Raven Times III, editorial Hey dear PaganClan brothers and sisters! Here we are, already the third edition of the Raven Times, more than 9 months after the creation of our Clan... and my first editorial. What can I say... The band is growing, and our PaganClan, with more than 1.700 members, looks more and more like an ivy spreading around and eating up the concrete under its leaves. And we’re amazed by the way all these people around the world can be in resonance with Omnia, not only musically, but also in the values and the ideas, and on this will to make things change. Don’t get me wrong. We’re definitely not a sort of pagan eco-anarchist version of Rage Against the Machine, raven on the shoulder and fist in the air. We represent only but ourselves, are not a movement or a sect, even if Steve would be an interesting guru . We have no secret political agenda or any plan to create a new religion or a new party. But even then, we cannot hide our opinions behind our music, and our music is even part of it. Omnia is not just a band, it's a lifestyle. It's making music like you're breathing. We're always honest with ourselves and the people who listen to our music. And seeing that some people are sharing the same concerns, the same angers as we are gives another dimension to our work. The only revolution
we are calling for is to change ourselves, just to be something else than a cancer consciously killing our planet slowly. It reminds me of a discussion I had with my grandmother a time ago. After another endless speech of me about the criminal attitude of the catholic church and the aberration of its dogma's, and its responsibility in the development of the modern society, she just asked me rather upset: “But, what are you then?” As I couldn't define myself as a Christian, she was expecting an obvious label where to classify me. As my previous attempts to explain her my pantheistic beliefs were unsuccessful, I just answered: “I'm trying to be a good man. And that's already difficult enough.” Trying to be a good man. As I can't change myself in a butterfly, a grain of wheat or an apple tree, it's the only thing I can do. And trying to live in resonance with the nature, the spirits of the earth, by the music you play, the way you breath, the way you live, the way you consider your own world, is only the first step. And Omnia is definitely a big part of it. But anyway, it's time for me to let you enjoy this new edition of the Raven Times. Just have a seat, get a glass of fresh drink, take a deep breath and plunge into a new episode of our pagan adventures. Greenthings! Mich The Raven Times 03 - July 2008 - 1
PAGAN FOLK LORE, what is it? Is it a faerytale novel by Steve? Is it a picture book by Sic, Miez and Alan Lee? Is it a documentary of weird paganism? Is it a comedy show? Is it a pure Live-concert DVD? Well, I don’t know anymore...it’s all of the above and lots more. One thing I can guarantee though: It is definitely 100% OMNIA! Oh yeah, and it’s also definitely un-censored (live recordings of the PunkBand “Scum”, Mich’s nipples uncovered! Joe explains about bondage in Ireland! Steve out of his head on camera! Jenny sings reli-country! Luka plays death-metal! etc. etc.)... “Pagan Folk Lore” has been the hardest, longest, most prestigious, definitely most expensive multimedia Art-project that I’ve ever worked on in my life. This story-book/DVD project has come together through the work and dedication of a whole team of professionals from the movie, music, writing and publishing world, all working together as one big creative team to bring you this ultimate fantasy/reality trip into the world of OMNIA.
And be assured that if anybody ever has any question about us, or wants to know who we are and where we come from, as well as what we do and why....this book/DVD will supply the answers. For now it is all written and recorded in the one and only “PAGAN FOLK LORE”. Some of it will make you laugh, some of it will make you cry, a lot of it will shock you. But all of it together will certainly blow your mind, this is certainly not“just another bloody boring band-DVD” this is OMNIA, this is art.
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So now finally there’s a solution for all those freaky people living in Siberia, Alaska, Senegal, Swindon and other “difficult to get to” places who keep pestering us with questions like “Why do you here never come to perform in outer-Mongolia please? We so much like to see you guys”! All these sad feckers who are disappointed because they will never get to see an actual OMNIA live-gig, pay attention, I will write this only once: Get hold of this Book/DVD through our own Omnia-webshop or other retailer. Read the book, look at the pretty pictures, relax and remember. Then pick up the phone and invite your most tasteful friends to your house. Clear your living-area of all obstructions, ask your friends to help you push all the furniture to the side of the wall (or out of the window depending on available space). Then, put a large television and a dvd playing-device on one wall with speakers on either side of it (the bigger the better). Stand in front of the telly with aforementioned friends and be sure to have a grand supply of drinks, ecosnacks and/or smokes (depending on preferences and personal dogma). Place the OMNIA DVD-disc in machine, crank-up volume to maximum....and press “Play”. And then you actually CAN “join us for some PaganFolk”, and dance your little hearts out at the OMNIAFairy Ball, where ever you may live!....Enjoy!
