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Editorial

working in Theatres (which gives some of you would be really


us untold possibilities for playing shocked to find out who some
freaky soft stuff unsuited for of the other OMNIA fans are!...)
So here we are, the very first festivals), Joe suddenly became And now to top it all we have
Raven Times! Yeah! To celebrate a really big cheese in the EC in this newspaper: The Raven Times.
the new year and the birth of the Brussels (official spokesperson for The two Ravens (Hugin and Munin)
PaganClan! A lot has happened the vice president...weird huh?). are the messengers of Odin and
in the last year for us I can tell Furthermore, PaganScum records keep him updated on current
you, my head is spinning with all became an officially registered affairs in the world (there’s still
the changes… this was the year business (our own little anarchist no internet in VallHall as yet).
in which we made “Alive!” (our record label)… and now we have But as you are merely a mortal
favourite album up to now), during this…The PaganClan! I’m really (well most of you…sorry) you
the recording my Mum died (which happy that it’s a “PaganClan” and just get the one raven…this
sucked... but that’s life…) we got not an “official-OMNIA-Fanclub” one…to keep you updated on
to work with Alan Lee (which blew because I like to think of all of the world and our place in it…
my mind, because he’s brilliant), you not as normal “fans” (ie: We’re still at the pointy end of the
Jenny and me collaborated with jellybrained mind slaves bordering third millennium, Global warming
Transit Poetry on their new album on psychotic …well….most of you is now a fact, spring flowers
(soon to be released), we saw aren’t…..well…at least some of blossom in December, concrete
our first american release hit the you aren’t… anyway, I digress...) and motorways are strangling
press (“Omnia-History” the old- but I see you more as free people the land, industrial farming has
world pagans vs. the new-world who have a link to each other and reduced our animals and plants
order), we’ve us through the music and lifestyle into soulless slaves, the trees are
started of OMNIA. We are like a big sick, the water is poisoned, the
family who despite our sky is yellow, the garbage is piling
many diffe-rences find up around our ears and the traffic
a common ground, is jamming but not in the way
a bond as it were, that Bob Marley intended it and
in this neoceltic to top it all… the government’s
paganfolk nature only real enemies are still some
vibe that feeds us nameless faceless Arabs and my
and OMNIA . There supply of homegrown weed!!
is no particular Man!….. let’s make some music
age-group, no (‘cause we really need it)!
particular country
and no particular ”Ve are OMNIA, velcome to our
subculture where vorld…”
all the OMNIA
listeners come Steve Sic
from…(actually I think

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 1


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 PaganClan-


goodies 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

2 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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: info@omnia-neocelt.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.

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 3


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.

4 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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.

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 5


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

6 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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…)

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 9


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.
8. She plays everywhere she can , like
Soon after,
here in small-town Mijdrecht, making
she quits
a little money but gaining a lot of
the music
experience . She then travels Ireland ,
academy
making a living there “busking”
and her
(playing the harp in the streets of
last chance
mainly Galway town).
to be a
(As she travelled mostly on her own ,
“normal
we have no pictures of her there …do
person”…
any of you?)

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…).

10 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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 two-
year 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.

12 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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

14 - The Raven Times 01 - January 2008


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 a main theme in his works. The manhood alcoholism and other
Boston, his name: Edgar Allan element of the exotic, the weird, drugs played a part in his life
Poe. His parents were traveling the monstrous, together with the and as tragedy knocked on his
actors who died when he was characteristics of Romanticism: door he gave himself up to
still a young boy. He was taken a deep appreciation of nature them completely. Changes of
in by foster parents, and raised and her complexities, the slavery personality, suicide attempts,

“Deep in earth my
and schooled in of reason to depressions slowly destroyed
both England and emotion and the man. Although he was

love is lying and I


the USA. He went intellect to now widely known, his career
to various different instinct and couldn’t be resurrected. What
schools and the a heightened the exact circumstances were

must weep alone”...


University of analysis of the causing Poe’s death in Baltimore
Virginia, finishing human mind 1849, on October 7th, remains a
none... Being a and personality. mystery forever. He disappeared
difficult youth he Tales like these from his home for three days and
got into drinking, became Poe’s was found raving and delirious
drugs and gambling at an trademark and he still is well in the gutter wearing someone
early age and left home to known and respected for them else’s clothes, a few days later
join the US army, from which by the more gothic and suicidally he was dead... His life may have
he was dismissed for being inclined readers of today. been short and tragic, yet he
undisciplined. E.A. Poe was will be remembered as a beloved
a true artist who’s first love When Poe published “The Raven” horror and mystery writer and
was poetry and he managed to in 1845 he finally achieved some above all a great poet.
publish two small volumes. After fame, which had been denied
he became an assistant editor him before.
in Richmond, his literary talents However,
blossomed. He fell in love with tragedy
his 13-year-old cousin Virginia struck when
(this being quite normal still his young
in those days) and married her wife Virginia
in 1836. In that same year Poe died of
received credit for (amongst tuberculosis,
other works) six poems and shattering his
three stories. “Tales of the life forever.
Grotesque and Arabesque” Poe was
was his first collection of short devastated
stories. He became editor of and wrote
Burton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine, the words
and later Graham’s Magazine in “Deep in
Philadelphia (in which city many earth my
of his most well known works love is
would be published). He wrote lying and I
macabre tales such as “The Fall must weep
of the House of Usher”. Yet alone”...
“Gothic Romanticism” was also Since early

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 15


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 mich@omnia-neocelt.com, 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 (mich@omnia-neocelt.com)


Liesbet “Lies” Mignolet: coordinator, lay-out (mich@omnia-neocelt.com)
Christa “Squinty” Kloosterman: editor, dutch translation (squinty@omnia-neocelt.nl)
Sabine Barbara “Bienchen” Schrader: editor, german translation (bienchen@omnia-neocelt.de)

With the priceless collaboration, help and support of


Jenny, Steve, Luka, Joe, Miez, Pieter and Lut (Lies’ mum).

© OMNIA - PaganClan
www.omnia-neocelt.com

The Raven Times 01 - January 2008 - 19

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