Cross Bones in the Glastonbury Occult Conference

 

19th-20th February 2021

Calling all Cross Bones Lovers within range of Glastonbury. John Constable aka John Crow is giving a talk (and a workshop with Katy Kaos) on Goose and Crow Magic at the Glastonbury Occult Conference.
 
It’s a terrific line-up: Prof. Ronald Hutton, David Rankine, Trevor Jones, Liz Williams, Sally North, Paul Weston, Geraldine Hudson, Jonathan Woolley, Deja Whitehouse, James North, The Kite and Jake Stratton-Kent.
 
19th-20th February 2022. Tickets now on sale – and selling fast. Register now:https://www.glastonburyoccultconference.com/

Cross Bones Vigil – Goose Night

Tuesday 23rd November at 7pm

This Vigil marks ‘Goose Nght’, the 25th anniversary of the night The Goose revealed ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and the secret history of Cross Bones to John Crow.

At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve conducted the Crossbones Vigil – to honour the Outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine; and to reclaim the Secret History as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996.
 
As John Crow I conducted my last Vigil on 23rd November 2019, and am no longer involved in organising them. I’ll continue to post on how you can be involved, though I’ll be trusting in the organisers to spread the word as they’ll know better what’s happening.
 
The Vigils have continued, even through lockdown, with a small band of fearless spirits holding them at the gates in Redcross Way. If you do attend in person please take care for your own and others’ health and well-being. This month, Jennifer will be doing the honours.
 
Vigils have also been held ‘on the Astral’ with people tuning in from all over the world, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes.
 
Some of us connect online via the Zoom gathering hosted by Jacqui, with people linking up from all over the world.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
 
Once again, to help you participate fully, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ for every Vigil:
 
1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense. Ring seven chimes. Say:
 
‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’
 
As you say these words, be aware that you are connected with all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, and with the transforming agency of The Goose, in this act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.
Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Winchester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Thanks to our work over the past 23 years, this once despised, desolate site has become a holy place for pilgrims from all over the world – a shrine and a garden of remembrance ‘for the Outcast, dead and alive’.
 
2. Lighting the pathways
Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, in which all sounds, sights and other sense impressions can arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.
 
3. “Binding and loosing”.
Imagine tying a ribbon to Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie it, release that blessing for others, saying five times:
 
“Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your “Miss You Mums”.
Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.”
 
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ or offer a short poem/song/testimony inspired by or dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead.
 
5. Closing.
Close the ceremony with a libation of gin. Say:
 
“Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!
Health in the Body.
Peace In the Spirit.
Love In The Heart.
It is this that we wish,
for ourselves,
for our friends and family,
for all our Brothers and Sisters,
for The Goose and The Crow,
and for all Humanity.
May it be so.”
 
then:
 
“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”
And so she does..
.
Open pathways!

Mexican Ambassador and La Catrina at Cross Bones Graveyard

 
29th October 2021
 
Her Excellency The Mexican Ambassador, Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, visits the Garden of Remembrance to gift a statue of La Catrina, the Mexican skeleton lady who embodies the spirit of The Day of the Dead. The Mayor of Southwark and other local dignataries were there to welcome her. This personal message was read to her:
 
Dear Ambassador,
Katy and I are very sorry we can’t be here to welcome you in person today.
 
Thank you for your generous gift of La Catrina. She will enhance Cross Bones Graveyard as a sacred place and a sanctuary.
 
‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and our 25 years of working to reclaim and restore Cross Bones were inspired by local medieval folk-religion and shaped by many different cultural traditions.
 
The creation of the shrine to the outcast dead at the gates and the Mary shrine were strongly influenced by our visits to Mexico, and by the way the spirituality of the people is expressed in the traditions of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, the Day of the Dead and Santa Muerte.
 
We hope your interest in Cross Bones will continue and deepen. The support of the Mexican Embassy will help protect and promote Cross Bones as a place of pilgrimage. It will also powerfully underpin the excellent work of Bankside Open Spaces Trust to maintain this beautiful garden of remembrance.
 
If you were able to find a time next year, we’d be delighted to come up to London to meet to tell you more about the work at Cross Bones and its deep connections with Mexican culture.
 
With very best wishes,
John and Katy
Glastonbury, Somerset
 
 
 
 
 
The Shrine to the Outcast at Cross Bones was strongly influenced by Dia de los Muertos and other cultural traditions which enriched and informed our work to reestablish a native tradition to honour the spirits of the Ancestors. So we’re delighted that the Mexican Ambassador is now a strong supporter of Cross Bones Garden of Remembrance. La Catrina now has her own coffin-shelter (based on Lucy’s research into the Cross Bones burials), with her back to our Red Cross Mary shrine and facing the other way. So our guardians can now cover all angles – and watch each other’s backs!
 
La Catrina, and Mary, can now be seen in the Cross Bones garden. Check with bost.org.uk for current opening times.)
 
