The Vigil of the Doe Ritual

Required Items

  • A turquoise candle
  • Fresh, cold water
  • Two bowls
  • Incense
  • Four lists of names:
    • Names of the Heroic Dead (e.g., activists, people who contributed for the LGBTQ+ community, etc.)
    • Names of the Dead who were lost to hatred and violence
    • Names of those living who need justice
    • Names of people and organizations that are currently oppressing LGBTQ+ people

Rubric & Script

The shrine should be setup such that there is enough space for at the very least the required items. But ideally you should also be able to include pictures, mementos, and other representations of the Queer & Powerful Dead.

Prepare yourself properly in your normal way (e.g., center, ritual cleansing, etc, whatever you usually do).

Invocation of any Gods or Spirits with Whom you already have a relationship, if you so choose to include Them.

Light the incense & turquoise candle.

“May the light of this candle burn through the darkness and see my voice & power to its purpose. Let it be a beacon of love and power for our LGBTQ+ Ancestors, those whose blood we may not share but whose spirits we do. Though we may be far removed by space and time, we come before Them, the Queer & Powerful Dead, in humility and reverence, to honor and extol Them.”

Naming of the Heroic Dead

“I come before You, Queer & Powerful Dead, You warriors of change and justice. I am Your legacy. I stand as you stood: firm and resolute in my worth, my rights, and my truth. I will follow in Your footsteps and refuse to yield to our oppressors. I will live, I will fight, and I will love, as You did.”

Read the names.

Then libate into the first bowl.

Naming of Those Lost to Hate & Violence

“I come before You, Queer & Powerful Dead, You who were taken before Your time. I mourn Your loss but I celebrate Your life, for just as Your wounds are our wounds and Your death is our death, my life is Your life. I will live, I will fight, and I will love, as You did.”

Read the names.

Then libate into the first bowl again.

Invocation of Justice for the Living

“Before the Queer & Powerful Dead,
I demand equality and justice!
We who have been disenfranchised;
We who have been spat upon;
We who have been beaten;
We who have been abused;
We who have been devalued;
We who have been dehumanized;
We who have been assaulted;
We who have been bashed; and
We who have been battered.
We demand our equality!
We demand our justice!”

Participants may name people in their lives or who they know need justice then libate into the second bowl.

“We also demand equality and justice especially for those among us who have been disproportionately targeted by hatred and violence: our trans sisters of color, LGBTQ+ immigrants, LGBTQ+ refugees, LGBTQ+ People of Color, and our Ancestors who suffered atrocity or were murdered during the Holocaust.”

Libate into both bowls.

The Execration of Oppressors

“Queer & Powerful Dead: our oppressors scheme and attack us under the cover of darkness as well as in daylight. They have positions of power in our institutions and in our communities. They come from their dark places to harm us, they come from their hateful places to silence us, they come from their wretched places to murder us.”

With a sharp object, preferably a weapon like a knife or dagger, scratch out the names of the oppressors.

“May they who seek us with ill intent be made blind.
May they who use their powers to rob us of our rights be made impotent.
May they who would speak against us lose their voices.
May they who would terrorize us find no peace.
May they who would injure us suffer doubly worse.
May they who would murder us die before they find us.”

Once all the oppressors’ names have been defaced (preferably to the point of illegibility), the list can be touched to the candle’s flame to light and burn away.

Nota bene: the list of oppressors’ names should NOT be read aloud and the ashes should be appropriately disposed of (e.g., the toilet). Alternately, each oppressor’s name can be written on separate strips of paper or torn off and defaced and burned individually.