Bones of the Beloved
Ancestor Altars & Samhain "Dumb" Supper
November 1, 2022 @ 6pm ET
3813 Dayton Blvd
An evening of Celtic rituals to celebrate Samhain, honor our ancestors, and embrace the "spirit" of the season ~ hosted by Chattanooga RT Women's Circle!
Saining & Soul Cakes
Samhain “Dumb” Supper
Samhain Supper Menu
Harvest Fruit Appetizers
Fresh Rosemary Bread
Heirloom Apple Cake
Mulled Mugwort Cider
(Vegetarian options available)
What is Samhain?
Samhain (“SAH-win”) is a Gaelic word that describes the half-way point between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. During this time the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest. People from many cultures hold ceremonies and festivals that honor the dead and invite deceased loved ones to connect with them.
Saining & Soul Cakes
Saining is a Celtic practice of burning specific herbs or evergreen as a means of blessing a space. Sain derives from the Gaelic word “Saen”, meaning “to charm” or “to make sacred”. Soul Cakes show up in many cultures with varying names. They are sweet biscuits with dried fruit in them and a common “Dumb Supper” food.
What are Ancestor Altars?
Ancestor altars honor our departed loved ones. Altars include candles, photos of relatives who have passed, and meaningful items and offerings such as small belongings of our ancestors (like coins/jewelry), letters we write to them for the occasion, or an offering of a food/candy/drink that our departed relative(s) enjoyed.
What is a Dumb Supper?
To many of our ancestors, “dumb” meant silent. Over time, these have come to be called Dinners with the Dead, Samhain Suppers, Witch’s Dinners, and other names. During this unique and powerful ritual, we invite our ancestors to join us at the table for a magical night of communion and remembering. We set a place at the table for them, dine by candlelight, and eat in complete silence ~ this gives our departed beloved time to arrive and make themselves known! Mysterious things often happen: lights flicker, forks move, or the scent of an ancestor’s perfume lingers in the air. A fun fact: courses are often served in reverse!
What to Bring
Altar Offering(s): flowers are perfect for this - perhaps a type of flower one of your departed relatives liked or grew; another idea is a food or candy that a departed relative loved to eat (such as peppermint sticks or honey)
Ancestral Remembrances: photo(s) of departed family or friends or other items such as small belongings of the deceased beloved (jewelry, a letter or book handkerchief, etc.)
What To Wear
We invite you to fully embrace this occasion and costume if you’d like! Ideas include black clothing, ritual wear, headdresses, capes or cloaks, or whatever else feels festive. Another idea is to wear a piece of clothing or fabric that belonged to a relative that has passed on. Come casual and comfy or go all out ~ it’s up to you!
No refunds are available for this retreat unless the organizer cancels the entire gathering. However, you may transfer your registration to another woman.