Your First Real Altar
Once you have a permanent location for Our Mother, you may start to incorporate more complexities. Some ideas include:
- Adding additional images of Santa Muerte (in the form of statues or pictures)
- Adding one or more votive candles (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), such as this one:
- Placing offerings of fresh bread or fruits (more on this later)
- Placing a tablecloth as a covering
- Placing fresh incense, aromatic herbs, or flowers on the altar
Now, your home for Santa Muerte has begun to look like an actual place of worship. It is guaranteed that the more you put into this space, the more you will get out of it. Santa Muerte appreciates those who give to her and honor her, so make SURE that you give to your fullest amount possible.
In return, Santa Muerte will give back to you tenfold, and enrich your life in ways you never imagined!
Maintaining an altar for Santa Muerte is extremely easy and simple. All of the rules and guidelines for maintaining an altar will be listed below. You can, however, figure 99% of this out on your own as long as you keep this thought in mind:
Santa Muerte, Queen of Death, is a guest in my house. How would I treat and care for a royal guest in my house?
With that in mind, let’s go over some of the basics.
Keep the area fresh and dust free. Nobody enjoys staying in a dusty, dirty, or messy place. Wash your table cloth or linens periodically. It is recommended to use fresh herbs or aromatics to keep the area smelling fresh and clean. Essential oils, a bundle of white sage, or a branch of eucalyptus are perfect for this purpose.
A highly dignified and powerful woman would not want to share her space with anyone else. Keep Santa Muerte’s space hers. Mix Santa Muerte in with other saints at your own risk. Occasionally you may see her next to images of other saints. Unless you know what you are doing, there is no reason or need to risk damaging your relationship. Give Santa Muerte her space.
All offerings should be kept fresh. The glass of water that you placed beforehand should be replenished every day. Any fruits, bread, sweets, or other perishables should be discarded once they start to spoil. You wouldn’t serve your guests spoiled food, correct?
Offerings should be suitable for the occasion in which you are communicating with Holy Death.
Imagine you visit your friend’s birthday party. When you arrive, everyone is dressed in black. The appetizers on the table consist of fresh sushi rolls, hot Cheetos, and deviled eggs. Puzzled, you place these items on your plate. Your host comes over to you, and thanks you for coming. They then offer you a drink. They extend their right hand, and offer you a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor.
“I heard this brand pairs well with the main course, cilantro and lobster taquitos.”
Now, if you’ve actually attended a birthday party like this, then please send an invite over next time!
You understand the general idea. If you’re going to ask Santa Muerte to help your business take off, then you may want to refrain from showering a black statue of her with a bunch of roses, cinnamon, and a picture of your spouse.
Instead a few coins, a golden candle, and perhaps an item related to your business may suit the occasion a bit better.
Every prayer or spell listed on this website will provide suggestions and inputs on how to make the most of your offering and how properly set up a prayer to Santa Muerte.
Appendix B at the end of this document provides a list of the most common offerings seen at a Santa Muerte altar, as well as explanations on their uses.
Perhaps it is impractical for you to maintain an altar at home, or you would also like to have one at your place of work. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for other types of altars:
A portable, or traveling altar can be as simple as a prayer card with Santa Muerte’s image on it, along with a glass of water. If you desire a more elaborate design, the following ideas will serve you well:
- A small briefcase decorated with statues, ornaments, images, and whatever else you desire to bring along with you.
- A cardboard shoebox (remember those gradeschool dioramas?)
- A cigar humidor. These are beautiful, elegant boxes made out of cedar.
Altar for your Business or Workplace
If you would like to invite Santa Muerte to your place of work as well (highly recommended that you do!), you may dress up your altar with colors, objects, and offerings related to your work. These are some suggestions meant to spark your creativity:
- An accountant or financial firm may opt to have green candles, a calculator, pen, sheets of accounting paper, or various currency on their altar.
- A car mechanic may have several tools on their altar. They may even have an emblem or logo of the type of car they regularly work on.
- A teacher or an educator may have a blue Santa Muerte statue along with pencils, erasers, and globes.
Roadway / Natural Altars
A public roadway altar is a perfect way to give thanks to Santa Muerte while at the same time spreading her word and power throughout the community. These should be constructed with durable materials. Offerings of food or other perishables will decay quite rapidly due to outside exposure, so bear this in mind when constructing an outdoor or roadside altar. Also, make sure any trash or debris is disposed of properly.
An altar out in nature is an extremely rewarding and beneficial means of constructing an altar. This altar should be WELL off of the beaten path and out of sight of the public. It should be relatively impractical to visit this altar daily, but should be the most rewarding when you do visit.
Beautiful places such as a small cave in the mountains, a hollowed out tree by a lake, or underneath a giant boulder on the summit of a mountain are all great ideas. What place in nature would you like to show a queen?
Food offerings should not be placed here, as it may affect the surrounding wildlife. Instead, a statue and perhaps a couple of candles will do. Make sure that if you are no longer going to visit this location that you remove it, unless you like the idea of both harming nature and neglecting Santa Muerte (quite a SCARY thought!)