Dr R. Andrew Chesnut:
So Cressida you just published this new book on Santa Muerte , can you tell us who is this Santa Muerte book for, and why did you write it?
This book is about Santa Muerte, the Mexican folk saint of Death and is for devotees or people who are interested in learning how to work with Santa Muerte. To quote you Andrew, in your endorsement of my book, it “is the most complete of the spiritual guides on devotion to Santa Muerte”, including innumerable prayers, spells, rituals, omen guides, ceromancy and much more. I was compelled to write it following a beautiful dream of Santa Muerte in which she appeared in a gown of purple, whispering to me in the way only Death can that she wanted this book to be written, for me to share the beauty of her mysticism, her magic to others so that they too might humbly honor her and learn her sacred secrets and how to tap into her great power. I wanted to counter the narco narrative and write it out of love and devotion to exalt her majesty, potency and holiness.
Dr. Andrew Chesnut:
Who endorsed this Santa Muerte book? And what content is inside?
It is endorsed by some of the most powerful, inspiring Santa Muerte leaders from Mexico, Arely Vazquez, Yuri Mendez and Soraya Arredondo Hernandez, as well as Martha Gonzalez and you, a renowned academic who has pioneered Santa Muerte studies. “Secrets of Santa Muerte” has the backing of other important people such as Dr. Eliseo Torres, a Mexican expert in folk traditions, Jason Miller the well-known sorcerer and author, and witch and author Aliza Einhorn. The book not only describes the basics of how to work with Santa Muerte for neophytes, but also for advanced practitioners and reveals secrets and lesser known mysteries about Santa Muerte. It is based on the rich knowledge that was shared with me in Mexico from incredible, powerful curanderos (healers), witches, wise women and shamans whom I respect so deeply.
Dr R. Andrew Chesnut:
What sorts of prayers, spells, hexes and rituals does “Secrets of Santa Muerte” include?
The reader will find an exceptionally wide range of spells, rituals and hexes that cover nearly everything you could think of, from practical spells to mystical prayers of gratitude to Santa Muerte in this book. There are prayers to La Niña Roja, as Red Santa Muerte is called, to find love, to make someone sex mad for you, to leave an abusive lover, to dominate someone in a relationship, make them sexually and romantically faithful and much more. As La Niña Roja, as you know, reigns supreme as a love and sex sorceress.
On the practical side, there are spells and prayers for health and wealth, as Santa Muerte can be very generous and giving, especially in her manifestation of La Niña Dorada, Gold Santa Muerte. She helps me travel across Mexico when things have been very tough for me financially. I include spells to draw money, to make a debtor pay up or even find a new job. There are also prayers for protection against illness, evil to protect you, your business, your family and children. I have included fertility prayers for pregnancy, justice spells for legal trouble, prayers to make someone listen, for difficult neighbors and much more.
There are quite a few excellent hexing prayers in this book to La Niña Negra, Black Santa Muerte. These include curses and spells to destroy your enemies, devastate their lives or send back their evil energy to them threefold. There are also many rituals included to cleanse yourself of bad vibes, demonic forces, channel moon energy and more.
Dr R. Andrew Chesnut: The title “Secrets of Santa Muerte” mentions secrets, what kind of secrets do you share in this Santa Muerte book?
That is a secret! You will have to buy it and see, but I will say, it does include lesser known practices such as a blood pact, ceromancy, reading omens and other esoteric information that will allow the practitioner to tap into the power of a death at a very deep level and honor Santa Muerte with deepest reverence, even for a life time. I even touch on the use of entheogen, hallucinogenic substances used to connect deeper with Santa Muerte.
These are secrets and knowledge imparted to me by powerful curanderos (healers), brujos (witches) and wise women who have been working with Santa Muerte for decades, they are not known to the average person, but they tasked me to share these things, believing that the world needs to know who Santa Muerte is, and how to work with her properly and humbly. So many devotees, healers and leaders are tired as being classed as thugs and narcos, Santa Muerte is so much more than a narco-saint, that is so reductionist. The secrets imparted show how many incredible facets and powers she has that go far beyond what the media portray. For example, as I detail, she may help break addictions to drugs. The secrets imparted in this book, will give devotees, if they include them in their praxis, a way to deepen their devotion to Death.
Dr R. Andrew Chesnut: Most devotees know how to work with colored candles and statues, what do you add to that in this book on Santa Muerte?
I describe how to honor Santa Muerte using color combinations to get more accurate results. I also detail the exact procedure of even lighting a candle and working with it, as in Mexico I was taught that there are very specific steps to take. Also I write about lesser known candles, such as the Chile Candle, Separa Amantes (separate lovers), the Aloe Vera Candle and others. I go over how to prepare your candles with herbs and oils for extra potency, and how to tap into the moon’s energy to heighten your work with Holy Death, who is deeply linked to the luminary. As to the statues, not only do I discuss the well-known colors but I go into new and lesser known representations of Holy Death, such as transparent Santa Muerte or black and red Santa Muerte, which honor very particular powers. To add to this I describe the many different poses of Santa Muerte statues, and types of statues such as the magnificent Aztec Santa Muerte also known as la Azteca, the precious Pregnant Santa Muerte or ultra potent Enthroned Santa Muerte and the unique powers of Holy Death in these poses.
Dr R. Andrew Chesnut: What will the reader learn from this book on Santa Muerte?
They will learn how to work with reverence and love with Santa Muerte to tap into her beauty, bounteousness and majesty. They will also learn about the history of Santa Muerte devotion in Mexico, and this is not based on mumbo jumbo delusions and day dreams, but based on years of research including into hard data from colonial archives that I consulted, and archeological records written by respected scholars. I wanted this history to be based on facts not fantasies. Readers will also learn about the Mexican ways of working with Santa Muerte and her power using prayer, brujeria (witchcraft), omens, candle wax divination, interpretation of candle flames, rituals and much more. I wanted to include even more items, but of course there is always a word limit! But the book as you and Jason Miller stated, is the most complete Santa Muerte devotional guide on the market to date in terms of the amount of information.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there on how to work with Santa Muerte, and Mexican practices are often not understood or even accessible to those outside of the country who do not spend time with Santa Muerte leaders, brujos (witches), wise women, and healers. This book gives the reader access to a wealth of information on Santa Muerte. It provides clear and practical instructions on everything you need to know in order to truly tap into the power of death and bring success into every aspect of your life.
Dr R. Andrew Chesnut: What is your number one tip for someone who wants to work with Santa Muerte?
As I was taught by the incredible devotees and leaders of Mexico, to pray every day with humility, great faith and true devotion to la Santísima Muerte, even if it is just for a few minutes on some days due to your busy lifestyle. She does not care about you buying the most expensive candle or statue. A prayer recited with deepest respect and reverence every night before bed will do more than lots of expensive statues and other items on your altar. Only then will the devotee come to experience Santa Muerte’s mysticism and power through prayer and deep devotion.