Cross Bones May 2022 Bulletin

 

The Green Man, also known as the May King, and The Lions Part visited Crossbones on Beltane, 1st May, as a special thank you to our Crossbones volunteers. At Crossbones and during the procession through the streets which followed, we were entertained by poetry, including some Shakespeare, songs, readings and a re-enactment of George slaying the Dragon. Thanks very much to the actors who all volunteer their time for this fantastic theatre group!

We’re hoping to be able to be able to host the Lions part again later this year, so please watch this space!

Imagined Portraits

We’ve had wonderful feedback following the Imagined Portraits workshops run by artist Minnie Scott in April.  These workshops sought to commemorate people whom history has erased, picturing the outcast dead as individuals. People were invited to draw or write their imagined portrait.

“I found it peaceful and meditative to sit with others and draw – and in that embodied state, I felt like I was connecting with the dead, just by letting go of the everyday and creating the space for attention. I liked that the workshops were held over a number of days – the sustained engagement feels appropriate to the kind of community building that Crossbones is so great for. The completed portraits looked beautiful around the garden and I like that they are given back to the site at the end rather than taken away.”

“A welcoming experience that made me feel very relaxed and happy in this special place giving me a new perspective on Crossbones cemetery!”

“I really really enjoyed the experience – being able to draw and not worry about imperfections in my drawing, just thinking about the women buried here and their experiences.”

“It was a lovely experience in imagining those buried in a deeper way, trying to relate to them and know them.”

“I loved that the exercise gave faces to the stories we learn about here as well as encouraging us to really engage our empathy and imagination to create images of these individuals, considering how they might be dressed, their expressions, and the style of the portrait in relation to what thought it should it should express. Loved the interactive engagement and connection built with the past here. Volunteers were so nice and helpful and the materials provided were perfect for this activity.”

“I welcome bringing our queer and gender diverse community here to an Outsider Resting Place where we would likely have found ourselves over the centuries.”


“Enjoyed my visit to Crossbones and it was an added delight to be able to participate in and add to the cemetery through this fascinating medium of remembrance.
I really enjoyed it ! I felt very peaceful while doing it and quite emotional too!”

People continue to leave portraits even after the event. Mark Evans, from San Francisco, painted and left one on the Union St gates:

“Hope you didn’t mind but I was motivated to contribute to your garden. I left a small artwork as a token of appreciation for your nice volunteer who showed me your space….I will definitely sign up to your bulletin and try to stay in touch. Keep up the good work.”


May Events at Crossbones
The Goose and the Garden: Friday 13th May, 1230pm

Join Crossbones supporter Jen, who also leads the monthly Crossbones Vigils outside the ribboned gates on Redcross Way, on her final talk about the garden, giving a history of the Goose, Vigil and physical history and spirit of the Crossbones Graveyard. The talk starts outside the ribbon gates, then people will be guided onto Crossbones Graveyard. The tour is FREE. Please book your place here.

                               

Chelsea Fringe

Thanks to our fantastic volunteer wardens, we are delighted to be able to extend our opening hours at Crossbones during Chelsea Fringe week. Crossbones Graveyard and Garden of Remembrance will be open every day 12-2pm from Sat 21st May to Sun 29th May. Entry of course is free.


On Friday 27th May, I’ll be giving FREE tours and Q and A, at 12pm, 1245pm and 130pm. If you’re interested in local history, community activism or are trying to set up your own community garden, you’ll find these tours informative and inspiring.

Portraiture Artist Minnie Scott has developed a self led activity and on every day of the Fringe, where you can create your own imagined portrait or other artwork/poem to remember those buried in this special place.  You are welcome to take your piece home with you or leave at Crossbones to help others remember these once outcast dead.

Crossbones gardening

           

Several new volunteers, both gardeners and wardens, have joined our team over the last few weeks.  Welcome and thank you! Pictured above is Sean who accompanies our Thursday warden teams and loves to sketch at Crossbones.  Volunteer warden Mick has created some stunning collages which we’ve printed as postcards – please ask one of our wardens if you’d like one, when you next visit.  Suggested donation 50p, and all money goes back into garden maintenance and events.

Both our volunteer gardeners and wardens have been watching the parents of great tit chicks visiting the nest box we installed years ago, in one of the goat willows. If you visit the garden over the next few weeks, you may be lucky enough to spot mum or dad collecting food, or listen to their rowdy children.

