site banner

Witchcraft Spells ~ Love Spells ~ Money Spells ~ Search

rose bar

Samhain Tradition - Silent Supper

Silence! It's Supper Time!

As Samhain once again approaches, I have been asked by several students to talk a little about the tradition -- as I view it-- of the Silent Supper. Known to some as the "Dumb Supper," (a term I don't care for, by the way!) the celebration of Samhain often includes, among other things, a ritual meal in which we pay homage to the Cycle of Life.

During the Silent Supper, we honor either:
  1. Our long dead ancestors
  2. Our recently deceased loved ones (generally, those who crossed the Veil since the previous Samhain)
  3. The newly born (generally, those who became incarnate since the previous Samhain).
In short, we observe and show reverence to the Sacred Cycle of Birth, Death, and Rebirth.

The first question to ask, perhaps, is: Why do we do this? Well, as always, the answer to this question is a little less simple than one might at first imagine...

The first thing to consider, I believe, is that the celebrations of Spring -- particularly, for instance, Beltane -- are all focused on germination, new life, renewal, and birth. So, why then, do we bother celebrating birth all over again at Samhain? In fact, what does birth even have to do with our Ancestors, the Final Harvest, or dying? The answer, of course, is everything! Why? Because it comes to this:

There is no oak tree, unless an acorn falls

So, the process of honoring the dead is intimately tied to the celebration of birth because, as the saying goes, in the midst of life, we are in death.

Okay, so we've had a look at a reason for celebrating birth in the Time of Dying, but why do we celebrate the Time of Dying at all? Why not just focus on life and living and look at the Sacred Wheel from a glass-half-full perspective? We all know everyone dies, we all know that aging isn't always pretty, and we all know that time will stand still for no one... so why do we need to fuss with a ritual for it at all? The answer, of course, lies in the question. We celebrate and honor death, the dead, and dying because we are alive! We do it, because we are striving for the wisdom of the Crone or Sage -- the Wise Ones of Autumn -- those who know about dying.

I said the answer might not be simple, didn't I? And, right about now, I imagine you're thinking that this early crone has forgotten what the original point was! But, actually, I'm still with you, and, as I often do, I'm circling around to the answer, slowly, but surely...

The Silent Supper is a ritual performed without words or conversation because death, by its very nature, is a time of silence. Dying, not so much, but the reverent Pagan makes no sound during this Samhain Ritual out of respect for the dead. Out of respect for death itself . Above all, out of respect for Spirit. We are silent, to make our understanding known. It is for this reason that we have a Silent Supper in the first place. To show The One that we are aware of the Divine Plan, understand it, and respect it.

This does not mean that we never grieve out loud or question the process... of course we do (and should ), it simply means that, for one night, at least, we pay our respects, in silence, to those who went before and those who have just arrived.

(Respect, by the way, is the reason I am so opposed to the term "Dumb Supper!" )

If you are planning a Samhain Ritual this year, I'm sure--if you are a Neophyte, as so many of my students are--that you are wondering what the Silent Supper rules are. Well, for Pagans, there quite simply are none (I'm sure this comes as no surprise!) But, I'm often told it helps when I share some of my own preferences, so here goes (in no particular order): Blessings for Samhain everyone!

by Windsong MoonChild

Home ~ Witchcraft Spells ~ Love Spells ~ Money Spells
Witchcraft Forum ~ Q & A ~ Articles ~ Bookstore
Ghost Stories ~ Healing ~ Astral Projection

Copyright 1998 - Today - Everything Under the Moon

Artwork and some content featured on this site is copyright protected by the artist/author.
If you want your art or content removed, please drop me a note.