Ritual for Death of a Pet

I was digging through my Book of Shadows and found this ritual for the death of a loved pet.

Our companion animals are wonderful creatures – particularly so for children – and teach us many things: unconditional love, live for the moment, and (in the case of cats) to regularly s-t-r-e-t-c-h!!! They also teach us at the time of their death – about letting go. Whilst it is incredibly hard to say goodbye – especially for children – doing so allows some closure, and an acknowledgment of their life. No matter how small the companion animal, it’s important to release them and gain that closure.

So I wanted to share this ritual with you – that we used to say goodbye to our beloved Pasha many years ago now. Feel free to adapt and modify it to suit your own circumstances.

Ritual for the Death of a Pet

Using incense purify the area and charge it with healing energy. If the animal disliked fire or smoke you can leave this out.

Once the grave has been dug, place some flowers or herbs in the base – you might choose to use forget-me-nots, roses or other flowers associated with love. Some herbs you might consider are sandalwood for its high spiritual energies or sage for its association with immortality, healing and protection. We also had a candle representing the spirit of the animal, near the grave.

Then place the body on top of the herbs/flowers in the grave, and over it sprinkle a few more flowers and herbs.

Call upon the spirit of the animal to join with you – let them know the reason for the ceremony and that you are honouring them through it.

Offer a prayer of your own choosing or something like: “Through this ceremony, we commend the body of our beloved [name] to Mother Earth as we entrust their spirit to the Goddess. We gather here to honour his/her memory and to send him/her our blessings for a joyous reunion with All of Life”.

One person fills the grave or you can have each person take turns placing a shovel full of earth in the grave. Make each step sacred. With each shovel offer a prayer to Mother Earth who receives the body, to the animal who is now on their way to a new life, and to the Goddess who will receive their spirit. Continue offering prayers for peace, love, release and anything else you choose until the grave is full. Or go around the circle once, and then fill in the grave. Whatever feels right for you and the circumstances.

Hold hands and form a circle around the grave – you can sit or stand. Allow every emotion to come and wash over you – this is particularly important for children. Encourage them to feel comfortable expressing these emotions as an offering of honesty and respect for the animal.

Take turns going around the circle sharing stories of your time with your companion, offer prayers, or whatever you feel comfortable doing. Continue to do this until everyone around the circle feels some sort of release. We shared our stories of how Pasha came to us, little antics she used to get up to, and how we felt about her – plus how her passing made us feel. By the end we were laughing about what she used to get up to and remembering some wonderful times with her.

You may offer one final prayer of your own choosing, or something like:

Although we grieve for the times we will no longer share in this world, we rejoice in  your freedom. We are grateful for the sharing of our lives during your time here in this world. Your memories and gifts live on within each of us as we freely release you to your next world. We send you heartfelt blessings of peace, love and joy. We say not goodbye but farewell until we meet again.

The owner of the pet, or the youngest person in the group (your choice) can then say their own silent goodbye and snuff the candle. As the smoke rises and dissipates, imagine yourself letting go of the spirit of the animal to its next incarnation.


I hope this short ritual helps you and your family during a difficult time of loss.


(In loving memory of all the lost pets, but especially today for Yoda. You know who you are! Go … be an eagle!)

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

2 Responses to “Ritual for Death of a Pet”

  1. 1

    Thank you Lyn for this wonderful guidance when a pet leaves the family. Very timely for us at the moment with the loss of Yoda (thank you for honouring him with his picture in the blog). I will suggest we do this for LMK and PJK when they come home from school. I think it will help them immensely.

    <3 Anita

  2. 2

    My pleasure my friend. Hugs to you all. xx

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