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SPEAKERS

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JOHN CONSTABLE
Author, performer, urban shaman

John Constable is the author of many plays including The Southwark Mysteries, received in a vision on 23rd November 1996 and performed in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral. Solo work includes I Was An Alien Sex God and Spare, inspired by the life and work of Austin Osman Spare. He is widely known as John Crow, the urban shaman who raised the spirit of The Goose at Cross Bones, south London’s outcasts’ graveyard, where he curates a shrine and has created a garden of remembrance. In his Crow persona, he conducts The Halloween of Cross Bones and the monthly Crossbones Vigils. His Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries, his stage adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Secret Bankside – Walks In The Outlaw Borough are all published by Oberon Books. Spark In The Dark, a collection of his poems, is published by Thin Man Books. His poetry also features in the Urban Shamanism anthology by Outsider Poets. For more information: www.crossbones.org.uk

ABSTRACT

THE SOUTHWARK MYSTERIES: A PSYCHEDELIC MAGICAL PRAXIS
 

At Breaking Convention 2015, John Constable initiated us into The Southwark Mysteries, his seminal work inspired by The Goose, the spirit of a medieval sex worker who’d operated under church protection inside The Liberty of the Clink. Her secret history and hermetic teachings were revealed to his shamanic persona, John Crow, in a series of lysergic-acid-fuelled visionary verses. These in turn have guided his work to reclaim the Cross Bones burial ground as a shrine and a garden of remembrance for outcasts. This year, he takes us deeper into his magical praxis, informed by his vision of The Goose at Liberty as the true state of the unconditioned mind. This talk is illuminated with the performance of selected verses from The Southwark Mysteries.

Constable’s poetic vision opens pathways to explore psychedelics as tools for transformation.