Thanks to Jess Fortunato, I came across this wonderful piece of Mexican mythology. Let me introduce, Santa Muerte.
|Santa Muerta. Picture by Yo.|
Originally, she was Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the land of the dead, wife of Mictlantecahtli, Lord of Mictlan, land of the dead, and Lord of Darkness. Both were pre-Hispanic deities. She was believed to be the protector of souls that resided in the underworld. Mictecacihuatl was depicted as a woman dressed in traditional garb and adorned with flags that were put on corpses prepared for cremation. She wore a mask of a skull with a beak or blade protruding where the nose cavity was. Both the lord and the lady were given blood offerings in exchange for a favorable death. Because of this the color red is connected to Mictecacihuatl and Mictlantecahtli. The Lady of the Land of the Dead was connected to the Dia de los Muertos, or the Mexican Day of the Dead, which originally fell at the end of July and beginning of August.
Spanish priests moved the holiday to coincide with All Hallows Eve after the conquest of Mexico. This was an old trick that Catholics had in order to convert more to Christianity. They also changed Mictecacihuatl to Santa Muerte. Whatever the name, she has not faded into obscurity. In fact, she is becoming even more popular in the United States.
This article talks of how her following is spreading, especially among Mexican-American Catholics. She is even starting to rival St. Jude and La Virgen de Guadalupe. Santa Muerte is depicted more like the Reaper, with a robe and a skeletal body. She is said to carry a scythe or a crystal ball, sometimes both. She appeals to those seeking all kinds of otherworldly help, not just protection and vengeance, but help with getting a job you want.
|Stautes of Santa Muerte. Picture by Maurice Marcellin|
I really find Mictecacihuatl interesting and like Persephone once she became queen of the Greek Underworld. I love how I can find a similar religion across the world from each other. There are several is religions that exist today. Sometimes I wish other could see it and stop using their beliefs as a reason to fight.
So, do you have an interesting Saint of religious figure? I’d love to hear your thoughts.If you’re interested in the occult and mythology, be sure to check out "A Prescription for Delirium" available NOW on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.