Santa Muerte or Santisima Muerte (Saint Death, Most Holy Death), a.k.a the white girl or the skinny girl, is a popular banned folk saint connected to the occult and to gangs, drug dealers and criminal activity. Santa Muerte is venerated primarily in Mexico with her cult extending to the United States. Santa Muerte has her own official Church and priesthood.
Appearance: Santa Muerte's appearance is that of a female grim reaper, a skeleton dressed in a hooded-cloak and holding her sacred objects. At shrines, the saint might be portrayed as a skeleton wearing a dress and veil. For images of Santa Muerte, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Lore: Santa Muerte is invoked/worshipped for many things, including love, money, health, protection, and revenge. Her worshippers are primarily the people the Church neglects, like criminals and homosexuals. (As the personification of death, Santa Muerte doesn't discriminate.) Other worshippers include those whose jobs put them in danger of a violent death, such as police officers, gang members, prostitutes or drug dealers. Other worshippers are people who have received miracles which they attribute to the saint, dedicating their lives to her service in return.
It should be stated that worshippers of Santa Muerte do not view the saint as being evil, despite what certain outsiders might believe. To her followers, Santa Muerte is the angel of death, a force of good in this world, a inescapable force that is deemed more approachable than traditional saints by various elements of society. This stated, a certain portion of her worshippers strongly believe that through venerating her they will be protected from the law.
The Aztec Goddess Of The Dead: Some believe that Santa Muerte is merely the Christianized form of Mictecacihuatl, an Aztec goddess of death; however, there is no evidence supporting such belief and such belief is most likely incorrect.
Sacred Objects And Animals
Hooded-Cloak - Of various colors, with the color symbolizing her specific role. Originally, the saint's cloak came in white (blessing, protection), red (love) and black (remove negativity or problems in one's life). However, today the saint is portrayed in a wide variety of colored cloaks, with statues or images of the saint wearing a multi-colored cloak believed to be the most powerful.
Scythe - Symbolizes her role as reaper of souls
Scales - Symbolizes justice, revenge, and the phrase, "Death is the great equalizer"
Globe - Symbolizes world dominion
Hourglass - Symbolizes time
Crown - Symbolizes death as having power of all
Owl - Santa Muerte is rarely portrayed with an owl, symbolizing wisdom and occult power.
Powers: Santa Muerte answers prayers, grants wishes and desires, and grants her worshippers a 'holy death' (right death).
Veneration: Followers of Santa Muerte will build indoor or outdoor shrines of the saint, complete with offerings such as fruit, flowers (roses are said to be her favorite flower), liquor, cigarettes and cigars, money, candles and incense. Some even offer the saint marijuana. Worshippers will create an altar or shrine to the saint within their homes, complete with statues or images of Santa Muerte. Tattoos of Santa Muerte are also popular. Folk magic is a part of the veneration of the saint and includes specific spiritual products associated with Santa Muerte, such as Santa Muerte candles, incense, oils, and powders. For examples of such, click HERE.
Conflicts With The Catholic Church And Mexican Government: The Catholic Church does not approve of Santa Muerte's veneration and does not recognise her sainthood. Various priests and Church leaders have gone on record as stating that the veneration of Santa Muerte is satanic and constitutes devil worship or that followers of Santa Muerte are a cult. In addition, the Mexican police have destroyed several shrines to Santa Muerte in an effort to cut down on crime.
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