The “OMNIA-Pagan Folk Lore” Book/DVD will be released at Castlefest 2008 . Sales will start on the 1st of August at the OMNIA merchandise stand, she will cost €25,- and will also be available online from our webshop at the same time...
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European Roots Theater Tour In the new theater season, starting in September, we will be exploring more of our own musical roots in this special OMNIA tour about the origins of European music. We’re working on a program in which we get to use all the original musical instruments as used by the indigenous peoples of Europe from around 30.000 BC up until medieval times. Instruments taken straight from nature made from stone and wood, bone and skin...filled with the pure and simple magic of the earth itself and used in intuitive pieces we call “soundscapes” in which we try to touch the shamanic and pagan roots of all our music. Of course we’ll also play plenty of our well-loved songs and tunes to keep your feet tapping as well as keeping your soul from disappearing into a spiritual netherworld of forest faeries and mountain spirits of old. Check our online agenda for venues, dates and ticket-reservations.
FairyBall II (the horror continues) There will be another extra long OMNIAFairy Ball in the Pim Jacobs Theater in Maarssen (NL) on December 21st (Midwinter) 2008. You’ll get the sound quality of a Theatre but without the chairs! There’s gonna be a Dress-code, there’s gonna be lots of BalFolk-dancing, there will be guest musicians and there will be Mead and loads of Faery-merriment, OMNIA style! Tickets will be limited and €20,- a piece. Presales will start in the autumn, and you (Pagan Clan) will be the first to know ;-)
Fans What’s a fan? Are they irritating or are they really cool? Bands and Artists have different opinions about this as it can vary tremendously BUT Fan-dom lives within us all and you know I am a fan too. When Jenny and I were in Devon recently we stayed at our uncle (Alan Lee)’s house. I’ve been a big fan of Alan’s work ever since I read “Faeries” as a teenager and I was blown away every time I entered his house, you literally trip over the original artwork from famous books and films lying around there. Did you know I held the actual staff of Gandalf as used by sir Ian in LoTR!!!, Alan was given it by Peter Jackson when the movie work was done and so there I stood, waving it around shouting “You shall not pass!” at the top of my voice, making a complete idiot out of myself in Alan’s back garden,trying to smoke Gandalf’s pipe which is slotted into the top etc. but who cares? You see I’m a fan, fans are allowed to be weird sometimes. When I watch Alan draw and paint in his studio I get goosebumps. We also visited Brian and Wendy Froud at their beautiful house (or should I say “Museum and nursery of all things faery”) and I could hardly speak from shock (can you imagine that?), You see I am a fan and I just stood there with a silly grin on my face, drooling slightly, staring at the original puppets and paintings from books and movies that have helped to shape my twisty little brain and soul. I think I might have managed to say “uh, duh..I really like uh..your work..uh..erm. It’s really good erm you know..guh..” Wendy made a Dracula castle chocolate cake and I had two slices...I could have cried....It made my day because you see, I’m a fan. Steve Sic 4 - The Raven Times 03 - July 2008
The Hotel Rooms Mysteries Fountains of champagne in which naked women are swimming, rock stars spending the night sniffing white powder and smashing their room after a big gang bang party and other orgies that would make Roman emperors look like members of an Amish community... Well, calm down your fantasies, guys! The days we’re spending in hotels while on tour are more common than that. But not completely uninteresting. Here some pictures from our private album, just to give you a glimpse, you curious people!
Some musicians are smashing the television of their room or emptying the fire extinguisher in the hall, just for the fun. Our Luka, instead, is just dislocating his bed... but not on purpose. And the same thing happened a few days before at his home. Is it a « shock in return » after a « Wytches Brew » curse he put on a famous scandinavian multinational specialized in on kit furniture? We’ll probably never know.
We probably have the best organized roadie in the world. Even when it comes to the sleeping aspect, he never leaves anything to chance. To be sure that no one will squat his pillow, he just hanged an « occupied » sign on it. No... actually, I put it while he was sleeping, but the picture is cool, isn’t it?
No backstage available? No problem! An hotel room can easily become a gathering place to make our swirlies, put our stage outfit on, check out the freshness of our arm pits, while of course enjoying the first joint of the day.
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Chocozombie after show moment. Omnia is really a Clan. And while many bands are just splitting up after leaving the stage, every musician leaving for his single room and grabbing the remote control for a nice night of televisual brainwashing, we’re just gathering in one room to have a smoke, have a drink and spend some good time together. And we really can’t miss it.
