The Clans of Old
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The Clans of Old

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1Ceremonies Empty Ceremonies on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:13 am


Ceremonies are common place in the clans. They are usually used in order to help a maturing cat move up in rank. These are the traditional words and process for each of them.

2Ceremonies Empty Apprentice Ceremonies on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:13 am



Apprentice Ceremonies:

When a kit turns six moons old, they are ready to become an apprentice. Until this time, their name ends with the "-kit" suffix. When a kit becomes an apprentice, their name is changed so that the suffix of their name becomes "-paw", showing the path their paws are on.

Warrior Apprentice -
The Clan Leader calls a Clan Meeting to appoint a new apprentice and assign a mentor to them. 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 or medicine cat). I hope (name of warrior or medicine cat) 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 have 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 their name. After this, the apprentice will usually go greet their family, or go see to their mentor.

Medicine Cat Apprentice -
The leader calls a Clan meeting, after the Clan's medicine cat announces that they wish to mentor an apprentice. After their ceremony, the mentor touches noses with the apprentice, and the Clan greets the new apprentice.

At the Moonstone-
At the next half moon, the medicine cat goes with the apprentice to the Clans' sacred place to present them to the warrior ancestors, where the apprentice confirms their 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.
Medicine Cat: 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 touches his/her nose to the Moonstone. Then the medicine cat and the apprentice lay down and have a dream from StarClan.

3Ceremonies Empty Warrior Ceremonies on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:13 am


Warrior Ceremonies:
An apprenticeship usually lasts six moons or more. Once a mentor is satisfied with their apprentice's progress and skills, they recommend them to the leader of the Clan. Then, the apprentice must pass an assessment, in which 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.

If the Clan Leader is satisfied, they call a Clan Meeting and call the apprentice forward. The following words are used, by tradition:

Leader: I, (Leader), leader of (Clan), call upon my 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.
Leader: (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 their muzzle on the apprentice's head, and the apprentice licks the leader's shoulder. The rest of the Clan then greets the new warrior by calling them by their new name. The warrior will sit a silent vigil guarding the camp that night, unless that is not possible or if the cat is injured.

Virtues -
During the apprentice's warrior ceremony, two major virtues of the apprentice are listed; the first is usually (but not always) courage. Some examples of virtues:

Fighting Skill
Skill in Battle

Dying Apprentice Ceremony -
When an apprentice is on the verge of death and has proven themself 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).

4Ceremonies Empty Leadership Ceremony on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:14 am


Leadership Ceremony -
The new leader goes to the Moonstone with the Clan's medicine cat. After touching the stone, 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). Use it well (to, in, as, for, etc.) (use of gift).
When all of the lives have been given, normally 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.
Often, after all the lives are given, the previous leader usually conducts the coronation for the new leader. However, sometimes the previous leader does not speak at the ceremony, or it is unknown if they are actually present, and another cat will conduct the coronation for the new leader - often the last cat to give them a life, but it also can be performed by the entirety of the amount of StarClan cats known to be present in the ceremony.

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.

Each of the lives normally give the new leader a great deal of pain as a sign to ready them for the hard work it normally will be to lead their Clan. However, certain lives, depending on the gift, do not and instead give the warrior a much better feeling.

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 cat. However, they cannot survive if they have major injuries.

If a leader no longer wishes to be the leader, they must go to the Moonstone to revoke all but one life, so their deputy may have their full nine lives.

Lives -
During the Leadership Ceremony, nine lives are given to the new leader. Those lives are virtues or traits that the leader might lack in and aims towards making their leadership fair to all cats they lead.

Acceptance - Tigerstar
Appreciating medicine cat's companionship
Clear judgement of character
Clear Sight
Exploring beyond the borders
Honoring old Traditions
Listening to Elders
Mother’s Love
Offering second chances
Putting their Clan above all others
Strength to act without fear or judgement
Sympathy and Understanding
Tireless Energy
Understanding not only warriors protect the Clan
Understanding that size isn’t everything
War and Peace
The Warrior Code

5Ceremonies Empty Deputy Ceremony on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:16 am


Deputy Ceremony -

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 (or former deputy name) may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of (Clan) is (warrior's name).


Occasionally, a Clan leader does not announce the new deputy before moonhigh. This can be because: they are physically or emotionally unwell, or they are unsure whether the previous deputy is alive. If the ceremony is not performed in time, it is sometimes seen as a bad omen.
If the deputy dies in battle, the Clan Leader might choose to appoint the new deputy whilst still fighting, instead of waiting to return to the camp.

6Ceremonies Empty Medicine Cat Ceremony on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:17 am


Medicine Cat Ceremony -

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.

Once the Clan's medicine cat is satisfied with the apprentice's knowledge, they go to the Clans' Moonstone. This is the only ceremony that is not performed by the 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.
Medicine Cat: ___paw, 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. ___paw, 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 their muzzle on the apprentice's head, and they lick the mentor's shoulder. The other medicine cats greet them by their new name.

7Ceremonies Empty Name Changing Ceremony on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:18 am


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. However, sometimes it is changed when the cat has been named incorrectly and the leader wants to rectify this mistake.

The leader calls a Clan Meeting, and performs the change with the following words:

"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)."

8Ceremonies Empty Elder Ceremony on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:21 am


Elder Ceremony -

An aging warrior, queen, or medicine cat may retire as an elder due to own initiative, or when they feel they cannot help the Clan efficiently any more. A cat may also retire if they are hindered from serving their Clan through old age, illness, or injury. 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 they will go to the elder's den. An elder may receive a completely different name, with a different ceremony, than keeping their warrior name.

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 there is no ceremony.

9Ceremonies Empty Sitting Vigils on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:23 am



New Warriors -
Newly appointed warriors are required to stay awake for the entire night after they received their warrior name, as decreed by the Warrior Code. They guard the camp in silence, while the other Clan members have a good rest.

In some cases, this rule cannot be adhered to, and the warrior receives another task.

Vigil for the Dead -
If a Clan cat dies, their body is taken to the center of the camp, and several of their Clanmates, usually the cat's family members, close friends, and mentor/apprentice sit vigil for them through the night, sharing tongues for the last time before the elders bury the cat in the morning.

There can also be vigils for cats without bodies and suspected dead. There is no burial, but the cats still sit vigil.

Outside of the Clans, some cats have been noted to sit vigils for the deceased out of superstition, believing that those that fall asleep in lieu of sitting vigil will be the next to die.

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