Cross Bones shrine and Garden of Remembrance 20th June 2019

John Constable aka John Crow writes: Katy and I are no longer actively involved in the management of the Garden of Remembrance. For the rest of this, our 23rd year of active service to The Goose and her Outcast Dead, we’ll focus on the Vigils and the transmission of The Mysteries, the spiritual heart of our work “in eternity” – of which the shrine and the garden are manifestations in time. To celebrate life in all in imperfection! We wish Bankside Open Spaces Trust fortitude and vision in their stewardship of the the Cross Bones Graveyard. We hope they’ll honour the vision of a wild, DIY garden of remembrance for sex workers and other outsiders.

Alchemical Rose Cross crochet by Katy Nicholls, Crossbones shrine to the outcast

We’ve devoted ourselves to this work since 23rd November 1996 and, Goose willing, we’ll close our magical cycle of 23 years on at the Vigil on 23rd November 2019. On the deepest level, our work is done. We’ve put everything into it, and the rewards have been immeasurable. We feel blessed to have lived to witness these manifestations of The Goose Vision. We trust that other “John Crows” will appear to serve The Goose and to continually re-imagine Cross Bones as a sacred place, a wild sanctuary in the heart of the city.

We’ll still tend the shrine, and water the garden when needed. Today we spent a beautiful afternoon at Crossbones doing just that. Katy hung her new crochet alchemical rose cross on the gates – ready to reclaim St George on his Day! – along with the new heart-board, chalked with “Resistance is fertile” (in solidarity with the ongoing Extinction Rebellion actions).

“Resistance is fertile” – first message chalked on the new heart-board

I swept and cleaned the shrine, Katy watered some thirsty plants and picked some flowers for Red Cross Mary…

Red Cross Mary, Cross Bones Graveyard shrine, 20th April 2019 – photo by Katy Nicholls

… and pasted a protective icon in the place of the suicides.

Note: Gabriella Leite (pictured smoking, bottom right) did not take her own life. A Brazilian sex worker and activist, she inspired the poor people of the favelas. We stand in solidarity with the Brazilian people in their suffering. She found her own place here, bringing light to the troubled souls who felt compelled to choose the exit door, and those they leave behind.

The solitary bees were buzzing in and out of their cells – though not in this photo! 🙂 In this one small part of this crazy world, all’s well.

Solitary bee hotel. Photo by Katy Nicholls

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 aka John Crow (Thin Man Press)