But there’s always one important point: which room will be doomed to be infested by the Clan! Cause after hours of technicians smoking cigarettes, of joint smoke, of after show sweaty smell and the difficulty to get rid of Pieter and Eddie who are apparently never sleeping, you nearly come to the point of sleeping on the toilet. But when one of the rooms has a big balcony like here in Luxembourg, it’s not a difficult choice.
And when the place where we’re staying is a huge flat with individual rooms and a living room, then it’s even better. Even if Pieter is taking off his shoes.
And what about a good old hotel bar? Good alternative, of course! Especially when you have the opportunity to spend some good time with other bands. And Jenny seems to have sooo much fun!
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But before having a good time, you have to be patient sometimes. ‘Cause when all the bands and other clients want to check-in at the same time, it looks sometimes like an old report from the USSR period with Russians queuing for bread, except they where not Goths or Pagans dressed in black. Luckily Eddie is bringing some colourful credibility to this crowd. And I’m sure his bag is probably really from the soviet period (and I won’t mention his jacket).
And sometimes, you have unexpected magical moments. All the bands gathering in the bar, our friend Francesco from GOR starting a jam session with his band, Rudy from Faun and Steve joining them, the Mediaeval Baebes shaking their body, for the pleasure of the other clients of the hotel (you can imagine, a private show for free). That’s where music really comes alive.
And let Francesco play some balkanic tunes, and Steve and me are going completely crazy. Shake it, baby!
And before going to bed, one important thing: don’t forget to wipe out your bloody face, if you don’t want to wake up looking like Alice Cooper! Good night, Pagans! Mich The Raven Times 03 - July 2008 - 7
Mister Happy’s Big Adventure Some gigs are not so much remarkable to us musicians as to what happens on stage, but more as to what happens backstage. For example after our gig at the Berlaymont in Brussels on June 7th. We went into town to have some food, and later that evening we drove to Joe’s house to drop someone off to stay overnight and some stuff. Once we arrived however, we made a terrible discovery. Mister Happy was nowhere to be seen... Hardcore fans may be familiar with some of our stage fluffies. Mister Happy (on the picture together with Joe) has been travelling with Joe for more than ten years, so even from before he joined Omnia. The expression of shock on Joe’s face was therefore indescribable when the happy yellow smiley (that he got from his daughter Helen) was not in the van. Then the ‘Pagan Fluffy Rescue Team’ sprung into action. Around midnight Joe and Pieter rushed to the Berlaymont to look for Mister Happy. Meanwhile Mister Happy’s eternal smile was gone from his face. Disoriented he walked through the dark streets of Brussels. As the evening progressed it grew colder, and he decided to step into a bar. ‘The Bloody Baton’ is not especially known for its cosy atmosphere, but at least it was warm inside. Due to his innocent looks he got several free beers at first. However, when he got more talkative from the rising alcohol percentage in his tiny body, the problems started. His tongue lost several important articulation functions and with the increasing tension around that evening’s EC soccer game, a misunderstanding about the heritage of a rowdy hooligan quickly got out of hand. When the police arrived unusually early due to the fight that had started, Mister Happy, due to his small stature, managed to slip away unseen. (Statements that were made about a ‘small little yellow upstart’ were dismissed by the police as a result of alcohol and the incident never made the morning papers). He just got away but he was immediately run over by a passing car. For minutes he remained stuck in the profile of the tires. Finally he came loose and was hurled through the air. With a (very soft) thud he fell onto the pavement right in front of the Berlaymont. Lying on the stones he saw two headlights approaching. The car stopped and two men stepped out. A smile formed on Mister Happy’s face once more. “Joe…”, he croaked as he passed out. Naturally there was immense relief when Mister Happy was back again alive and well. But the cause of all this is as of today still unclear. How did he fall out of the van? Was he possibly pushed? Suspect Richard Parker was thoroughly interrogated, but the manager-tiger-fluffy remains silent as the grave to this day and had to be released due to lack of evidence. Mister Happy didn’t press any charges anyway, but was already looking forward to the next adventure; a gig in Cornwall, two weeks later. But that is another story.. Luka
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Was there a life before Omnia? After Jenny and Steve, it’s time for Joe to share with us some pictures from the past. Enjoy it!
Me, back in the days before colour was invented, with my Mum and cousin Maureen.
