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Sep

24

2012

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La Santisima Muerte: A Practitioner’s Overview

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To get the ball rolling, here's an article I recently wrote.


La Santisima Muerte: A Practitioner’s Overviewspan>


La Flaka (the Skinny Lady), La Huesuda (the Boney Lady), La Niña (the Girl), La Madrina (the Godmother), Santa Muerte (“Saint” Death)...these are all names given to a very powerful and popular folk saint from Mexico, La Santisima Muerte (the Most Holy Death). Santisima Muerte is a very complex figure, having taken on Her most recent manifestation through the same Catholic land that provided the world with what is believed to be the most widely-venerated face of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Although She is denounced by the Mexican Catholic priests and bishops as a figure of Satanic worship, Santisima Muerte’s popularity over the last decade has exploded. From an estimated 500,000 devotees a roughly ten years ago to possibly over 5 million today, it seems that Lady Death is wasting no time in making known Her presence and power among the living. Her devotion has now bled across Mexico’s borders into many other Latin American countries, as well as into the U.S. Many chapels and churches have been established in many places where Mexican immigrants have settled, but these

Sep

27

2012

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The New Orleans Chapel of the Santisima Muerte

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The New Orleans Chapel of the Santisima Muerte is a non-profit organization registered in the State of Louisiana and Orleans Parish. It consists of an outdoor, public shrine and an indoor, private chapel for la Santisima Muerte. The public shrine is located on Palmyra Street, in between S. Olympia and S. Murat Streets, in the Mid City area of New Orleans, LA. Visitors are welcome to pray, leave offerings, give donations, and take pictures of the outdoor shrines. The outer-most doors of the three shrines (black, white, and red for the three robes of Santisima) open with a latch on the right side of each door.

The Chapel hosts Chaplet services on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning around 8pm, in the indoor chapel. Devotees and visitors are welcome to bring offerings, donations, and make prayer requests at the end of the Chaplet. Private consultations are scheduled according to need and availability.

We have a small, but intimate and growing, community of devotees and regular visitors. We do not need to seek out new members as Santisima Muerte herself brings to us those who need her and those who she wants. If you are interested in learning more, email

Mar

07

2013

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Recent News Coverage

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Over the last week there’s been some national news coverage concerning the rapidly growing popularity of Santisima Muerte on the U.S. side of the border. One of the articles, written by Russell Contreras with the Associated Press, included a few quotes of myself from a phone interview between the two of us. Here’s the Yahoo! link for it:
 
 
With almost 3,000 (mostly negative, bigoted, and ignorant) comments and 1500 Facebook shares within just a day or so, it’s gotten quite a bit of attention. A Washington Times article followed shortly after:
 
 
And then there’s been a follow-up to the follow-up:
 
 
Add this to all the stories that have hit local U.S. papers and online venues around the U.S.-Mexico border, and it seems that La Santisima Muerte has crossed the border without bothering to get her passport stamped or applying for a visa! It also seems she has no intention of registering with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services any time soon, but she’s decided to settle in this country in the time-honored fashion of Coming In and Claiming the Land. I believe this is may be part of what’s rubbing some

Jun

03

2013

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Basic Devotional Service for Santisima Muerte

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Basic Devotional Service for Santisima Muerte
By Steven Bragg
 
I know there are many ways to honor la Santisima Muerte, but the following is the way I was taught, and Santisima Muerte has shown me this is how she wishes to always be served by me and the way she wants me to teach other people. If this is the right way for you, Santisima will let you know; all you can do is try it for yourself. Once the connection is made with her, she will guide you along the path or bring you to a teacher for further guidance. Best of luck!
 
Basics
 
The following is a list of basic supplies needed for Santisima Muerte devotion:
 
  • ·         A Statue of La Santisima Muerte and a rosary of matching color,
  • ·         7 day or prayer candles, with or without her image, and the color of the candle should match the color of her robe,
  • ·         Catholic Holy Water,
  • ·         Cigars, cigarettes, and an ashtray,
  • ·         Siete Machos, a cologne from Mexico found at many botanicas or occult supply shops,
  • ·         Clear glass for holding water,
  • ·        

Jul

28

2013

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The Three Robes

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La Santisima Muerte La Blanca, the Most Holy Death of the White Robe,

La Blanca is the eldest and most pure of the three robes. It is said within the Catholic culture of Mexico that she sits at the right hand of God. This signifies that she is the second most powerful force in the world, for whatever God creates, Santisima can take away. La Blanca is concerned with the Natural order of things. Birth, Life, Death. Anything that interferes with this is something for which La Blanca may be petitioned. Disease can threaten or shorten a life, and so she can be called upon for healing. Witchcraft, hexes, and other sorcerous workings are the desires of people being forced upon others, causing the victims' lives to go in ways they otherwise wouldn't. Therefore, she can be called upon for cleansing and breaking curses.

