La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
Article ID: 16039
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 23
Times Read: 1,917
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Author: Lady Grey Dragon
Posted: May 29th. 2018
Times Viewed: 1,917
I know, I know... La Santa Muerte?! Whaaaat? Saint DEATH?! What kind of a "Pagan" writesabout a 'hush hush' Catholic saint?!
This "Pagan"... ;-)
So, WHO or WHAT is La Santa Muerte? Well, I'm still learning the academia of Her, but from what I have "experienced"... She is a unique Goddess.
"Oh-ho!", You say, "She is a goddess?!"
Yes. And quite a powerful one at that. Now, I am not disregarding the other deities nor am I pointing a finger at the Judean God and calling Him out. Not. At. All. What I am doing is stating that La Santa Muerte is kind of like adding a little more coffee into the cream and sugar already in the cup. Yeah, it might be a little more bitter, but I can guarantee that it'll have a smidge more kick!
One of the things that I have realized (about myself) while reading about Santa Muerte is that I have a few prejudices about spirituality. I mean, nobody's perfect, but Holy Cats! I actually found myself thinking, "why am I reading this book when Santa Muerte is prayed to by drug dealers, prostitutes, and the darker ilk of society?!".
And then... After my brain promptly smacked me upside the head with the force of a Jedi and Agent Gibbs... Prostitutes worshipped Mary Magdalene, the goddess Isis, and Aphrodite. Opium dealers would leave offerings to Morpheus and Hypnos! Heck, even Baccus had (STILL has) a following!
And then I looked around my room. My altar is covered with Anubis, Bast, skull sculptures casted from resin, Hallowmas decorations, and I have skeleton stickers ready to be used in my Book of Shadows and Light (different article on a BoLaS) . I already pray to a form of Death!
So, I closed the book I was reading ("La Santa Muerte" by Tomas Prower) and closed my eyes and allowed my knowledge of history to flood my mind: Every society fears ever other society's form of spiritualism. The Romans feared the Christians. The Sumarians feared the Babylonians. The Spanish feared the Aztec... And people still think it's weird for the Japanese to wear white to a funeral! In the year 2017!!!
So, what does Santa Muerte really do? Well, that depends. What are you asking of Her? Oh, She answers prayers- THAT, my friend, will not be the issue... But Santa Muerte is not biased. She is unwaivering and exact. She will grant you what you ask, but at a price: you take responsibility for what you ask for.
"Dear Santa Muerte, please help me find a handsome/beautiful person to marry!"... Okay! She grants the prayer- and your new spouse is a gambler, or a work-a-holic, or is very attentive to your needs as well as the neighbor's needs... Get my drift?
Santa Muerte is kind of like sitting at the grown ups' tables of the religion or philosophy that you already have. The requirement is: when you ask- you better make darn sure you need it or want it. And that's the beauty of it! She listens! She is exact, precise, and has no bias. She helps all who ask.
Her feast day is November 1 (All Saint's Day) . But She responds 24/7. And Her offerings include (but are not limited to) : tobacco, alcohol, herbs, breads, money, personal trinkets, and even sugar skulls.
Santa Muerte has been with me in one form or another and I have seen Her take souls right out of my hands (a patient of mine died in my arms a few years back) . She comes for everyone... Young, old, rich, poor... The hugely famous and the deeply forgotten. Santa Muerte is not evil. She not benevolent. She is Herself. She is Death. And yet... To me, She isn't cold or empty or sightless to the living. No, Her presence make me more alive!
A friend of mine ("Grauer Hasen") suggested that I read the Santa Muerte book that I had mentioned earlier in the article (written by Tomas Prower) . I felt goose bumps when I read the first chapter... Everything he said was true about the stigmas we put on Death. Not the "act of dying", but on the actual embodiment of Death!
So, as a fellow "shocked citizen" I employ you to read about Santa Muerte... Not to know Death, but to understand life...
It's an odd thing for some of us to think about in the face of Death: Life. That's like asking somebody who is sitting in a dark closet to think about how precious the light is... They would rather just not be in the close-up surrounded by the dark! But Death isn't the mind of darkness that closes in on you and keeps you trapped in fear. She allows that shaft of light under the door... So you can SEE the door and find your own way. So YOU can understand Her and the life that you still have! Santa Muerte knows the unwanted, the lost, the forgotten, and even the confident ones. She knows Everybody. Not just a human here and there, but Humanity.
When I actually "prayed" to Her... It was for something very, very simple. I asked Her to "please help me create a good drawing of you when You also may need a little pick-me-up. I'm drawing you for a friend and she needs You to be... Just a touch humorous. Not too much... Juuuust a touch."... And I got EXACTLY what I asked for. I am not an artist by any means... And yet, there She was! Drawn in two days- exactly how I saw Her in my head!
I took a picture of the drawing and sent it to my friend (who draws very very well and she loved it!) and then sent it to my boyfriend... (Who draws professional level work) ... He liked it! Normally I miss the mark on a few things here and there, but Santa Muerte granted me "juuuust" enough to help me. Yeah, I know- I could have been practicing or maybe I just had a really good "draw day"... Still... I could really feel Her giving me just enough attention to help me correct lines, pick colours, and put the right amount of humor in it.
And that's what I'm talking about when it comes to praying to Santa Muerte... If you disregard the stigma... You will see and feel the strength that She adds to whatever Path you are on now! And She will never ask you to leave your current Path. She only does two things: listens and answers.
Be careful what you wish for... You really will get it! ;-)
Lady Grey Dragon
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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