This is one very special Mexican folk saint with epithets such as the Godmother, the bony lady, the skinny lady, the powerful lady, the sister and a few more. The relationship many of her followers have with her is a very personal one where she walks beside you in all aspects of life (as well as death) not just on a certain day for a certain task; she is the personification of death so walks where she pleases.
Santa Muerte has European roots – when the Spanish Catholic Clergy came over to the ‘new world’ they brought La Parca (the Reaperess) with them as a tool to bully the indigenous into converting to Christianity. The Aztecs venerated the Gods and Goddesses of death and saw similarities between La Parca and Mictēcacihuātl (Queen of Death), and through this syncretism Santa Muerte was born.
With her scythe for freeing your soul after death to her globe to show how far her reach is, Santa Muerte cuts a formidable figure. People often dress her statues in beautiful dresses and bridal gowns knowing how much she likes nice things; and with the name ‘Pretty Lady’ you would be remiss not to.
Santa Muetre is a favourite of the LGBTQ community, sex workers, gangs and those who are simply down on their luck; death doesn’t judge, a petition is simply a petition. She is renowned for granting wishes in return for offerings or favours; her favourites being flowers, liquor, wine, jewellery and cold hard cash. Petitions that are brought to her are found to be fulfilled quicker than if taken to Catholic Saints, which could account for her popularity.
Some followers of the Saint use a three colour magickal system (red, black, white) whilst other prefer seven (purple, blue, yellow/gold, green) with each colour being attributed to the type of petition they are giving. The oldest known prayer to Santa Muerte is one to bring an errant husband/boyfriend back to you; in the 1940’s to 1980’s love was the only service people asked of her, so love was the name of the game! Now she also notably covers protection, financial assistance, healing, psychic development, justice and many more. She is very multi talented.
On a personal level – when Santa Muerte appeared to me some years ago I had no idea who she was until after some lengthy research. Her presence is one of incredible power but also incredible femininity. She is the lady whose cigarette you light without hesitation whilst she chooses your fate; she met me with nothing but love.
Don’t believe everything the News tells you.