A good Catholic boy in a nice pair of shorts, confirming my interest in religion or dressing up so I could get money from relatives, take your pick…
A familiar pose? I’m about 18 here, playing in a cellar somewhere in the bad part of Dublin…
The venues are improving – this one has cool curtains …
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Me banging head against microphone thinking please please let me out of here…
Another familiar pose. Did I leave the gas on? What’s with the stripey shirt?
Pretending to be left-handed… you could do fancy things with photos in those days. At least the venues are getting better. No more curtains…
An early line-up of Shantalla. We’re an Irish band, so clearly we must pose behind an Irish bar…
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How much sponsorship money am I getting? Advertising for O’Neill, the James Joyce AND Murphys?!
Shantalla becoming more professional – we’re an Irish band so clearly we must, erm, walk up a hill in Antwerp.
What’s this?! Singing?! Oh dear! At least the clothes are getting blacker… I’m almost ready to join Omnia.
In the land of the EU with the lady who would later become my boss - Margot Wallström, VicePresident of the European Commission and Most Popular Woman in Sweden. Why on earth is she wearing reindeer horns on her head? No wonder I agreed to be her Spokesperson! Joe
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If you were... by Luka If you were a reincarnation: What do you mean ‘if’? “No Luka, I’m your father..” *schwww-pchhh* I’ll never forget that moment... If you were a feeling : I’d be a sigh, in all its aspects. If you were a question : What? If you were a prophecy : I knew you were going to ask this... If you were a sound or a music : I’d be a kind of low droning sound... If you were a sacred place : I’d be a dolmen in a secluded place, covered in ivy. If you were a goddess or a god : I’d be a kind of fae-spirit within myself (sometimes known as Lookah). If you were a word : What? If you were a pain : I’d be 100+ kilograms on your toes. If you were an animal : I’d be a boar.
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If you were a vegetable : I’d be the ivy on the dolmen (even though I’d be inedible). If you were a quest : I’d be one that would be never-ending. If you were a truth : I’d be unclear to everyone. If you were a lie : I’d be blindingly obvious. If you were a dream : I’d be great until the alarm clock goes off... If you were an object : I’d be a stone. If you were a faith : I’d be a belief wherein you are allowed to discover what you already knew. If you were a colour : I’d be all colours, according to subtractive colour mixing; black. If you were a country : I’d be The Chaos Wastes. If you were yourself: I’m surprised how often I recognise someone’s traits in myself.
Jenny’s Recipe for her Famous Vegetarian Red Lentil Soup My mum, the greatest cook I know, taught me this recipe when I moved out of my parents’ house. It’s great if you are living on your own, because you make a whole lot of it, eat some and the rest you just freeze in in little portions for the next time you feel like eating it. But it’s also excellent, like any soup, to make for a large number of people, even beforehand cos it tastes even better after a day! After years of making this soup it has become a little different of the original recipe, and I like my version even better than the original (sorry mum)! I have also been known for making this soup for our whole gang to eat in the theatre before a concert, so it’s been thoroughly “Omnia-approved” (and there’s more soups as well that Steve or I made for this purpose, I’m sure that sometime we’ll share those recipes as well!). So, anyway, how to make this? You need (for approx. 3 l. of soup): -a large pan with lid and a spoon for stirring, but that should be obvious -2 l. of water -vegetarian stock (4 tablets) -400 g. RED Lentils (they are much softer and tastier than their green family) -3 large carrots (those winter carrots are the best), shredded (careful for those thumbs) -2 to 3 large onions cut into medium-sized pieces -3 tomatoes, in parts (you can also use one can of peeled tomatoes) -the most important ingredient: Garlic! Lots! (for this amount, about 6 pieces) -one teaspoon of “djintan” (ground cumin) for that Indian taste -one leek, cut into rings -Maggi (the liquid version) or any other soy-sauce like it Well, as this is soup we’re talking about, it’s quite easy to make: -Heat the water with the stock until it boils (with lid on) -Meanwhile, wash the lentils (there can be sand amongst them, yuk..) -Throw the lentils in the water (even before it boils you can do this, easy huh?) -When it all boils, put fire lower to prevent the foam that always comes off the lentils to spoil all over your pan, stove and whatnot and makes it all yucky and less enjoyable...It should still boil though! -Throw in the vegetables, garlic (finely chopped) and djintan -Leave to boil for approx. 30 minutes (stir now and then) The soup is done when all the ingredients have become soft and have established very intimate relationships with one another (eg. it’s “one orangy/reddish thing”)... You can then, after tasting it (a thing that’s very important while cooking but often results in burned tongues so be careful), decide to pour some Maggi into it, for that extra bite. This soup is great with thick-sliced fresh bread spread with salted butter to dip into it, and I can safely say kids like it! Damien was always a horrible critic of any “weird” food (eg. not fishfingers or pizza), but this soup has never been a problem for him, he actually even likes it! Enjoy! Jenny xx The Raven Times 03 - July 2008 - 13
