Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Truth About Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte has come up a few times now over the last few emails I've received. I've written blog entries on this before but I think it's time to be straight-up blunt to really hit this information home.

1.) Santa Muerte has nothing to do with hoodoo.
2.) Santa Muerte has nothing to do with ATRs.
3.) There is both an inner circle and an outer circle of followers. The inner circle are the "initiated" or "enlightened" ones who actually hold her tradition and keep her ways. The vast majority of followers are part of the outer circle who know little to nothing about how she is actually worked with.
3.) There are only 3 forms of Santa Muerte. Those forms are the red, white, and black forms. Colors like blue, green, yellow, gold, silver, and even "7 colors" are created by people of the outer circle. Even the road way shrines in Mexico are created by people of the outer circle and not the people of the inner circle. The meaning of the colors are as follows

White - The cool aspect of Santa Muerte. The white Santa Muerte is for peace, blessing, general protection, healing, and prosperity. She supposedly represents a quick, peaceful death, such as in unborn children or elderly people who die in their sleep.
Red - This is a hot aspect of Santa Muerte. The red Santa Muerte is for love and relationships. She supposedly represents people who die at the hands of a lover.
Black - This is a hot aspect of Santa Muerte. The black Santa Muerte is for protection from witchcraft, protection from evil spirits, and for enemy work. The black form also has a negative association with people who turn to this form of Santa Muerte to do evil. She supposedly represents people who die painful or violent deaths.

I've been told that these three colors represent three distinct personalities that have merged into the one "Santa Muerte". I've also been told they represent aspects called, The Bride (or Virgin), the Wife/Mother, and the Widow. However, again I'm not an expert so don't take my word on this.

4.) Santa Muerte is far darker than people realize. In the inner circle she is honored with blood sacrifice and I've heard from several people now that part of the "initiation" into the inner circle involves a blood oath or pact by which a person "sacrifices" a family member to Santa Muerte. This is a form of pact by which the "initiate" allows Santa Muerte to kill a family member. This doesn't mean that Santa Muerte will actually do that, but it is the allowing of it should Santa Muerte choose. I'm not expert on Santa Muerte and this information may be wrong, but I have heard it several times now.
5.) Santa Muerte has absolutley nothing to do with Wicca, Neopaganism, or "Traditional Witchcraft". Santa Muerte is not your "dark mother". Santa Muerte is not the Mexican form of Hecate or Kali. If you can't honor her properly then keep her statues off of your Wiccan altars.
6.) Santa Muerte is not a goddess. There is no evidence that Santa Muerte is a pagan Aztec goddess.
7.) Santa Muerte's main role has nothing to do with keeping men faithful. Don't believe everything you read online. Santa Muerte is the angel of death. She can offer you protection, to make sure you don't die before your allotted time, and can perform any manner of miracles, such as healings, prosperity, protection, etc. In Mexico there is an important belief in "dying right", meaning not dying in a manner that will bring shame upon your family. "Dying right" is kin to "living right" in a sense. So you don't want to be found dead from auto-erotic asphyxiation, for example. You want to go peacefully in your sleep at a ripe, old age. That's what this concept means and this is also what Santa Muerte represents.
8.) The belief that Santa Muerte is for criminals to help protect them from the law is of rather recent origin and came about by the pre-existing belief in other folk saints, such as Jesus Malverde, who perform a similar role. So it was easy for certain criminals to also believe that Santa Muerte would likewise protect them.
9.) Because Santa Muerte is the angel of death and because death doesn't discriminate, she therefore accepts all those who have been rejected by the Church. People such as criminals, drug dealers, prostitutes, and homosexuals believe that Santa Muerte comes through for them and believe that she is their special patron.
10.) In other traditions there is a "male form" of Santa Muerte called "San La Muerte". His appearance is almost identical but he comes from a separate tradition.
11.) Santa Muerte is not the skeletonized form of the Virgin Mary. Santa Muerte is the angel of death.

