Pet Life Celebration Ritual
Celebrating Your Pet's Life
My tradition, Wicca, does not typically have a funeral ritual. 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 let me say first that I am sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is not an easy thing, but celebrating the connection that you and your pet may lessen your grief.
Each pet brings its own unique brand 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.
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A Book to Help You Deal With the Loss of Your Pet
Grieving your pet is something that you don't have to suffer in silence. The difficulty of getting over losing a pet is now recognized as a legitimate psychological issue. If you are having trouble letting go, try reading this book. Grief that prevents you from leading a normal life should be handled by a professional -- seek therapy if your grief is interfering with your life.
This book contains a comprehensive guide to handling the loss of a pet. I liked the fact that some religious leaders contributed their religions beliefs abut pet loss.
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 touches of your own or to eliminate anything below. Altars are personal - allow yours to reflect you.
Photo by: Monika Weise
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 or magenta, or both. Note: If these colors are not available, white may be substituted. Hold the candle and imagine it with the characteristics you want it to represent.
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Incense - Only one of these types needs to be used.
Frankincense – used for rites of passage
Myrrh – helps connection with true will and gives courage to follow the soul’s path
Myrtle – for spiritual love and immortality of the soul
- Note: 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, and purification, death and rebirth
Hawthorn – signifies the gateway to another world
Verrain – fosters inner strength and peace
Bluebell – Signifies funerals and grieving
- Use 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.
Crystals - Place the crystal on your altar or hold 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
Dolomite - A crystal to celebrate your pet's life
Personal Tokens Of Your Pet
Another element for the altar
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.
Cleans your ritual space, cast your circle, raise power, and invite the Four Quarters as you normally do before a ritual. Invoke the Goddess.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
A Poem for Your Pet
Feel free to use this in your pet life celebration ritual
Run the fields of Summerland
And frolic in the sun.
You've earned the right of freedom;
Your work on Earth is done.
Tho' tears for you may fall like rain,
They are tears of joy mixed in with pain.
My love for you will never end.
Enjoy your time in Summerland, my faithful loving friend.
After the Ritual
Keep remembering your pet
You can keep memories of your pet 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 web site to your pet. You might also consider making a donation to your local animal shelter in your pet's name.
Celebrate the life or your pet with journaling - Writing can help ease your grief
Journaling gives you an outlet for all the emotions involved in grieving. You can also capture memories and stories about your beloved pet.