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😜🤤😵 Who is Santa Muerte, and how do you pray to a saint who’s not really a saint? Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Our Lady of the Holy Death)—Santa Muerte or the Bony Lady for short—has been growing in popularity over the past few decades, as have prayers and rituals dedicated to her. For the spiritually curious, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know to effectively pray to Santa Muerte, including how to create an altar to aid with rituals and strengthen your spiritual connection to her. Keep scrolling to discover how to include the power of Santa Muerte in your life.
Section 1 of 6:Who is Santa Muerte?
- 1Santa Muerte is a beloved, mystical figure representing death in Mexico. She’s not a Catholic saint, but a folk figure with ties to Indigenous spiritualism and the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacihuatl. She appears as a skeletal figure wearing colorful, historic Spanish clothes holding a scythe, a globe, or a set of scales.XResearch source
- Santa Muerte is often considered a comforting guide to the afterlife, as well as a mystical figure who can save people from death with her healing powers.
- Officially, the Vatican doesn’t support the worship of Santa Muerte since she’s not a canonized saint in the Catholic church.XResearch source
- 2Followers pray to Santa Muerte for comfort when a loved one dies. In addition, many come to her to get their illnesses cured, protect their children, or solve other problems. Her popularity has skyrocketed in Mexico and beyond since the 1990s as drug trafficking and poverty have affected millions of working-class people.XResearch source Santa Muerte is considered a non-judgmental figure who accepts people for who they are, regardless of their religious views or status.XResearch source
- The media and Catholic church try to dissuade worship of Santa Muerte by portraying her as the saint of criminals. In reality, her followers are largely working-class people who pray to her for genuine support.XResearch source
- More than 10 million people are estimated to worship Santa Muerte regularly, not including those who turn to her on special occasions.
Section 2 of 6:Setting Your Prayer Intention
- When praying to Santa Muerte, be genuine in your intent and requests. She doesn’t enjoy being summoned without a meaningful reason, and she may deny your requests or chastise you spiritually if you invoke her frivolously. Mystical consequences might also befall you if you make a promise to her you can’t keep. Always remain grateful, regardless of whether she's answered your prayers or not, since what you ask for may not be something you truly need.XResearch source
- You don’t necessarily need physical objects like a rosary to pray to her—your relationship with Santa Muerte comes from the heart.
- Santa Muerte’s powers are strongest at night or just before dark. Plan to perform rituals, prayers, or altar work after sundown for the best results.XResearch source
- If you want to connect with her with spellwork, make sure an experienced spellcaster is there to guide you and help you complete the spell safely.XResearch source
Section 3 of 6:Praying for Santa Muerte’s Help
- 1Begin your worship session with a short prayer to God. Santa Muerte’s followers believe she works under the leadership of God, which is why you must pray to Him first.XResearch source Appropriate prayers to invoke Santa Muerte include:XResearch source
- 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.
- Hail Mary:Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
- Gloria Patri:Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.
- 2Ask God for permission to pray to Santa Muerte. Traditionally, you must ask God to allow you to work with Santa Muerte to ensure your request is good natured and honest. Afterward, you can address Santa Muerte directly to petition for her guidance. Use the following prayer to ask for God’s permission and to invoke Santa Muerte herself:XResearch source
- Almighty God, before your Divine Presence, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I ask permission to invoke the Santisima Muerte. Holy and Miraculous Mother, at this time I beg for your presence and intervention. Through the great power, which God has given you, I beg of you to hear my prayers and grant me all the favors I ask of you until the last day, hour, and moment when the Divine Majesty shall call me before his presence.
- 3Make your request to Santa Muerte. Openly describe your predicament or ailment and ask for her assistance or guidance. If you’re offering something in exchange, tell her what you’re willing to give—just make sure it’s a promise you can keep. After you state your petition, finish with the following prayer plus 3 repetitions of the Our Father prayer:XResearch source
- Santisima Muerte, beloved of my heart, do not abandon me without your protection. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Section 4 of 6:Rosary Prayers
- 1Rosary Dedication Prayer: Dedicate your rosary to Santa Muerte by reciting this prayer at your altar every day for 9 days. The only materials you need are your altar and your rosary. Pray with the utmost trust in Santa Muerte:XResearch source
- Mother Death, Beloved of my heart, do not leave me without Your protection, neither by day nor by night. Illuminate me with Your wisdom, and comfort me with Your love. And when my time has come, by Your decree, Take me into Your arms and carry me into eternal life. Lady in White, Lady in Red, Lady in Black, I place upon Your altar this rosary, and plead for Your blessing upon it. Servant of God, may this image of You be blessed to serve Your child who trusts in You. May it bring me and my loved ones peace, prosperity, and hope, And safety in our homes and upon our journeys. May we have always a roof over our heads and bread upon our table, and all of our needs met. Free the prisoners, heal the sick, and comfort the forgotten with Your holy love, O our Guide upon Heaven’s path, and keeper of the doorway into the life eternal. Amen.
