the dumb supper--be careful whom you call...
No full moon for this year's Halloween. But the moon is waxing and hanging low with an orange aureole shimmering against the black velvet sky. My family and friends thought I was crazy to move out here along the Fakahatchee Strand, miles from anyone. But I've enjoyed the advantages of being a solitary...both as a witch and as an individual. Nowadays, most people know that witches don't go around wearing pointed hats or brewing up potions from bats and vampire teeth. Still, most people haven't a clue to what we really do.
Tonight, Samhain night, I am serving a dumb supper. This night I invite the ghosts of all my grandmothers to return and share with me their wisdom, their magick, their essence. Whether I receive tricks or treats or perhaps end up entertaining ghouls will remain to be seen.
My table has been carefully set with my best china and crystal. I have prepared an offering of root vegetables, to connect with the earth energies, and garnished with fennel, to connect with air and the sky. My white china gleams against the dark pumpkin of the linen tablecloth. I know it is traditional to use black for the setting of the dumb supper, but as a solitary witch, I prefer to devise more personal rituals. To invoke the spirits to cross from the Summerland I have scattered graveyard dust among the china and crystal.
I have invited no mortal guests to my celebration. Mercilande, my black cat will be the only witness to the night's proceedings. I prepared myself with a bath of purification and have dressed in a costume of ivory silk
and lace. Instead of chant to invoke the spirits I have chosen to play John Coltrane's, A Love Supreme.
Beeswax candles illuminate the darkened room--and scent it faintly with honey. In the darkness with the flickering light and atonal jazz droning a passer-by might be tempted to think this is indeed a haunted house. I have set my intention to call the grandmothers and I sink deeply into meditation.
I hear the sounds of the house settling into the night--outside are frogs, owls, the nocturnal grunts of the nearby alligators, but no truly eerie noises. The temperature in the room has dropped several degrees though
and soon I notice a wisp of musky perfume and a slight flutter to one of the napkins at the table set for my unknown guest. The scent is unmistakeable it is White Shoulders and I know that it is my grandmere here.
Less a voice than a whisper behind my eyes I hear her say,"Yes child, I am here to celebrate your Samhain dumb supper. What you may not know is that the silence you have invoked is what has called me to you. I want you to know what I have learned since my coffin was placed in the ground. Always, be careful of your words, spoken and wriiten. They are vibrations that extend like filaments through eternity, wrapped around your soul like a karmic spool. Every word has a ghostly double, and once spoken and written, will be with you always. Never believe that we live in a contigent and perishable world, in truth, the world is elastic and has no edges. Words are vibrations--the glue that holds matter together. It would please me best for you not to spill your tears for me at the
cemetery, but rather you honor me by only speaking and writing with truth and power. Blessed be, my child."
A slight rustle of the breeze sends my windchimes tinkling and the scent of White Shoulders floats away. I remain in silence, pondering what I've just been told. Samhain is swiftly coming to a close, but the lessons of tonight will remain with me forever. I snuff out the candles, turn off the music, begin to clear the table.
Long into this quiet Halloween night I will dream and pray that I can honor the message brought to me.