Cross Bones Vigil: Halloween Portal livestream

Since March 2020, at 7pm every 2rd, one of us have livestreamed the Cross Bones Vigil for the Outcast. These monthly virtual Vigils have each embodied their own unique spells and sigils. Along with the live rituals and a cornucopia of bardic offerings, this one includes a short film from the early days and Frank Turner’s song ‘The Graveyard of the Outcast Dead’. For Crow and Kaos, this 23rd October Vigil perfectly expressed the spiritual forms of Cross Bones, with all of us communing in mind, heart and spirit to evoke The Goose on the Astral. Thanks to everyone who gave so completely of themslves, and especially to Bee for bringing us all in and out with such grace and lightness of touch – such a natural charismatic screen presence – our Mistress of Technowitchery! 🙂 The Goose is loose! ❤📷
https://www.facebook.com/jacqueline.durban/videos/4923366541008623/

Cross Bones Vigil: Halloween Portal

Friday 23rd October 2020, 7pm

The 197th Cross Bones 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. For more than sixteen years, at 7pm on the 23rd of every month, we’ve gathered at the gates as incarnate spirits, sometimes ten or twenty, occasionally more than three hundred!

During the past months, the Vigils have been held on ‘on the Astral’, with some of us tuning in from all over the world, creating our own altars and conducting the rituals in their our homes. Crow and other Friends of Cross Bones have livestreamed the Vigil from our own homes and altars, and encouraged others to do likewise.

This month’s Vigil is here:
Time: Oct 23, 2020 06:45 PM LondonJoin Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240
Passcode: 377295

To help us all to fully participate, and commune on The Astral, with or without the livestream, 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 an act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness. Breathe deep, relax and connect… Remember the Secret History and Vision…

Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard and the final resting place for the Winchester Geese, sex workers who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Many skeletons were dug up here during work on the Jubilee Line Extension (1992-96). On 23rd November 1996 John Constable had a vision in which The Goose led John Crow to the site of the Crossbones Graveyard. Here she revealed The Southwark Mysteries, which in turn gave rise to The Halloween of Cross Bones and to these Vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004.

Thanks to our collective magical and activist works 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. Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys in Time and Eternity. Remember the Outcast Dead of Crossbones Graveyard, and all who are shut out, along with your own ancestors and loved ones. For this act of remembrance, 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.” (1)

When we’re together in the Vigils, one speaks and all echo the words in our own time.

3 + Halloween Portal

At the 23rd October Vigils, we 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.” (2)

This is followed by reading the names of the Cross Bones outcast dead and/or of our own lost loved ones. After the reading of the names , we say:

“Here where the bones are 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.” (3)

4. Bardic offerings.
As a Goose Rhapsode, you can perform a poem, song or text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or present your own offering 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.” (4)

then:

“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!” (5)

And so she does…

Open pathways!

>><<

When performing the rituals and channelling The Goose spirit, the trick is to “get out of the way” so as not to obstruct with our own psychological or emotional states. There are various ways to achieve this: e.g. by reminding ourselves that “I am nothing” that it’s The Goose who does the magic, not “I”.

It’s rumoured that, even during lockdown, some rogue wraiths have been informally gathering “in body” to hold Vigils at the gates in Redcross Way. The Crossbones page isn’t involved in this. We don’t condemn anyone, though at present we don’t encourage crowds to gather at the gates. If you feel you need to be there physically on the night, remember you’re responsible for your own health – and for others. Please practice social distancing and take sensible precautions.In shining emptiness.

JC

>><

Footnotes: original texts used in the Vigil
(1) “Here lay your hearts…” from The Southwark Mysteries by John Constable (Oberon Books)
(2) “Here the veil between the worlds…”
& (3) “Here where the bones are crossed”
from Spark In The Dark by John Constable (Thin Man Press)
(4) “Life. Health. Happiness. Open pathways…” from Mensagem do Caboclo by Baixinha
(5) Unconditional Goose blessing

Photos by Katy Kaos, Max Crow Reeves, Angella Dee

Cross Bones Vigil: Autumn Equinox

Wednesday 23rd September 2020 at 7pm

The 23rd September Vigil falls at the Autumn Equinox, a time for rebalancing, for gathering what we need to sustain us through the coming winter and letting go of what we no longer need.

Some wild souls will doubtless risk a meeting at the gates; many more of us will be conducting the Vigil from our home altars or joining us via livestream.

Nicholas Greaves writes: ‘… This month Jennifer Cooper and Nicholas Greaves will be holding the Virtual Vigil on Zoom, to enable more people to take part, present their offerings ‘in cyber person’ and to include those without Facebook accounts to also be able to take part. We hope to stream live to Facebook from Zoom, but this is yet to be tested out!

