A warrior ceremony is a ceremony in which an apprentice
finally gets their well earned warrior name and becomes a full fledged
warrior of their Clan.
An apprenticeship usually lasts six moons or more. 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, when 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, he or she calls a Clan Meeting and calls the apprentice. The following words are used, by tradition:
The leader rests his or her muzzle on the apprentice'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; the first is usually (but not always) courage. Some examples of virtues (and the warriors they described):
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.
An aging warrior, queen, or medicine cat may retire as an elder due to own initiative, when they feel they cannot help the Clan efficiently any more (such as Mousefur or Speckletail). They report this to the Clan Leader, who calls a Clan Meeting and addresses the warrior.
The Clan will call out the retired warrior's name and then he or she will go to the elder's den.
When a kit turns six moons old, he or she is ready to become an
apprentice. Until this time, their name ends with the '-kit' suffix.
When a kit becomes an apprentice, their name ends with '-paw', showing
the path their paws are on.
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:
The leader calls up the warrior he/she has chosen as a mentor.
The mentor touches noses with the apprentice, and the Clan greets the new apprentice by calling out his/her name.
A medicine cat ceremony is a ceremony in which a medicine cat
apprentice finally gets their well earned medicine cat name, because
their mentor approves of their work.
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' sacred place (such as the Moonstone or Moonpool). This is the only ceremony that is not performed by the Leader in the camp. The following words are used, by tradition:
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:
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 Clans' sacred place to present him or her to the warrior ancestors, where the apprentice confirms his or her wish to be a medicine cat. The following words are used, by tradition:
The medicine cat and the apprentice lay down and have a dream from StarClan.
I, [name], take you, [name], to be my mate, my constant and best friend and my true and only love from this day forward. In the presence of MoonClan, our Clanmates, and [medicine cat name], I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner, to have and to hold, to treasure you and to be by your side, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in leaf-bare and in greenleaf, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I take you with all your faults and your strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the [tom/she-cat] with whom I wish to spend my twilight days in the elders' den. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to make sure we both stay loyal to our great Clan, to honor and respect you, to help you to be the best warrior you can be, to laugh with you and cry with you, to hopefully watch our kits mature as warriors of LeafClan, and to cherish you for all the days of my life, and even when we join MoonClan I promise my spirit to you. I vow you this from the innermost depths of my heart.