So here we are, the very first Raven Times! Yeah! To celebrate the new year and the birth of the PaganClan! A lot has happened in the last year for us I can tell you, my head is spinning with all the changes… this was the year in which we made “Alive!” (our favourite album up to now), during the recording my Mum died (which sucked... but that’s life…) we got to work with Alan Lee (which blew my mind, because he’s brilliant), Jenny and me collaborated with Transit Poetry on their new album (soon to be released), we saw our first american release hit the press (“Omnia-History” the oldworld pagans vs. the new-world order), we’ve started
working in Theatres (which gives us untold possibilities for playing freaky soft stuff unsuited for festivals), Joe suddenly became a really big cheese in the EC in Brussels (official spokesperson for the vice president...weird huh?). Furthermore, PaganScum records became an officially registered business (our own little anarchist record label)… and now we have this…The PaganClan! I’m really happy that it’s a “PaganClan” and not an “official-OMNIA-Fanclub” because I like to think of all of you not as normal “fans” (ie: jellybrained mind slaves bordering on psychotic …well….most of you aren’t…..well…at least some of you aren’t… anyway, I digress...) but I see you more as free people who have a link to each other and us through the music and lifestyle of OMNIA. We are like a big family who despite our many diffe-rences find a common ground, a bond as it were, in this neoceltic paganfolk nature vibe that feeds us and OMNIA . There is no particular age-group, no particular country and no particular subculture where all the OMNIA listeners come from…(actually I think
some of you would be really shocked to find out who some of the other OMNIA fans are!...) And now to top it all we have this newspaper: The Raven Times. The two Ravens (Hugin and Munin) are the messengers of Odin and keep him updated on current affairs in the world (there’s still no internet in VallHall as yet). But as you are merely a mortal (well most of you…sorry) you just get the one raven…this one…to keep you updated on the world and our place in it… We’re still at the pointy end of the third millennium, Global warming is now a fact, spring flowers blossom in December, concrete and motorways are strangling the land, industrial farming has reduced our animals and plants into soulless slaves, the trees are sick, the water is poisoned, the sky is yellow, the garbage is piling up around our ears and the traffic is jamming but not in the way that Bob Marley intended it and to top it all… the government’s only real enemies are still some nameless faceless Arabs and my supply of homegrown weed!! Man!….. let’s make some music (‘cause we really need it)! ”Ve are OMNIA, velcome to our vorld…” Steve Sic
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New Omnia Merchandise and Special PaganClan stuff! We’ve been busy designing lots of new stuff for the OMNIA shop, because I thought it was about time to add a bit more green to our logo and one thing led to another …so… Now we have a “new look” for our band logo and we’ve had new longsleeves and shirts made, new patches, buttons, Alan Lee/Omnia-postcards and stickers! Next to all this, we added a totally new item: Sexy Omnia underwear for the girls (yeah I know…we’re kinda kinky ..sorry). And especially for you guys, we have a set of PaganClangoodies which will only be available to you (as PaganClan members). To get hold of them you can either: 1: order the “fanfunpack” through the webshop on our site (put your name and “Paganclan-member” in the message space on the order form for proof of membership. ) 2: Buy the “fanfunpack” directly at the merchstand at one of our gigs (simply print out the front page of the “RavenTimes” and take it with you as proof of your membership)….easy?
