Rainbow Bridge


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Here are some pictures of much loved babies who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge.  

May we one day be reunited.

    

Here are some articles and rituals of interest:

  1. Rainbow Bridge

  2. Grief and the loss of a Pet

  3. Death of a Pet Ritual

  4. Rite of Release for a Pet or Familiar

  5. Rite for a Departed Pet

Rainbow Bridge - Author unknown

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. 

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. 

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. 

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. 

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 

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Grief and the loss of a Pet  (author unknown)

Even a year after the death of a dog or cat, more than one-third of adults are still grieving over the loss of their family pet according to a Michigan psychologist. "The course of grief over a family pet follows that of grief over a human being," says Thomas Wrobel, of the University of Michigan-Flint. Wrobel says previous studies suggested that the average grieving period over a pet was about 10 months.  His study found that a year after the death of the pet, 38 percent of adults are still experiencing grief symptoms.

"While much effort has been spent studying the reactions to the death of a significant other, little attention has been paid to the grief that may occur when a pet dies, even though approximately 55 percent of the households in the United States include a dog, cat or both," Wrobel says.

There is little difference in grief whether the adult was male or female or if the pet was a dog or a cat. People who lose a pet often face an unsympathetic world and Wrobel says grief for a pet is considered inappropriate, since pets can be 'replaced' and some pet owners feel shame if they grieve over an animal.

Cat and dog owners, according to a recent poll, say that losing a pet is more traumatic than having a wallet or purse stolen (52.3%); losing $1,000 gambling (51.8%); losing possessions in a fire (35.3%); layoff from their job (31.4%); being in a car accident (29.4%); and breakup with a significant other (23.35%). 

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Death of a Pet Ritual

To help get over the loss and let your pet know that you care for them and 
love them after death perform this ritual.

Needed: photo of pet, Red or green candle

1. Cast circle and say:
"Hathor, I ask that you take care of (name of pet) who died (when), and is so 
sorely missed."

2. Take photo/picture and draw a pentacle over it with your finger and say:
"My darling little (name), you are loved, adored and missed. May you be 
happy where you are for all eternity. Blessed be."

3. Kiss/rub photo and light red or green candle and say:
"I light this candle in your memory. You always have a home in my heart, and 
this candle represents the light and joy you brought into my life."

4. Keep candle burning and extinguish and re-light as needed until candle 
burns out completely.

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Rite of Release for a Pet or Familiar
Ritus ad Animal Familiare Liberandum
Apollonius Sophistes
1998

Equipment and supplies: Sprig of evergreen, grave gifts (food, toys etc. that the animal enjoyed), libations (drinks the animal enjoyed in life, especially water), talking stick (optional, to be deposited in grave), incense, candles, flowers, etc. as desired. 

We come to bid farewell to ______.
By Nature's sacred law, each life must end,
so others may be born upon the earth.
Each soul is made unique and lives awhile,
before returning to the womb from which
all life is born. Although we all must die,
we're always sad to wish a friend good-bye.

[Make the Manus Cornuta (Horned Hand: first and fourth fingers extended from fist) with right hand. Trace Invoking Pentagram (top to lower left) while saying following.]

We make the Horns of Nature, wild and fierce,
the crescent moon, to call the Queen of Beasts.
Descend to us from Heaven, this we pray;
allow this soul to speed upon its way.
Breath deep three times; inhale all Nature's breath,
the cosmic soul, where we return at death.
[Everyone takes three deep breaths.]
In your mind's eye now look toward the West,
and see the land where dwell the spirits blest.

[Point first and middle fingers of right hand to animal's body and say the following.]

By every holy name, my little friend,
I bid you to accept your short life's end,
and leave behind your spirit's earthly shell,
of no more use, although it served you well.
May Artemis protect you on your way,
from us your friends, and from the light of day.
[Take up some or all of grave gifts.]
We bless these gifts, which gave you joy in life,
to speed your way until your journey's end,
so you may venture forth with little strife.
You will not be forgotten, little friend.
Let each remember, or just say good-bye,
in silence or out loud, as they think right.

[Each person may say what he or she remembers about the animal, just say good-bye, or remember in silence. This may be done informally, while depositing the grave goods, or by passing a talking stick, which is deposited after all have held it. This is a good time for saying prayers, reading poems, e.g. epitaphs from the Greek Anthology (VII.207) or Catullus (3). The Priest speaks last; after personal reminiscences, he or she continues as follows.]

We won't forget the joy you've brought our lives;
though gone from earth, in us your soul survives.

[Take up sprig of evergreen.]

Through seasons warm and cold, the evergreen
grows on; through Nature's life and death it's seen.

[Lay evergreen on grave.]

Perhaps you too will come to us again,
to share our lives in love, and be our friend.
For now your soul is free.
Farewell and blessed be.

[Throw kiss. Flowers etc. may be placed on grave at this time.]

The Rite is done.

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Rite for a Departed Pet - from Margie McArthur, "WiccaCraft for Families"

This ceremony may be as formal or informal as desired. An altar should be set up with a white candle in the center. A token of the animal should be present. This can be a picture, a clipping of hair, a beloved toy, or other object. A small square of cloth and a piece of ribbon should be present.

"I give thanks to you, small friend,
For the time we shared together.
I give thanks for the touch of your soft fur,
Your shining eyes, kisses from your rough tongue.
I give thanks for the sound of your voice.
Go now to your rest.
I will miss you, my friend,
As you travel on your way.
But I know that someday, somewhere,
If the gods will it,
We will meet again;
And the meeting will be one of love.
May the blessings of the Lord and the Lady
Be with you as you travel on your way!
Know that my love and blessings go with you
As you travel to the Land of Eternal Summer.
Blessed Be!"


Now, take up the token and place it within the square of cloth. Add to it a piece of your own hair or other token of yourself.  Using the ribbon, tie the cloth up into a bundle, and say:

"Let us be bound together in love,
That we may merry meet again!
Blessed Be!"

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Page updated 07/30/2002

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