At least once, every one of us has thought about death. What will happen after the fateful day? Should we expect a new life in a completely new form, or just accept the fact that we will cease to exist? Since ancient times, people have been trying to find the answer to this question. Attempts to understand death and its mechanisms can be seen in world mythology. Virtually, every nation has legends about Gods who take the souls of the dead to the underworld.
Santa Muerte is one of the religious cuts that are centered around death. The cult, which name translates as Holy Death, originated in Mexico about three centuries ago. The followers of the cult worship a deity that personifies death.
An old Mexican legend says that once people were immortal. At some point, they got tired of living forever, and they turned to God for help. The Almighty Father heard the prayers. He went down to the chosen young girl and said that she would be death since then. In an instant, her face turned into a skull and she became an ethereal spirit. Today, Santa Muerte is portrayed as a female skeleton wearing a colorful dress. Mexicans believe that prayers to the goddess protect them from premature death and grant wishes.
On the Dark Side
Although the cult originated in the seventeenth century, the prerequisites for its emergence date back to the Aztec empire. Thousands of years ago, people expressed their reverence to the goddess of death Miktlansihuatl through a festival that lasted for a month. Santa Muerte became a continuation of the Aztec religious beliefs.
The official church has a strongly negative attitude to the cult. Catholic priests accuse its followers of black magic, and the Mexican authorities classify worshipers as Satanists. Nevertheless, the number of Santa Muerte followers is steadily growing. Today, the cult travels across the Mexico-US border to find supporters among Americans. It is especially popular among Latin American demographics. Interestingly enough, the images of the goddess, whether those are jewelry or tattoos, are ubiquitous among the members of street gangs. Perhaps the main reason for their interest in the cult and its attributes is the fact that it considers all people to be equal before the Holy Death, including those who violate the law. Along with that, a Santa Muerte pendant, bracelet, or ring becomes a meaningful amulet for those who live out of line with the law. These people believe that trinkets depicting the goddess can save them from injury and death.
Santa Muerte jewelry isn’t only for gangs. Everyone who seeks protection and divine support is welcome to wear it. It is believed that Santa Muerte image cures diseases and assists in the restoration of justice. On top of that, people count on Santa Muerte to help them in their love affairs. If a woman asks Holy Death to nurture fidelity in her husband or grow mutual feelings in another person, she will grant this wish.
Representations of Santa Muerte
Santa Muerte is depicted in various ways. Sometimes, she a skeleton with a scythe. Sometimes, Holy Death holds scales in her hand, which symbolize power and justice. Other images put a ball into her hand, and this ball is the Earth itself. Such an image represents the omnipotence of the goddess and makes us understand that sooner or later, every person will face death.
More often than not, Santa Muerte jewelry depicts a woman with a skull face. Artisans add stitches around her mouth, cross earrings in her ears, and a rose in her hair. Instead of a single rose, she may wear a flower wreath or a crown. The areas around her nose and eyes are enhanced with a dramatic color while the chin and forehead can be embellished with a cobweb. Santa Muerte is always dressed in an elegant gown or cloak of a vibrant, mostly red, color.
Along with this, the image of Santa Muerte may feature additional objects and symbols:
- dice or cards symbolize favor of fate;
- Santa Muerte’s face under a veil stands for a cunning and dangerous person;
- the goddess with her eyes closed represents sexual desire and passion in love matters;
- flowers and butterflies in her dress or above her head symbolize the souls of the dead;
- Santa Muerte with a weapon means that a person always gets what they want;
- tears on her face and abundance of flowers symbolize repentance and redemption;
- praying hands stand for death atoning for sins.
You don’t have to be a believer to wear cross jewelry. In a similar vein, you don’t have to be a follower of the Santa Muerte cult to wear jewelry depicting the goddess. Even if you don’t believe in its supernatural powers, you can benefit from the vibrant artistic quality inherent in Santa Muerte jewelry.