Some ‘authentic’ folk-traditions are born of open-hearted cultural cross-fertilisation.

Cross Bones Vigil – Portal to Samhain

Saturday 23rd October 2021 at 7pm

At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve conducted the Crossbones Vigil – to honour the Outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine; and to reclaim the Secret History as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996.
 
The Vigils have continued throughout lockdown with a small band of fearless spirits holding them at the gates in Redcross Way. If you’re one of them please take care for your own and others’ health and well-being.
 
Vigils have also been held ‘on the Astral’ with people tuning in from all over the world, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes.
 
Some of us connect online via the Zoom gathering hosted by Jacqui, with people linking up from all over the world.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
 
This Vigil marks the portal to Halloween, a time to reconnect with the spirits of the Ancestors and our own lost loved ones.
 
Once again, to help you participate fully, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ for every Vigil:
 
1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense. Ring seven chimes. Say:
 
‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’
 
As you say these words, be aware that you are connected with all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, and with the transforming agency of The Goose, in this act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.
Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Winchester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Thanks to our work over the past 23 years, this once despised, desolate site has become a holy place for pilgrims from all over the world – a shrine and a garden of remembrance ‘for the Outcast, dead and alive’.
 
2. Lighting the pathways
Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, in which all sounds, sights and other sense impressions can arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.
 
3. “Binding and loosing”.
In body or spirit, tie a ribbon to Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie it, release that blessing for others, saying five times:
 
“Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your “Miss You Mums”.
Here hang your hopes, your dreams,
Your Might Have Beens,
Your locks, your keys,
Your Mysteries.” *
 
3(a): at the October 23rd Vigil we often speak aloud the Names of The Dead, those buried at Cross Bones or our own nearest and dearest. We then say:
 
“Here the veil between the worlds dissolves:
the living, the dead,
share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls
converse and commune,
this Samhain night,
by the light of a bone-white moon.” *
 
If we wish we close this part of the ritual saying aloud these words:
 
“Here where the bones be crossed be hallowed ground.
Here let the names that were lost be found.
Shut out in days of old, the outcast dead…
Here bring them in from the cold to be watered and fed.
Here let the ties that bind against forgetfulness
light candles, build shrines in the wilderness.” *
 
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ or offer a short poem/song/testimony inspired by or dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead.
 
5. Closing.
Close the ceremony with a libation of gin. Say:
 
“Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!
Health in the Body.
Peace In the Spirit.
Love In The Heart.
It is this that we wish,
for ourselves,
for our friends and family,
for all our Brothers and Sisters,
for The Goose and The Crow,
and for all Humanity.
May it be so.”
 
then:
 
“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”
And so she does..
.
Open pathways!
 
*ritual incantations for The Southwark Mysteries’ and ‘Spark In The Dark’ by John Constable
except ‘Life! Health! Happiness! Open Pathways!” received by Baixinha

ANCESTOR SOULS – online live stream

Sunday 31st October, in The Library of Avalon, Glastonbury, streamed online on Facebook Live
Doors open / pre-show with vibey drones from 7.30pm. Performance commences 7.57pm

Tickets for Online Live Stream available here £4.99 or £3.99 early bird
https://www.facebook.com/events/1170932786767317

A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by
Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves:
the living, the dead, share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist.
William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque. https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury. http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
For anyone living near Glastonbury, a few tickets are available for the concert itself in The Library of Avalon.
Tickets: £13.
Places strictly limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…

ANCESTOR SOULS

 
Sunday October 31st 2021 (doors open 7.30pm; doors close 7.57pm)
A ritual concert in The
Library of Avalon, Glastonbury
All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Samhain
Doors open: 7.30pm for pre-show with vibey drones.
NB the portal will close at 7.57pm when the show begins.
No late admissions. Please arrive in good time to relax and tune in.
Tickets £13. Places limited. Advance booking: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
A limited number of paper tickets are on sale at The Speaking Tree bookshop.
 
A ritual performance of astral music, spirit songs and incantations by Jenny Bliss Bennett, William Kraemer and John Crow Constable:
 
‘Here the veil between the worlds dissolves: the living, the dead,
share the brew, break the bread,
Ancestor souls, converse and commune,
this Samhain night, by the light of a bone-white moon.’
 