My life outside Omnia: Mich’s collage obsession What am I doing when I’m not sitting on stage pretending to be a musician (sorry,... a drummer)? I can say what I’m not doing. I’m not watching television (‘cause we have none), I’m not driving my car for the pleasure (‘cause we have none), and I’m not going shopping for the pleasure (‘cause I hate that). Basically, beside the average domestic activities of every human being who doesn’t want to get health problems due to it’s global hygiene, I spend my time getting pissed off about this society and being creative. And one particular aspect of this last thing, is my « cut and paste » obsession. I started to do it as a teenager. Cutting pictures in magazines, and classify them in maps: landscapes, body parts, backgrounds, religious and political images, plants, animals,... Just for one purpose: take a stick of glue and paste them in weird collages. I really started to get involved in what I was doing when the war started in former Yugoslavia. The situation of my family there was so desperate that it was the only way for me to express this anger, fear and pain. But the result on the paper was not only emotional, it also really cathartic. From communism to Christianity, nothing was spared in my attempts to put my feelings in image. It resulted in a cynical misuse of the dogma’s and the symbols in a chaotic representation where you could find different levels of meaning. But the final result was always obvious enough to bring me potentially into trouble with dogmatic people, from one side or the other.
With the years, I started to express other feelings too. I started to use mythology and archetypes, and it really became a way to awake the primitive aspects of my subconscient. It’s the same feeling as writing a poem using the technique of the « automatic writing » used in the dadaism and surrealism. But then on a more primitive way. Just switch off the so called clever human and let the prehistorical monkey in you play with scissors and glue. You’ll certainly be amazed by the result.
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Nowadays, I’m working on a collage called « Feeding Sun », an interaction between the micro and macrocosmos, flowers breeding planets, very greenie, very... Pagan. And I’m collecting the material to start a series of collages using the Tarot symbols. And I’m sure that the evolution of our society will give me many reasons to grab my angry stick of glue again. And I’ll probably need a big stick of glue. Very big. Mich
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Can you first of all introduce yourself in a few words to the PaganClan members ? Well, PaganClan members, I’m the tall, bald and not unattractive guy who always gets the blame when Steve hasn’t connected his Bouzouki or when his batteries are
How did you get involved in the Omnia Crew ? A friend and college of mine, who is, by the way, the other sound guy (not as handsome as myself but still very good looking) got in contact with them through the theatre agency and was asked if he could do their sound. He was willing but couldn’t do all the gigs. And when he first came in contact with this bunch of weirdoes he somehow immediately thought of me. I still haven’t asked him why. You’re the sound guy, which is a quite abstract concept for many people. What does your work consist of? It isn’t really working, to be honest. It is more an attitude; you stand very confident behind a desk with a lot of knobs and flashy lights with the intention to let everybody think: “Wow, that must be very complicated and necessary. Lets pay him!” What do you consider the best and the worst part of your job ? The after party’s. If you had to work with some other bands, which ones would you choose, and why ? Well, you can’t always choose cause I’m a freelancer (zzp-er which means zelfstandige zonder perspektief[autonomous without perspective])so I do all kinds of stuff. But I’ve got another band also in a totally different scene which is Cuby & the Blizzards, which I like very much, mainly because there I even look younger. Maybe a word about your fellow band and crew members ? Besides being a bunch of weirdoes and freaks they are like family to me and I admire their musical skills. (What kind of an answer do you expect?! I have got a real family to feed!!) 7. You were already part of many pagan adventures with Omnia. Can you maybe share some anecdotes ? I’ve made it a way to survive in this harsh and rotten musicians world not to tell any anecdotes about band members or other technicians. So you won’t hear from me about the things Luka does after the show, let alone Joe’s reaction! 8. I also heard that you have a special link with a member of the dutch royal family? I would rather not talk about that. Eventually, after some years of motherhood, she will come over it.