17 comments:

  1. Well said, Doc! I'm so glad you have this blog.

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    1. Thank you. Glad to have you here. :)

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  2. #4 from what I've been told the sacrifice can also be retroactive, that is giving Santa Muerte the memory of someone that has already died-- in particular if your dedication to her is borne out of wanting to avenge that person's death. It sounds way more benign than giving her a living person to take but it's not a good thing at all.

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    1. I wonder how that would work? Does that mean that the memories would disappear?

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    2. I could be wrong, but the way it sounded to me was almost like you put that person's spirit into her service.

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    3. @ Wendy,

      Strange. I see how many would object to that.

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  3. As a native North Carolinian, born & bred, Protestant with a long family history of conjure work, I have always felt Santa Muerte is evil and I wouldn't touch that thing with a 10 foot pole. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm speaking as a Southerner... that spirit has no place in traditional conjure as I know it.

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    1. LOL....reminds me of something I read online yesterday. It went like this:

      "I work with Santa Muerte the way traditional rootworkers have worked with her and not how many Mexicans have been taught to work with her."

      LMAO! Santa Muerte has nothing to do with hoodoo or conjure work at all.

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  4. Here in Argentina there is the cult of Santa Muerte but with some differences, for example here is considered male.
    And obtaining the secret involves an initiation here is done by a pact with the Death and who call San Diablo, which is no "deity" pagan but Lucifer himself. I know who currently has the tradition and its chain of succession. And this person is a witch.
    I do not believe Santa Muerte is truly "saint" or in white.

    Geomante

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    1. Geomante,

      The male one is San La Muerte. He too is portrayed as the grim reaper. Yes, he comes from a separate tradition.

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    2. You're right. It is unfortunate that these things come to hoodoo in some way. With the mix that exists on the internet anyone could say that all there is only witchcraft.

      Geomante

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    3. @ Geomante,

      Yes. Unfortuantely some of the biggest names in hoodoo online are witches and promote witchcraft instead of actual, traditional hoodoo/rootwork/conjure.

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  5. I have the Santa Muerte tattoo, and she's always gaven me what ive asked for in return I've kept my promises. And what's all this crap about inner and outer circles? Never heard of that! Overall she is powerful, she's neither white or.black magic. Treat her right and shell take care of you.

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    1. @ Anonymous,

      That "crap" you are talking about is the truth. Most people today who claim to honor her are of the outer circle. There is an inner circle who knows specific rituals and teachings that most of the outer cicle don't know about.

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  6. #7 says it all. "Dont believe everything you read online" The "inner" and "outer" circles distinctions is an injustice to Santa Muertistas. To say that those in the "outer" circle know much to nothing is an insult. La Santa Muerte does not discriminate, she accepts all who believe in her. And as far as the "inner" circles go...well, I just think some are more radical than others.... but all who believe in La Dulce Muerte are devoted her.

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    1. I'm sorry but it's true. Before the veneration of Santa Muerte became popular there was the "inner circle" who venerated her and they venerate her differently than do most people of the "outer circle". Most people of the "outer circle" venerate her in the same manner as they would venerate any saint. The "inner circle" crowd have complex rituals and rits for Sant Muerte that the "outer circle" crowd know nothing about. I'm not going to get into a "because I say so" argument with you. Do not post any more comments regarding such or they will be deleted. I've allowed you to speak your mind but I will not argue this with you anymore.

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  7. Interesting subject matter here. In reading through all the posts on this subject, I think that most people now belong to the outer-circle of santa muerte worshipers. I do believe there still are those of the inner-circle, but I think the devotion to santa muerte has been altered to an extent that the outer-circle out-number those belonging to the inner-circle. I consider myself to belong to the outer-circle. I've done research after research before I began my devotion to Santa Muerte. The only thing I agree with this anonymous person is that all who believe in her are devoted.

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