This is a review of mine that orginally appeared on my NatureMoms Blog.
Imagine for a moment that you traveled to a distant and ancient forest in Siberia and met a man 119 years old that claimed to know of a tree that had healing powers and that he offered to you and your family a piece of that tree. Imagine too that you meet a woman living in that remote forest who has no possessions, no home, no money, no clothes besides what is on her back and that living this way is her choice. She lives in complete harmony with her environment, she is the picture of vibrant health and mental clarity, eats only what the forest provides, and has even manged to befriend the animals in the forest like something out of a Disney fairytale. Sounds a bit incredulous right?
Well, this was the experience of a Russian entrepreneur named Vladimir Megre who went on an expedition to Siberia in 1994. He was there to establish commerce with remote Siberian villages and while on this expedition he met a Siberian elder that told him about “ringing cedars” or trees that had been esteemed since Biblical times for their curative powers and their ability to re-connect human beings with the Divine. The man invited him to go into the forest with a team to recover one of these trees that was in its third year of “ringing” and would soon die away and become useless. People could harvest its cosmic energy by cutting it into pieces and wearing the cedar pieces next to the skin and rubbing them.
Vladimir could not delay his expedition without great financial cost so he declined the invitation. After his expedition was over though he could not seem to get the experience out of his mind. He was compelled to research the cedar trees and a deep look into ancient folklore and Biblical record compelled him to believe that what the elder man had told him might be true. He went back to the taiga forest soon after.
On this latest journey Vladimir witnessed incredible spiritual phenomena connected to the ringing cedars and he met the elder’s granddaughter, Anastasia. She shared with Vladimir her unique perspective on life, gardening, child rearing, healing, sexuality, nature, and religion. This encounter transformed him and upon his return to civilization he abandoned his business and moved penniless to Moscow to devote his days to fulfilling Anastasia’s request that he write a book about what he had learned and share with the world.
When a friend of mine of related to me the background story of this author I was hooked. I had to read the first in this ringing cedars series entitled Anastasia. After reading it I can now see why it has been translated into 20 different languages and has sold over 10 million copies (just in Russia) making Megre one of Russia’s most celebrated authors. This series of books has in fact been transforming the culture of Russia with many Russians leaving the cities to live in garden communities, to raise their children closer to what is described in the books. It is an amazing piece of literature.
Whether or not you believe in all that Megre said happened on his journey (and it is hard to believe some of the things he said happened) it is still a good read and I will be continuing to read the series. If his story is to be believed I can see why he abandoned his previous life to dedicate his life to spreading Anastasia’s message. What other course could you take when you discover that everything you ever knew about the meaning of life was wrong?
There are some good lessons to be learned about healthy raw eating, the importance of raw foods, living an active life, and being in tune with nature on a primal level that most of us have no concept of. I love Anastasia’s attitude about food or rather her lack of attitude about food. It is hard to relate to her because food is such a HUGE part of our lives and culture nowadays but how much healthier would we be if it did NOT play the role in our lives that it currently does?
This was an excellent weekend read….Anastasia.