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“Luna” by Squinty In the dark of night, in silence turning my face at and aiming my thoughts towards the full moon above me, the idea came to mind to talk a bit about Luna this time. Just a piece of music, at least that’s what you might think. There’s more to it than that. Listen to her song, her sadness, see her beauty and feel her tenderness... Luna is the Latin name for the Moon goddess. According to the Greeks the moon was a female and virgin symbol. In Mythology she is often connected to a Mothergodcult, dating back as far as the Paleolithicum. Through time further and further overshadowed by the male gods associated with the sun, but let us not forget about her. What makes Luna special and why does she touch us in our hearts when we hear her voice? For the Celts (our ancestors) the power of nature was significant in their existence. The light (Sun) and the darkness (Moon). Both very important factors in every day life. Day and Life against Night and Death. Life is all about balance. Life is not forever and it’s only natural to think about the moment when you can’t hang on to it anymore and have to let go. What is important is how you lived your life and what and who you cared for. You can live alone, disconnected from Mother Earth. Or you can be one of the lucky ones (like us) who discover kindred souls who connect with Mother Earth in ways that people call weird, but actually it’s quite normal and most of all very natural ! When the time comes you have to let go, you will know and feel that you were and never will be alone... Is Death all there is when we think of Luna? Yes and No. Let’s start with my own experience with this song which connects with the Yes: The first time I heard this song I hadn’t read the booklet yet. I closed my eyes, listened and as the music flowed I noticed that I started to cry... Tears running down my face, filled with sadness, but at the same time feeling it was time to let go, move on and I felt comforted by the thought that we would meet again...someday... Once I opened the booklet I noticed that my experience wasn’t that strange at all: “Luna” is a lamentation, a dirge of departure, of letting go of loved ones. – OMNIA
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What surprised me the most was how the music touched me and I wished a lot more people would be able to hear it some day. Well, that wish came true, and whenever this song is played live, the music touches hearts in the audience. I wonder how many people walked away after a concert and wondered what happened to them, because these days it doesn’t seem to be allowed anymore to show your feelings in public. Well, it’s human, it’s natural, so why won’t you? Put on your happy face when you feel happy, but if you don’t... why bother trying to hide it... Feel free to cry if you need to... What about the No? Death is not just the end, because at the same time it is also a beginning. Of what, you want to know? Well, let’s see... It could be something personal in terms of knowing that your loved one is safe and happy wherever he or she is now and that you can move on too. It could be an actual new beginning of life for the one who just died, because think of it: Have you ever met somebody and did you ever wonder if you met each other before, because somehow he or she looks so familiar to you, or you feel some kind of connection you can’t explain? You might even be a newer version of yourself, because have you ever thought about where your skills, knowledge of and interest for certain things in life originate from? Are you a new soul, or an ancient soul? A fresh start or a continuous journey? A beginning could be almost anything. You will have to wait and see until you notice it in whatever form or time it may be... You see, there are two sides to everything in life, including death. The circle of life is inevitable and how it should be. Just remember there is no ending without a beginning... Whenever you feel the need to, listen to “Luna” and connect with her voice... Flowing with the music while the one you are letting go is following the stream to a new life... Say goodbye, but you could also say see you around some other day... Who knows... Squinty
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????????? by Bienchen A day came to it’s end - a day full of events, each of which by themselves would have sufficed to convince even the last ignoramus, who still has belief in the superiority of the human species of the contrary. Since midday, this great big bubble, like a balloon filled with some foggy substance, had built up inside me. And behind the fog a great big hazy question mark is emerging and my tortured soul cries out unheard “WHY ????”