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

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

Act of Regret, Remembrance and Restoration

The ‘Act of Regret, Remembrance and Restoration’ for the women of Crossbones performed by The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd. Andrew Nunn, 19th July 2020. The Dean has held this moving service on the nearest Sunday to St Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day every year since 2015.
Filmed by London SE1 Community Website

GOOD NEWS FOR CROSS BONES

At a LB Southwark planning meeting on 15/06/2020, the planning application for Landmark Court (TfL land adjacent to Crossbones Graveyard) was granted.

The planning committee also granted a 30-year lease to Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) for Crossbones Graveyard to be protected and maintained as a public garden of remembrance.

The existing garden will be enhanced in line with plans agreed last year following extensive consultations between the developers, BOST and a ‘Vision Group’ including many Friends of Crossbones.

Here are the main points of the planning decision as summarised by Helen John (Hej) of BOST:

“1. The lease is now inside the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 which means that BOST now has a right to renew at the end of the 30 years lease term.
2. The landlord one year break clause proposed by TfL which in effect could have removed BOST after just one year, was removed at the request of the Council so BOST now has greater security of tenure.
3. The funding for the wardens and ongoing management is secure beyond the 6 month review period, allowing BOST to adequately fund maintenance and wardening on site.
4. The legal team at Southwark have agreed to review the Other Open Spaces proposed designation to give Crossbones stronger protection under planning law.
5. The restrictive covenant – an agreement requiring the landlord not to redevelop the burial ground – which is proposed for Crossbones will also be reviewed to provide stronger protection
6. The Section 106 agreement will also attempt to ensure that there is always at least 25 years on the lease term to help BOST secure funding for events, educational programmes, workshops etc.”

” Sadly, the 299 years, or the 70 years proposed by Councillor Noakes was rejected; this would have secured Crossbones Graveyard’s future more than any other legal document. The legal advice we’ve received is that although 299 years was not granted at committee, we should never stop asking for a longer lease from TfL.”

” We now move onto the next stage of our journey, which is to enhance Crossbones, raise its profile and educate people about its importance; this more than anything else will help to secure its future. So, on we go!”

” There is still also work to be done on the detailed design for the enhancement of Crossbones, in line with the planning application and BOST looks forward to continuing to work with the developer to achieve this. We’re very much hoping that landscape architect Luke Greysmith from Cookson & Tickner landscape architects, will still be working on the scheme and as soon as I have more information I’ll let you know.”

Thanks to Hej and the BOST team, to Lucy for speaking at the planning meeting, to members of the Crossbones Forum, to all of us who put in so much work on the Vision Group and in consultation with TfL and the developers, and to all Friends of Crossbones who have contributed to our 25-year campaign that is now bearing fruit.

When we began this long journey, many thought we were deluding ourselves by thinking we could save a piece of “derelict industrial land” with an estimated development value of £30 million!

Over the past 25 years Crossbones Graveyard has become a world-famous pilgrimage site, a shrine and a garden of remembrance dedicated to sex workers, outcasts and others who have been excluded or marginalised. Now, at last, its historical, cultural and spiritual significance is enshrined in law.

JC 17/06/2020

Planning Meeting

15th June 2020 from 2pm

Southwark Councl planning meeting on a proposed development on the land adjacent to Crossbones Graveyard. The developers have given undertakings to protect and maintain the old burial ground as a garden of remembrance. We’re still waiting to now how long a lease they’ll offer to Banksdie Open Spaces Trust (BOST) who have managed Crossbones Garden since 2015.

If you want to listen in to the Planning Meeting, please contact LB Southwark for access – details in the link below (Crossbones Graveyard is item 5.1 on the agenda)

http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=119&MId=6674&Ver=4

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 >><<

Good Friday at The Cross Bones

 
 
I seen Christ at the Cross Bones
Conversing with the Shadow Man,
Brother to brother-man:
“No sweat, Brother.
I go take the rap,
For love of our dear old Dad and Mum.”
 
I seen the Priest
Contending with the Preacher Man:
“Christ is this! Not that!
If not One, then Other.”
I seen Christ go quietly about his work
In this Prime Real Estate riverside slum.
 
I seen Christ at the Cross Bones
Comfort and bless the Shadow Man
As in a prayer:
“Red Cross Mary, Merciful Mother,
Protect and empower Your exiled children
Until Your Liberty come.”
 
 
‘Good Friday at The Cross Bones’ by John Constable
from ‘Spark In The Dark’ (Thin Man Press
 
Photo by Katy Kaos: Red Cross Mary at Cross Bones Graveyard, 2012
 

The Crossbones Vigil

Sunday 23rd February 2020

What a powerful, gentle, shimmering, healing Vigil at Crossbones this evening! Big Up Mark Juhan, Nicholas Greaves and Jules Allen for conducting with such grace and a lovely light touch. Leslie held the light, and Nicholas led the echo poem ‘Here lay your hearts…’ as we renewed the shrine. The offerings kicked off with John Crow doing ‘The Book of the New South Bank’ from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, in which The Goose prophesies the redevelopment of Bankside and the resistance that reclaimed Crossbones as a sacred place. Drew did a variant on ‘Oranges and Lemons’ with the bells of south London, before controverially decapitating a Trump fetish. Melissa J. told how she dreamed of Crossbones long before she found it, then sang a wild outcast song and got us all joining in on the chorus: “We’re navvies and skivvies and blacksmiths and tarts / We live in the gutter and dream of the stars!” Jules used his spot to explore the elemental powers that can make and break our lives, then led us to contemplate Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pots with gold, topping it with the wisdom of Groucho Marx: “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light”. Then Mark wrapped it all up with performances of poems by Harry Fainlight and John Constable, before leading us all in the unconditional blessings: ‘Open Pathways’ and ‘Goose may your Spirit fly free!’

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