Goose Night 23rd November 2023

Open pathways to all beings on this blessed Goose Night!

27 years ago this very night, John Constable (aka John Crow) had a vision of The Goose, the spirit of a medieval sex worker, licensed by a Bishop but allegedly buried in unconsecrated ground. In the vision The Goose revealed her Secret History and esoteric teachings, and led John Crow to the site of south London’s Cross Bones Graveyard. The revelation grew into ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, Constable’s epic cycle of poems, songs and Mystery Plays, performed in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral in 2000 and 2010. It also inspired John Crow’s 23 year magical work at Cross Bones, which led to the burial ground being reclaimed as sacred ground, with a shrine and a garden of remembrance for sex workers and outcasts.



JC writes: “27 years since the night of 23rd November 1996, when The Goose revealed to John Crow ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and the secret Herstory of the Cross Bones Graveyard. That vision changed and still shapes my life. My new spiritual adventures in Glastonbury have been guided by walking and working with The Goose. ”

Tonight! Goose Night. Thursday 23rd November 2023
Becket’s, High Street, Glastonbury. 7.30 pm for 8pm start.

Free. All welcome.

In this talk on the 27th anniversary of the original ‘Goose Night’ John will relate the strange but true story and take us deeper into The Goose’s teachings and practice. He’ll tell how The Goose brought him to Glastonbury, where he’s working with Her to amplify the London-Glastonbury ‘head-heart’ current envisioned by Dion Fortune. John will be exploring aspects of The Goose as an agency and channel of the Divine Feminine and how his reception and transmission of her differs from traditional Western notions of mediumship.

We’ll see how Goose and Crow Magic works to re-pattern the world, making subtle changes in the fabric of reality. The talk will be illustrated by the performance of selected verses from The Southwark Mysteries, which John Crow uses to induce trance-states and to journey between the worlds.

more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/301507465971940/

JC: “When I completed my works at Cross Bones, I said ‘The Goose Is Loose’, meaning that everyone is free to work with Her for the benefit of all beings. As they have done ever since, many friends of Cross Bones will gather tonight at 6.45 (to begin on the stroke of 7) at the gates in Redcross Way SE1 – to honour the outcast, dead and alive; to renew the shrine with offerings; and to reclaim the secret history as revealed by The Goose. Jennifer Cooper will be doing the honours. So…”

Also tonight (23/11/2023) at the gates of Cross Bones Graveyard in south London and on Zoom:

*in person and virtually*

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240
Passcode: 377295

Our monthly 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.

The online Vigil will be hosted by Bee in the Zoom studio, bringing us in to play our parts, and by persons yet unknown in IRL.

To help us all to fully participate, and commune on The Astral, with or without the livestream, here’s the ‘Order of Service’ for the 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 do this on the livestream, our whispering voices evoking our collective emanation.

4. Bardic offerings.

If you wish, 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”.

>><<

In shining emptiness and wishing us all a blessed turning of the seasonal wheel.

‘All at Crossbones’

You can order ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ direct from the publisher: https://www.bloomsbury.com/…/southwark-mysteries…/

For ‘Grail’ and John Costable’s other books, and for the new album ‘Ancestor Souls’, please DM via contact page for more details.

Photo by Max Crow Reeves: John Crow conducts the Cross Bones Vigil

23rd October 2023 Vigil and portal to Halloween and 31st October THIS SAMHAIN NIGHT

 
For those of you in London, the Cross Bones Vigil is happening this 23rd October 2023 at the shrine in Redcross Way SE1, gather 6.45 for 7pm opening ritual. This is traditionally the portal to Halloween, and the 233rd consecutive monthly Vigil by my calculation. It is due to be conducted by Jennifer or another ‘Magical Collectivist’.

Many of the rituals and invocations spoken over the years at The Halloween of Cross Bones and the October Vigils are to be enacted and invoked ‘This Samhain Night’ at St Benedict’s Church, Glastonbury – 31 October 2023, gather 7.30 for 7.45 opening £12 on door. Advance tickets https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/this-samhain-night-tickets-716487181447 – to amplify the London-Glastonbury current. Here’s one:
 
 
“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.”
 
