The new leader goes to the Moon Tree with their Clan's medicine cat. After settling among the tree's roots, the new leader cannot move for a short period of time, because their old life is being ripped away so they can receive nine new ones. Upon awakening, cats of StarClan come down from Silverpelt. Nine cats (normally ones who were significant during the new leader's life, although this is not always the case) give them their nine lives with these words:
Life-Giver: (Touches nose to the top of the new leader's head) "With this life, I give you (gift, a positive trait/virtue such as loyalty, wisdom, etc.). Use it well for (blah blah)."
Each life can be shocking, painful, or calming, or all of these as the new leader receives them. When all of the lives have been given, the previous leader says these words:
Previous Leader: "I hail you by your new name, _____star. Your old life is no more. You have now received the nine lives of a leader, and StarClan grants you the guardianship of ____Clan. Defend it well; care for young and old; honor your ancestors and the traditions of the warrior code; live each life with pride and dignity."
Just as the forest-cats would call a warrior by their new name, the StarClan cats acclaim the new leader. After the ceremony, the new leader is not allowed to tell any cat what happened during the ceremony.
Getting nine lives does not necessarily mean that a leader will live longer, but they can survive certain accidents or injuries that would claim the life of a normal cat. However, they cannot survive if they have major injuries such as the injuries Scourge gave Tigerstar. If a leader does not lose a life, they will die of old age nine times.
If a leader no longer wishes to be the leader, they must go to the Moon Tree to revoke all but one life, so their deputy may have their full nine lives. Sunstar of ThunderClan only had 8 lives because Pinestar never officially retired at the Moonstone.
The leader calls a Clan Meeting, and performs the ceremony by announcing these words:
Leader: "I say these words before StarClan, so that the spirits of our warrior ancestors may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of (Clan) is (warrior's name)."
Leader: "I say these words before the body of (name of former deputy), so that his/her spirit may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of (name of Clan) will be (warrior's name)!"
The leader must make their choice for a new deputy before moonhigh after the previous deputy's death/retirement or after their leader ceremony. For a cat to be considered for deputy they must have mentored at least one apprentice.
A new deputy will need to be chosen if:
medicine cat ceremony
- • The previous deputy has just become the new leader.
- • The previous deputy has died.
- • The previous deputy has retired to the elder's den or resigned from their position for any other reason.
- • The previous deputy has committed a crime against the Clan/Warrior Code severe enough that they no longer deserve the honor.
Apprenticeship for medicine cats usually lasts much longer than those for warriors. The cat must learn about all available herbs and remedies, and the treatment of diseases and injuries, plus how to interpret signs from StarClan.
Once the Clan's medicine cat is satisfied with their apprentice's knowledge, the ceremony is performed at the next Medicine Cat meeting.
This is the only ceremony that is not performed by the Clan leader. The following words are used, by tradition:
Medicine Cat: "I, (name), medicine cat of (Clan), call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. (He/she) has trained hard to understand the ways of a medicine cat, and with your help (he/she) will serve (his/her) Clan for many moons. (Apprentice), do you promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry between Clan and Clan and to protect all cats equally, even at the cost of your life?"
Apprentice: "I do."
Medicine Cat: "Then by the powers of StarClan I give you your true name as a medicine cat. (Apprentice), from this moment you will be known as (new name). StarClan honors your (virtues), and we welcome you as a full medicine cat of (Clan)."
The medicine cat rests his or her muzzle on the apprentice's head, and he or she licks their mentor's shoulder. The other medicine cats greet him or her by their new name much like the Clan would greet a new warrior.
medicine cat apprentice ceremony
The leader calls a Clan meeting, after the Clan's medicine cat announces that he or she wishes to mentor an apprentice. The following words are used, by tradition:
Medicine Cat: "Cats of (Clan), it's time I took an apprentice. I have chosen a cat who has shown potential as a medicine cat. Your next medicine cat will be (apprentice)."
Leader: "(Apprentice), do you accept the post of apprentice to (medicine cat)?"
Apprentice: "I do."
Medicine Cat: "Then at the half-moon, you must travel to the Moon Tree to be accepted by StarClan before the other medicine cats."
Leader: "The good wishes of all (Clan) will go with you."
The mentor touches noses with the apprentice and the Clan greets the new apprentice.