PaganBal workshops Do you wanna learn to dance a gigue? Well, there will be Pagan BalFolk dance workshops given by our dance-master friends Wen and Emily , they will only use OMNIA music to teach to and as a special finish to the courses (two lessons each) there will be a PaganBal concert by OMNIA and Lebocha for the people that have learned how to do the french traditional dances that Wen teaches. the dance workshops will be on : course 1 = sunday 20th and 27th of januari 2008 course 2 = sunday 10th and 24th of februari 2008 the special PaganBal concert will be on Sunday 9th of March 2008 more info on www.balfolk.nl/paganbal or the Omnia forum
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OMNIA the Movie! Actors wanted! For the new year we have a DVD project cooking. We’ve been pestered for years by you lot to make an OMNIA-DVD, and as every band seems to have a live-DVD nowadays… who are we to say “no”? The biggest problem for us was money, as it’s pretty expensive to make a video project and because we don’t have a big record company pushing us we needed to save up for a while… and now this last year you’ve given us enough to be able to get the cameras rolling! BUT we are going to make this DVD something special, I’ve seen plenty of band-DVD’s and to tell you the truth most of them are a little too boring for my taste. So we will be filling it with plenty of tasty chaos to make it more “Omnia”; a DVD full of strangeness and eco-anarchy as it were.... And one of the things you may be able to help us with is this: We will be recording and filming a special Live-DVD-gig and what we want is the weirdest audience imaginable standing in front of the stage. So we are now looking for people who would like to be our “professional audience” for one day (april the 13th 2008 in the Pim Jacobs theatre in Maarssen, to be more precise). The good news it’s a free gig, the bad news is, it’s an extremely limited number of places…and I know all fans are equal, but because this is a special project we need a special kinda audience… (ie: we will be selecting from the applications) Because this is not a normal OMNIA gig but a Live movie recording, sometimes we will be “directing” you as if you were movie extra’s playing “a crowd”. We are going to be asking you to do all sorts of sillyness so be warned! Also keep in mind it will not be a nonstop musical magic experience, this is film…we will also be doing all sorts of boring technical stuff in between and it will take one complete evening to film all the crowd-sequences (making films is a tricky, slow and sometimes boring business). So, in short, OMNIA is looking for weird cool people who: Can look really freaky and/or wild ie: Fairies, dragons, larp monsters, elves, (half)naked pagans, people in bondage gear, victorian dresses, super Goths, giant bunnies, space suits…whatever (if you can combine it with an Omnia shirt or logo all the better!) and people who can Dance Balfolk and/or do acrobatic visual stuff . If you want to join us in this project, and you have the time for it, simply send an e-mail plus a cool picture of what you can look like (see above) of yourself to: email@example.com with “DVD-gig-crowd” in the heading and we’ll draw the lucky ones from the pile… Everyone that does make it into the DVD project will receive full mention in the credits.
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How to feed a Pagan Band ? In this part of the Raven Times, we’ll give you a glimpse of the life « on the road » with Omnia, from the long journeys to the more or less nice accomodation surprises. But in this edition, we’ll present you the exclusive pagan touring diet and other « nourishing » adventures which are part of Omnia’s food quest before and after the show. Enjoy your meal ! Some people think that the only thing bands need to get their energy is some crates of beer, a few kilos of hard drugs, some liters of strong drink and maybe a bottle of water on stage. You’ll may be surprised to hear that the Omnia members also need some... food. Just because we’re a healthy and equilibrated band (I already see some of you rolling on the floor laughing while reading this), who needs a good meal to be able to perform properly (and I won’t mention the other thing the band members need to give a good performance, you probably already have the answer). All nutritionists (you know, the guys talking so much about healthy food you have the impression you’ll die tomorrow) are insisting on how important it is to have a good breakfast to start your day. It’s even more true for a band, just because it’s probably the only thing you’ll get until the night. Usually, the organizers are providing us with some typical continental breakfast, sometimes quite minimal, sometimes so huge you can nearly drown in the mountain of food being served. And sometimes, while you’re expecting the classical « bread and jam » stuff, you get this : No mistake possible, we’re on a medieval festival. Not precisely what we call a « vegetarian meal », but anyway, it makes some members of the crew really happy.
This « vegetarian » concept is quite unclear in some cases. We were happy to discover for example that fish is a sort of vegetable, that scampi’s are probably a specie of swimming mushrooms, and that a « vegetarian » is « someone who can survive with just some fried potatoes ». Being part of a band means learning every day.
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But anyway, we can’t complain about the way our stomachs are treated, even if it is sometimes a real quest to find some food. A few examples to illustrate it. You arrive in the german countryside a friday evening after five or six hours driving because you have a gig the next day. Then you hear that the only place in the all region where you can eat is a pizzeria (how original) a few villages further. You get back in the van, just to discover that it is closed. You decide to drive back, to finely end up in a sort of church hall where some old locals are drinking some beer while watching the game Leverkusen-Schalke 04 on a huge screen (which was the only element reminding us we’re not in the 1930’s). You’re first reaction is : « By all gods ! They’ll probably burn us on the village square ! », but they were probably too busy watching the football match. But even then, it was still fun, and the people working there were very nice. The grandma made us some cheese sandwiches (probably because she doesn’t like football), and the local beer was very good.
You don’t necessary need to be in the countryside to have some « catering difficulties ». Did you ever try do find an open restaurant a sunday evening in the city center of Luxemburg ? We did, and it turned out to be a real expedition.
