St George’s Day Crossbones Vigil

Tuesday 23rd April – gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil, held in the street by the Crossbones shrine in Redcross Way SE1 

This is the 179th consecutive Vigil held in this place at this time on the 23rd of every single month since June 2004. Once more, we renew the shrine, remember the outcast, dead and alive, and reconnect with the secret history and vision as revealed in The Southwark Mysteries by The Goose to John Crow.

St George’s Day Crossbones Vigil, 23rd April 2016. Photo by Max Reeves

In April the Vigil falls on St George’s Day. During the Vigil, we reclaim George as an inclusive patron saint – not only of England, but of Palestine, Georgia, Catalonia, Rio de Janeiro and many other countries and cities around the world – and as ‘Our Lady’s Knight’, the protector of our healing works. The April 23rd Vigil traditionally features street theatre – there are rumours of a return visit from St George. And a trickster Dragon?

Among the other offerings:
Healing George and The Dragon raps from The Southwark Mysteries performed by John Crow and Jennifer. and The Book of the Egyptian performed by Mark
Brazilian songs for Jorge and Ogum by Danny, Gilda and family
Katy’s new crochet alchemical rose cross hung on the portal
Jules speaks on John Michell (who passed away April 24th ten years ago), JM’s vision of Avalon, and Jules’ own encounter with him at Crossbones…
And surely someone will want to say a few words on Extinction Rebellion and the brave young canaries in this 21st century coal-mine.
AND… a telepathic link up with the 3 x 23 Discordian pilgrims who on this 23rd April will be performing a ritual at CERN, Switzerland, home of the Hadron Collider!

All this unfolding within our time-honoured rituals for the outcast, dead and alive – and the magic that only happens on the night.

Gather 6.45 for the Vigil to begin on the stroke of seven. Come prepared to participate and to do a short shift of honour as a Goose Samurai!

And to be entranced, and changed, forever!

THE GOOSE IS LOOSE IN THE LIBERTY!

As at all the Vigils, we light the open pathways, tie ribbons to the gate as we speak the echo poem: “Here lay your hearts, your flowers, your Book of Hours…” – and close with our unconditional blessing. At the heart of the Vigil, there’s space for those who wish to share a poem, song or brief personal testimony connected with Crossbones and ‘outsiders’ of all kinds. We especially encourage ‘Goose Rhapsodes’ to learn and recite a poem from The Southwark Mysteries, allowing the spirit of The Goose to live on after John Crow is gone.

Crossbones Vigil

Saturday 23rd March 2019

At 6.45pm we gather at Crossbones Graveyard – in the street at the shrine in Redcross Way SE1. The Vigil begins on the stroke of 7pm.

Crossbones Shrine, 23rd March 2012. Photo by Katy Nicholls

This will be the 178th successive Vigil, held at this time, on this day, every month since June 2004! We perform our time-honoured rituals to renew the shrine, to remember the outcast, dead and alive, and to relive the secret history as revealed by The Goose to John Crow. We light the open pathways, hang our hopes and dreams in ribbons tied to the gate, and close with our unconditional blessings. At the heart of the Vigil, there’s space for those who wish to share a poem, song or brief personal testimony connected with Crossbones and “outsiders” of all kinds.

This month marks the Spring Equinox when we balance the darkness of the Crossbones story with the new light rising there. It’s also the portal to the first anniversary of Katy and John’s wedding and celebration of friendship, which was attended by many Friends of Crossbones. For this months “Jules’ spot”, our resident speaker Jules will read out poems and well-wishings by John Cooper Clarke and Jo Brand, which Jules had solicited but which, in the happy chaos of the day, remained unread.

You are invited to bring your own memento, totemic object or ribbon to tie to the gate. For those who forget, ribbons may be provided – though creating your own offering deepens your experience of The Goose and her grace. Please also be ready to serve a few minutes as a Goose Samurai, helping close the road to keep us all alive. This is the highest honour that any participant can receive, and enables us all to experience the many facets of the Crossbones Vigil.   

Crossbones Vigil for the Outcast

Saturday 23rd February – gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil
at the shrine by the gates in Redcross Way, London SE1

The 177th consecutive Vigil held at 7pm on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. To honour the Outcast, dead and alive. To renew the shrine at the gates. And to reclaim the secret history of Crossbones as revealed by The Goose to John Crow.

