The Offering of Flesh – A Personal Account of Sacred Tattooing in Santa Muerte’s Devotional Tradition

THE FOLLOWING IS A PERSONAL ACCOUNT FROM SANTA MUERTE DEVOTEE HANK VINE: It was early spring, 2016 - I was homeless, unemployed and drifting around the U.S. I'd just traveled from Minneapolis, Minnesota to the Rio Grande Valley, deep in south Texas where I was crashing on the couch of a friend whom I'd only … Continue reading The Offering of Flesh – A Personal Account of Sacred Tattooing in Santa Muerte’s Devotional Tradition

Mighty Mexican Mothers: Santa Muerte as Female Empowerment in Oaxaca

As the sole female folk saint of death in the Americas, Santa Muerte has a special appeal to women, especially disprivileged Mexican mothers . In the piece below anthropologist Dr. Kate Kingsbury* considers the contours of devotion among rural women in coastal Oaxaca. -Rural Oaxaca, the outskirts of Pochutla, Mexico When we got home one … Continue reading Mighty Mexican Mothers: Santa Muerte as Female Empowerment in Oaxaca

Mexican Indigenous Death Goddesses Xaratanga and Mictecacihuatl Reimagined as Santa Muerte in Michoacan – Photoset

La Casa de la Santa Muerte in the tiny Michoacan town of Santa Ana Chapitiro, just a 15-minute drive from Day of the Dead Mecca, Patzcuaro, is one of the most elaborate shrines to the Skeleton Saint in Mexico. Since I have family in Michoacan, the colorful temple was one of my first research sites … Continue reading Mexican Indigenous Death Goddesses Xaratanga and Mictecacihuatl Reimagined as Santa Muerte in Michoacan – Photoset

Top Santa Muerte Leader Enriqueta Vargas is in the Bony Lady’s Embrace

  La Madrina Enriqueta Vargas Ortiz (b. 1959 - d. 2018), the charismatic leader of Santa Muerte Internacional, has died after a prolonged battle with cancer. The SMI temple in Tultitlan will hold a viewing on December 19th at noon, beneath the feet of the largest statue of Santa Muerte in the world. On December … Continue reading Top Santa Muerte Leader Enriqueta Vargas is in the Bony Lady’s Embrace

A Gringa in Tepito – American Devotee Documents the 17th Anniversary of Famous Santa Muerte Shrine

Text and photos by Heather Buckley* The taxi pulled up to a blocked off street in Tepito. Today was October 31, Halloween, and I was drawn to see Her. This was my second full day in Mexico City. I do not speak the language—I went by myself. I might have looked out-of-place dressed as I … Continue reading A Gringa in Tepito – American Devotee Documents the 17th Anniversary of Famous Santa Muerte Shrine

Healed by Death – Santa Muerte as Curandera

Text and photo by guest contributor Stephen Patrick Guagliardo*   I’ve wanted to write this for a while.  Before I actually begin, this is going to be specifically about my own personal devotion to Santa Muerte, not me teaching about her or anything like that. So, if you find yourself wanting to learn more about … Continue reading Healed by Death – Santa Muerte as Curandera

Santa Muerte and the Culture of Violence

"Main stream media reports which unfairly categorize Santa Muerte as nothing more than a ‘narco-saint’ and criminal spiritual tradition are a good reminder that the current media is not capable of hosting a real dialogue on this topic. While the majority of Santa Muerte’s devotees are not satanic cartel hitmen, the struggle to pull her … Continue reading Santa Muerte and the Culture of Violence

British Anthropologist Discovers Santa Muerte in Bone-Chilling Toronto

Since going public in 2001 devotion to Santa Muerte has spread rapidly beyond Mexico to the four corners of the globe. In the piece below anthropologist Dr. Kate Kingsbury* reveals the robust presence of the Bony Lady in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.   In the middle of bustling Toronto, Kensington Market offers respite from the … Continue reading British Anthropologist Discovers Santa Muerte in Bone-Chilling Toronto