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After an hour wandering, we reached a nice greek restaurant, where the waitress looked like wanting to call her orthodox priest to exorcise us. We must admit that some crew members seem quite dangerous when they’re hungry.
Jenny was so starving that she couldn’t wait for a fork and tried to drink her moussaka.
But even in those situations, Steve is keeping his creative mind in active modus. We discovered that night that he is not only a great musician, singer and performer, but also a successful manager. He presented us his new band : Gary the Gamba and the Gambanettes. Soon on a menu near you.
Eating is not only a matter of content of your plate, but also of position. « Having a banquet » means in omniish « eating uncomfortably on a bench », for example
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While « having someone for dinner » doesn’t mean that you are receiving some guests, but just that you’re putting someone of the crew eating on stage as opening act. Very good and cheap alternative if you can’t afford a band to open the show.
But how would Omnia survive without all the delicious stuff the fans are preparing for us. I can’t count all the cakes, cookies, delicatesses or home made jam which give us the energy after the show.
And I have to give a special distinction to Bienchen who’s chocolate cake is becoming a real addiction for the chocozombies in the band. One of the main arguments to play in Germany again. Mich The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 7
Jenny : a Pagan Life in some Pictures
1. This is Jenny aged 7 (blond in a white Victorian dress and maid’s cap!) performing some classical “quatre-mains” piece with “uncle” Norman on an antique grand piano in a mansion near Bristol (UK)…Jenny’s always had expensive taste when it comes to instruments and ‘setting’...
2. Give a 7-year old girl a pink Spanish Flamenco dress with ruffs and they go bananas! Luckily for us, Jenny’s “pink phase” didn’t last too long (although her mum still has the dress). But despite the colour you can already see where Jenny’s clothing style is heading… 3. Oops! 10 years later something’s gone horribly wrong though! This Jenny still plays the piano and has just started on the harp, although she’s obviously very much into depressing Metal bands like Amorphis and My Dying Bride … 8 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008
4. (Spot the Drop-out). Here you can see the social mal-adjustment brought on by too much musical energy, really starting to show through in Jenny. She will still try to adapt by enrolling as a student at the academy of music in Amsterdam…
5. If it ’s not art it ’s not real , if the music doesn’t live …it has no point. Jenny plays the harp seriously now and wants to learn more . The academy is starting to seriously hold her back …
6. “Miss Harp” Jenny starts promoting herself as a harper and lets the music flow…(and isn’t this picture a great start…)
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7. Jenny’s first gig as opening act for Shantalla and other great folk bands at the Celtic Shop Festival , Bergen op Zoom in 1999. This is where she meets Joe and they instantly become friends. Soon after, she quits the music academy and her last chance to be a “normal person”…
9. Upon returning from Ireland , Jenny sets of to the American West Coast (where tons of Celtic Harpers seem to be living), thinking to set herself up as a harper in California. Here you see Jenny’s first ever studio recording session in Berkeley, Ca. She’s actually playing the Monaghan Jig, which you can hear on her “Beltaine” CD (long sold out, sorry…).
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8. She plays everywhere she can , like here in small-town Mijdrecht, making a little money but gaining a lot of experience . She then travels Ireland , making a living there “busking” (playing the harp in the streets of mainly Galway town). (As she travelled mostly on her own , we have no pictures of her there …do any of you?)
10. Jenny aged 20, busking on the Ghirardelli Square (Fisherman’s Wharf, San Fransisco). Note the SMALL pile of Beltaine CD’s on the little box…and the honey jar for tips…
11. Jenny aged 22, back in Europe for good (after a twoyear period of travelling back and forth between Holland and the USA). Here you see her playing solo acoustic harp on the Elf Fair 2002 where Omnia performed as well . Strangely enough , Jenny and Steve didn’t meet at all there and still remained blissfully unaware that they would be living together and marry within a year.
