Why devotion to Santa Muerte will help you during the Pandemic
Updated: Sep 29
Authentic and humble devotion to Santa Muerte will help you in innumerable ways during the Covid-19 pandemic. You will grow, appreciate the gift of life, and look with compassion at the marginalized members of society, and you will accept that Death is a part of life. We have lost respect for Nature and Her cycles, but Santa Muerte will help you learn to live within those cycles.
Spend five minutes on Facebook, and the rage is palpable. If I had to break it down, it would be this: "Death has touched my life! That is something that happens to other people!" Whether Covid-19 has caused the loss of a loved one, financial instability, exacerbation of medical issues, alterations to dreams of college, or travel plans, the rage boils down to "there are forces beyond my control, and I had to change because of them!"
To quote Game of Thrones: "Oh my sweet summer child."
Yes, we have been summer children, believing that the good times will never end, that misfortune only comes to those who deserve it, and that if I do everything right, my life will be perfect. We are so far removed from Nature and Her cycles that most of us have no idea where our food comes from! We have no idea that there is a time to plant, a time to sow, a time to live, and a time to die. Our lives move from one air-conditioned, hermetically cleaned environment to the next. We watch the news and think, "oh my, isn't that sad?" when we see floods, earthquakes, famine, and war. Because it happens over there, we believed the fairy tale that it wouldn't happen over here.
I believe the unprecedented devotion to Santa Muerte that started before the pandemic was a gift from The Lord and Lady. They knew that most of humanity was woefully unprepared to deal with misfortune and arrogantly discounted from Nature. We denied tragedies would happen and had no idea how to rebuild our lives. That is why Santa Muerte, as The Mother of All Answers, is necessary during this time. She's a skeleton, for Goddess's sake! She is not going to let you think that Death is not an integral part of life. But Santa Muerte asks you: "How will you live? Will you look upon this gift of life with love? Will you look with compassion instead of self-righteousness on the less fortunate? Will you humbly understand that you are a part of Nature and Her cycles?"
So how do you start a devotion to Santa Muerte? First, understand that She works with everyone and welcomes everyone with the same loving care. All you need to do is recognize that, and you are well on your way. Next, take a long, hard look at your Shadow Side - those parts of you that make it very hard to be around you! She will want you to put to Death any arrogance, self-righteousness, or racist attitudes. She'll want you to put to Death any homophobia/transphobia, and disdain toward the poor. Surprised? You shouldn't be! She accepts everyone with grace and love, and She will want you to look at those attitudes that drive a wedge between you and others.
The next step is to remember that Santa Muerte is considered a Catholic Folk Saint, and Her devotion is based on Catholic practices. The easiest one for most people to adopt is using Her rosary and novenas. Detailed instructions are in Tracy Rolling's book, but you can look online to see if there is one that resonates with you. She is your Muerte, so connect with Her daily in a real and authentic way! Some people are pretty insistent that you need to set up an altar, but I will present a different point of view. If you don't come from a tradition that uses statues or altars, this will not feel authentic to you. For me, when I set up an altar to Santa Muerte, I felt I was trying to contain and control Her. There is Death, over there, nicely contained in my American mindset, thank you. Instead, I wear a sapphire rosary ring and pray to Her daily. I diffuse Palo Santo in the house to welcome Her and burn Frankincense/Myrrh candles. I plant marigolds in the garden because they are Her favorite. I have a couple of sugar skulls placed around the house to remind me that She is with me. See how She and I are making our unique relationship because I have acknowledged that She is always with me?
She has been there for me during all of the struggles with this pandemic every day. I will do all I can to appreciate the gift of my life and make it a beautiful one, but She reminds me that change is the only constant in life. There will be unpleasant changes, but those changes will eventually bring renewal, rebirth, and hope. My stress, anger, and anxiety go down exponentially when I recognize that this is one more cycle of Death and decay that our world is experiencing, but spring will come. Santa Muerte is with us during this time, will you be brave enough to accept Her help and guidance?