. “Who cares?” my inherent shrugging gnome named “Sowhat” answers. Well, ultimately I must admit, he seems to be right. Could the catastrophe be changed or prevented, if only we knew the reason or the origin of it? Once, a long time ago by human perception, something must have gone terribly wrong. There are as many theories about this as there are facets of a scattered collective memory. I for instance think, that some idiot of an extraterrestrial left his nutrition laying around. A member of an until that time mentally and physically unspoiled ape-like species nibbled some of it ,turning the complete biochemical metabolism of the poor creature upside down to the very genes - with well known disastrous consequences. Result: humans, McDonalds, gene-technology. A visit to the spirits of the wood is normally helpful to combat despair, a nice little chat with a daffodil or a mushroom lets the foggy balloon shrink in no time. But this would have required driving the car for some more kilometres which would have made the balloon burst with unknown consequences. So I decided for a combination of well approved medication: a good book, my garden, a drink made of elder flowers, the birds’ songs and the rustling of the wind in the leaves. With the last of my strength I dragged myself, my book and the glass to my garden. Birds were singing, wind was rustling the leaves - finally! the balloon started to shrink. But in Human-perception, a very short time had passed, when the balloon filled to bursting point again. An extraterrestrial seemed to have landed himself in full daylight and rather unceremoniously in my neighbour’s garden, uttering hissing incomprehensible sounds. I eyed my elderflower-drink suspiciously... no.....ney.....no....., not something like this......But the elderflower-drink smiled innocently back at me. I really couldn’t help staring at the extraterrestrial. The more I stared, the more I noticed how much he actually resembled my neighbour. And indeed, there he stood this representative of the species claiming superiority, stuffed from head to toe into a green overall and with something on his back resembling an oxygen tank. I never really knew, he was so advanced. The hissing sound was caused by a spray of mist coming out of a nozzle in his gloved hands. “Not again!”, I heard hedgehogs, robins, tits and all the bees, bumble-bees and wasps moan......and slowly it dawned on me, that it was not actually an oxygen tank. Oh no!, I couldn’t have that on top of anything else. I jumped up and ran in his direction, waited till the fog had lifted a bit, approached him and asked: “What are you doing?” “Spraying”, he answered looking at me with bulging eyes. “Well, I can see that.” I replied. He seemed to be missing the enthusiasm in my answer and therefore added: “ Excellent stuff. Absolutely biological. Completely harmless!”. “Hm,” I replied looking at some ladybugs, who were lying on their backs in the grass, starring at me reproachfully. “ And they have been overeating on the plant lice on your roses, eh?” I asked with a slightly annoyed undertone. “What?”, he asked. “These lady.....oh forget about it...”, I retorted. I couldn’t allow any energy to be wasted in my already weak state of mind. “You can even pour it on vegetables!”, my somehow limp looking neighbour assured me. “Without any damages , the shop assistant said. Shall I come round and just spray around a bit on your vegetable-patches as well?” he grinned. “Under no circumstance whatsoever!” I refused, stupefied with horror and this times my eyes seemed to be wanting to drill holes. “By no means! I don’t want to have any of this poison in my garden!”, I stated. “Absolutely nothing!” Well aware, that laws on this planet are made by insanity and that he was allowed to spray as much poison in his garden as he would think appropriate, because insanity doesn’t know that the air doesn’t clean itself at the garden fence of this lunatic. Head shaking I stumped away. “But it’s organic”, he shouted after me and the concept of biological warfare made itself clear. But today there was a trace of blessing in disguise. The wind blew this stuff away from us, but can someone in despair be comforted by this?
The Raven Times 03 - July 2008 - 19
Back in my garden I wearily slumped into my chair. I saw my neighbour wandering off, murmuring into his non existent beard. Presumably he’d continue his war undisturbed by excentric neighbours in the garden in front of the house. After I apologised for the umpteenth time to all the beings on the planet for the stupidity and the ignorance of my fellow species-member (you don’t want to know how often I used to do this everyday), I stared around for a while and then gazed up at the sky, begging for help. Cloud watching- usually very calming. And so I watched all these fantastic creatures moving framed by a wonderful blue sky, mythical creatures, unicorns, sheep....oh yeah.....But it wasn’t that calming after all, because all those poor creatures were stabbed, quartered, hacked to pieces by jumbo jets until in the end there was nothing left but large bars made of vapour trails. Do you know the feeling, that something is closing in on you - slowly, but inevitably? I wanted distraction....distraction helps. The whole of mankind is constantly trying to take their minds off their self-made disaster by things like TV, or internet, luxury articles, drugs and so on.. I wanted to read. Now. Something beautiful. I descended into the world of my book. Unfortunately I was forced to come back after a very short period. The woman next door had somehow appeared out of thin air right in front of me. “Here, have a look,” she started without lingering on any addresses of welcome. “Look, what I got me today. Really great stuff against the snails and really organic stuff.” “Aha.”, I said. I had had some talks with the snails during the last few days. They have a space in my garden where they can eat unhindered and as much as they want of the stuff that is growing there and I don’t have a problem sharing some strawberries or salad plants - but all of them??? No, I thought that a bit too much of a good thing. They had explained to me, that there are far too many of them for such a small patch of ground and that in the neighbour’s gardens there isn’t much to eat for them and the little there is, is often sprayed with poisons of all sorts. The hedgehog family explained to me that they couldn’t do more than eat and from time to time they wanted to eat something else -not just slugs. So I have been relocating some slugs every evening to a nice place were they would find enough to eat. I had heard of some ecogardeners who tried to keep the slugs off by etheric oils that slugs don’t like. Hence I wanted to know, what my neighbour was shaking so enthusiastically right in front of my nose. I took the package out of her hand - I’d never have been able to read it, if it had kept on bouncing up and down. “Slug granules” it read. “Compound of iron, as found in nature. Spares hedgehogs and pets. (‘what about insects, birds and plants?’ I thought). Slugs retreat into their hideouts before they die, so you don’t have any slime or cadaver on your patches. Misuse may lead to health damages. Absolutely rain resistant ....don’t let it get into drinking water....” “Yeah, but the slugs are going to be killed!” I noted. “Yes, but organically!” my neighbour answered. “They won’t burst, like with the other normal stuff.” “That”, I replied sarcastically, “will make them really happy.” There are people who can’t understand sarcasm.”And besides”, I added, “I doubt that my strawberry plants really fancy Ferrum III Phosphate.” Out of the corner of my eyes I saw one of my strawberry plants vomit onto the patch. Another neighbour appeared with his “all-purposepower-saw” on the scene. The balloon was growing constantly. The question mark started to pulsate. It was time to flee - but where to??? As long as we’re on the warpath against nature, no matter if it’s biologic, organic warfare or whatever monstrous product of our deluded brains, there will be more suffering and more death - not only amongst snails. “Who cares?” says Sowhat and grins. “I do!” I answer and wish this bloody pest to become an undying snail on this planet immediately. Bienchen
20 - The Raven Times 03 - July 2008
20-7-2008 Mystic Fair, Rotterdam, NL. 26-7-2008 Anno Domini 1408 festival Luxemburg 27-7-2008 Anno Domini 1408 festival, L 1-8-2008 CASTLEFEST.nl !!! 2-8-2008 CASTLEFEST.nl !!! 3-8-2008 CASTLEFEST.nl !!! 16-8-2008 Burgfolk festival (with Faun) Mülheim, D 6-9-2008 Miroque festival 2008 Osterburken, D 12-9-2008 2. Mittelalterfest, Hattingen, D 13-9-2008 2. Mittelalterfest, Hattingen, D 20-9-2008 Festival Mediaval, Club Klubicko, As, Cz 21-9-200 Festival Mediaval, Selb, DE 27-9-2008 OMNIA „European Roots“, Pim Jacobs Theater, Maarssen, NL 11-10-2008 FaerieCon 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 17-10-2008 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater de Reehorst, Ede (Gld), NL 31-10-2008 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater De Maaspoort, Venlo, NL 22-11-2008 OMNIA „European Roots“, Theater Twee Hondjes, Hellevoetsluis, NL 29-11-2008 OMNIA „European Roots“, Theater de Skans, Gorredijk, NL 21-12-2008 FAIRYBALL II ,Special Fairy BallFolk night at Pim Jacobs Theater NL
17-1-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“, Schouwburg Amphion, Doetinchem NL 24-1-2009 OMNIA‘s first ever concert in France! More info will follow... 31-1-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Stadsgehoorzaal, Kampen, NL 6-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Isala Theater, Capelle a/d IJssel, NL 10-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Fortis Theater aan de Schie, Schiedam, NL 12-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater Castellum, Alphen aan den Rijn NL 14-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Cultureel Centrum De Ruchte, Someren NL 21-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“Theater de Purmaryn, Purmerend NL 28-2-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater De Stoep, Spijkenisse, NL 12-3-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Schouwburg de Kring, Roosendaal, NL 20-3-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater ‚t Kielzog, Hoogezand, NL 28-3-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater de Dialoog, Ermelo, NL 3-4-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Rabotheater, Hengelo (Ov.), NL 11-4-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater Agora, Lelystad, NL 12-4-2009 Festival TROLLS et LEGENDES, Mons, BE 16-4-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Schouwburg Het Park, Hoorn (NH.), 25-4-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Goudse Schouwburg, Gouda, NL 2-5-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater Geert Teis, Stadskanaal,NL 8-5-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ CC Cascade, Hendrik Ido Ambacht, NL 14-5-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ CC de Pas, Heesch, NL 15-5-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater de Poorterij, Zaltbommel, NL 22-5-2009 OMNIA „European Roots“ Theater de Lampegiet, Veenendaal, NL
The Raven Times - PaganClan Team Michel “Mich” Rozek: coordinator, editor, french translation (firstname.lastname@example.org) Liesbet “Lies” Mignolet: coordinator, lay-out (email@example.com) Christa “Squinty” Kloosterman: editor, dutch translation (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sabine Barbara “Bienchen” Schrader: editor, german translation (email@example.com) With the priceless collaboration, help and support of Jenny, Steve, Luka, Joe, Miez, Marcel Bakker and Eddie.
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The Raven Times 03 - July 2008 - 21