12. This is the last time that Jenny played a festival on her own (doesn’t she look happy?). This picture was taken during the Anno Domini 1402 festival in Luxembourg city 2002 (yes the same festival we still play on as Omnia each year). One week after this picture was taken , Jenny met Steve on the Folkwoods festival in Holland …they fell in love , their music fitted perfectly together and Jenny joined Omnia…! The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 11
My life outside Omnia : Luka’s hobbies When Mich asked me to write something about my hobbies for the Raven Times, I was extremely excited. Finally I could write down something about my other kicks and thrills besides Omnia! Planes, war and weapons, manga, art, instruments, graphic novels, history, games, computers; the list goes on and on. However, with this myriad of options Writer’s Block™ started rearing its ugly head, but fortunately, after a quick glance on my overly full desk, I saw a plastic miniature battle robot towering over the battlefield debris of unpaid bills, empty envelopes, broken rubber bands, old CD-R’s and a brand new Moleskine® notebook. So I chose miniature assembly and painting as my subject of the day. This little addiction began when I was about nine years old; a long time ago, when computers were still fridge-sized behemoths used only for military purposes and the closest thing to an .mp3 player was some type of pottery wheel on which fragile black vinyl discs could be played. I started with a little Airfix model airplane kit (geek info; a 1/72nd scale Yakovlev 9D) and some pots of smelly Humbrol enamel paint. That took almost all my allowance at the time, so I cut the costs by thinning my paints with an old jar of kerosene. This created some interesting structural effects on the model’s surface, but the ensuing pride over the finished result was enough for me to purchase another kit about a week later. Then, after years of constructing similar little kits with increasingly finer detail, I got fed up with the whole squadrons of assembled planes with historically correct camouflage and markings. It’s so unsatisfying when you’ve built a complete cockpit interior of a plane from scratch, only to find out that you can hardly see it when you glue on the transparent canopy that takes away most of the light and distorts the few visible details into a tiny blur. Some time after putting together the brazillionth fighter plane flown by some obscure fighter ace during World War 2 (additional geek info on request), I walked into a comic book shop and discovered the realm of pewter fantasy miniatures. Wide-eyed and with dropped jaw I managed to utter after several minutes: “I didn’t know they made these..” So I bought my first pewter Lord of the Rings gaming miniature (geek info; Mithril Miniatures M42 - Mannish captain on horseback (out of production) ) that set off my miniature craze that continues to this day. They take less space than plastic planes, so I could cram hundreds of the little feckers into a single exhibition cabinet. However, with these miniatures also came a line of new easy-to-use acrylic paints that required no oil-based medium or thinner. This is convenient when living in a single student’s room, but now I had to find some other way to inhale intoxicating fumes. Remarkably, this was about the time I met Steve for the first time.. Coincidence..? Later, after my student’s period and with the tiny air force lying dormant in sealed boxes on the attic, my gaming miniature collection in the cabinet has been growing steadily over the years. Besides being the home of the usual elves, orcs and dragons the dusty glass shelves have now also become the mustering place for menacing steam golems, high-tech combat droids, futuristic assault troops and invincible battlemechs, standing silently to attention like relics of wars that have never been and never will be fought. Merely a few chosen ones have trodden the imaginative landscape on the table, either as heroes or villains, in fantastic adventures that have left only the memory of some fun evenings together with friends.
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Today, a mismatched army of polystyrene and pewter stands in a coat of matte primer, awaiting the touch of the brush of life to put colour to shields, saddles, scales and furs. Eager to join their friends, yearning to move up one shelf to the ‘painted’ section, the models wait in silent anticipation. Again I look at the battle robot that is still guarding the mess on my desk, its armoured face staring vacantly at me, while its radar sensors seem to scan the surreal barren landscape for hostile targets. “Rocky desert”, I think out loud, as I reach for a pot labelled ‘Desert Sand’. I flip open the lid and dip a brush into it. Slowly I start turning the plastic model into a real GNF8-R, ready to take on the enemies of the Shutoral Republic. A new adventure has begun. Luka