Zoom link and details; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240 Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295

To help us all to fully participate, with or without the livestream, 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 an act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness. Breathe deep, relax and connect… Remember the Secret History and Vision…

Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard and the final resting place for the Winchester Geese, sex workers who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Many skeletons were dug up here during work on the Jubilee Line Extension (1992-96). On 23rd November 1996 John Constable had a vision in which The Goose led John Crow to the site of the Crossbones Graveyard. Here she revealed The Southwark Mysteries, which in turn gave rise to The Halloween of Cross Bones and to these Vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004. Thanks to our collective magical and activist works 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. Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys in Time and Eternity. Remember the Outcast Dead of Crossbones Graveyard, and all who are shut out, along with your own ancestors and loved ones. For this act of remembrance, 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.”

When we’re together in the Vigils, one speaks and all echo the words in our own time. We can do this with the livestream, our whispering voices evoking our collective emanation.

4. Bardic offerings.
As a Goose Rhapsode, you can perform a poem, song or text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or present your own offering 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!>><<

Cross Bones Vigil

Sunday 23rd August – 7pm

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.

During the past months, the Vigils have been held on ‘on the Astral’, with some of us tuning in from all over the world, creating our own altars and conducting the rituals in their our homes. For anyone who likes to tune in to a live online ritual, Mark, John and Jacqueline have livestreamed the Vigil from our own homes and altars, and encouraged other Friends of Crossbones to do likewise.

This month Autumn Stellar will be conducting the Vigil from her home altar, renewing the magical connections between Glastonbury and Crossbones. You’ll find her livestream on the facebook event page from just before 7pm on the 23rd August.

To help us all to fully participate, with or without the livestream, 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 an act of mutual healing taking place within a single, undivided consciousness.

Breathe deep, relax and connect… Remember the Secret History and Vision…

Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard and the final resting place for the Winchester Geese, sex workers who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark’s ‘Liberty of the Clink’. Many skeletons were dug up here during work on the Jubilee Line Extension (1992-96). On 23rd November 1996 John Constable had a vision in which The Goose led John Crow to the site of the Crossbones Graveyard. Here she revealed The Southwark Mysteries, which in turn gave rise to The Halloween of Cross Bones and to these Vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004. Thanks to our collective magical and activist works 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. Hold the candle for one minute’s silence, as you imagine lighting the open pathways for all beings to make their individual journeys in Time and Eternity. Remember the Outcast Dead of Crossbones Graveyard, and all who are shut out, along with your own ancestors and loved ones. For this act of remembrance, 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.”

When we’re together in the Vigils, one speaks and all echo the words in our own time. We can do this with the livestream, our whispering voices evoking our collective emanation.

4. Bardic offerings.
As a Goose Rhapsode, you can perform a poem, song or text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or present your own offering 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!

>><<

When performing the rituals and channelling The Goose spirit, the trick is to “get out of the way” so as not to obstruct with our own psychological or emotional states. There are various ways to achieve this: e.g. by reminding ourselves that “I am nothing” that it’s The Goose who does the magic, not “I”. Practitioners are welcome to use the trick revealed by The Goose when she spoke through the mediumship of John Crow. Over the years John Crow has become strongly identified with John Constable, but anyone who chooses to can work with John Crow as an autonomous spirit, a channel for The Goose to do her healing work. In The Southwark Mysteries, The Goose makes clear that she and John Crow have been working together for centuries! So in this sense, irrespective of gender, anyone who uses the invocations and ritual forms to serve The Goose IS “the John Crow”. If it works for you, feel free to use it. If not, may you find your own way to get yourself out of the way. 😉

The Goose Is Loose.

>><<

It’s rumoured that, even during lockdown, some rogue spirits have been informally gathering “in body” to hold Vigils at the gates in Redcross Way. We’re grateful that they have upheld the unbroken tradition going back more than 16 years. However, the Crossbones website isn’t involved in this, and at present we don’t encourage crowds to gather at the gates. If you feel you need to be there physically on the night, remember you’re responsible for your own health – and for others. Please practice social distancing and take sensible precautions.

In shining emptiness.

JC


photo: the little yew tree and The Shard cunningly captured in the Cross Bones tantric pool. Photo by Katy Kaos

UnRipped

 
 
Sunday 2nd August, 6pm – 7.30pm
 
A celebration of the women of Whitechapel, honouring them not merely as sex workers and victims of The Ripper, but as daughters, lovers, wives, mothers, bright spirits – in storytelling, song, poetry and ritual.

