Autumn 2018: talks and workshops

with John Constable aka John Crow

Beginning the night of the 23rd November 1996 and shape-shifting over the past 22 years, a practice of urban magic has evolved at Crossbones Graveyard. It’s embodied in the verses of The Southwark Mysteries and in the Vigils held at the gates in Redcross Way at 7pm on the 23rd of every month.

Anyone wishing to delve deeper, please click on the highlighted links below.

The 13th October talk offers a fascinating introduction to the Crossbones story.

The 20th November talk and 24th November workshop are especially recommended for anyone interested in practising urban magic or incorporating it in their own spiritual works.

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

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

Jelena Bekvalac, Curator of Human Osteology at The Museum of London, tells the story of the excavation of the buried bones, and John Constable, aka John Crow, will reveal the history of Crossbones Graveyard and how he was inspired by it. £12 including a free Hendrick’s Gin Cocktail.

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

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

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

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Saturday 24th November 10am to 5pm – Urban Magic: Making Magic in an Urban Environment
a workshop led by John Constable aka John Crow
£75 members; £85 non-members (CLICK HERE then go to end of event page and click BOOK NOW)

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

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

Advance booking recommended. John Constable’s 2017 Urban Magic workshop was fully booked in advance, leaving many disappointed. And if there are not enough advance bookings, a talk or workshop may be cancelled. Book now to be sure of your place.

Crossbones Vigil

Thursday 23rd August 2018

Gather from 6.45 to join the 171st consecutive Vigil, held at the gates in Redcross Way at 7pm on the 23rd of every single month since June 2004.

We come here to remember the outcast, dead and alive, to renew the shrine and to reclaim the secret history of Crossbones, as revealed by The Goose to John Crow and reimagined by every Friend of Crossbones who comes to open the pathways.These magical works underpin our creation of the Crossbones shrine and the Garden of Remembrance, which we’re still campaigning to protect and enhance in the face of the coming redevelopment of the adjoining ‘Landmark Court’ site.

For this month’s Vigil, Jennifer will be doing the honours. Please come support her, bringing a ribbon, memento or magical totem to tie to the gates, and/or a poem, song or short personal testimony to share when we offer our creativity to the spirits of Crossbones.

Expect the unexpected! At the last Vigil, on 23rd July, we had parents reading moving poems for their children who’d died tragically, a mystical Brazilian song sung to the memory of a friend who’d recently taken his own life, tales of The Magdalene, the singing of Isis (Dylan/Levy), everyone being scented by a musky, green scent by John Foley our Crossbones street perfumier, the free distribution of 23 copies of BURNING ISSUE magazine – and much more. Come amaze yourself!

Goose, may your Spirit fly free.

Crossbones Blessing and Bards

Sunday 22nd July 12.30pm – 5pm FREE!
Crossbones Garden, Union Street entrance, London SE1 1SD

The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd. Andrew Nunn, conducts a blessing of Crossbones Garden of Remembrance, followed by a performance and picnic for St Mary Magdalene Day

12.30pm Garden opens. Procession from Southwark Cathedral. Join the procession on the west side of the Cathedral or gather at Crossbones to greet it.

1pm Blessing
An ‘Act of Regret, Remembrance, Restoration’ honouring the ‘Winchester Geese’, women who worked in medieval brothels licensed by the church yet were buried in the unconsecrated Crossbones Graveyard.

1.30pm Cross Bones Bards
Poems from The Southwark Mysteries, the secret history of The Goose at Crossbones, by John Constable with Michelle Watson. Also featuring Kirsten Morrison, Cunning Folk

2.30pm Magdalene Feast with impromptu performances
Celebrating St Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day. Light refreshments provided. Please bring cushions for your comfort and a tasty treat to share.

4.30 Closing ceremony

5pm Garden closes

Some adult content. Under 16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Presented by Friends of Crossbones, supported by Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) and C.G. Hacking and Sons Limited, with thanks to Southwark Cathedral

Isis-Magdalene Vigil

Monday 23rd July 2018

Yet another reason to join us for the Isis-Magdalene Vigil at Crossbones Gates, Redcross Way, gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil on 23rd July

Asia’s Herbal Work at Crossbones Graveyard

Saturday 7th July
entrance at the golden gates on Union Street, London SE1 1SD. Please arrive by 1:45 for a 2pm start. Ends at 5pm
Entry by donation – suggested minimum £5 waged/£3 unwaged.

