A petition ritual for Santa Muerte devotees to mark the three traditional days of Day of the Dead celebrations - October 31st, November 1st, and November 2nd. This ritual celebrates the dead, honors loved ones still living, and petitions for luck and blessings.
Feel free to adapt the ritual and perform it all on a single day, if you cannot petition across all three days. You may also adapt the prayers using the method outlined in my book, Santa Muerte Prayer Magick, if you are unable to erect a Santa Muerte Day of the Dead altar.
You Will Need:
In Mexico, the period between October 31st and November 2nd is a time reserved for honoring and remembering the dead. For some background information on how this period of time, sometimes called the Days of the Dead, is celebrated today, check out my blog post "Day of the Dead in Modern Mexico" for a detailed discussion. I explain the difference between Halloween and the Day of the Dead, and also detail some of the most common traditions as I have observed them while living in Mexico.
There are many ways to celebrate the Days of the Dead, like dressing up in costumes, exchanging gifts of candies, and gathering for a feast - but devotees of Santa Muerte might feel inclined to do something special and magickal that involves the Santa Muerte altar. This petition ritual is for those who feel so inclined.
This ritual may be performed as written, across all three days of death celebrations, or you may adapt it and perform all steps on a single day.
You may prepare your Santa Muerte altar at any time before the first Days of the Dead begins. Like a Christmas tree in December, a Day of the Dead altar might stay up for several weeks. You may erect a special Santa Muerte altar just for these death celebrations, or you may decorate your regular Santa Muerte altar.
First, arrange your artifacts of the dead and seasonal decorations to your liking. You can be as reserved or as creative as you want. Just as every relationship with Santa Muerte is unique, so too is every altar to Holy Death. Place the three candles, black, white, and red, upon the altar.
On October 31st:
On the first day of death celebrations on October 31st, often called Halloween, light the black candle upon your Santa Muerte altar, and recite the following prayer:
"Santa Muerte, she who brings,
death to all us living things,
on this day, we remember,
all the ones who crossed over.
As they have passed, so shall we,
when you see fit to make it be.
With these words I light a flame,
under death, we're all the same."
On this day, with the lighting of this first candle, reflect on the universality of death. Death is a fact of life which we must all experience - it is not a punishment, or anything to be feared.
OPTIONAL - At your Santa Muerte altar, or with the altar in view, write a letter to a loved one who has passed away. Use the flame from the burning black candle to light the letter on fire, then let the letter burn in a fire safe cauldron / burn bowl. Ensure the ashes are fully extinguished, then sprinkle the ashes over the Earth, or into the air.
On November 1st:
On the second day of death celebrations November 1st, commonly referred to as All Saints Day, light the white candle upon your Santa Muerte altar, and recite the following prayer:
"Holy Death, who brings the end,
luck and blessings do now send.
By your power I'm still here,
thankful for the extra year.
Keep me safe, and guard me strong,
in your hands, my life belongs.
Struggle as I may on Earth,
the grace you show, gives me worth."
On this day, with the lighting of this second candle, reflect on the goals and accomplishments you have achieved in your own life, and on the struggles which you have overcome. The Santa Muerte does not promise an easy life, but by the power of death, even the most difficult struggles must come to an end.
OPTIONAL - At your Santa Muerte altar, or with the altar in view, write on a piece of paper one to three goals you yourself would like to achieve in the coming year. Use the flame from the burning white candle to light the paper on fire, then let the paper burn in a fire safe cauldron / burn bowl. Ensure the ashes are fully extinguished, then sprinkle the ashes over the Earth, or into the air.
On November 2nd:
On the third day of death celebrations November 2nd, commonly called the Day of the Dead, light the red candle upon your Santa Muerte altar, and recite the following prayer:
"Magick Saint, my Holy Death,
hear the words upon my breath.
Thank you for the love you give,
and the life you've let me live.
Bless the ones for whom I care,
bless my loved ones with this prayer,
wield for us your magick scythe,
in your name, may we all thrive."
On this day, with the lighting of this third candle, reflect on how special your loved ones have made your life. Though life is finite and must eventually come to an end, it is the relationships we experience which helps make life so special.
OPTIONAL - At your Santa Muerte altar, or with the altar in view, write on a piece of paper one to three blessings which you would like bestowed on your loved ones, individually or as a group. Use the flame from the burning red candle to light the paper on fire, then let the paper burn in a fire safe cauldron / burn bowl. Ensure the ashes are fully extinguished, then sprinkle the ashes over the Earth, or into the air.
Allow the candles to burn on your Santa Muerte altar until complete. Since your Santa Muerte altar is technically an altar to the dead, you can leave your artifacts of the dead on the altar for as long as you like. The seasonal decorations can be rotated off your altar as the seasonal celebrations come to a close.