‘The Hallowing of Cross Bones Yard’ (from ‘Spark In The Dark’ by John Constable)
 
This is a time to reconnect with the Ancestors and also to remember our own lost loved ones. On This Samhain Night, I’ll be communing with many friends on the Other Side, including John Vidal (d. 19 October 2023), Niall McDevitt (d. 29 September 2022) and Claudia Boulton (d. 26 October 2021). In the photo, taken at an October 23rd Cross Bones Vigil back in the day / night in 2014, I’m holding up a photo of anarcho-dionysian philosopher and fellow prankster Steve Ash (d. 18 October 2014).
 
Open pathways for them and all beings, dead and alive. May we each fulfil our most intimate aspirations.
 
The October Cross Bones Vigil can participated in physically at the gates / shrine and can also be viewed live this evening on Zoom, hosted by Jacqueline Durban (later uploaded to YouTube and Facebook)
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240
Passcode: 377295

THIS SAMHAIN NIGHT

 

Tuesday 31st October at 7.45pm in St Benedict’s Church, Glastonbury (doors open 7.30pm)

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…’

A healing ritual drama in theatre, music, poetry and inclusive ceremony performed by John Crow with his special guests William Kraemer, Maxine Dubois, Franck Alba, Mx Stevie and Sandra Tena Cole, Sieben Krüsel – and The Chaired Bard of Ynys Witrin, Johanna van Fessem. Special late guest singer: Jenny Bliss.

This performance by John Crow (John Constable) features work from The Southwark Mysteries and Grail. It evolved out of ‘The Halloween of Cross Bones’ rituals and the 23-year magical work at Cross Bones Graveyard and the ‘Ancestor Souls’ concerts (2021-22) with Queen Space Baroque.

Tickets: £12 on door (cash only). Advance tickets: £10 (cash) from Man Myth and Magik, Glastonbury. Or online (card) from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/this-samhain-night-tickets-716487181447

Photo shows John Constable aka John Crow conducting The Halloween of Cross Bones, Cross Bones Graveyard, London SE1, 31st October 2016. Photo by The Photography of Max Reeves

crossbones.org.uk

Blessings and Bards, Crossbones Vigil, Feast of The Goose Magdalene Isis

Sunday 23rd July 2023

in honour of St Mary Magdalene and the Women of Cross Bones…

In The Garden (entrance Union Street)
1-2pm: The Blessings: ‘Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration’ conducted by The Dean of Southwark
2-4pm: The Bards: poetry, music and songs inspired by Cross Bones, including performances from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ by John Constable (John Crow). Hosted by George of Peckham.
Free but space is limited. Book your free place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/blessing-and-bards-2023…

At The Gates (the Shrine in Redcross Way)
7pm: The 229th Cross Bones Vigil for the Outcast now into its 20th year of consecutive monthly Vigils. 23rd July is the Vigil associated with our annual Isis-Magdalene festival. The 23rd July 2023 is the date prophesied in 1996 in ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ for Her Goose Apocalypse. Goose willing, John Crow will perform ‘The Book of The Goose’ (as recorded on the night of 23rd Novemeber 1996). Hosted by Jenn of Clapham 🙂
Free. No need to book. Just show up with an open heart

‘That in the month July and the day shall be 23
in the Year of Our Lady Mary Overie…’
 
The Goose’s Prophesy was recorded by John Crow on the night of 23rd November 1996, as transmitted by the Goose. Recent examination of Crow’s notebook reveals that the line was originally:
 
‘… in the month July and the day shall be 23
in the Year of Our Lord 2023…’

The writer John Constable changed it for the scansion and to reflect the female nature of the Revelation. However, it’s there in black and white, as prophesied by The Goose 26 years and 8 months ago.
 
The 23rd July 2023 is the day to watch – and be here!
 
Open pathways!

