of water (or highways and roads in modern versions) in perpetual search of her lost children. It’s a story passed down to children to keep them from wandering off by themselves, especially at night.
With such a long-running history behind the legend, it’s no surprise that La Llorona has managed to slowly enter pop culture in recent years. There’s a good chance that even if you aren’t familiar with La Llorona, you’re familiar with her legend.
She has been seen in TV shows like Supernatural and Grimm and has been depicted as a demon child hunter in other films as well. As the huntress she is known as La Llorona: La Cazadora de los Niños.
What is most interesting about the meme of these characters is that as they are showing up on the internet in the guise of Momo or in movies like Hellboy or The Curse of La LLorona in times where the headlines are sending that message that we live in times of legal infanticide and Filicide.
Many people are still reeling over New York’s Reproductive Health Act was signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The new law allowed full term abortions – meaning that a child can be aborted after 24 weeks.
There is no crime more upsetting than that of a mother killing her own fully formed child in cold blood, because not only does it confound and terrify us on an almost indescribable level, it presents a great deal of unspoken commentary on the ignored cries for help of some desperate mothers as well as the silent pain of abused children. It shows us that some of us are in supreme danger even as innocent babies in our mother’s arms, that even the concept of safety is as much a myth as La Llorona herself. We want to live in a world where such things do not happen.
Yet, these things do happen. In fact, homicide is one of the leading causes of the death of children in today’s world, and an estimated 2.5% of all murders are filicidal.
In 1986, a woman named Juana Léija attempted to kill her eight children, succeeding with the deaths of two. When questioned, she insisted that she herself was an embodiment of La Llorona. Leija was an abused woman who believed she was saving her children from suffering, a more common real-life reason than vengeance. In reality, “revenge” killings by women of their own children are exceptionally rare and it is indeed the least common motivation, according to the experts. One of the most prevalent, however, is “altruistic” killings, in which the mother is convinced that she is somehow saving her children from the agony of life. While La Llorona would be generally classified as a revenge killer, there is an element of the “altruistic” about her as she ends her own life as well, unable to continue existing in the world without her once cherished family, now broken beyond repair.
In the first week in April there was a story that was in the headlines about the Hart mothers and how the authorities determined that both moms drugged and killed their adopted children and drove off of a cliff.
Two weeks ago it was determined by a jury that Jennifer and Sarah Hart gave their six children as many as 19 doses each of Benadryl before driving their SUV over a steep cliff and into the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the night last year.
The children and their mothers all died in the crash in California’s Mendocino County. The verdict was the first confirmation that the married couple had planned the crash that killed their entire family. The case has generated much interest, in part because the two white mothers and their six adopted children had been portrayed on social media as a happy, multi-racial family. Devonte Hart one of the children, who was black, gained national attention when he was photographed in tears while hugging a white police officer during a 2014 protest in Portland, Oregon.
Yesterday it was reported that Columbine High school and a number of Denver area schools were on lockdown because an obsessed young woman who was obsessed with the Columbine shootings threatened to shoot children in the Denver area.
The 18-year-old woman, Sol Pais, had allegedly made threats to schools in the Denver area, putting them into lockout and sparking a search for her. Pais flew on Monday from Miami, where she attended high school to Colorado, and she immediately bought a shotgun and ammunition.
Pais had allegedly expressed an infatuation with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Because of her “troubling” comments and actions, including buying three one-way tickets to Denver in consecutive days – she was considered a credible threat to the community and her threats of hunting children were not limited to one school.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office had called Pais “extremely dangerous.”
Today April 17th, 2019 it was reported the officials found her body, apparently with a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tips led authorities to her body, which was found in the mountains alone off of a trail in Clear Creek, Colorado.
She was found near the Echo Lake Lodge at the base of Mount Evans in Clear Creek County.
If you make the esoteric synchronicities we have mothers driving their kids off cliffs into bodies of water and a child hunter dying in an area that is situated near a lake.
Who says that mimetic triggers are not forced by what is screaming to get into the zeitgeist? Who is to say whether or not the spirit of a demon or an apparition is not appearing on the internet or the movies is not done for a reason.
Kenneth Anger a Satanist, author, and director of the film Lucifer Rising has said that films are quite effective in ritual magic. He has said that some movies that are made are invocations or evocations to cast a spell on the audience.
The purpose of some films is to stir the primal forces and are used as magical weapons to stir the soul out of conformity. The flickering image according to Anger creates a thought form and even if the image flickers for no one, it is still a causal engine that sends the image into the ether. If someone picks up on the meme and it is successfully implanted in the zeitgeist it is theorized that the very nightmare could easily transpire in the real world.
Now, this may sound crazy but you must consider how films and books that are produced as science fiction or horror fiction can sometimes mimic or predict the future or even influence the present.
What if some movies are ceremonies to invoke certain demons in order to unleash a viral idea or meme on society intentionally or unintentionally? Could the idea leap out of the screen into reality?
La Llorona reflects a waking world nightmare of the scorned woman, obsessed with terrible revenge, and the death of innocence, both metaphorical and tangible.