Come recreate the shrine this Sunday 2nd August 2020, 6pm-7.30pm, with Vanessa Woolf and John Crow, to celebrate their lives in poetry, song, storytelling and ritual.
 
The antidote to’ Ripperphilia’. Tickets available here

“This is important work reclaiming victims from their victimiser.” Jacqueline Durban

Photo shows; shrine to the murdered women in the churchyard of St Georege in the East, Whitechapel, at the first performance of UnRipped in 2016.
 


Isis-Magdalene Crossbones Vigil – 23rd July 2020

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.

Our last four ‘lockdown’ Vigils have 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. You’re warmly invited to do so again on 23rd July.

This month is traditionally our Isis-Magdalene Vigil. Around this time in Ancient Egypt, the Goddess Isis was honoured, along with other members of the Divine pantheon. The rites of Isis, who literally ‘re-membered’ the body of her murdered and mutilated brother-husband Osiris, are reiterated in ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and in the July Crossbones Vigil.

The 22nd July is Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day. At Crossbones we celebrate her both in her orthodox form as the ‘Apostle of the Apostles’ and in her Gnostic manifestations as the disciple to whom Jesus imparted his secret teachings. ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ places itself in an oral tradition of hermetic teachings passed down by Mary Magdalene, transmitted by the actors and whores of the Southwark ‘Liberty’.

If you’re conducting your own Vigil, you may like to perform parts of ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ that relate directly to Isis or Mary, an appropriate text from the Nag Hammadi Gospels, or the New Testament scene where Mary encounters the risen Christ “supposing him to be the gardener” (John 20:15).

Once again, 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.

Remind yourselves that Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Wichester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Wichester 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. 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’ inspired by and / or dedicated to Isis / Mary Magdalene. Or another text relevant to them and their festivals.

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!

>><<

unripped

In 2016, Vanessa Woolf (London Dreamtime) and John Constable / John Crow  (Southwark Mysteries / Crossbones) devised ‘UNRIPPED’
a performance in poetry, song, storytelling and ritual.

It was performed in the churchyard of St George In The East, a Hawksmoor church. Now we’re reviving the show for this one-off online production.

‘UNRIPPED’ explicitly subverts the fetishisation of ‘The Ripper’, dismissing ‘Jack’ as a pathetic, inadequate, cowardly serial murderer, whilst celebrating the lives of his so-called victims as real women, daughters, lovers, wives and mothers. Some of these women chose sex work as a way of earning a living, others may have turned a trick when needs must – there was much more to their lives than is suggested by the lazy, dismissive, catch-all term “prostitute”.

Vanessa tells the story of Catherine Eddowes, an orphan girl and free spirit. We set the lives of the murdered women in the context of the hypocrisy surrounding our attitudes towards sex work, whereby the whore becomes the recipient of all the contrary desire and disgust in a sexually repressed society.

Relating this to our work at Crossbones Graveyard, John Crow performs ‘The Book of The Goose’ and conducts a simple participatory ritual to honour the ‘women of Whitechapel’. We’ll all light candles and offer flowers in a collective act of remembrance and healing.

Tickets are cheap (or free if you’re stoney broke). Book here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unripped-online-tickets-112121823392

St John’s Eve Crossbones Vigil

Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 7pm – wherever you are

At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve gathered in the street by the Crossbones shrine in Redcross Way – 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 grew out of The Halloween of Crossbones, a ritual drama to honour The Goose and her Outcast Dead, conducted every 31st October from 1998 to 2010. This was itself an expression of ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ by John Constable, an epic work of poetry, songs and ritual dramas of healing and transformation.

On 23rd November 2019, John Constable (aka John Crow) conducted his last official Vigil, having completed 23 years of magical works at Crossbones. Since then, a Magical Collective of Friends of Crossbones has carried on holding the Vigils every 23rd.

23rd June is St John’s Eve, the traditional English midsummer festival, a time when people used to jump over bonfires, both literally and symbolic act of purification. At this Vigil we’re sensitive to the summer solstice, when light and dark are held in balance.

Depending on the highly volatile state of the national health crisis, some of us may or not be able to gather at the shrine in Redcross Way. Even given the easing of restrictions, those at high-risk may still feel it’d be unwise to join the often large crowd at Crossbones.

For the last three months of lockdown, people from all over the world have participated in Spirit, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes, co-creating and reiterating the spiritual identity of The Goose and the Crossbones Vigil on The Astral. You’re invited to do so again on 23rd June.

During this period, Mark Juhan has done a livestream of him conducting the ritual from his garden in south London. This month, John Crow will do likewise, live-streaming as he conducts the Vigil at his home altar, only a short walk from Crossbones. This is for anyone who can’t get to the Vigil physically and would like a live connection with the rituals.

