An Altar for Santa Muerte
Two different altars you can create for the lovable and boisterous Queen of the Dead
We have had many requests, so I'm going to present two different ways you can create an altar for Santa Muerte. The first altar is the more traditional physical altar that you can put on a shelf in your home or apartment. This is the best one to begin with if you are just starting to work with Santa Muerte. It will help you to get to know Her energy in a more gradual way and is the method most commonly used with Her.
The second approach is making yourself the altar. This works best for those who have worked with Santa Muerte for a while or are in a situation where you cannot have a physical altar. For some devotees, putting Her on a shelf feels as if you are trying to control Her verses welcome Her. Regardless of which altar you choose, you will need to pray Her rosary daily, and I will give links in the sections to two different options. First, let's look at the more traditional method.
Setting up an altar for Santa Muerte is about welcoming Her into your life. It says that you recognize that She is with you and that you are grateful for Her presence on your journey. Most devotees agree on a couple of essential elements, but this is your altar to Her, so go with what feels right. The first thing you need is a statue or picture to represent Her. You can find my favorite icon here. It is a simple yet beautiful 12-inch resin cast statue. You could also use one that has all of Her colors or one color you work with the most, for instance, Nina Dorada's gold colors. If Her skeletal form is a bit much for you, then pick one that resonates with you instead!
You also need candles for Santa Muerte. You can let your imagination run wild here, so have some fun and pick out a pair of candles that you feel welcome Her. The last item you need is a small glass of water. You would never have someone over without offering them a cold drink, and Santa Muerte is no different. Refill the water daily. For this more traditional altar, a more traditional rosary would be appropriate. Santa Muerte Rosaries on Etsy has a beautiful collection.
Now let's look at the method of making yourself the altar. With this method, you will be selecting two key pieces of jewelry to wear at all times to ask Her to accept you as Her devotee, and that you accept Her as your Beloved Mother. The first piece of jewelry is a pendant that represents Santa Muerte to you. I have a moonstone pendant that looks like a butterfly, or the moon in its three phases. Santa Muerte can also be represented with flowers, owls, globes, or scales. The right pendant will call out to you, so use our intuition.
The second piece of jewelry is a rosary ring. I was able to find one on Etsy that has a sapphire in the center instead of the more traditional cross, but again go with what is right for you. The rosary ring is fantastic because no one will ever notice it, and you can cast magick with Santa Muerte at all times!
The other items you will need are Florida Water, which you should wear daily, and Santo Palo essential oil to diffuse in your home. With this method, I also recommend having your morning coffee or tea with Her. Seriously, She enjoys hanging out and talking about your day. Say Her rosary, splash on some Florida Water, and head out knowing She is with you.
You have read this before on this site, but working with any Deity will always be an individual experience. You might start out doing a traditional altar and then move on to you being the altar, or you may end up using a combination of both. Either way, you are saying that She is loved and welcomed into your life. Santa Muerte looks after Her own and takes very good care of Her children. I promise that whatever efforts you make to show Her you care, She will delight in, just as She delights in you.
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