Rite of Release

This is a Neo-pagan ritual which is originally from the «Pagan Way» and composed by Ed Fitch. It is a ritual to help the souls of animals pass over the threshold of death. In Neo-paganism, a loose set of religious beliefs held by many occultists and Neo-pagan witches, there is a belief closely related to animism meaning that all life is sacred, and sentient beings are considered to possess souls.

Finch mainly wrote the Rite of Release for animals killed by motorized vehicles. It is believed their bewildered souls remain in their corpses which can be seen by persons possessing the ability of clairvoyance.

The ritual is also thought to be beneficial to pets who have been affectionately attached to their owners and companions and who are reluctant to leave the earthly plane after death.

The rite is begun by making the sign of the pentagram with the right hand and the sign of the horns (the hand is clenched except for the index and third fingers which are raised) with the left. As the person makes these signs he visualizes inhaling and exhaling a pure white light as he says his prayer to help the animal’s soul pass over into Summerland, as mentioned in connection to reincarnation. The person also visualizes the soul entering this peaceful place through a glowing door west of the corpse. Then he sees the animal happily resting and playing in an environment which the creature had most enjoyed on earth.

Others besides pagans believe animals possess souls and journey to some sort of future life. When the mystic Edgar Cayce was asked to give readings for animals he refused saying he was too busy with other things, but he did answer questions of one particular lady about her little dog, Mona.

The lady asked if she had formerly been associated with the dog. Through questions Cayce told her yes, in a Roman life, and the dog was then a lion. The woman’s niece also asked about the same dog and was told Mona would not always be (or reincarnate as) a dog. This indicates that Cayce thought animals also went through some type of evolvement. A.G.H.

Sources: 430.