Come and find out about the amazing history of Crossbones, join in a talk about female anatomy, see the herbs at Crossbones and learn to use them for common ailments.
Let’s celebrate ourselves! A unique workshop for women, non-binary and trans folk, and for anyone to whom the topic is of interest. Bring a cup, a mat to sit on, and snacks to share if you can. Please dress for the weather – if it’s sunny bring a hat and suncream to protect yourself! We will work in a small group – limited places available! RSVP as soon as possible on 07963765747

Crossbones Vigil for the Outcast / Isis-Magdalene Festival

Monday 23rd July gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil in the street by the red gates to Crossbones, Redcross Way

Our Vigil for the Outcast has been conducted at 7pm on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. We come to renew the shrine at the red gates, to remember all outcasts and outsiders, dead and alive, and to reclaim the secret history of Crossbones as revealed by The Goose to John Crow.

This months Vigil is traditionally our Isis-Magdalene Festival, honouring the Goddess Isis, whose festival in Ancient Egypt fell around this time, and St Mary Magdalene, whose feast day we celebrate at Crossbones on 22nd July (see ‘Blessing and Bards’).

So although we’ll be celebrating her on Crossbones all of Sunday afternoon, we’ll be back in force on Monday evening to rock the party!

John Crow will conduct the Vigil, helped by the Friends of Crossbones – including YOU! As ever on 23rd July, expect to hear Crow and musician friends perform Dylan’s ‘Isis’, and a distribution of some free copies of BURNING ISSUE, Jonathan Harris’ magazine for radical money-burners – this issue includes a £23 note bearing the images of Crossbones, John Crow and Katy Kaos alongside the late sex worker and activist Laura Lee.

All this – and things as yet undreamed. Be there! And may The Goose be with us!

St John’s Eve Crossbones Vigil

Saturday 23rd June

Gather in the street by the gates on Redcross Way, 6.45 for 7pm Crossbones Vigil for the Outcast.

This month we enter the 15th year of these Vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since June 2004, making this the 169th consecutive Vigil. We come together to honour the outcast, dead and alive, to renew the shrine at the gates, to reclaim the secret history as revealed by The Goose to John Crow – and to share our own acts of senseless beauty, love and restoration.

This month we also celebrate St John’s Eve, the traditional English midsummer festival, a night of magic…

Jennifer will conduct the Vigil with a little help from our friends of Crossbones – including you! Feel free to bring a memento or totem to tie to the gates, a poem, song or short personal testimony to share.

‘Goose may your spirit fly free!’

Crossbones Vigil

This month marks 14 years of consecutive vigils, held on the 23rd of every month since June 2004. FREE! Donations welcome

At all the vigils, London poets and musicians give impromptu performances.

In the photo (Another Eden Images), Mervyn Syna performs his song ‘Prime Monster’ at the May 2017 Vigil.

We come to renew the memorial shrine, to remember the outcast, dead and alive, and to reclaim a secret history. AND this month…

OUTSIDE – opening event in Crossbones Garden. Wednesday 23rd May, 4:30pm to 6:30pm

OUTSIDE is an exhibition of sculptures and performances in Crossbones Garden, with free accompanying publication

OUTSIDE links Crossbones’ history to issues facing contemporary sex worker communities. The exhibition runs 12-5pm from 24th-28th May and 30th May-2nd June

This opening event, featuring performances in Crossbones Garden, will be followed by the Vigil for the Outcast in the street facing the gates / shrine in Redcross Way

Love and Geese >><<

St George’s Day Crossbones Vigil

Monday 23rd April
gather 6.45 for 7pm Vigil at the red gates / outcast shrine in Redcross Way

As ever, we come to renew the shrine, to remember the outcast, dead and alive, and to reclaim the secret history as revealed by The Goose to John Crow. We’ve done this at the same time on the 23rd of every month since June 2004.

On our 23rd April Vigil, we also celebrate St George as ‘our Lady’s Knight’, the inclusive patron saint of many peoples and cultures, the healer of those in mental distress, and the protector of our magical works at Crossbones.

Like the 23rd April Vigils of past years, we trust that this one will be graced by the appearance of The Dragon and St George, perhaps shape-shifting into his Al-Khidr persona.

This month, George of Bermondsey, who wrote the haunting ‘Crossbones’ anthem, will be doing the honours. Jules will step forward to deliver his ‘spot’ of wisdom and insight. As ever, strangers will step out of the night to amaze you and, Goose willing, you’ll all work through the Vigil together. Enough of you know the form to help newcomers follow the simple rituals.

For The Goose and St George!

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