Happy Birthday Anastasia!

Diesen Monat hat Anastasia (siehe Buchserie) ihren 43. Geburtstag. Woher weiß ich, dass sie im März 1969 geboren wurde? Heute erreichte mich die Nachricht über einen neu gestarteten Blog in dem Leonid Sharashkin (der Editor der englischen Übersetzung) eine Kurzgeschichte zum Thema veröffentlicht hat:


Also: Happy Birthday Anastasia!


Nachtrag: Der oben angegebene Link ist veraltet. Im Internetarchiv ist der Text noch zu finden. Um ihn darüberhinaus zu sichern zitiere ich ihn hier:

All my friends and neighbors (and those who watched The Return of Anastasia) know that when I plant my garden each spring, I do so in celebration of Anastasia’s birthday. Once in a while they would ask me: “But how do you know she was born in March 1969?” I would enigmatically answer: “From the Ringing Cedars books!”

One day Mikhail, a neighbor, appeared on my doorstep with an armful of Ringing Cedars volumes. He was all smiles and victoriously pronounced: “I’ve just re-read the whole Series cover-to-cover and nowhere does it say that Anastasia was born in March! And the year 1969 is never mentioned either!” I smiled in return – I love to see people so happy! Inviting him to step inside, I put a kettle on the stove to brew us some herbal tea.

“Are you sure?” I inquired with feigned concern.

“Absolutely sure! This is the very reason I’ve re-read the whole thing! People trust you – but just to think that all these years you’ve been hanging noodles on everybody’s ears!” (The Russian equivalent of “pulling someone’s leg.”)

“Well,” I said, “since you are so sure, I’ll bet you a bag of carrots that I can show you she was born in March 1969 – and I’ll only need one of these books!”

He extended his hand over the table, and we shook hands to seal the deal. I then grabbed his worn copy of The Ringing Cedars of Russia, [Band 2 der Serie] opened it to Chapter 8, “The Answer”, and read out loud: “And here you’ve been living twenty-six years now in the forest, and you don’t even have a single follower.” I then turned pages to Chapter 24, “Father Feodorit”, and read Anastasia’s own words: “Twenty-six years ago, on the very day I came into this world, a young man in his late teens walked through the gates of the Trinity-Sergiev Monastery.”

“See, Mikhail, these conversations took place during Vladimir Megre’s first visit to Anastasia’s glade in the summer of 1995. If she was 26 at that time, this means that her birthday falls on the second half of 1968 or the first half of 1969. Right?”

“Right,” admitted Mikhail, his smile somewhat waning.

“OK, then! Same book, Chapter 27, ‘The anomaly’: ‘The morning Anastasia turned four,’ Grandfather continued, ‘we were standing at the edge of the glade waiting for her to wake up. We wanted to quietly watch and see how she would delight in the new spring day that was unfolding.’”

I read this passage twice for the meaning to sink in. Aha! Anastasia’s birthday was in the spring, which by Russian convention means March 1 – May 31.

“All right, all right,” said Mikhail quite severely. “It’s the spring of 1969, I grant that. But it could be any month – March, April, or May!”

“Don’t get all tense, Mish! After all, it’s just a bag of carrots!” But this failed to comfort him much, so I continued:

“Tell me, at what age do children start walking and talking?”

“I’m not sure. I think my son started walking at ten months, and then talking when he turned one. I guess it can be earlier or later. But how does it relate to Anastasia’s birthday?”

“I’ll tell you in a moment. But this is important: the earliest that human children can start walking is at about 8 months. Even if Anastasia was an exceptionally well-developed child, it could not be much earlier than that. Even in tribes, where people live as close to Nature as it gets, it is very uncommon for a child to start walking at an earlier age – it is just part of human physiology and universal child developmental milestones. You can consult special literature to confirm that. But let’s even assume that Anastasia was such a precocious lass that she started walking at 7 months.”

“OK, let’s assume that!”

“Great! Now look: Chapter 27, ‘The anomaly’, states that at the time Anastasia’s parents died, there was no snow on the ground – Anastasia was crawling about the glade, gathering sticks; there were bugs, and leaves on trees, and she was sleeping on her parents’ grave. It also says here that Anastasia was not yet able to walk or talk, but made her first steps and started talking within days of her parents’ death. That there was no snow on the ground and there were leaves on trees means that it could be any time from May to October. That Anastasia was not able to talk or walk means that she was not seven months old yet. Now, it’s pure math: if Anastasia’s birthday was any time other than March, then she could not possibly have been mature enough to start walking days after her parents’ deaths, which took place no later than October same year!”

There was a long pause. You could hear the clock ticking and a mouse scratching inside a wall. Then Mikhail started slowly rising from the table, and collecting his books: “All right. You won. I’ll go bring you your carrots!”

“Oh no, wait, you cannot leave like that! The tea is ready, and I have not even told you the whole story!”

“Why? Can there be more to it?” said Mikhail with some doubt in his voice, sitting back down on his chair.

