Samhain effigy burning

Samhain: Feather & Bone – Rituals of Rememberance

Sun, Nov 05 | Siler City

An annual Samhain Ceremony honoring the ancestors of blood, love and lineage with creative expression, grieving practices, elemental rituals and an effigy burn.

Time & Location

Nov 05, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Siler City, 2196 Tom Stevens Rd, Siler City, NC 27344, USA

About Samhain


Feather & Bone: Rituals of Remembrance

Heartward Sanctuary’s annual Samhain Ceremony to tend the heart, feed the ancestors, and dance the descent into the dark.

In this day-long event, we invite participants to honor the ancestors of blood, love and lineage. We’ll gather in grief, gratitude and remembrance of friends, family, animal companions, dancestors and losses of all kinds.

Last year’s effigy was built in honor of the black vulture, a revered bird in the realms of death and the Heartward Sanctuary ecosystem.  The effigy included human figure representing a departed loved one and a vulture greeting them. Jonathan Baxter is once again building the effigy for our communal prayers and offerings.  But this year, the bird and human will merge into one figure, a winged being, representative of a soul in flight.

In addition to honoring the recent dead, we’ll weave in a special tribute to ancestors of our lineage traditions, ancestors of music and dance, the dancestors. To this end, JJ Hurst is painting a new, custom ritual piece for the ancestral altar. There’s space on the altar for tributes to musicians and dancers who have shaped our practices and lives.

Daniel Chambo will lead us in Music of the Heart to prime our voices for expression. Julia will lead us into a dance by the effigy. Katie Veleta & Julia are collaborating on a prayer-list for the occasion.



This is a mostly outdoor event! Please note the location for various parts.

12 pm ~ Offering Bundles  ~ Picnic tables by the Barn Temple

12:45pm ~ Ancestral Circle & Water Blessing ~ with Julia Hartsell ~ Barn Temple

2pm ~ Grave Garden Visit ~ Walk from Barn Temple to the Ancestral Meadow to make offerings there

2:45pm~ Music of the Heart w/ Daniel Chambo ~ Barn Temple

3:45pm ~ Gather at the Meadow Fire Circle for the Ceremony, Dance & Fire

Fire at Dark (Sunset at 5:18pm)

Effigy ~ finishing touches throughout the day ~ once complete, folks can begin to add their offerings

Ancestral Altar ~ visit and add your contributions any time after Noon

Potluck ~ Sanctuary House Deck

What to Bring

  • Framed photo or collage of your deceased loves or a dancestor you’d like to honor
  • A written prayer or burnable offering for the fire (something beautiful and sweet, not something you wish to be rid of)
  • Biodegradable offering for your beloved blood ancestors or dancestors (flowers, food, wine, water &/or talisman to leave on the altar for the night)
  • Beverages or dish to share
  • Water vessel (water refilling available here)
  • Chair/blanket/layers
  • Instruments are welcome
  • Your prayer-and-play-fulness


Along the right side of the driveway. Then, walk towards the barn and turn left towards the house. For those who park at the end of the driveway, we are trying to reserve these close spaces for elders and those with little ones. You can walk to either side of the house to find ritual center. Limited parking at the Sanctuary House for pre-approved persons.


Composting toilets available in the barn and flushable toilets available in the Sanctuary House.

Important Notes About Registration

*Registration is limited to 65. We ask that everyone pre-register.

*Sustainers are by donation, please pre-register.

In an attempt to keep these gatherings accessible and sustainable, we have a three-tiered pricing structure for this event. If you are interested to attend and the minimum cost is prohibiting, please let us know as we have a few work-trade positions available.

If you can’t attend the event, we also offer the opportunity for us to make a prayer bundle in honor of your loved one(s) to include in our ceremony. Select the “Non-local” ticketing option for this.

Samhain: Feather and Bone – Rituals of Remembrance

An annual Samhain Ceremony honoring the ancestors of blood, love and lineage with creative expression, grieving practices, elemental rituals and an effigy burn.

Registration Closed

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Heartward Sanctuary

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