Santa Muerte: Resources, FAQs, & Innovations

in progress – I’m working on the second part of the updated/edited bit. You can see part one here for the time being:

In the meantime, there are also these posts that will be integrated into the larger article once I finally finish it:

And here are some resources I can recommend:

Santisima Muerte, by ConjureMan Ali. I just discovered this book after my extended hiatus from online life as I was putting together part 1 of the main Santisima Muerte article here, and if I’d gotten my hands on it earlier, I’d have saved myself a lot of typing!

This little book is available from Hadean Press for just a few dollars in print and for even less than that as an epub. It’s worth every cent if you want to work with Santisima Muerte. What he’s written here is pretty much how I was taught, with only a couple of very, very minor little differences. We both were taught during an era where there was *nothing* in print in English, and very little in print at all, about her devotion, so everything was oral tradition and teaching passed on from whichever particular practitioner from whichever region, and then of course there are elements attributable to issues of translation and dialect, as well – particularly in my case, as unlike Conjureman Ali, I have *very* little Spanish and all of it is bad 🙂 So there’s always a chance that differences are due to my misunderstanding something 🙂

But in my opinion, if you follow what he’s written here and pay attention, you can’t go wrong.

“The Rosary of the Most Holy Death,” at Chapel of Our Lady of the Shadows – Santa Muerte Seattle. I don’t know who is behind this, but they have published a number of prayers, and this Rosary of the Most Holy Death is one that I can recommend wholeheartedly.

The whole rosary to Santa Muerte thing is a fairly recent innovation (one I think is really cool, fwiw, nothing wrong with innovation in and of itself), and this version is completely in keeping with and respectful of the traditions of her devotion. It doesn’t try to de-Catholicize it or have Santa Muerte exist outside the context of the Trinity or usurp the role of the Virgin Mary. If it wasn’t composed by a Catholic, it was composed by someone who’s studied the hell out of Catholicism and understands how Catholic prayers *work.* Highly recommended if you’re looking for formal prayers to add to your devotional practices.

And if anybody knows the name of the author, let me know because I’d like to credit them by name if they don’t mind – the Litany in particular I think is a masterpiece, balancing poetry, folk practice, and Catholic ontology in a really impressive way. I’m just not gonna comment on the baptizing or the cigar smoke, but the prayers I can totally get behind!

Added August 2021:

My colleague Rev. Yuri at The Nowl Betwixt turned me on to another very nice set of prayers that I can recommend: Our Lady of Shadows – Liturgy of the Chaplet of la Santisima Muerte. I like this very much.