If you were... by Steve Sic If you were a reincarnation : I’m a reincarnation of an earlier form of me... If you were a feeling : the feeling you get just after the first joint of the evening. If you were a question : it would be „why?“ If you were a prophecy : it would be written in large messy capitals on a sandwichboard around the neck of some wild-eyed lunatic with a shaggy beard and it would read: „Beware !, the end of the world is upon us!!“ If you were a sound or a music : I would be the even-song of the blackbird. If you were a sacred place : I would be an Oak tree in a forest clearing. If you were a goddess or a god : I would be Tiamat. If you were a word : the word would be „thus“ (sic) If you were a pain : it would definitely be in the arse. If you were an animal : Raven...duh.. If you were a vegetal : I could only be the sweet weed that I love and need. If you were a quest : it would be ultimately pointless... If you were a truth : it would be a lie. If you were a lie : it would definitely be true. If you were a dream : it would be a wet one involving lots of time/space dialations, creamcheese , talking giant otters, inverted reality and other really weird stuff... If you were an object : I would be a branch which has just fallen from the tree. If you were a faith : I would believe in myself as well as in the earth who made me. If you were a colour : BLACK. If you were a country : I would be a previously undiscovered little „primitive“ tribal village hidden away in a mountainpass somewhere in northern europe If you were yourself: I would be playing in Omnia and answering your bloody questions. ;-) The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 13
Joe's one-pot, easy-to-make, easy-to-wash-up-afterwards, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme Irish Stew Serves 4 Ingredients - 8 potatoes - 4 carrots - 2 chicken breasts (free range bio chicken only!) - 4 slices of smoked back bacon (free range bio only!) Vegetarians can replace the chicken and bacon with lentils ;-) - 2 onions - 3 cloves of garlic - 1 vegetable stock cube - 1 litre of water - 1 tin of red kidney beans - salt - grated black pepper - paprika - chili powder - parsley - sage - rosemary - thyme - 1 glass of red wine - 2 teaspoons of olive oil - Heat the olive oil in a pot. Chop the onions finely, crush and chop the garlic and add to the pot, frying gently until the onions soften. - Add the bacon. - When the bacon is beginning to colour, cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add with a splash of red wine. (If you are a vegetarian just skip this bit.) - When the chicken is white and the onions brown, boil the litre of water in a kettle and add it to the pot with the cube of vegetable stock. - Add the peeled and chopped potatoes and carrots and the rest of the wine. - Bring to the boil and then turn to simmer. - Add the salt, pepper, paprika, chili, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. How much of each depends on your own tastebuds. - After 10 minutes add the kidney beans (and the lentils if you are a veggie). - Simmer for 90 minutes. - Eat. Joe
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Behind E.A. Poe and Omnia’s “The Raven” Is it possible to tell the story of someone who has had so much literary influence and still has in modern times ? Is it possible to explain to people who this man was, what his inheritance to the world is and how we can sense it in our own every day existence ? Where does Omnia fit in all of this ? I’m not sure if my story will answer all the questions, yet I will give it a try... (but forgive me for having to keep it relatively short) E.A. Poe, Romanticism, Horror, Tragedy... Born on January 19th, 1809 in Boston, his name: Edgar Allan Poe. His parents were traveling actors who died when he was still a young boy. He was taken in by foster parents, and raised and schooled in both England and the USA. He went to various different schools and the University of Virginia, finishing none... Being a difficult youth he got into drinking, drugs and gambling at an early age and left home to join the US army, from which he was dismissed for being undisciplined. E.A. Poe was a true artist who’s first love was poetry and he managed to publish two small volumes. After he became an assistant editor in Richmond, his literary talents blossomed. He fell in love with his 13-year-old cousin Virginia (this being quite normal still in those days) and married her in 1836. In that same year Poe received credit for (amongst other works) six poems and three stories. “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” was his first collection of short stories. He became editor of Burton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine, and later Graham’s Magazine in Philadelphia (in which city many of his most well known works would be published). He wrote macabre tales such as “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Yet “Gothic Romanticism” was also
a main theme in his works. The element of the exotic, the weird, the monstrous, together with the characteristics of Romanticism: a deep appreciation of nature and her complexities, the slavery of reason to emotion and intellect to instinct and a heightened analysis of the human mind and personality. Tales like these became Poe’s trademark and he still is well known and respected for them by the more gothic and suicidally inclined readers of today.
“Deep in earth my
love is lying and I must weep alone”...
When Poe published “The Raven” in 1845 he finally achieved some fame, which had been denied him before. However, tragedy struck when his young wife Virginia died of tuberculosis, shattering his life forever. Poe was devastated and wrote the words “Deep in earth my love is lying and I must weep alone”... Since early
manhood alcoholism and other drugs played a part in his life and as tragedy knocked on his door he gave himself up to them completely. Changes of personality, suicide attempts, depressions slowly destroyed the man. Although he was now widely known, his career couldn’t be resurrected. What the exact circumstances were causing Poe’s death in Baltimore 1849, on October 7th, remains a mystery forever. He disappeared from his home for three days and was found raving and delirious in the gutter wearing someone else’s clothes, a few days later he was dead... His life may have been short and tragic, yet he will be remembered as a beloved horror and mystery writer and above all a great poet.
