Going Shopping for Santa Muerte

by Tracey Rollin
White Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte is a very vivacious, worldly, and elegant figure.  Our Lady of Death enjoys humanity and all the best and most beautiful things that it produces.  She enjoys music and flowers, good food and good company, fine perfumes and lovely clothes, and the best liquors and tobaccos.  Santa Muerte also likes to receive recognition and presents for all of her hard work, so often devotees will shower her with gifts after receiving her aid – the bigger the assistance, the bigger the gift!

Santa Muerte has the power to affect anything touched by change, decay or death – so in short, Santa Muerte can affect just about everything and everyone under the sun.  I ask Santa Muerte for incidental help all the time, from quickly resolving problems with my mortgage company to making sure I get to work in one piece and on time every day.  To ensure Santa Muerte gets the recognition that she deserves for keeping me out of trouble, I have worked out a special system.

I like treating her to fine presents, and Santa Muerte deserves everything that she earns.  On my altar, this has a literal meaning.  I keep a carnival glass candy dish at the feet of my Santa Muerte statues.  When she does small favors for me, I toss some money in the dish – a couple dimes for something minor, a dollar or two for something more significant.  When the dish is full, I take the contents down to the bank and run it through the coin counting machine.  Using the sixty or seventy dollars that she’s earned, I go shopping for Santa Muerte.  After all, it’s her paycheck.

When I go shopping for Santa Muerte, I try keep my mind open and ignore items that I like, focusing instead on things that I know about Santa Muerte and what I feel about her when I work with her.  It’s sort of like going birthday shopping for your best friend; you want to get her something that she likes, even if she really loves ugly paisley prints.  For example, I personally prefer light spicy perfumes with lots of warm vanilla notes.  When I go shopping for Santa Muerte, though, I find myself drawn to buying some very heady floral perfumes instead.

With my assistance, Santa Muerte has purchased for herself:

  • A large number of rainbow-colored silk and velvet scarves
  • Several antique crystal dishes
  • A bottle of Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noir perfume (a very strong and sweet floral scent with powerful licorice notes)
  • A few elaborate silver necklaces, now worn as belts on statues
  • Bottles of Patron tequila
  • Godiva chocolates

And these are just a sample of the things that Santa Muerte has earned and purchased with her paycheck over the number of years that I have worked with her.  She responds well to spending her own money on spoiling herself – and honestly, who wouldn’t?

Once I buy things for Santa Muerte, I take them to her altar and consecrate them.  Consecrating an item has the effect of “setting it apart” from ordinary, everyday items; a consecrated butter knife can’t be used to make jelly sandwiches anymore (unless perhaps you are casting some kind of spell involving jelly sandwiches.)  Once an item is consecrated to Santa Muerte, it absolutely belongs to her.  Since Santa Muerte is also territorial, it’s not recommended to share her stuff with other spirits – no stealing her silk scarves for the Lilith altar in the bedroom.  Doing so will quickly annoy Santa Muerte, leading to unpredictable results.  In addition, I don’t casually borrow Death’s perfume, either – although using it in a ritual once consecrated has an extremely powerful effect!

Developing a good relationship with Santa Muerte is obviously a critical component of successfully working with her.  If your relationship is weak or has been soured by something (like sharing her stuff with another spirit) you’re going to have difficulty getting success out of your spells.  It’s really that simple.  Going to the effort to reward and recognize Santa Muerte definitely gets results – and the reason why should be obvious.  If you praised and thanked a real life friend for their help, obviously they’re going to be favorably inclined towards you.  If you barely recognized their assistance (or worse, ignored it entirely) then of course they’re not going to jump on the opportunity to help you in the future.  Santa Muerte should be treated as a dear and close friend.  She’ll treat you the same.