La Santisima Muerte - The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

La Santisima Muerte
The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

La Santisima Muerte, Blessed Death, is an unofficial saint increasingly popular in Mexico. Santisima Muerte is the goddess in the form of a skeleton. She is robed and sometimes carries a scythe like the Grim Reaper. She is reminiscent of other goddesses identified with Death such as Kali or Baba Yaga. Like Kali and Baba Yaga, La Santisima Muerte is both fear and loved.

She traditionally helps women get errant husbands and lovers back, although you have to be reasonably desperate to petition her as by doing so you are literally conjuring death. It is dangerous to invoke her but she can do everything, has access to all knowledge, and fears nothing. (After all, she is Death.) Because she is hard to handle, it’s traditional to invoke her simultaneously with powerful but more benevolent spirits like saints Anthony or Elena or Archangel Michael, so that they’ll keep her in line if necessary.

La Santisima Muerte is believed to be a modern manifestation of the Aztec deity Mictlancihuatl, “Lady of Death.”

La Santisima Muerte is particularly popular amongst prostitutes and magical practitioners, who must both often tread in dangerous territory and encounter dangerous characters. Once obscure and outlawed by the Roman Catholic Church, La Santisima Muerte is growing in popularity; her images are now found frequently in botanicas, Latin American shops selling magical and herbal supplies.

See DICTIONARY: Curandera.