Graveyard of The Outcast Dead

May be an image of 3 people and text that says "Reverb Theatre & Not So Nice! Presents GRAVEYARD OF THE OUTCAST DEAD Directed by Matthew Attwood A New Play by Kira Mason PREVIEW PERFORMANCE EVENT Crossbones Graveyard & Garden of Remembrance Union St, London SE1 1SD 15th July 2023 13.00pm hour) Tickets: Free (Eventbrite)"

Inspired by Frank Turner’s song, which was in turn inspired by our works at Cross Bones Graveyard, Reverb Theatre have written and produced a new play called “The Graveyard Of The Outcast Dead”.
It’s being performed on July 15th at  the Cross Bones Graveyard and then heading to Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well. Catch it if you can.

May events at Cross Bones Graveyard

Sat 27th May –  Urban Flora Trail at Crossbones Graveyard
Time:
12-2pm


We’re inviting you to take a self-guided garden trail around Crossbones Graveyard. See what you can find growing and hear more about the garden’s history from our Crossbones volunteer wardens. This event can be enjoyed by all and is suitable for children. No need to book. While you are at Crossbones on
27 May, you can also catch: 

“Playing Alone with a Fox Inside a Cocoon: 繭の中で狐と二人遊び” by Todome da Fox (Noe Iwai) from 12-2pm 

A unique piece of art performed around Crossbones Graveyard’s Mizuko Jizo statues.

Words from the artist – Todome da Fox:

“In Japan, for a long time people have used Buddhist ceremonies called a Water Child Memorial Service, or Mizuko Kuyo (水子供養) to pray for the unborn.

“The Mizuko Jizo (water child statue) is a Jizo (statue) that teaches us the importance and preciousness of life as well as the awareness of a life that could not be born.

“These also stand to recognise the grief and the loss of those who did not meet the life they formed. Since I was a small child, I visited the graves with my family and paternal relatives every summer during the Obon Festival (Obon – お盆) and New Year holidays.

“There is a Mizuko Jizo grave next to the graves of my ancestors in Hiroshima. Compared to the UK, whilst Japanese culture takes great lengths to remember unborn lives – it lags behind culturally when speaking openly about reproductive rights. For example. it’s not commonplace to speak and educate minors about contraception and safe sex. Unborn lives are greatly memorialized, but there is still a lack of commitment to protecting the welfare of women’s bodies in society.

“My mother once told me I had a twin brother when I was a child, so I have lived my life with the thought that I am living it for both of us. This performance will explore the duality of our existence, the act of remembering a life that is left to begin – and the thorny history of women’s bodies and reproductive rights.

“In my performance work, I often draw from Japanese mythology and kabuki theater – which typically excludes women from the practice. Through this work, I’d like to offer a feminist exploration of grief and memory that exists within the complex culture of Japanese tradition.”

Mizuko Jizo statues at Crossbones Graveyard

Crossbones Graveyard has its own Mizuko Jizo, which we installed after being approached by several parents who had experienced baby loss asking for a space in the garden. It was suggested that this space should be created following the Japanese tradition of Mizuko kuyo – a Buddhist ceremony for those who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion – Mizuko Jizo statues are part of this tradition.

Our statues were created by local Bermondsey stone craftsman Josh Locksmith and are based on a painting of Buddhist deity Jizo, believed to be responsible for transporting unborn babies or children to the other world. The god is depicted making the Buddhi mudra, a hand gesture made to improve mental clarity and communication. In the hand is the ‘jewel of wisdom’, which in Buddhist faith helps people to understand themselves and others and their place in the universe.

St George’s Day Cross Bones Vigil

23rd April 2023

 

Jennifer Cooper produces this monthly ‘Vigil Aunty’ newsletter. Together with Mark Juhan, Jenn has been instrumental in keeping the Crossbones Vigils going since John Crow bowed out in 2019. The latest issue gives details of the St George’s Day Vigil and explains why the 23rd April is such a significant date in the Crossbones calendar. Aside from being St George’s Day (George and an irrepressible Welsh Dragon make a welcome return to this year’s Vigil), it’s also the date of the premiere of ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ on 23rd April 2000 in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral. John Constable’s play set Cross Bones Graveyard at the very heart of the Mysteries. So, a 23rd anniversary!

Good to see how the outcasts’ graveyard and our work there since 1996 has embedded itself in the history and living culture of London. You can attend the Vigil in person at the gates in Redcross Way (gather 6.45 to begin on the stroke of 7pm) or join the online Zoom gathering – full details at end of newsletter.