In August, Jenny and William recorded an improvised session with John in which he recited his magical verses as they sang and played. Together they wove an enchantment which sparked their creative relationship. This is their first full public performance.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett is a singer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. William Kraemer is a versatile musician and synth-wizard. They regularly perform with their band Queen Space Baroque.
https://queenspacebaroque.com/
 
John Constable aka John Crow is a playwright, poet and performer, best known for The Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Books). His work has been performed in Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, at international festivals and in many rituals performed at Cross Bones Graveyard. Tonight he’ll perform his Samhain incantations from The Halloween of Cross Bones and new work inspired by his first year living in Glastonbury.
http://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable/
 
Tickets for the live concert in Library of Avalon (£13) adavance booking here: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/ancestor-souls-tickets…
 
Tickets for the Online Live Stream (£4.99 or £3.99 early bird) available here:

Crossbones Garden workshops

from the Crossbones October 2021 bulletin by Hej at Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST)

Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops: As explained in the August bulletin, we’re going to host a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (who will one day be our new landlord) which will explore how we create our Vision for Crossbones, and help to ensure that contractors working on site do so with sensitivity. 

Workshops will be held at Crossbones, Liberty of Southwark or a nearby location. Luke, the landscape architect who many of you will know from the previous workshops a couple of years ago, will be helping to lead them with me and Hen from U+I.  Other professionals such as the archaeologists from the MOLA team at the Liberty of Southwark, as well as contractors creating bespoke elements, will be attending for some workshops as well. Refreshments will be provided. An outline of the workshops (exact times in the day TBC) is below:

Friday 5th November, AM: Introduction to the Crossbones Graveyard technical design workshops: Recap on the Crossbones Graveyard Vision and planning documents submitted. Q and A session, especially for new Crossbones supporters. Look at workshop programme and suggest any issues/ topics people would also like to discuss.

Saturday 20th November, PM: Boundaries: new railings, new walls, repairs to the ribboned gates and how, working with Friends of Crossbones, we remove and store ribbons and then reattach them.

Friday 3rd December, AM: Water and electricity. Looking at the location of these new utilities and whether disturbance to the ground may be required. Possible visit next door to see Liberty of Southwark dig – tour with MOLA and Q and A session.

Friday 7th January, AM: Structures on site: new ramps, pergolas and shelters. Description of how they might be built e.g. using sustainable timber, metalwork, etc – artisans we’ll be working with will also be joining us – see below.

January/February TBC: Surfacing.  How will create the crack crosses? Possible field trip to see kinds of concrete used in different settings, in London if we can e.g. local walk to Tate.

February TBC: Summary of discussions. Q and A session. Next steps. Look at construction programme. 

Please let me know if you’d like to join any of the workshops….bear in mind that spaces are limited and I will be reserving spaces first for our regular Crossbones volunteers. If you are not able to join us, please let me know if there is anything you’d like asked on your behalf.  I’ll be sharing notes from the workshops via the bulletin.

Workshops will be topic specific and owing to time constraints, we will not have an opportunity to have broader discussions. If you’d like, for instance, to discuss the Liberty of Southwark development, please contact Hen at U+I directly (see note below).

To register to receive BOST’s free monthly Crossbones bulletins, please email: @hej@bost.org.uk

Southwark Cathedral burial grounds talks

 
Saturday 23rd October 10am – 4pm
 
Southwark Cathedral are delighted to host a day of talks exploring burial grounds, cemeteries and funerals.
 
Speakers include: Lucy Coleman Talbot: St Saviour’s Black Flag: Crossbones Graveyard and The Church

The Church’s history with Crossbones Graveyard is usually confined to some distant past. The myth that this is the final resting place of the Winchester Geese, sex workers licensed by the Bishop of Winchester yet denied Christian burial, is just the beginning of a long and complex story. Lucy will bring this story to light, by presenting her PhD research. Which traces this contentious relationship through time to present day.

Lucy has just completed her PhD examining the Crossbones Graveyard in Southwark, London, where she also volunteers and advocates for it’s protection.

‘We Are Here’

 
21-30 October 2021 in Cross Bones Garden (Wed, Thur, Fri 12-2pm) FREE
 
‘We Are Here’ is a physical manifestation of Lucy Coleman Talbot’s PhD research efforts to locate documented information about those buried at Crossbones. A range of reconstructions of coffins will be installed on Crossbones Graveyard, bearing the names of people known to be buried at the ground.
 
The installations can be viewed during regular garden opening hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12pm-2pm and also Sunday 24th October 3.30pm-5pm. The viewings are FREE.
 
On Sunday 31st October 2pm – 4pm, Lucy will talk about the installation and share some of the burial ground’s history. Autumnal refreshments (vegan and gluten free) will also be available. Please book via eventbrite here. Many thanks to Lucy and sculptor Adrian (who also created our beautiful skull donation box) for making this installation possible.
 

Serpents Oracles Prophesies and Blake

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – 6.30pm to late

The Bookery Gallery, 20 Church Street, London NW8 8EP


an evening of spoken word and other delights with
Stephen Micalef, John Crow, Niall McDevitt, Noel Grassy Macken, Mikey Georgeson, Theresa Welsh
compere: Aaron Barschak

bookerygallerie.com

John Crow aka John Constable will be performing poems from
‘The Southwark Mysteries’ (inspired by Cross Bones Graveyard)
along with new work from his Glastonbury Cycle

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