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.
As John Crow I conducted my last Vigil on 23rd November 2019, and am no longer involved in organising them – so I’m trusting in the organisers to spread the word as they’ll know better what’s happening.
The Vigils have continued, even through lockdown, with a small band of fearless spirits holding them at the gates in Redcross Way. If you do attend in person 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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85624178240
Meeting ID: 856 2417 8240 Passcode: 377295
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”.
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/song/text from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ or offer a short poem/song/testimony inspired by or dedicated to The Goose and her Outcast Dead.
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..
(‘Here lay your hearts, your flowers, your Book of Hours…’ from The Southwark Mysteries by John Constable)