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One of a kind...if you see how he describes the lady Ligeia. He describes her as one does nature: she is portrayed as a moth, butterfly, chrysalis, a stream of running water, the ocean, falling from a meteor. Like nature, she is tempestuous under a façade of tranquility: “outwardly calm but the most violently prey to the tumultuous vultures of stern passion.” If you truly get what he was trying to say and share, you’ll find he’s a mysterious, sensitive and loving man... A man we could all feel at home with...and feel we belong... This was the link I was looking for to connect E.A. Poe with Omnia (apart from all the similarities between his and Steve’s life) because Omnia represents more than just music. Life is so much bigger than the average person can see. Live life to the fullest and love nature in all her beauty and strength. Time’s changing, struggles are many... The basis of all life is love and this is available to everyone, in so many different ways...just open up...see, feel and share... The impression “The Raven” made and left on Steve Sic inspired him to put this masterpiece to music and let us think and feel it’s gloomy, plutonian atmosphere once again...as Steve Sic expresses in the following short poem “an ode to Poe’s Raven” (published 2007) As I read this poem dearly I could hear the tune so clearly emanating from these timeless words of Edgar Allen Poe Here a song lay, dreaming, dozing, through the centuries reposing Waiting for our deft composing to awaken it and show That these dark, majestic, deeply moving, ominous words of Poe are a song you need to know… So now the emotion, the despair, the beauty can be felt each time the OMNIA version of the Raven is played and listened to, more and more people have now memorized the words (of Steve’s edited 13 verse version) letting the spirit of young Alan, the social misfit, the struggling artist, the romantic poet live on. “and he’ll be remembered for evermore…” Squinty
16 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008
Bienchen in Wonderland In this part of the Raven Times you’ll find information about the average life of an average pagan, in an average town, in an average country… I’m a pagan and I live in an average town, with average people, in an average European country, on an average planet, in an average solar system….that is to say: I live in wonderland. Does your inner eye show you the picture of a charming girl, living in a land full of wonderful things and does you inner ear play you a song called “Fairy Tale” written and played by a band you should know well, reading this fanzine? Nice scenery, but not at all the one I was referring to. In my case “wonderland” is to be understood more in the sense of “I wonder…” and I wonder several times a day. During the time between Samhain and winter solstice I wonder even more than usual. Why, I wonder again and again, why is this time of the year still called the “dark season”? Which darkness? When have the people living in an average town, in an average European…you know what, last seen darkness? REALLY, WHEN? When I go out in the evening I see street lamps, Christmas illuminations, blinking, blazing advertising signs und laser beams which don’t even give heaven a chance to sleep. You can see the signs of Christmas-disco-light-show-competitions in almost every window and garden. It flashes and blinks so that the top managers of all the electric companies experience one capitalistic orgasm after the other (they don’t know about any other sort of orgasm I guess). Dark? Where? I’m afraid there is more darkness to be found in some brains and souls than in an average winter’s night in an average town, in an… We celebrated Samhain. We honoured our dead relatives, our ancestry, friends and lovers and Mother Earth did go to rest in peace and silence in the part, we live on. May she have time to rest and regenerate in peace and silence. Did I say “silence”? What silence? Cars and trucks growl, planes even annoy heaven with their noise – there are people who fly to New York, just to do their Christmas shopping and I wonder…Uncountable speakers in town yell “Silent Night” at me, crying children are dragged through stores by the hands of their mother or father and I can hear Mother Nature cry out in pain: ”Please, shut up! Be quiet!”, but it seems impossible to hear her through all that noise. When, I ask you, human, when did you last listen to silence? The stillness and silence that surrounds you, if you’re sitting on the edge of the wood and listen to the falling snow and you can actually hear it falling, because there’s nothing but silence around you? People complain they’re not getting enough sun during winter. They carry at least a quarter of their monthly wages to a solarium and look like grilled chicken and I wonder… I know, it’ll come upon you hard and unexpectedly, but what shines out of that sandwich toaster is not sunlight at all, but a radiation, which will give you a short-term feeling of warmth and a long term dermal cancer and the top-manager of the electric company another orgasm. We are situated here in a fanzine of a band, so I feel sort of obliged to use musical symbolism to explain, what I’m taking of: the time between Samhain and winter solstice is a time of decay and death of old , time of retreat, time of darkness. The rhythm is slow like the heartbeat of a hedgehog in winter sleep, the sounds deep, dark and earthy, the melodies more minor than major. Thus is the sound of all nature around you now. And what happens? We go on playing a thousand beats per second, scream in the most highest and piercing tones completely out of tune and out of time. Does harmony really sound like this? Human don’t you recognize, you’re completely out of tune and time? The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 17
