Monika is a practicing Wiccan with experience orchestrating rituals to process hardships and make room for positive energy.
Wiccan Rituals for When a Pet Dies
As a practicing Wiccan, I know that it is uncommon to perform funeral rituals. We believe in reincarnation and strive to be happy that our beloved has crossed over to Summerland. This is not always easy to achieve, so first let me say that I am sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is not an easy thing, but celebrating the connection that you and your pet had may lessen your grief.
How to Celebrate Your Pet's Life
I will outline everything you need to give your beloved pet a proper sendoff. From setting up an altar to an easy four-step ritual itself, this article will help you find both closure and comfort.
Arranging the Altar
There is no right or wrong way to arrange your altar. Use the suggestions below if you wish, but don't be afraid to add special touches or eliminate anything. Altars are personal—allow yours to reflect you.
Use either violet or magenta-colored fabric. Natural fabrics, like cotton, are best, but Goddess is not fussy. Violet is the correspondence for spirituality and transition from life to death. Magenta corresponds to letting go, change and transition, and moving to a higher plane.
Note: If these colors are not available, white may be substituted. Hold the cloth and imagine it with the characteristics you want it to represent.
Again, use either violet, magenta, or both.
If these colors are not available, white may be substituted. Hold the candle and imagine it with the characteristics you want it to represent.
Only one type of incense is needed. Here are some of the most commonly used for rituals.
- Frankincense: Used for rites of passage.
- Myrrh: Helps connection with true will and gives one courage to follow the soul’s path.
- Myrtle: For spiritual love and immortality of the soul.
If none of the above is available, sandalwood is a good, all-purpose incense for any ritual.
- Catnip: Fosters psychic bond with cats.
- Elm: Signifies love, light, purification, death, and rebirth.
- Hawthorn: Signifies the gateway to another world.
- Verrain: Fosters inner strength and peace.
- Bluebell: Signifies funerals and grieving.
The addition of herbs is entirely optional. If used, sprinkle them in the pet’s burial place after the ritual.
Cats and cows are sacred to Goddess. A statue or any other representation of the Goddess can be placed on the altar.
Place the crystal on your altar or hold it during your ritual.
- Dolomite: Signifies relief from sorrow and peace.
The use of crystals is optional. You can also wear the crystal during your ritual.
Personal Tokens of Your Pet
This can be the pet's collar, a picture, a favorite toy—whatever you wish to use. Place the token(s) on the pentagram for the ritual.
How to Perform the Ritual
There are four steps necessary to perform this ritual. Before you get started, cleanse your ritual space, cast your circle, raise power, and invite the Four Quarters as you normally do before a ritual. Invoke the Goddess.
Step 1. Meditation
Take a few moments to meditate on your pet. Think of the good times the two of you had. Consider how the pet changed your life and what it taught you.
Use this time to reflect on pleasant memories. Remember the day that you first brought your pet home. Think about all the times that your pet showed you love. Call to mind those times when your pet changed your mood when you were feeling sad or down.
Step 2. Gratitude Expression
Talk to your pet. Tell your pet how grateful you are for having shared its life. Thank it for what it taught you. Express your love for your pet. Don’t worry about the words that you use—speak from your heart, just as you would if your pet were in front of you.
Step 3. Prayer to the Goddess
Say a prayer to the Goddess for your pet’s safe passage to Summerland. Thank Goddess for bringing the pet into your life. Again, just speak from your heart.
Step 4. Ritual Closing
If Wine and Cakes are part of your tradition, you can partake now. Close the ritual as your tradition dictates—thank Goddess and the Four Quarters, take down the circle, etc.
After the Ritual
Continue to remember your pet. You can keep memories alive in several ways.
- Put together a photo album or scrapbook of favorite pictures of your pet.
- Journal about your pet—get those cute stories down before they fade from memory.
- Make a tribute website to your pet.
- You might also consider making a donation to your local animal shelter in your pet's name.
Each pet brings its own unique kind of joy to our lives. Part of celebrating the life of your pet is recognizing that special happiness that your pet gave you. Long after your pet is gone, your memories will invoke its loyal and loving spirit. Celebrating that spirit will help you achieve closure and peace.
Talk to Me!
Lisa on June 21, 2018:
We just this morning lost our 14 year old heeler - Red. We are so sad and heartbroken but I am glad to have found this ritual. I love the poem - thank you for this. I think it will ease our pain.
Gabi on June 04, 2018:
I can't even do this because my mom's Christian and won't let me have an altar, it "brings demons" into the home...
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on April 23, 2013:
I have a sweet 14 year old pug, deaf and blind, diabetic, but still frisky when it's dinnertime. It's my hope she will die peacefully in her sleep. Your lens is comforting to anyone who has lost a pet and I will take all of it to heart. Thank you.
Rose Jones on April 19, 2013:
What a beautiful lens. A pet death is so sad, it is a challenge to think that they are in a better place. Pinned to my dogs board and blessed.
bossypants on April 01, 2013:
Thank you for the wonderful ritual to celebrate the passing of a pet. I hope I won't be back here soon, but I will be back for comfort when I need it.
moonlitta on March 29, 2013:
This is really sad. Terra left us with no ritual and no real funeral was made. My mom and dad just took the body outside of the village, and I'm still gald everything happened in my absence, my sister also was not home then. I still keep seeing her in dreams now and then.
anonymous on October 04, 2012:
Thank you. I'll be using some of this to get me through tonight. I just put down my cat of 18 yrs. I had LeStat since he was a tiny kitten. I can't stop crying.
anonymous on June 11, 2012:
I like the depth of your lens here. You left nothing out, that I can think of.
Our pets are special with their unconditional love and deserve a loving send-off.
anonymous on May 06, 2012:
I just lost my little terrier Arry and think this ritual is a wonderful idea. He was such a kind and beautiful spirit. I'm missing him so much already.
Thank you for this...I think I might try casting my circle around his grave at the bottom of our garden...one of his favourite places.
AlleyCatLane on April 02, 2012:
I don't practice Wicca but some of this could apply to any spiritual beliefs, and bring comfort to the pet owner who has lost their beloved pet.
Pat from Midwest, USA on April 01, 2012:
I'm missing my little buddy!
gottaloveit2 on September 05, 2011:
Well, I sure like the wines and cakes portion of the ritual. I'm unfamiliar with Wiccan but sadly familiar with the feeling of losing a pet.
sponias lm on August 31, 2011:
Pets are real friends. They deserve the same attention we give to human beings.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 14, 2011:
Sometimes we need a special commemorative activity to bring ourselves to accept a loss.
priscillab on June 03, 2011:
Very sweet. I believe in celebrating a life and a pet can be like a child. You need to acknowledge the passing until we meet again.
David Stone from New York City on May 29, 2011:
Sweet, generous and thoughtful. Thanks for a generous lens.
gottaloveit2 on May 24, 2011:
Very interesting lens! I know next to nothing about Wicca but it sure sounds interesting. I love religions steeped in rituals.
David Stone from New York City on May 14, 2011:
Very nice, original and to the point. Well done. As you evolve this lens, it'd be nice to see more pictures. They cause a pause and give you time to absorb the content. Nothing fancy, but I think it would get you more the readers you definitely deserve.
Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on April 25, 2011:
Nice celebration ritual for pets.
knit1tat2 on April 19, 2011:
A beautiful testimony about how to honor the animals that share our lives! Thank you, and nice to meet you in squidoo community!