" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

December 18, 2017

The Seven Colours of Santa Muerte?

I finished reading Tracey Rollin's book
'Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals. and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death' and have to say that it was an excellent read on many levels.
Santa Muerte: Our Lady of the Holy Death?
While Tracey's book  didn't sway me to become a convert to venerating the folk saint it did give me a very good idea of why people do and why the folk saint's popularity is going through the roof at the moment, much to the disapproval of the
Roman Catholic Church and maybe with a good reasoning behind it I think.
Reclaiming the Day of the Dead
"According to Andrew Chesnut, author of
Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, this is the fastest growing religion in the Americas, with an estimated 10 to 12 million followers worldwide.
Mr Chesnut says more and more devotees have started incorporating Santa Muerte into Day of the Dead celebrations over the past five years.
Although many Mexicans see no connection between the two, both are thought to stem from Mictecacihuatl, an Aztec goddess who presided over a festival of death every August.
After conquering Mexico in the 16th Century, the Spanish encouraged locals to honour the deceased on All Soul's Day, leading to the emergence of the Day of the Dead as a fusion of Catholic and indigenous beliefs.
Mr Chesnut says devotees have begun to recognise Santa Muerte as the reincarnation of Mictecacihuatl and reclaim the Day of the Dead as her unofficial feast day, provoking what he says is a "huge panic" within the Catholic Church.
The Vatican has repeatedly denounced Santa Muerte in the lead up to the Day of the Dead in recent years, while Catholic bishops in the United States joined in the condemnation for the first time this year."
Why she’s no saint
I think that Santa Muerte is a very powerful archetype and that she shouldn't be taken on-board lightly by novices who don't know much about magical practices and the occult.
That said I can certainly see the appeal by common folk who feel marginalized by society and want someone or something to go into bat for them.
What I find interesting about Santa Muerte is the idea that Santa Muerte can be broken down into seven colourful aspects and yet remain whole like some kind of dark rainbow of the underworld emerging into the "real" world.
You can read about those aspects at Tracey's site by clicking on the link below -
The Seven Colors of Santa Muerte
As I was reading through the seven aspects of Santa Muerte I kept thinking about the debate Santa Muerte followers are having about having an "official" feast day for the folk saint and I was thinking why just one day when you could have seven or eight days a year to celebrate such a saint.
Seven seems to be the number associated with Santa Muerte though so eight days might be too many unless one of those days was counted as zero, for instance the black aspect could be counted as the zero aspect since she comes from and returns to the void of death and could be celebrated on the Day of the Dead, the red aspect which deals with love and lust could be celebrated on say St. Valentines Day, the yellow aspect of luck and good fortune could be celebrated on New Years Day, the purple aspect on some royal type of holiday, the green aspect on some day dealing with justice or the like, the blue aspect on maybe a day like Mother's Day, the white aspect on a day of purification and the multi-coloured Santa Muerte maybe on a day for the LBGT community since she seems to be the unofficial saint or mascot of that community by the sounds of it.
What I found interesting in this book of Tracey Rollin's was the mention of the Santa Muerte Rosary and how a lot of practitioners use a rosary or even the rosary to petition Santa Muerte.
Tracey mentions that rosaries for this folk saint have seven decades instead of the standard ten on the Catholic rosary, but a lot of the rosaries I found on line dedicated to Santa Muerte still had ten.
There are even sites and You Tube videos on how to pray the rosary dedicated to Santa Muerte.
How to Pray the Santa Muerte Rosary
Being a Liberal Catholic I've never really used a rosary that much for prayer or meditation, although I can see how the repetition of words would keep the monkey mind busy so the deeper insights could emerge.
Chapter 7 of Tracey's book where she answers the question, "why use meditation beads?" made a lot of sense to me.
Tracey writes, "Meditation beads serve two practical purposes.
The first - and most obvious - is that they are a convenient way of tracking the repetition of a large number of prayers without breaking your concentration.
The act of repeating the same prayer (or reciting the same name) over and over again has the effect of inducing a light trance state, similar to that reached during meditation.
When you are in a light trance state your conscious mind quiets and disengages.
This frees the power of your attention, normally used to occupy your conscious mind....
The second reason meditation beads are so popular and so effective pertains to the light trance state itself.
As you begin reciting your prayers or spells, your conscious mind will sometimes resist being lulled into quiescence.
When you give your hands beads to play with, the body's natural tendency to fidget is pacified, and the inducement of a light trance is not interrupted.
I like the idea of using a rosary to lull the conscious mind into a light trance, but I would prefer to use the traditional Catholic rosary than the one dedicated to a "saint" like Santa Muerte.
The trouble is for me when using the traditional rosary is getting hung up on some of the words that you are meant to sincerely mean, I mean take the Apostles Creed for example,
" I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."
Most of it I could say with no problem if I was thinking in allegorical terms, but not in literal terms.
I mean I don't believe in an everlasting hell and there are a few other things I have a bit of trouble in really believing in that statement, but I sing along with popular songs on the radio without taking those lyrics to heart and wanting to change the lyrics to suit my own views on the matter, so why should I worry about a few words I might not rationally agree with when saying the rosary?
The funny thing was when I used to have to say the Our Father in school I always thought the line about not leading us into temptation sounded something like the devil would do and not God.
Now I see that the Pope wants to change that line after all of these years because he felt the meaning had been translated to give the wrong meaning to that line.
And I have no problem saying Hail Marys where the 
Blessed Virgin Mary is praying for the souls of us "sinners", because to me a sin is just an archery term that means to miss the mark and as long as you are sincerely trying to hit that mark I don't think there would be a problem.
I do believe that karma is a bitch though, but that's a whole other archetype.
I might have to get a traditional rosary and see if Tracey's light trance method calms my monkey mind or just drives it more bananas;-)
I've got to say though that while I find the Day of the Dead to be a great celebration of getting the family together to honour and remember the dead, to me this current popularity in venerating Santa Muerte seems to me like when the book and movie 'The Secret' came out.
People just wanted to skip the hard yards and get right to the chase ... and that doesn't really work on a consistent basis unless you happen to have written the book, I think. 
And how did Rhonda Byrne get to be #8 on the
'Mind Body Spirit' magazine 2016 top 100 list and above people like Oprah, Matthew Fox and Ram Dass?!
That's a secret I would sure like to know.
As I wrote before, Santa Muerte is not for me, but I did find Tracey's book a fascinating read.
Although if you read the one star reviews of
'Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals. and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death' at Amazon there seems to be a bit of disagreement about the folk saint among other devotees.
Santa Muerte sounds like too much high maintenance for my liking, so if I find myself in trouble I think I'll just call on St.Jude if I can't get by with a little help from my friends;-)
I think becoming a devotee of Santa Muerte would end up being 
the death of me quite frankly:-)
SANTA MUERTE de SANTA by silcuper
Happy Holidays and you better watch out.

UPDATE: October 31st, 2020
I dropped the Santa Muerte book of at the
Bribe Island book exchange last month when I did a clean out of my bookshelves.
So God only knows where that book is now;-)
Dates with Destiny?

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