Web of light – artifact and photo by Katy Kaos

For this Vigil, on 23rd February, we’ll be celebrating the extraordinary transformations that have taken places at Crossbones over the past decade, reclaiming the old burial ground from a desolate post-industrial wasteland into a beautiful, quirky Garden of Remembrance.

Towards the end of March, u+i, the development partners of TfL who own the site, will submit a planning application for a development on the land adjoining Crossbones Graveyard. Please note that there are no plans to develop the burial ground itself, though it’s still unclear exactly how it will be protected and maintained as a garden of remembrance.

Friends of Crossbones want to make sure that Crossbones is not treated simply as a generic Open Space, but as a special case, entitled to specific protection as:

* a protected graveyard and memorial garden on a larger piece of private land scheduled for development
* an historical, cultural, environmental and community asset
* a sacred space of spiritual significance to many people

We’ll be sharing news and ideas about how to ensure the long term funding, management and maintenance of Crossbones as a graveyard and public garden of remembrance for the length of the developer’s lease.

For this month’s Vigil, John Crow will be back doing the honours. Regulars who know the form are encouraged to step forward to help conduct parts of the ritual.

At the heart of the Vigil, those who wish are invited to offer a short poem, song or personal testimony dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead. We especially encourage Goose Rhapsodes to learn and perform a poem from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’. And please bring a small magical totem or memento to help renew the shrine.

Gather at the gates in Redcross Way at 6.45 to prepare. And be prepared to take on the highest honour by doing a short shift as a Goose Samurai, guarding the road to protect the other participants.

Crossbones Vigil / Portal to Imbolc

Wednesday 23rd January, gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil in the street by the gates / shrine in Redcross Way

The 176th consecutive Vigil held on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. To honour the Outcast, dead and alive. To renew the shrine at the gates. And to reclaim the secret history of Crossbones as revealed by The Goose to John Crow.

The January Vigil is also the Portal to Imbolc. This traditional festival of fire and light, held on February 1st, is dedicated to Brigid, Brid, Bridie. For the past few years we’ve honoured her with a call-and-response of this poem:

“… Bridie I am here 
with my goose-feather quill
to trace the lucent songs of the Ancients.

Bridie I am here
with the chalice and snake 
to receive and transmit your healing benediction.

Bridie I am here
with the bellows and tongues
to tend your sacred fire of transformation…” *

Each line is called and repeated in the response, and all three verses are repeated three times, to honour the triple goddess.

At this Vigil we also elevate David Bowie as our ‘Angel of the Outcast’ with a rendition of ‘Starman’. Anyone with the Voice and the chutzpah is welcome to lead the collective Crossbones scratch choir! 

This January, Jennifer Cooper will be conducting the Vigil. 

All are welcome to contribute with a short poem, song or personal testimony dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead. We also encourage Goose Rhapsodes to learn and perform a poem from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’. And please bring a small magical totem or memento to help renew the shrine. 

Gather at the gates in Redcross Way at 6.45 to prepare. And be ready to take on the highest honour by doing a short shift as a Goose Samurai, guarding the road to protect the other participants.

* ‘Imbolc’ poem from ‘Spark In The Dark’ by John Constable 

Crossbones Christmas Vigil for the Outcast

Sunday 23rd December, gather 6.45 for 7pm vigil in the street by the shrine at the gates in Redcross Way

The 175th Vigil, held on the 23rd of every single month since 23rd June 2004 – to remember the outcast, dead and alive, to renew the shrine at the gates and to reclaim the secret history of Crossbones as revealed by The Goose to John Crow on 23rd November 1996.

We each bring our own piece of the puzzle, and together we perform acts of remembrance and imagination, secular Human Rites, open to ‘all faiths and none’. Specific vigils are aligned with seasonal festivals – e.g. January 23rd is Imbolc, April 23rd is St George, June 23rd is St John’s Eve / midsummer, October 23rd is Halloween Portal, November 23rd is ‘Goose Night’.

At the 23rd December Vigil we mark the winter solstice and the coming of the light, Yule – and Christmas, with  lusty singing of traditional carols and sharing of tasty treats. Come prepared to join in with such classics as ‘Deck The Halls’, ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and ‘We Wish You A Happy Christmas’. Yuletide and other seasonal songs are also welcome, especially if they’re easy for everyone to join in.

