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:
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.”
“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