Thanks again to our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners who take care of the Graveyard every Friday 12-2pm, lead by Barney.  If you’d like to volunteer your time as a Crossbones warden or gardener, please get in contact: hej@bost.org.uk.

Crossbones Opening hours
Crossbones is open Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-2pm and some weekends when our fantastic volunteer wardens are available.  If you’d like to become a warden, and help us extend our opening hours, please let me know (hej@bost.org.uk). 

Donations
Thanks to the generosity of our visitors, and our wardens for opening the garden, we received £105 of on-site donations during April.

Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops
I know there are many new subscribers since the last bulletin, so I’ll bring you up to speed on these workshops! We’ve hosted the first five of a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (the developer responsible for the Liberty of Southwark development next to Crossbones and 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. 

Our first workshop (Friday 12th November 2021) was held at the Liberty of Southwark site which is next to Crossbones. MOLA Archaeologist Antonietta gave us a talk about the fascinating discoveries made on the site. You can follow the dig here

The second workshop (Saturday 27th November 2021) looked at the proposed construction of the boundaries on site. Sculptor Adrian joined us and shared his experience of metalworking and we looked at ways of involving the community in both the design of the boundaries and possibly even contribute to the features on the boundaries through community workshops.  You can read the notes from the workshop here.

Note that the ribboned railings/’gates’ did not form part of the Boundaries workshop and will not be forming part of the Crossbones enhancements. TfL states:
“TfL have reviewed the ribboned gates and advised that there are no urgent works to be undertaken.”

The third workshop (Saturday 4th December 2021) looked at the proposed structures on site: new ramps, a new goosewing shelter to mirror the existing one, as well as new shelters. You can read the notes here.
Volunteer warden Simon gave a talk on the history of ramps and shared his thought-provoking poem Wheel, which details his experience of the city as a wheelchair user. 
Joel from YesMake was on hand to answer questions and listen to ideas about what the new ramps and shelters should be like. 

The fourth workshop (Friday 14th Jan 2022) looked at surfacing on site and a little more at the new ramps and steps. You can read the notes here and the accompanying drawings here and here.


The fifth workshop (Friday 11th Feb 2022) recapped on the surfacing and also looked at Events and Visitor circulation and we looked at storage, seating and proposed new planting. You can read the notes here and the accompanying drawings here.

The last workshop will likely be arranged in June 2022 – we’ll be looking at water and electricity and a summary of our discussions.

Crossbones Vigil
Don’t forget that the Crossbones Vigil, held by Friends of Crossbones is on 23rd of every month at 7pm outside the gates on Redcross Way. You can also join the Vigil via Zoom if you are unable to attend in person. Just login to your Zoom account or link on the link here.
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240
Passcode 377295
For more information about the history of the Vigils, see: www.crossbones.org.uk.

This month’s Crossbones recipe: Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate and Lavender muffins

                                          
My youngest daughter and I made these for the 1st May gathering with the Lions part, as a thank you for the Crossbones volunteers. They are VERY lavendery!

Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
175 g plain gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
50 g cocoa powder
200 g light brown sugar
250 ml hot water
50 ml rapeseed oil (if you can find it)
1 tbsp. white vinegar

For the lavender icing:
100g Fairtrade 70% cocoa Vegan chocolate (we used Divine)
50g cocoa powder
1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers (we used some of Crossbones’ from 2021 harvest)
2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
100g icing sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt.
A little hot water

Method
For the cupcakes: Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat in the wet ingredients until smooth.  Transfer into x 12 muffin cases. Bake for 12-15mins at 180C until well risen, springy and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing: gently heat the flowers and the oil for a minute until just bubbling, and strain.  Put to one side. You can compost the flowers. Gently melt the chocolate and the oil and stir in all other ingredients, including the lavender oil – a few drops at a time (be careful – it’s strong stuff!) – and beat.  Keep adding the oil and try a little until to your taste. Add a little more hot water / sugar depending on the consistency you want.  Spread onto the cakes straight away for a glossy look, when still warm.  Or leave to cool and beat for a fluffier look.  Add edible flowers such as lavender or viola to each.

Got an idea?
As always, the best way to ‘weave Crossbones into the fabric of SE1’ is to get people involved on site. If you have an idea for an event, installation, tour, or other activity / initiative, I’d be delighted if you would get in contact with me via email, phone, WhatsApp, Signal etc. I’m also aiming to be on site most Fridays 12pm-2pm when the gardening team is there, so let me know if you have a positive way of spreading the Crossbones story, and you’d like to speak to me in person. 