- 2Rosary Pendant Prayer:Praying on the rosary pendant (or any part of the rosary) is way to thank and honor Santa Muerte as well as clear your mind and spirit for spellwork. Typically, the dangling pendant or medallion on a Santa Muerte rosary contains an image of her. Hold the pendant and an image of Santa Muerte in your hands and recite this prayer:XResearch source
- I believe in the power of Santa Muerte. She, who is the keeper of the living and protector of the dead. Who sees all things and forgives all sins. Whose authority is vast and her power absolute. I believe in the power of Santa Muerte; Whose judgment can be both swift and sure; I accept your power under the cloak of your protection And ask that you guard and guide me on my path now. Amen.
- It’s appropriate to pray on protective amulets or pendants other than an official Santa Muerte rosary.
- 3Single Bead Prayer: Grasp one bead of the rosary and an image of Santa Muerte in your hands. Recite both the Our Father and Gloria Patri prayers on the bead, or substitute these alternate prayers:XResearch source
- Our Father Alternate:Death, beloved of my heart, do not leave me unprotected by day or by night. Guide my steps along life’s path and grant me a peaceful and painless death. Amen.
- Gloria Patri Alternate:O' Santa Muerte, I give gratitude and thanks for your protection, influence and Blessings. Amen.
- For information on how to pray the entire Santa Muerte rosary, click here.
Section 5 of 6:Creating an Altar
- 1Keep your first altar to Santa Muerte small, simple, and temporary. Choose a quiet, clean, calm location like a shelf, small table, or clutter-free desk to build your altar. To start, all you need is a picture of Santa Muerte and 2 glasses of water for her and yourself (use real glass, not plastic). In a pinch, a photo of Santa Muerte as your phone or computer background can work.XResearch source
- Replenish the water in Santa Muerte’s glass every day to keep it fresh and pleasing to her.
- Keep your altar clean to repel negative energy.XResearch source Wash your tablecloths regularly and scent the air with essential oils, white sage, or eucalyptus.XResearch source
- Dedicate your altar solely to Santa Muerte. She doesn’t like to share space with other saints unless there is a special reason.
- 2Make a more complex altar as your relationship with Santa Muerte grows. Move it to a permanent location and add more pictures or statues of her, as well as at least one votive candle. A tablecloth adds a nice touch too. Leave offerings of fresh bread or fruit, plus aromatic incense, herbs, or flowers. Just make sure to replace perishable offerings when they spoil to keep things fresh and pleasing.XResearch source
- Light an altar candle in her honor at the start or end of every day to acknowledge both her pagan and Catholic identity.XResearch source
Section 6 of 6:Other Prayers and Rituals
- 1Money Ritual and Prayer: Perform this ritual to attract money or get out of debt. Gather a yellow candle, some physical money, seven metal stones, honey, and cinnamon at your altar. Spread honey on the candle with your hands and sprinkle cinnamon on it. Place your money around the candle, then light the candle with a match. Place a stone in front of the candle and recite the following prayer:XResearch source
- Glorious Santa Muerte, love of my heart, do not forsake me in this moment in which I most need protection and your blessing. You who are always hovering around the world, you who are the guide. You are the one who will help us to cross the wonderful world. Thanks, I give you for bringing what I need most at this time.
- 2Love Ritual and Prayer: Use this ritual to attract someone you love. Light a red candle of Santa Muerte at your altar and recite this prayer every day for 3 days:XResearch source
- Love has knocked on my door dear and most holy death, but it has behaved capriciously with me. I feel sorry because I love and I am not reciprocated. I beg you with sadness so that you hear my prayer, feel how my being throbs when I speak to you and beg my beloved girl. That is why I come to you, you are miraculous and kind. I want and wish that [mention the name of your impossible love] correspond to your love, as I love them. I will beg you for the time necessary for my wish to be fulfilled, while I will prove my loyalty offered for your grace [mention what your offering will be] for [mention a term]. So be it.
- 3Healing Ritual: Perform this ritual to soothe your ailments. First, gather a medium stalk of rue, 1 metre (3.3 ft) of purple ribbon, a purple candle, a bottle of Santa Muerte oil, a cigar, the leaf of a maguey plant, and a black pen. Then go to your altar and follow these steps:XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
- Write your afflictions on the ribbon with the pen, then tie the rue in a bunch with the ribbon.
- Sprinkle some oil over the rue, then light the cigar and breathe smoke over the rue too.
- Cleanse your entire body with the rue. Start at your head and work down to your feet, passing over the most ill part of your body several times. Wrap the rue in paper and throw it out.
- Write your full name along the width of the candle with the sharp tip of the maguey leaf.
- Cleanse your body with the candle wax in the same manner as with the rue.
- Light the candle so the flame lights up the front of your Santa Muerte image.
- Pray and ask for Santa Muerte to ensure your health.
- There’s no minimum amount of prayer to connect with Santa Muerte. Pray as much or as little as you feel you need.
- You don’t have to pray the entire rosary each time you use it. A rosary is a collection of small prayers, so pray as much or as little as you feel is necessary or fulfilling.
- If you’re in an area that worships Santa Muerte, consider paying homage to her at a temple or altar dedicated to her.XResearch source
- It’s OK to worship and pray to other saints in addition to Santa Muerte as long as your other practices don’t interfere with your personal connection to her.
- ↑https://www.bookculture.com/book/9781578637720 ; https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/mexico/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-santa-muerte/