Crossbones May Vigil

Thursday 23rd May – gather 6.45pm at Crossbones Graveyard – in the street at the shrine in Redcross Way SE1. The Vigil begins on the stroke of 7pm

Claudina sings ‘Motherless Child’ at the Crossbones Vigil, 23rd May 2017. Photo by Graham Eden

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 stand in silence, in shining emptiness, to light the open pathways. We hang “our hopes, our dreams, our Might-Have-Beens” on ribbons tied to the gate. We close with ‘The Message of the Caboclos’ (“the Spirits of Place”, as received and transmitted by the Brazilian mystic Baixinha) and The Goose’s unconditional blessing. At the heart of the Vigil, there’s space for those who wish to share a poem, song or brief personal testimony connected with Crossbones and outsiders of all kinds.

This is the 180th Crossbones Vigil, completing 15 years of consecutive monthly Vigils. We’ve stood at Crossbones gates at 7pm on the 23rd of every single month since 23rd June 2004.

At the May 23rd Vigil we also celebrate Beltane, the Queen of the May and the coming of summer. You are invited to bring your own memento, totemic object or ribbon to tie to the gate. For those who forget, ribbons will be provided – thanks, Jennifer! If you can, creating your own small memento will enhance your experience – the more we give, the more we receive!

Please also come willing to do a 15-minute shift as a Goose Samurai, closing the road to keep us all alive and undisturbed. This is the highest honour that any participant can receive, and enables us all to experience the many facets of the Crossbones Vigil.