Wednesday 23rd June 6.45 for 7pm
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.
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 in a symbolic (and literal!) act of purification. At this Vigil we’re sensitive to the summer solstice, when light and dark are held in balance.
Due to the Delta variant hitting London, we can’t have the huge gatherings at the shrine in Redcross Way we had on many a St John Eve past. Even during lockdown, a few diehard faithful have held a Vigil there every month. We don’t know who’ll be there tonight. If you need to be there in body, please remember you’re responsible for your own health and safety – and for others!
All through lockdown, people from all over the world have participated in Spirit, creating their own altars and conducting the rituals in their own homes, connecting with The Goose and the Crossbones Vigil on The Astral. You’re invited to do so again at 7pm on 23rd June.
For most of the past year, Jacqui has hosted an online Zoom Vigil, with people linking up from all over the world.
To help those who’d like to fully participate, with or without the Zoom, 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 (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 Open 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”.
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,
4. Bardic offerings.
Perform a short poem or song from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, or something of your own dedicated to The Goose – or to St John’s Eve to welcome in the summer. Know that, whoever, wherever, you are, Goose be with you!
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 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…