At the next half moon, the medicine cat goes with the apprentice to the Moon Tree to present him or her to their warrior ancestors, where the apprentice confirms his or her wish to be a medicine cat. The following words are used, by tradition:
Medicine Cat: "(Apprentice), is it your wish to enter the mysteries of StarClan as a medicine cat?"
Apprentice: "It is."
Medicine Cat: "Then come forward. Warriors of StarClan, I present you with this apprentice. (He/she) has chosen the path of a medicine cat. Grant (him/her) your wisdom and insight so that (he/she) may understand your ways and heal (his/her) Clan in accordance with your will."
The medicine cat apprentice sits among the roots of the Moon Tree. Then the medicine cat and the apprentice lay down and have a dream from StarClan.
A warrior apprenticeship lasts at least 6 moons. Once the mentor is satisfied with the apprentice's progress and skills, he or she recommends them to the leader of the Clan. Then, the apprentice must pass an assessment, where their abilities as a warrior are checked. In cases when the apprentice has just made an important contribution to the Clan, the leader may decide that there is no need for an assessment (i.e. Firepaw after saving the kits, Brackenpaw after fighting courageously in a battle, or Thistlepaw after fighting a dog).
If the Clan Leader is satisfied, he or she calls a Clan Meeting and calls the apprentice. The following words are used, by tradition:
Leader: "I, (name), leader of (Clan), call upon our warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. (He/she) has trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend (him/her) to you as a warrior in (his/her) turn. (Apprentice), do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
Apprentice: "I do."
Leader: "Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. (Apprentice), from this moment you will be known as (new warrior name). StarClan honors your (virtues), and we welcome you as a full warrior of (Clan)."
The leader rests his or her muzzle on the new warrior's head, and he or she licks the leader's shoulder. The rest of the Clan then greets the new warrior by calling him or her by their new name. The warrior will sit a silent vigil guarding the camp that night, except if that is not possible (such as Squirrelflight's ceremony, when the Clan did not have a camp, and the task of exploring the lake was assigned).
During the apprentice's warrior ceremony, two major virtues of the apprentice are listed (such as courage, intelligence, loyalty, skill, etc.)
When an apprentice is on the verge of death and has proven him/herself to be worthy of a warrior name, there is a special ceremony used so that the apprentice may take a warrior name to StarClan.
Leader: "I ask my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. (He/She) has learned the warrior code and given up (his/her) life in the service of (his/her) Clan. Let StarClan receive (him/her) as a warrior. (He/She) will be known as (new name)."
warrior apprentice ceremony
The Clan Leader calls a Clan Meeting to appoint a new apprentice and assign a mentor to him/her. The following words are used, by tradition:
Leader: "(Kit), you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as (new name, ending with "paw"). Your mentor will be (name of warrior). I hope (name of warrior) will pass down all he/she knows on to you."
The leader calls up the warrior he/she has chosen as a mentor.
Leader: "(Warrior), you are ready to take on an apprentice. You had received excellent training from (former mentor), and you have shown yourself to be (quality) and (quality). You will be the mentor of (apprentice), and I expect you to pass on all you know to (apprentice)."
The mentor touches noses with the apprentice, and the Clan greets the new apprentice by calling out his/her name. After this, the apprentice will usually go greet their family, or go see to their mentor.
An aging warrior, queen, deputy, or medicine cat may retire as an elder due to their own initiative, when they feel they cannot help the Clan efficiently any longer (such as Mousefur or Speckletail). A cat may also retire if they are hindered from serving their Clan through old age (such as Poppydawn), illness (Tawnyspots), or injury (Stonepelt). They report this to the Clan Leader, who calls a Clan Meeting and addresses the warrior.
Leader: "(Warrior), is it your wish to give up the name of a warrior and go to join the elders?"
Warrior: "It is."
Leader: "Your Clan honors you and all the service you have given to us. I call upon StarClan to give you many moons of rest."
The Clan will call out the retired warrior's name and then he or she will go to the elder's den.
Usually, an elder ceremony is held only when a cat retires due to old age. If they are forced to retire because of a severe injury (such as Longtail or Stonepelt), there is no ceremony.
name changing ceremony
When a cat's name no longer portrays who they are, a Clan leader can perform this ceremony to change it to a new name. Normally, the name is changed from the result of an injury, for example, when Sparrowpelt lost half of his tail, he was re-named Halftail. However, sometimes it is changed when the cat has been named incorrectly and the leader wants to rectify this mistake (i.e. Brightheart).