 

GRAIL – The Glastonbury Mysteries and The Poetic Vision

Saturday 8th April at 15.30

John Constable aka John Crow delves into his latest esoteric work, Grail, to explore how this living agency of transformation can manifest in our inner and outer worlds. This talk / performance traces its origins in the Celtic Cauldron of Inspiration infused with medieval Christian mysticism. John deconstructs the text most closely identified with Glastonbury, the problematic High History of The Holy Grail. He highlights the power of the Poetic Vision to transform the physical world, and the perils of literalism, of seeking to define or explain The Grail within a single paradigm whereby ‘the key to The Mysteries becomes the lock, the block’. Together we approach the enigmatic question to be asked at the serving of The Grail: ‘Whom does it serve?’ The answer cannot be framed by analytical reason. John will perform several of his magical spells and invocations which seek to point beyond meaning to the ineffable, infinite interconnected consciousness of Being Itself.

John Constable is a playwright, poet and performer. His plays includes Gormenghast, The Southwark Mysteries (Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral), I Was An Alien Sex God and Spare (inspired by the works of Austin Osman Spare). His published works include Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries, Gormenghast, Secret Bankside and Spark In The Dark. His new book Grail interweaves myths and poetic spells with vignettes of contemporary life in Glastonbury. On his album Ancestor Souls he performs his work to music by Queen Space Baroque. As the shaman John Crow he recently completed a 23-year cycle of magical works at south London’s Cross Bones Graveyard, conducting monthly rituals and creating a shrine and garden for sex workers and outcasts. An invited speaker at Breaking Convention, The Occult Conference and many other symposia, he has held ceremonies at festivals and sacred sites around the world. He now lives in Glastonbury.

Part of the LEGEND CONFERENCE
8th, 9th and 10th April 2023
https://www.thelegendconference.com/

Join 15 speakers worldwide for three days in Glastonbury, renowned as a land of myth, legend and earth mysteries.

Advance book and get 20% discount using the code ‘crow’ (that’s crow – lower case without the quotation marks).

 

THE WORKS

 

 

Wed 22/03/2023. Doors open at 6.30 for 7pm start
Abbey House, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury BA6 8DH

£8.00 – cash only please – tickets in advance from Man, Myth and Magik shop (see below)


John Constable (aka John Crow) on poetry, theatre and magic, and how they came together in the works at Cross Bones Graveyard. https://fb.me/e/5ruGPjvnU
 
‘I live and work at the nexus of Poetry, Theatre and Magic.’ (John Constable)

John Constable aka John Crow is a poet, playwright, performer and urban shaman. In this talk he explores the origins and the unfolding of his magical practice, including:

  • The 1970s: teenage psychedelic initiations, spiritual quests in Japan, Bali and India. Influences: Taliesin, Blake, Huxley, Castenada, The Gnostics, Gurdjieff, The Emin, Zen.
    How to integrate visionary experiences and diverse spiritual traditions in our daily lives.
  • The 1980s: touring Europe with street theatre companies, writing plays and the stage adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels. How Theatre and poetry express shamanic experiences in ‘de-natured’ Western cultures. How Western ‘shamanism’ is inherently transgressive, and how John’s own ‘outsider’ Goose and Crow magic celebrates human flaws and imperfections.
  • The 1990s: The Goose Spirit reveals The Southwark Mysteries to John Crow. How The Goose is a channel for the Divine Feminine, revealed in Her distinct aspects as Isis, Mary Magdalene, Kwan Yin.
  • The 2000s: The Southwark Mysteries performed in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral. Ritual dramas at The Warp parties, festivals and sites specific. Goose and Crow street magic at Cross Bones Graveyard, with rituals and vigils to reclaim the site as holy ground, creating a shrine and a garden of remembrance for sex workers and outcasts.
  • The Now: Grail book interweaves spells, legends and vignettes of contemporary Glastonbury life, working with The Goose and Crow, with the Ancestors and the native spirits of place.
John draws on his work over more than 25 years as a theatre-maker and magical practitioner to explore and illuminate the esoteric teachings and practices of his Goose and Crow Magic:
 