And I wonder, why so many people complain of suffering from colds during wintertime and mourn about feeling weak and tired and not at all as powerful as in summer. This would be because it is not summer! Viruses and bacteria are declared guilty – they are blamed for strengthening and breeding during summer and to attack innocent human beings during winter, some even blame them to collaborate with tissue industries (and again a capitalist orgasm). They are just beings who take their chance. They are not the ones to blame, it’s our weakened immune system that’s causing the trouble. And why is our immune system weak? Because it’s cold outside, because it’s dark, because it happens to be winter? Rubbish. If you and a good amount of your ancestry where born here, your mind body and souls cry for winter, darkness and times of relaxation and quietness, cause it’s exactly that, what is in your genes. Body, spirit and soul are yearning to play in tune and along with Mother nature, they want to bid winter welcome and appreciate darkness to be a chance to get rest, relaxation and regeneration. Your immune system is able to cope extremely satisfactorily with cold and darkness, but what it can’t cope with is permanent stress, permanent excessive requirements for yourself, artificial food produced by diabolic food industries, permanent acoustic and visual bombardments by TV, radio, mp3-players and thingy, and by monstrous electromagnetic radiation caused by continuous-mass-smsing. All this is setting your brains into a rather pappy aggregate state and thus you’re willing to believe what is constantly suggested to you: it has to be summer all the time, it has to be warm all the time and I have to be always happy, in a good mood and highly productive…A society denying death, regarding diseases as embarrassing and unnecessary, and retreat and quietness as cowardice, whereas everlasting youth, power and beauty are standard, you don’t find any appreciation for decay, death and retreat; but they are part of us, like they are part of nature and all life. You have to decide with whom you want to play in tune, with society or with nature. You can’t play in two bands at the same time. Only if you decide to play against Mother nature and join the roar of modern average society, in an average town, in an average…. don’t complain about the consequences. We passed winter solstice. We’re still in the dark and quiet season and yet there’s already new life sprouting in Mother nature and in us. After you could let go and decay everything you didn’t want to take with you to the new spring, you will feel something new awaking in your mind and soul, maybe still very tiny and foggy, but if you give yourself the needed rest and quietness, it’ll become more and more clearer, what will come to life around Imbolc. You don’t gain new energy for a new dawn and a new spring out of everlasting sunlight, but out of peace and inner calmness, out of rest and darkness. Learn to appreciate darkness, death and decay, for only if you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to fully appreciate and enjoy life, warmth and activity. Nature plays songs of darkness, death and decay as well as songs of life, lust, sun and warmth and so does OMNIA. Sing, play and dance along with them and you’ll have a great time – and I’ll need to wonder a little less, maybe. Bienchen
18 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008
Behind the Fans : express yourself ! This place is dedicated to all of you: the dutchies who don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of Omnia concerts they’ve been to; the patient fans queuing to get their CD, T-shirt or forehead signed; the people who simply feel at home while listening to Omnia, or even the lonely pagan from the other side of the world writing us how much he feels connected with our music and values. This page is for you! You organize an Omnia fans Meeting? You have a huge Omnia tattoo and want to share it? You have a picture of you with your Omnia T-shirt in front of a world famous monument or landscape (the famous “Omnia Shirt World Tour”)? Your brother is a Luka-look-a-like? You experienced a miraculous apparition of Steve in your cheese-cake? That’s the place to share it! Send me your info and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll may be featured in our selection for the next edition of the Raven Times. So, express yourself and let this page become a great heya-heya gathering place of the PaganClan family! Mich
The Raven Times - PaganClan Team Michel “Mich” Rozek: coordinator, editor, french translation (email@example.com) Liesbet “Lies” Mignolet: coordinator, lay-out (firstname.lastname@example.org) Christa “Squinty” Kloosterman: editor, dutch translation (email@example.com) Sabine Barbara “Bienchen” Schrader: editor, german translation (firstname.lastname@example.org) With the priceless collaboration, help and support of Jenny, Steve, Luka, Joe, Miez, Pieter and Lut (Lies’ mum).
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The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 19