Liberty of Southwark development
For those of you receiving this bulletin for the first time, the Liberty of Southwark development is the one adjacent to Crossbones and an exciting archaeological dig is currently being undertaken. 
Many of you will have heard the recent and exciting discoveries made in February 2022 and may even have been lucky enough to attend a tour on site and see the tremendous Roman mosaic which has received a huge amount of publicity

                                                  

You can also view the blog here and contact with the developer directly for information about the works on the site: henriettanowne@uandiplc.com. 

Best wishes

Hej and the team at Bankside Open Spaces Trust

RECLAIM ST GEORGE!

 
a celebration of St George in theatre, music, poetry and inspirational talks
GLASTONBURY TOWN HALL
Saturday 23rd April 2022 at 7.45pm
FREE! Doors close when performance begins 8pm. Please arrive in good time.
England’s patron saint and Dragon Slayer is the patron of lands and cities around the world – from Palestine, Georgia and Ethiopia to Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro.
 
The 23rd April Cross Bones Vigil is dedicated to St George as ‘Our Lady’s Knight’ and the protector of spiritual works. This month marks the 215th Vigil to be held at the gates at 7pm. Others will be tuning into Jacqueline Durban’s gathering on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240 or from their own hearths and shrines.
 
We’ll be connecting as we seek to liberate St George from his rusty armour in Glastonbury Town Hall from 7.45pm https://www.facebook.com/events/1308731809621694
 
This celebration places St George in the heart of Glastonbury’s mythic landscape.
 
John Constable, poet, playwright and performer, author of ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and ‘Grail’.
On Healing The Dragon https://crossbones.org.uk/john-constable-biography/
 
Dr Sam Riches, cultural historian at Lancaster University, author of ‘St George: a saint for all’.
On the internationalist St George https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/history/about/people/sam-riches
 
Pok the Bard of Ynys Witrin. A song for Dragons
 
Paul Weston, author of ‘William Blake and the Glastonbury Gnosis’.
 
Jenny Bliss Bennett, singer and multi-instrumentalist of Queen Space Baroque.
Songs and dances for St George https://queenspacebaroque.com/welcome/
 
The event will culminate in the first public reading of The Glastonbury St George Mummers Play – with Jacqueline Haigh as the Three-fold Divine Feminine and Michael of Paddington Farm as George.
 
The Mayor of Glastonbury, Jon Cousins, will introduce the evening and play the part of the Doctor in the Mummers Play. The Mayor says:
‘Continuing our exploration of the Sovereignty of this sceptred isle during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Glastonbury celebrates the legendary connection between England’s Patron Saint and ‘the Holyest Erthe’ during an evening of theatre, music, poetry, and inspirational talks at Glastonbury Town Hall.”
 
FREE EVENT!
Funded by Glastonbury Town Council.
 
NB Doors close when the performance begins at 8pm. Please arrive promptly at 7.45 to be sure of admission.
To protect others, please do not attend if you feel unwell.
Masks welcome, optional

Crossbones April 2022 Bulletin

 
Here’s the April bulletin by Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) who look after the Cross Bones Garden. You can subscribe directly (and for free) on their page: https://www.bost.org.uk/crossbones-graveyard 
If you sign up for the bulletin, you’ll get it with all the photos and any links (for more information) which aren’t given here.
 
“Our life is only a small part of the eternal life. It is interconnected with that huge body-mind always. Birth is not a complete separation but rather the appearance of a new bud, branch, or leaf. Death is not the end of life but one step in a dynamic of change that has no beginning or end. A leaf emerges from a small bud when conditions are right in the spring. It is visible on the tree until autumn when it changes color, falls, and disappears from our view. We do not say the tree dies, only the leaf. To say a leaf – or any individual – has died is not incorrect but is only a very small part of what we see if we enlarge the framework of time and place.” (Jan Chozen Bays 2015)
 
Thanks to volunteer warden Hannah who shared this quote. Hannah writes: “It feels pertinent to the time of year we are in, but also particularly to Crossbones with the tree analogy. I think there is something about Crossbones that really implores us to expand our framework of time and place, living and dying, the individual etc, as the proximity between the dead and the living is so palpable in the way that plants and critters are always breaching that boundary.” Hannah is writing a blog about Crossbones which she’ll be launching shortly and would like you to input, so watch this space!
 