Her force is of a highly elevated nature, so if there are any dealings with La Negra, La Blanca and her elevated status must be respected by covering her statue with a white cloth. This is both respectful and practical for the worker, as it also shields her eyes from witnessing the workings that are not

Sep

18

2013

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The Amparo

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La Santisima Muerte is one of the more recent manifestations of Death, and unlike other spiritual beings who may be from the Underworld, over the spirits of the dead, or guardians of the cemetery, Santisima brings with her an almost overwhelming energy that those who work with her frequently must be protected from. There is a traditional safeguard for this called the Amparo. The most common type of amparo calls upon St. Michael the Archangel, although a person could call on another saint that has military and protective characteristics, such as St. George or St. James. 
 
To make an amparo with St. Michael, get two St. Michael prayer cards and place them back to back. Seal up the sides and bottom with tape, glue, or by sewing them, thereby making a small packet. Then go in front of a St. Michael image or statue and pray. Say 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be, and say the St. Michael prayer. Ask St. Michael to be your protection as you work with La Santisima Muerte. Write your name on a small piece of brown paper and place this inside the prayer card packet. Then place some hair from

Sep

18

2013

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Basic Prayers

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The Persinada
(To be done before approaching her altar, or working her, or when you feel danger or bad vibes): Hold your thumb up and the index finger bent to form a cross, and the three remaining fingers standing straight up to represent the three nails of the crucifixion. Make the sign of the cross on your forehead "By the sign of the cross,” sign of the cross over your lips "from our enemies,” make the sign of the cross over your heart "free us, Lord our God,” now sign from forehead “In the name of the Father,” to the breastbone "and of the Son,” now from shoulder to shoulder "and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."


Our Father
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.



Hail Mary (X3)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,

Sep

18

2013

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Feast Days for la Santisima Muerte

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ngest works of sorcery can be done. (Make sure your amparo is made and in place.)

All Soul's Day falls to Santisima because it's when we remember all those who she's reaped and are within (or can be accessed through) the cemetery, her domain in the physical world.

Sep

24

2013

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The Manda of Candles

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fe, fireproof surface. Place an incense burner next to her with a charoal for burning incense and have some white copal incense ready. Surround the statue and incense burner in a circle of twelve 6 inch taper candles, 4 white, 4 red, and 4 black, in an alternating sequence. Light the charcoal, place the copal on it, and light the candles. Say the opening prayers, and give your thanks to Santisima. Tell her how wonderful she is and that this manda is the payment for her work. Say the closing prayers and let the candles burn all the way down. Once it's done, replace the statue on her altar, and put any left-over wax in a small brown paper bag, along with 7 dimes, and take it to the cemetery.

The photo I've attached is an example of the manda, done by Hechicero Nick.

-Steven Bragg

Sep

27

2013

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A Few Cemetery Guidelines for the Uninitiated

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Since it’s getting closer to that time of year when some people like to visit cemeteries more frequently...and since several things for Santisima Muerte are done in the cemetery any time of the year...I suppose I should throw out some tips for spiritual safety and protection. The following is general information that I’ve received over the years throughout my training in the various traditions I hold. None of it will be specific to any tradition, therefore none of it will be “secrets” I’m giving out. These concepts and tips are commonly found within many of the  Afro-Caribbean and New World living folk traditions, although the spirits and details vary from tradition to tradition. If you’ve been initiated and/or trained in tradition that employs the cemetery, then stick with what you were taught. This is more for those who are starting out or those who haven’t yet received the spiritual license and protection many of the initiations of these traditions provide. Also, just because these are general tips from different traditions, please don’t try to use them to create your own hodge-podge practice. For example, don’t use this information to petition Oya at the gate of the cemetery, so you can

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