October 31, 2011

Dumb Supper for Samhain

Posted in Dumb Supper, Samhain, Wiccan Things at 11:25 pm by Babs

Samhain (pronounced Sow-when) is the time of year when the wheel has come full circle.  The veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and it is now that many pagans attempt to connect with their ancestors who now reside in the Summerland.  Commonly known as Halloween, it is the eve of the witch’s new year.

To celebrate this turn of the wheel it is common for many pagans to set up an ancestor table with pictures and mementos of those who have passed on.  Another common theme is to perform a dumb supper.  Dumb stands for the fact that it is totally silent.  It is a time to honor the ancestors by sharing a meal with them.  This ritual has many options but it is my experience to go with what feels right to the participants.  This can be one or many people celebrating for many different ancestors.  In the end, it becomes a very personal experience for each individual.

At sunset, I held a private dumb supper to honor my mother who passed this year.  It seemed like something I should do alone to allow for a quiet, reflective and emotional tribute.  I read a lot about how others use black, table cloths, napkins, plates, etc.  I didn’t feel this was right for me.  Mom liked color.  So I set the table with colors of the season… and cooked a meal I feel she would have loved… but it was a new meal.  One we will share together for the first time.

I placed several candles on the table, with roses from her funeral that were dried.  A crystal ball in case Mom wants to share something with me and of course several pictures of her during happier times.  I wrote a note for her and had a cauldron to burn it in.  Before serving dinner, I smudged the house to raise the vibrations and cast a circle of protection.

After serving dinner and before being seated I approached her place setting and stood a moment to honor her.  Then, we shared a meal together in silence, in candlelight.  Between courses, I read the note (silently) and then brought it to her place setting… and then finally to the cauldron to burn.  This is symbolic so that the message can be received by the spirit world in the smoke from the burning.  Be safe… and use the cauldron for the burning rather than holding in your hand!  Then I served dessert.  Mom did not have a sweet tooth but I hoped she would humor me.

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