How to Scatter Ashes: the Main Methods
Casting the ashes
This is the act of throwing the cremation ashes to the wind or usually just called scattering.
Here are some thoughts on how to scatter ashes:
- keep it fairly low, below waist height
- make sure members of you group are up wind
- don’t ‘up-end’ the canister unless you have a rake. It can be quite undignified should you then need level the ashes
- they will be more ashes than you realise they can cover quite an area
- it might be worth investing in a scattering tube or urn they are far more dignified than the plastic container/ cardboard box you receive from the crematorium.
- please don’t leave the box or urn behind.
Here is a our selection of Scattering Urns
Here is our video of how to use a scatter tube
Scatter the ashes in a ring shape on the ground or around an object e.g. a tree or in a clearing. Follow the instructions above.
Idea! Participants enter the ring to speak about the deceased.
Trenching or Beaching
If you pick the correct time of day and beach this is a way to scatter ashes, we would suggest a sandy beach and spot below the high tide line, if you are not sure where this is look for the line of seaweed and debris near the top of the beach – here is the tide timetable if it helps. We would suggest going quite a way below this– dig a groove in a shape or symbol. A gardening paddle hoe works well for this.
Sprinkle the ashes into the trench, cover if you wish and wait until the tide washes the ashes it away – you can add even more solemnity to it by choosing sunrise or sunset.
Warning: don’t do it above the high tide line and try to stay away from the beach entry / exit point to avoid being disturbed.
The idea is that everybody attending gets a toasting cup (eg a coir pot) and as you do with a speech you might toast someone, instead you scatter them. After someone has spoken about your loved one, holding onto the cup everyone scatters /throws /flings some the contents of the cup in the required direction.
The cups are refilled as required until the end of the speeches or the ashes have run out. Very celebratory and lovely for participation.
Idea! Take the cups away and plant seeds or a seedling and that will grow from some of the tiny ash particles left in the cup. It is a wonderful memento.
This is the practise used in gardens of remembrance at a crematoria, by using a rake you can disperse the ashes equally – this will allow for faster integration with the soil and better consistency. This may be the best method if scattering in your own garden.
We have supply a range of products to help your ceremony be a dignified and memorable event – see our Scattering Ceremony Range