Once a petition has been made, anything that is left over - which you are not specifically keeping to act as a charm - is essentially magick trash, and this post will discuss how to dispose of that magick trash in a safe and practical way. This advice can also be followed to deal with old offerings which you want to rotate off your Santa Muerte altar.
In the past, I would have recommended burning or burying items left over after magickal work, but no longer. In our modern age, and considering the number of devotees practicing in urban cities, burning or burying is simply not as prudent as it once was.
The first step to any disposal of an item used in a magick petition is to undo anything you did to the item. If you tied any knots, then untie or cut them open. If you filled any jars, then unfill them. If you stuffed any poppets, then unstuff them. You won't always be able to undo everything - such as if you blended herbal ingredients together or added broken glass and piss to a petition, but that's okay. Just undo your handiwork as much as you can and as much as is practical.
When you have undone your work as much as possible, then consider each piece on its own, and treat each piece just as you would any other item in your home that was ready for disposal.
Treating as Regular Trash
Is the item something that you would normally put in the garbage or recycling bin to be hauled to the dump? Then toss it in the appropriate garbage or recycling bin. Is it an item you would toss to the birds, like a piece of bread? Then toss it to the birds. Is it an item you would toss in your garden or compost bin to fertilize the soil, like fruit or old herbs? Then send it to the garden / compost bin.
Items which are treated as regular trash do not need to be purified or cleansed in any way, because if it is your intent to toss the item away as trash, then your intent will extend to the magick energy associated with the item. Tossing something away as regular trash, bird food, or compost, sends a very clear message that you are done with the item and no longer require any magick energy to be connected to the item.
It is only if you intend to reuse the item, or give the item away for someone else to use, that you should clarify your intent to preserve the item, but remove the energy you attached to it.
Reusing / Giving Away
It's an expensive world out there, and throwing away a perfectly good item just because it was used in a magickal petition may not feel right to many modern Santa Muerte devotees. In the event an item is still good enough to be used, you may decide to keep the item for future use or to give the item away.
If you decide to reuse the item or give it away, you can cleanse the item of the magickal energy you attached to it in the following way:
At your Santa Muerte altar, you can either anoint the item with a cleansing perfume or cologne, like Florida Water, OR you can pass the item through the smoke of a cleansing incense, such as sage or copal, OR you can sprinkle the item with a cleansing herb, like basil.
As you anoint the item, pass the item through smoke, OR sprinkle the item with an appropriate herb, visualize any magickal energy attached to the item rising from the item like steam evaporating into the air. As you visualize this, recite the following prayer over the item a total of three times:
"Santa Muerte, Holy Death,
let this energy now rest.
Make this item clean and pure,
to be made anew once more."
If you can wash the item with soap and water, then this should also be done, just to ensure the item is physically clean before any future use. You may now re-use the item or give it away as normal.
In the event you want to reuse or give away an item, but have no access to tools, you may also cleanse the item through the power of prayer alone by holding the item in your hands and reciting the above prayer a total of 100 times.