Monthly Archives: January 2007

Rite of Crossing the Threshhold

A friend of mine has made the tough decision to put her beloved dog to sleep. Ernest has been with my friend for many, many year, since puppyhood. She has asked me to put together a short, simple ritual for her to use to help him during his crossing.

With much humbleness and awe at the miracle of life and death, I offer this to her.

Have all attending stand in a circle, holding hands. Ernest should be included and the people next to him should place their hands on him.

Have everyone take 3 deep, grounding breaths.

“All that ever was exists now
in the living body of the being
we call universe, Goddess.
She breathes in –
We are born.
She breathes out –
We die.
But birth and death are on the same wheel
Which is always turning,
Like the tide
Or the changes of the moon.
All points on the wheel are sacred.
Together we embrace the change
and send Ernest on his journey.”**

Wash/anoint Ernest with pure blessed saline water and a clean, white rag. You can prepare this before you go to the vet. Just wet the rag with the water and rub his fur gently.

“Goddess of death
I stand here as your priestess
To open a gateway for a small creature
Who needs your comforting touch
Who needs to rest in the Summerlands.
This is a healing act we do
Releasing his suffering
And easing his way to you.”

Keeping in physical contact with Ernest to reassure him, allow the vet to administer the shot. Extraneous talking should be held to an absolute minimum during this time. Words of love and quiet encouragement and kisses should be offered to Ernest as his body falls asleep.

When life signs have stopped:

“Birth, growth, death, rebirth –
all points on the wheel are sacred.
In some new form,
You will live in again.
Until then, rest in peace, our beloved Ernest.”

**All prayers are adapted from The Pagan Book of Living and Dying by Starhawk, M. Macha Nightmare, and the Reclaiming Collective.