  • A vision of the One Made Many, a unified consciousness revealed in multiple names and forms, and how each expression of Mind (No Mind) plays its unique part in the whole.
  • ‘Healing rifts between our hemispheres’, between Mind and Matter, Light and Darkness. The Goose is the Spirit revealed in the Flesh, the Sacred in the Profane, Eternity in Time: ‘to heal the wounds of history’. Physical, sexual, psychic, energetic and spiritual healing and transformation.
  • Opening the pathways (neural and material) to enable all beings ‘to complete their individual journeys and to fulfil their most intimate aspirations.’
  • Cultivating states of ‘shining emptiness’ to become a channel for transpersonal entities and agencies. How this practice can help us to ‘get out of the way’ and set us free from fear, by showing how the Self is itself a narrative construct. The key to psychic protection.
  • Embodying the state of ‘Liberty’, the presence of the Unconditioned Mind in which contrary and even contradictory ideas can co-exist in a dynamic, creative harmony. This is the antidote to the modern obsession with being ‘right’ and proving others ‘wrong’, and is in itself an essential element of psychic integration.
  • Reconciling opposites, by seeing how each helps maintain the dynamic balance of existence – how, for example Christian and Pagan agencies can be seen to operate at different levels for the benefit of an Eternity vast, capacious and empty enough to contain them all.
  • Shape-shifting, channelling and other techniques to ‘re-pattern’ reality, to change our maps and models of the world. Creating new boundaries and rules so as to dissolve old patterns. Ritual as a way of shifting our focus on what is important and significant in our lives.
  • The Poetic Vision and how it can set us free from the mind-prisons of literalism. How poetry, music and drama can point beyond words and be used to invoke psychoactive states.
  • The apocalypse is not waiting for us in some uncertain future. It’s happening here, now, all around us. Our work is to realise and manifest it in this life and this world.

‘For everything that lives is Holy.’ (William Blake)

 
John will illustrate his talk with short magical invocations and incantations, to show how words can operate beyond rational structures to change the ways we perceive and co-create our ‘reality.’
 
John Constable’s many plays includes Gormenghast (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and international tours), The Southwark Mysteries (Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral), I Was An Alien Sex God (Edinburgh Festival and BAC) and Spare (inspired by the works of Austin Osman Spare). His published works include Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries, Gormenghast, Secret Bankside and Spark In The Dark. His new book Grail interweaves myths and poetic spells with vignettes of contemporary life in Glastonbury. On his album Ancestor Souls he performs his mystical incantations to music by Jenny Bliss Bennett and William Kraemer (Queen Space Baroque). As the shaman John Crow he recently completed a 23-year cycle of magical works at south London’s Cross Bones Graveyard, conducting monthly rituals and creating a shrine and garden for sex workers and outcasts. An invited speaker at Breaking Convention, The Occult Conference and many esoteric conventions, he has held ceremonies at festivals and sacred sites around the world. He now lives in Glastonbury with his wife and co-practitioner Katy Kaos.
 
Wednesday 22nd March 2023
Doors open at 6.30 for 7pm start
Abbey House, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury BA6 8DH

£8.00 – cash only please – advance tickets from Man, Myth and Magik, Market Place, Glastonbury
This is the shop directly next door to the main entrance to Glastonbury Abbey. Cash only please :: Keeping cash (non-digital) flowing in our community!
Opening times are Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 11am – 4pm.
There will also be tickets on the door, subject to availability.
DUE TO SPACE, ADVANCE BOOKING IS RECOMMENDED.
*IMPORTANT*
Please park in the town or in nearby parking areas rather than at the venue, which is for Abbey staff.
If you have a disability and need to park directly at the entrance, please let us know beforehand. Anyone needing to enter and exit the area in front of the hous, please be aware of the above and take great care at the entrance and exit. There is a sharp turn onto a busy road and no pavement directly outside the venue. Cars can come along Chilkwell Street fast and there may be people on foot, including after dark.
 
*****************************************
 
Photo by Max Crow Reeves
1 2 3 13