“See, even if nothing else was known about Anastasia, I would still guess she was born in March. In our Old Slavic tradition, March (beginning of Spring) is directly linked to the image of Anastasia (which literally means ‘re-birth’ in Greek). The Old Russian name for March is Berezen’ (‘month of the White Birch’), ‘White Birch’ being the totem tree and symbol of the cosmic feminine principle – ‘The White Goddess’ – that Anastasia so beautifully represents. This is true in many other cultures: the beginning of March (March 8) is International Women’s Day (the United Nations-recognized global holiday). The spring solstice (March 22nd) is associated with Anastasia (“re-birth”) in both Russian mythology and folklore, and in the mythology of other cultures, like for example Persephone in the Greek tradition. The first “Earth Day” was celebrated on March 22, and so on. Understanding that there is nothing random about Anastasia and everything about her is infused with meaning, it is difficult to imagine that she could be born any time other than March (“the Anastasia month”) and still be given the name of Anastasia by her parents!

“Also, here’s a logical question: if Anastasia’s parents were consciously planning her birth, what month would they choose for the birth to take place? Here in Book 1, Chapter 9, ‘Who lights a new star?’ Anastasia states that the birth of her and Vladimir’s son (in February 1996) would ‘not be on time’, and says that ideally, the birth should happen ‘when Nature can help with the nurturing.’ What is this best time for the birth, when Nature can help with nurturing a human baby? In the conditions of the wilderness of Western Siberia, it is undoubtedly early March (assuming both parents are there and father actively participates in caring for the woman and the baby): the conditions are no longer as harsh as during the coldest part of the winter, but birth ‘early in the season’ gives the baby the maximum amount of time to grow and develop before the coming of the really cold weather the next fall. So the main factor for determining the ‘ideal time’ here is not the actual weather conditions at the time of birth (in this respect summer would be ‘nicer’), but the length of baby’s first ‘growing season’ – from birth to when things become really ‘bad’ in the fall. Again, as Anastasia’s parents, undoubtedly, consciously selected the best appropriate time, it is most likely that her birth took place some time in early March.

“It also says right here in the first book (and is repeated in many other places in the Series) that Anastasia and her ancestors became amazingly adapted to the harsh conditions of Western Siberian climate by ‘merging with nature.’ Now, consider this: in the part of Western Siberia which is Anastasia’s home, bears give birth to their young in late February – early March. In that part of taiga, there is no mammal closer to humans in terms of body weight, physiology, and diet (in which pine nuts and berries are paramount, just as for Anastasia). If bears, fully adapted to these conditions, give birth to their young in early March, then it is likely that Anastasia’s ancestors, who, as she asserts, have lived in this location for many generations, have adapted to giving birth around the same time, which, as I said, is ideal from the standpoint of physical survival of the young under the very harsh conditions of Western Siberia.

“There are other, less tangible, clues. Again, if we assume that there’s nothing random about Anastasia, then I would guess that she was born on the border of SUNday and MONday (balance of Sun, the masculine, and Moon, the feminine principle). Remember how she talks a lot about a ‘union of opposites’ and the need to transcend the opposites and extremes in order to attain a higher good for all mankind – this is a central part of her world outlook and message – and it can be said that she herself fully represents this union of opposites. Symbolically, there is no better moment to correspond to this as the time frame between Sunday and Monday.

“Another ‘intangible’ clue. Number 3 is central to everything Anastasia imparts. It is the cosmic trinity (Mother, Father, and Child) and all its manifestations, as explained in Co-creation. The very first edition of Anastasia in Russian said there would only be 3 books. In a later edition (Book 2) Grandfather told Vladimir that he would write 9 books (3 times 3). If you read the Ringing Cedars books attentively, you will see that the symbology of number 3 permeates the whole Series (the other key number being 1, the Oneness). So, knowing for sure that Anastasia’s birthday is sometime in early March, I would further guess that it could be on 3/3/1969 (which is actually a Monday) – it just strikes me as a very powerful date composed of only multiples of 3, and 1 (and, if summed, yields 31).

“But there’s no need to go into such esoterics. March 1969 must be good enough! After all, Anastasia’s exact birth date is just a tip of an iceberg. An even more interesting (and most unsettling) question is why Vladimir Megre chose to withhold this information from his readers! He actually did this because -”

I looked at Mikhail and he was sitting there completely smitten! What have I done!?

“Hey Mish! Don’t be so upset! Very few people notice any of it even if they read the entire Series cover-to-cover! OK, I’ll say no more today!”

We ate comb honey and drank tea made with wild herbs from my domain (mints, strawberry leaf, raspberry leaf, horsetail, even a pinch of wormwood), and Mikhail’s good mood was gradually coming back. And then just before he left I took a guitar and sang him my newest song Sex in the Taiga.

“Your are incorrigible, Leo!” laughed Mikhail as he was saying good-bye.

Now you, too, know that Anastasia was born in March 1969 – and it did not cost you a single carrot!

Happy Birthday Anastasia!

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