Fundraising for Ukraine
Many thanks to Crossbones supporter Caroline, for arranging the Ukraine fundraising gathering at Crossbones on Sunday 27th March. Thanks also to The Kimberleys, António Breitenfeld Sá-Dantas and guests, actor Stewart Scudamore who read some beautiful poetry and Quaker Chaplain Joe who led a meditation session. Crossbones Vigil attendee Danny led the closure of the gathering by reciting the concluding phrases of the monthly Vigils. A wonderful £581 has been raised, far exceeding Caroline’s target. If you’d like to donate, please visit her Just Giving page. Thanks again to volunteer wardens Ngaire, Ginny and Emma for opening the garden.
 
Dr Angryness & The Crossbones Graveyard: documentary
‘He ran a website called angryness.com. It was based on the word he used to say when he was young, his face would go all red when he was frustrated, and he’d say he had “angryness’. Dave Fisher
BOST and our volunteer wardens Tricia and Chris, were honoured to be able to facilitate the making of this beautiful and touching documentary about Jason ‘Angryness/Brimstone’ Fisher, compiled by Cameron from Weekly Tales and his father, Dave.

“Among the plethora of shrines left on the beribboned gate, one memorial is especially eye-catching. The sign, dedicated to Jason ‘Angryness/ Brimstone’ Fisher, includes a portrait of Jason posing in a baseball hat next to graphics of a radio mast and bright red, angry emoticon symbol. Underneath Jason’s photograph are the date of his birth and death with the words, ‘A Genius, A Legend’ and on the opposing side is the phrase ‘Pirate Radio Is Good for Your Mind’. Laminated to ensure extra protection from the elements, this unusual memorial was created by his father, Dave Fisher. Dave relays that the symbols on either side of Jason’s photograph denote key parts of his life and the very same symbols can be found on Jason’s headstone in Camberwell cemetery.”
 
April Events at Crossbones
 
Vocal Workshop with the Outside Project: Saturday 9th April 2-4pm
One of our local community partners, The Outside Project, is arranging a free vocal workshop from qualified speech and language therapists for trans, gender variant and questioning people. We’re delighted to be hosting at Crossbones on Saturday 9th April. Please email jesse.ashman@lgbtiqoutside.org if you’d like to sign up
 
Imagined Portraits at Crossbones: Wed 6th April, Thurs 7th April, Fri 8th April, Saturday 9th April 12pm-2pm. FREE.
How can we commemorate people whom history has erased?
Many of the people buried at Crossbones have left no traces behind them in historical records. We don’t know their names, we can’t see their faces, but we know they existed. They were buried here because medieval society considered them outcasts. Join artist Minnie Scott in a project to picture the outcast dead as individuals. Sit in the garden and see who comes to mind. Draw or write your imagined portrait and then hang it up on a branch as an act of creative commemoration.
 
The Goose and the Garden
Join Crossbones supporter Jen, who also leads the monthly Crossbones Vigils outside the ribboned gates on Redcross Way, on a talk about the garden, giving a history of the Goose, Vigil and physical history and spirit of the Crossbones Graveyard. The talks will start outside the ribbon gates, then people will be guided onto Crossbones Graveyard. Tours will start at 12.30pm and will run on Thurs 21st and Thurs 28th April and Fri 6th and 13th May. The tours are FREE. Please book your place here.
 
Crossbones gardening
We’ve welcomed several new volunteers, both gardeners and wardens, over the last few weeks. Welcome and thank you!Gardening volunteers have been busy in the garden as it bursts into life. The hops have woken up and we spent last Friday retying the hop twines ready to receive the vines as they grow up to the Goosewing shelter. We’ve also been oiling the benches and other wooden structures to give them some TLC after the winter weather. The frogs are back and they’ve laid this year’s frogspawn in the pond, so look out for the tadpoles which will be arriving soon.
 
Thanks again to our wonderful team of volunteer gardeners who take care of the Graveyard every Friday 12-2pm, lead by Barney. If you’d like to volunteer your time as a Crossbones warden or gardener, please get in contact: hej@bost.org.uk
 
Dickens visits Crossbones
Volunteer wardens Mick and Penny were delighted to welcome two groups of school children visiting from Hackney with their teachers Miss Joseph (aka, Nancy) and Mrs Curran (aka Miss Havisham). We’re hoping that the group will be taking part in our Mexican Day of the Dead week 31st October – 4th November which we’ll be celebrating with the Mexican Embassy again – watch this space for more details and to find out how to get involved!
 