Please bring your own mementos or ribbons with the names of your lost loved ones to tie to the gates. You might also like to offer a short poem, song or personal testimony to the spirits of Crossbones Graveyard. Or be a ‘Goose Rhapsode’, learning part of ‘The Book of the Goose’ or another short poem from The Southwark Mysteries to recite on the night.

FREE. Donations welcome

Urban Magic: making magic in an urban environment

Saturday 24th November 10am to 5pm – Urban Magic: Making Magic in an Urban Environment
a workshop led by John Constable aka John Crow
£75 members; £95 non-members (CLICK HERE then go to end of event page and click BOOK NOW)

The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensbury Place, London SW7 2EB

This intensive, day-long workshop provides a working introduction to magic, mediumship and urban shamanism, and practical information for anyone interested in conducting a contemporary ritual. We focus on the Crossbones Vigil as a model ceremony, exploring its ritual forms and how to balance these fixed points with a freedom that allows the unexpected to happen. The day includes: preparation (practical and magical); creating an altar and devising ceremonial forms; presentation and performance of rituals; connecting with the ‘spirit of place’ and holding the space.

Advance booking recquired. John Constable’s 2017 Urban Magic workshop was fully booked in advance, leaving many disappointed. Book now to be sure of your place.

Urban Magic at Crossbones Graveyard

Tuesday 20th November 7pm to 8.30pm – Urban Magic at Crossbones Graveyard
a talk by John Constable aka John Crow
£12 members; £14 non-members (CLICK HERE then go to end of event page and click BOOK NOW

The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensbury Place, London SW7 2EB

An initiation into a contemporary magical praxis dedicated to the outcast dead of Crossbones Graveyard. The talk takes in mediumship, trance and incorporation, street magic, synchronicity, and how spiritual works can manifest in the physical world. We focus on the Crossbones Vigil as a model ceremony, exploring its ritual forms and how to balance these fixed points with a freedom that allows the unexpected to happen. The day includes: preparation (practical and magical); creating an altar and devising ceremonial forms; presentation and performance of rituals; connecting with the ‘spirit of place’ and holding the space.

Crossbones Vigil for the Outcast / ‘Goose Night’

Friday 23rd November
gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil at the Crossbones Graveyard gates in Redcross Way, London SE1

The 174th of the Crossbones Vigils held on the 23rd of every single month since June 2004…

To remember the outcast, dead and alive, to renew the shrine at the gates and to reclaim this magical place as sacred ground.

This month’s Vigil marks the 22nd anniversary of ‘Goose Night’ (23rd November 1996) when The Goose spirit revealed the secret history of Crossbones to John Crow, inspiring The Southwark Mysteries and the works at Crossbones Graveyard.

Please bring your own mementos or ribbons with the names of your lost loved ones to tie to the gates, and perhaps a poem, song or short personal testimony to offer to the spirits of Crossbones Graveyard.

FREE. Donations welcome.

London Bridge Guided Walk with Unseen Tours

Friday 23rd October 5.30pm-6.30pm starting at Southwark Cathedral, London SE1 9DA

Dive into the back streets of the South Bank and reflect on the area’s history of poverty and social exclusion. Join your tour guide David to discover Winchester Palace, the infamous Clink Prison, and some of London’s oldest theatres. The tour will end at Crossbones Graveyard, the resting place for the area’s poor and excluded, in time for the poignant Vigil for the Outcast.

Unseen Tours is an award-winning social enterprise. All our walks are led by guides who have experienced homelessness or vulnerable housing.

https://sockmobevents.org.uk/tour/lbspecial-crossbones-tour/

Please note this is a tour of the London Brdge area ending at the Vigil, not a tour of the graveyard itself.

£12 Full-price, £10 Concessions. Advance booking required.

Crossbones Graveyard: Burying the Outcast

Saturday 13th October 2018 at 1pm – Crossbones Graveyard: Burying the Outcast
with Jelena Bekvalac and John Constable

Part of London Month of the Dead at Brompton Cemetery Chapel, London SW10 9UG

Jelena Bekvalac, Curator of Human Osteology at The Museum of London, tells the story of the excavation of the buried bones, and John Constable, aka John Crow, will reveal the history of Crossbones Graveyard and how he was inspired by it.

£12 including a free Hendrick’s Gin Cocktail.

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