Santa Muerte Figure
Santa Muerte is the personification of death, although unlike other popular saints, such as Niño Fidencio and Pedro Batista, she has never lived. For her followers she is connected with healing, protection and the way into the hereafter. Although there are other death saints in Latin America, such as the Argentinean San La Muerte, Santa Muerte is the only female saint of death in South or North America.
Some followers consider Santa Muerte to be an eighth archangel. Other followers, even if they are a minority, believe that Santa Muerte is not a saint because she has characteristics of jealousy and vengeance. The same followers believe that Santa Muerte is a fallen angel in purgatory trying to win back God's favor, and for this reason she grants many miracles to her followers.
Iconographically, Santa Muerte is a female adaptation of the Grim Reaper, typically depicted as a skeletal figure wearing a shroud, a scythe and a globe. Santa Muerte is described as female not by her figure but by her clothing and hair. The latter was introduced by Enriquetta Romero. The colour of her robe and the objects she carried with her vary.
Santa Muerte's paintings range from mass-produced items sold in stores throughout Mexico and the USA to handmade portraits. The sizes vary immensely from small paintings to statues several meters high.
The two most common items Santa Muerte holds in her bony hands are a scythe and a ball. The scythe symbolizes the cutting off of negative energies or influences. As a harvest tool it is a sign of hope and prosperity. Furthermore, the scythe of Santa Muerte reflects its origin as a scythe woman ("La Parca" of medieval Spain). The scythe represents the moment of death, when the thread of life is cut.
The globe represents the reign of death over the earth and is seen as a kind of grave to which we all return. To hold the world in your hand, what could symbolise greater power?
Other objects that can appear with a picture of Santa Muerte include a scale, an hourglass, an owl and an oil lamp. Libra refers to justice, equality and impartiality as well as to the divine will.
An hourglass indicates the time of life on earth. It is also the belief that death is not the end, but the beginning of something new, because the hourglass can be turned to start again from the beginning. The hourglass shows the relationship of Santa Muerte to time and to the worlds above and below.
The owl symbolises Santa Muerte's ability to navigate through the darkness and its wisdom. The owl often serves as an ambassador.
A lamp symbolizes intelligence and spirit to light the way through the darkness of ignorance and doubt.
Santa Muerte is often placed near statues of Catholic saints, such as Jesus Christ, the Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Peter, St. Jude or St. Lazarus. In the north of Mexico, Santa Muerte is venerated alongside Jesus Malverde. Some warn that Santa Muerte is jealous and that her image should not be placed next to Catholic saints, as this has consequences.
Anmerkung: Die Preisangaben sind ohne Gewähr. Die dargestellten Preise sind bereits inklusive Versandkosten. Vielfach können Santa Muerte Figuren nur aus dem Ausland bezogen werden mit leider horenden Versandkosten. Da ich viele meiner Altar Komponenten aus Mexiko mitgebracht habe, habe ich selbst bisher nur Erfahrung mit dem Verkäufer der weißen Santa Muerte Statue gemacht und kann das Preis-Leistungs-Verhätnis empfehlen.
Colours of death
The colours of the Santa Muerte votive candles and the colour of their robe are related to the type of petition.
White is the most common colour used by Santa Muerte devotees. It symbolizes gratitude, purity and the elimination of negative influences. In the Santa Muerte tradition, red stands for love and passion as well as emotional stability. The color gold stands for economic power, success, money and prosperity. Green symbolizes justice, legal matters or unity with loved ones. Yellow or dark yellow indicates health. Pictures with this colour can be seen in rehabilitation centres, especially for drug addiction and alcoholism.
In the Santa Muerte tradition, black stands for absolute protection against black magic or sorcery or vice versa negative magic or violence against rivals and enemies.
Blue candles and images of the skeleton saints point to wisdom and are preferred by students and pupils. Brown or copper is used to call spirits from the afterlife. Violet symbolizes healing, well-being and health.
In many cases, Santa Muerte devotees light a polychrome seven-coloured candle, which is believed to have been adopted from the seven-powerful candle of the Santería tradition. Santería is a syncretistic belief that was brought to Mexico by Cuban migrants.