Crossbones Opening hours
Crossbones is open Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-2pm and some weekends when our fantastic volunteer wardens are available. If you’d like to become a warden, and help us extend our opening hours, please let me know (hej@bost.org.uk).
 
Donations
Thanks to the generosity of our visitors, and our wardens for opening the garden, we received £55 of on-site donations during March, with BOST donating £30 of onsite donations to the Ukraine appeal over the fundraising weekend.
 
Crossbones Vision detailed design and construction workshops
I know there are many new subscribers since the last bulletin, so I’ll bring you up to speed on these workshops! We’ve hosted the first five of a series of workshops, in collaboration with U+I (the developer responsible for the Liberty of Southwark development next to Crossbones and 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.
 
Our first workshop (Friday 12th November 2021) was held at the Liberty of Southwark site which is next to Crossbones. MOLA Archaeologist Antonietta gave us a talk about the fascinating discoveries made on the site.
 
The second workshop (Saturday 27th November 2021) looked at the proposed construction of the boundaries on site. Sculptor Adrian joined us and shared his experience of metalworking and we looked at ways of involving the community in both the design of the boundaries and possibly even contribute to the features on the boundaries through community workshops.
 
Note that the ribboned railings/’gates’ did not form part of the Boundaries workshop and will not be forming part of the Crossbones enhancements. TfL states:
“TfL have reviewed the ribboned gates and advised that there are no urgent works to be undertaken.”
 
The third workshop (Saturday 4th December 2021) looked at the proposed structures on site: new ramps, a new goosewing shelter to mirror the existing one, as well as new shelters. Volunteer warden Simon gave a talk on the history of ramps and shared his thought-provoking poem Wheel, which details his experience of the city as a wheelchair user. Joel from YesMake was on hand to answer questions and listen to ideas about what the new ramps and shelters should be like.
 
The fourth workshop (Friday 14th Jan 2022) looked at surfacing on site and a little more at the new ramps and steps.
 
The fifth workshop (Friday 11th Feb 2022) recapped on the surfacing and also looked at Events and Visitor circulation and we looked at storage, seating and proposed new planting.
 
The last workshop will likely be arranged in April 2022 – we’ll be looking at water and electricity and a summary of our discussions.
 
Crossbones Vigil
Don’t forget that the Crossbones Vigil, held by Friends of Crossbones is on 23rd of every month at 7pm outside the gates on Redcross Way. You can also join the Vigil via Zoom if you are unable to attend in person. Just login to your Zoom account or link on the link here.
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240
Passcode 377295
For more information about the history of the Vigils, see: www.crossbones.org.uk.
 
This month’s Crossbones recipe: Gluten-free Vegan Ukrainian oatmeal cookies
My youngest daughter and I made these for the Ukraine fundraising gathering on 27th March. They’re lovely and crunchy and great for tea dunking! This makes about 24.
Ingredients
125g / 1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
1/tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g vegan spread
70g/ 1/2 cup sugar
30g / 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp. apple puréed
1 tsp vanilla
320g/ 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
Method
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the spread, apple, vanilla in another bowl and then mix with the dry ingredients until a firm dough forms. Roll into 24 balls, place on greased baking paper on trays and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 12-15mins at 180C until golden.
 
Got an idea?
As always, the best way to ‘weave Crossbones into the fabric of SE1’ is to get people involved on site. If you have an idea for an event, installation, tour, or other activity / initiative, I’d be delighted if you would get in contact with me via email, phone, WhatsApp, Signal etc. I’m also aiming to be on site most Fridays 12pm-2pm when the gardening team is there, so let me know if you have a positive way of spreading the Crossbones story, and you’d like to speak to me in person.
 
Liberty of Southwark development
For those of you receiving this bulletin for the first time, the Liberty of Southwark development is the one adjacent to Crossbones and an exciting archaeological dig is currently being undertaken. Many of you will have heard the recent and exciting discoveries made in February 2022 and may even have been lucky enough to attend a tour on site and see the tremendous Roman mosaic which has received a huge amount of publicity.You can also view the blog here and contact with the developer directly for information about the works on the site: henriettanowne@uandiplc.com.
 
Best wishes
Hej and the team at Bankside Open Spaces Trust

The Cross Bones Vigil

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 – so I’m 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.

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!

(‘Here lay your hearts, your flowers, your Book of Hours…’ from The Southwark Mysteries by John Constable)

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:
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