The leader calls a Clan Meeting and performs the change with the following words:
Leader: "Spirits of StarClan, you know every cat by name. I ask you now to take away the name from the cat you see before you, for it no longer stands for what he/she is. By my authority as Clan leader, and with the approval of our warrior ancestors, I give this cat a new name. From this moment on he/she will be known as (new name), for (description of the reason)."
A cat can also request a name change, if they would like their name or someone else's name to be changed, such as Cloudtail asking Firestar to change Lostface's name, or Rainflower requesting her son's name, Stormkit, to be changed to Crookedkit.
When a non-Clanborn cat has proven themselves loyal and honorable in the eyes of their adopted Clan, the Clan leader can then bring them into the Clan with an official ceremony.
Leader: "Spirits of StarClan, you know every Clan cat by name. I ask you now to look upon one who is not of this Clan by birth, but by heart and spirit instead, and deem him/her worthy.
(Cat's Name), do you swear to abandon the life you led as a (Loner or --Clanner) and embrace the ways of our Clan and creed?"
Outsider: "I do."
Leader: "Do you swear to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your new Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
Outsider: "I do."
Leader: "Then I, (Name), leader of (Clan), call upon our warrior ancestors to take away the name from the cat you see before you, for it no longer stands for who he/she is. By my authority as Clan leader, and with the approval of our warrior ancestors, I give this cat a new name and welcome him/her into the Clan. From this moment on he/she will be known as (new name), fully recognized as a warrior/apprentice of (Clan)."
The leader then proceeds forward to rest their muzzle on top of the new Clanmate's head while the new Clanmate licks their shoulder.
Other Ceremony Requirements
: (Variation allowed!)
Outsider Ceremony created by Fawn
- • Ceremony held at Moonhigh, with 4 cats besides the leader there to witness the ceremony (should be the Deputy, the Medicine Cat, and two respected Clanmates), though a friend or supporter of the cat attempting to join is allowed to be present at the ceremony as well.
- • At the beginning of the ceremony, the leader should ask of these four cats "Are there any who oppose?", if someone opposes, then the ceremony is delayed. If none oppose, then continue as planned.
- • Once the leader has formerly welcomed the new cat into the Clan, the four cats in attendance all step up and say "Welcome to the Clan (Warrior/Apprentice Name)."
- In-Character Example
tribe: to-be ceremony
When a kit has proven old enough (9 Moons) and healthy enough to become a To-Be, Skyteller calls together the Tribe to give the kit their guide and their (often) permanent role within the Tribe.
Skyteller: "I have decided that the time is right to add to our ranks. These/this (# of kits) is/are ready to take their place among the prey-hunters, who keep us fed, and among the cave-guards, who keep us safe. (Kit's full name), your parentage has given you your (physical/mental traits). As such, I name you a to-be of the prey-hunters/cave-guards, and I entrust your instruction to them. (Guide's full name), I place him/her in your care. (Reason for choosing guide), and I know you will do your best to watch over (to-be's name)."
To-Be Ceremony created by Taxx
- In-Character Example
tribe: prey-hunter/cave-guard ceremony
When a cat is believed to be ready to leave their to-be status behind, Skyteller will gather the Tribe to witness.
Skyteller: "(Guide's full name) has informed me that (to-be's name) has learned what it means to provide for/protect the Tribe. (Group Lead's full name), you witnessed this cat on their assessment patrol - do you believe them to be ready to take on the responsibilities that await them?"
tribe: death ceremony
The Group Lead: "I do."
Skyteller: "(To-be's full name) is a to-be no longer. From this moment they are as equal to the prey-hunters/cave-guards that came before them, to serve as a guiding paw to those who will come after."
After a cat passes, or if a cat is aware that they will die, then the Tribe gathers. They share memories of the cat's life, highlighting their service. When the cat's spirit has gone, Skyteller speaks over them:
Skyteller: "From his/her first breath until his/her last, (cat's full name) lived for the Tribe. In his/her death, he/she looks over us all. Long may he/she be remembered."
The Tribe: "May he/she never be forgotten."
The cat's kin will choose the spot they will be buried - if no kin remains Skyteller will step in to fill the role- but the cat's group that they were part of will dig the hole. One of their kin (a parent first, then siblings, then kits) will lay the cat to rest, and then the other group will cover them. If possible, an object alluding to the cat (a feather, a plant, a stone) will be laid on the grave; if not immediately available, part of the nest the cat used will be placed there instead.