To help those who’d like to fully participate, with or without the livestream, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ – with opening, 3 ritual observances and closing. When conducting the ritual, the aim is to get out of the way, allowing The Goose to work her magic through you. Do it at your own altar and be part of it all. Like this:

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.

Remind yourselves that Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Wichester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Wichester 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. 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 or song from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or something of your own dedicated to The Goose – or to celebrate midsummer and St John’s Eve.

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!

>><<

photos by Max Crow Reeves taken at the 2019 St John’s Eve Vigil

Crossbones May Vigil for the Outcast (on the Astral)

23rd May 2020 at 7pm, wherever you are

23rd May 2020 marks 16 years of monthly Crossbones Vigils. At 7pm on the 23rd of every single month since 23rd June 2004, we’ve gathered in the street by the Crossbones shrine in Redcross Way – 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.

These past two months, because of the lockdown, we couldn’t be there in Body. However, people from all over the world have participated in Spirit, conducting the simple ritual acts in their own homes. We invite you all to do so again on 23rd May.

For those who’d like to fully participate, here’s our basic ‘order of service’ – with opening, 3 ritual observances and closing. When conducting the ritual, the aim is to get out of the way, allowing The Goose to work her magic through you. Create your own ‘street altar’ and be part of it all. Like this:

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.

Remind yourselves that Crossbones is a pauper’s graveyard, the final resting place for the sex workers (Wichester Geese) who worked in brothels owned and licensed by the Bishop of Wichester 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. Hold the candle for one minutes silence as you stand in shining emptiness, 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 or song from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or something of your own dedicated to The Goose or to Beltane.

Here’s John Crow’s seasonal offering (lyrics John Constable; music Mark Eye; video Martin ‘Scooby’ Wood):



Know that, whoever, wherever, you are, Goose be with you!

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!

>><<

St George’s Day Crossbones Vigil (on the Astral)

When? 7pm on 23rd April 2020. Where? Wherever you are.

At 7pm on the 23rd of every month since June 2004, we’ve gathered in the street by the Crossbones shrine in Redcross Way – 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. Our St George’s Day Vigil is traditionally one of our best attended Vigils, in which we honour George as an international patron, a healing energy and a protector of spiritual works..

Last month, 23rd March 2020, because of the restrictions on public gatherings, we couldn’t be there in the flesh. However, people from all over the world participated in Spirit, conducting the simple ritual acts in their own homes. We invite you all to do so again on 23rd April.

Here’s our basic ‘order of service’ – with opening, 3 ritual observances and closing. Create your own ‘street altar’ and be with us in Spirit. Like this:

1. Opening (on the stroke of 7pm)
Light a candle, incense, libation to the Goose. Ring seven chimes.
Say: ‘Spirits of The Dead, Spirits of the Living, Kindred. Welcome!’

2. Holding the Light (and the Dark)
Hold a candle for one minutes silence as you stand in shining emptiness. Imagine you’re lighting the open pathways for all beings to fulfill their most intimate aspirations.

3. “Binding and loosing”
Imagine tying a ribbon to the shrine at Crossbones Gates. Invest the ribbon with all that you would wish for yourself, and as you tie the ribbon, release that blessing for others. “See” the ribbons flutter in the wind.
Say 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 to The Goose
Perform a short poem or song from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or something of your own dedicated to The Goose. Know that, whoever, wherever, you are, Goose be with you!

5. Closing
Close the ceremony with a libation and a sip of gin (if you have some and fancy a nip). 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.”

“Goose may you never be hungry!
Goose may you never be thirsty!
Goose may your Spirit fly free!”

And so she does…

When conducting the ritual, the aim is to get out of the way, allowing The Goose to work her magic through you. It helps to cultivate a state of “shining emptiness”, especially during the holding of the light. In this empty state, allow all sounds, sights, smells and other sense impressions to arise and vanish, with nothing for anything to attach to.

Over the fifteen and more years that I conducted the ceremony in my John Crow persona, I sometimes had to let go of whatever personal anxieties or anguish I was carrying. I found it helpful to remind myself that “I am Nothing. Thou Art!” – that it wasn’t me doing it, but John Crow and that he was there simply to serve The Goose and all Spirits, incarnate and disincarnate, who may be communing with us.

Since 23rd November 2019, when I handed on the hosting of the Vigils to a Magical Collective of Friends of Crossbones, I said that whoever facillitates this ritual, irrespective of gender, is the ‘John Crow’. If it helps you to get out of the way, please feel free to be the John Crow – and remember, at the heart of our work is play!

Goose be with us!

Open pathways!

JC >><<

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