Appendix B: Offerings and their Meanings
A traditional offering of fruit. Can be used as a color coordinated offering (Red apple for love or passion, green apples for abundance, prosperity, or justice), however, this is not completely necessary. There are biblical associations with this fruit (although some argue that the Bible references an apricot or orange rather than apples as we know them today).
A popular intoxicant and well loved by Santa Muerte. Darker beers are more common. Beer is less common, however, than liquors such as Tequila and Rum or Whiskey.
A black candle offering is associated with Santa Muerte’s darker side and attributes. May be used to call upon la Nina Negra for help with problems such as dispelling evil spirits, eliminating curses or hexes placed upon you, revenge or retribution upon enemies, or other invocations not covered by the other colors.
A blue candle offering is associated with friendship, camaraderie, and social relations. It can also be used to increase insight, intuition, or empathy. This can be used for things such as mending broken friendships, stopping fights within a household, making new contacts, networking, or other social activities.
A literal bone offering to the Bony Lady may be used in situations where you seek health or healing of a physical body. It can also be used for darker, more sinister purposes.
Bread, a human food for millennia, is a traditional offering symbolizing health, abundance, fertility, and life. This should be kept fresh. Especially used when asking for material favors from Santa Muerte, or as an offering of thanks.
Used as a general cleansing offering upon the altar of Santa Muerte. Cinnamon is an extremely important cooking spice in Mexico. It can be offered as entire sticks, or powder sprinkled around the altar for its potent smell and cleansing properties.
Coffee’s energy providing effects are well known. Coffee can be used to increased expediency of Santa Muerte, or increase the overall power of her spells.
Coins, currency, and paper money are frequently given as an offering to Santa Muerte. This is required when asking for material success, or material favors. This is one of the most common and popular offerings, especially if you are visiting a public shrine or an altar. Support your local shrine or altar! In doing so, you are giving thanks to Santa Muerte and ensuring that those who devote a huge portion of their life to serving her are able to continue doing so. Santa Muerte is a very needing woman, and does ask for quite a bit. However, these offerings are ALWAYS repaid above and beyond.
Corn can be placed on the altar as a fresh ear. Corn is an ancient food of the Americas and has been around since the time of the Aztecs. Use corn to keep Santa Muerte healthy, satiated, and strong.
One of the most common offerings, flowers are seen at almost all Santa Muerte altars and temples. Flowers have signified prosperity, health, vitality, peace, love, and just about all positive human emotions and characteristics. Roses have always played a huge role in Catholicism, and are thus a very popular flower. More on specific flowers and their uses/symbology to come later.
Used as a traditional cleansing, health, and wellness item. Has deep biblical roots and tradition. Also known as olibanum. May be used as an incense or to cleanse and purify your altar.
A gold candle reflects the prosperous and fortunate side of Santa Muerte. This is used to improve one’s lot in life, bring prosperity or success to one’s business ventures, or for overall good luck and fortune.
Grapes are a traditional fruit offering. They signify prosperity, abundance, fertility, and health. Green grapes may be used with other green offerings for prayers relating to justice, or purple grapes may be used.
A green Santa Muerte candle deals with liberty, fairness, equality, and justice. You may use this candle to ensure you are fairly represented if you are being prosecuted for a crime, receive a fair judgement in a legal proceeding, released from a wrongful imprisonment, released from incarceration early, or any other matters in which you wish for Santa Muerte to judge.
A honey offering can be used when improving health or prosperity. Honey should be fresh, locally-sourced or organic. Stay away from imitation honey made from High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Marijuana can be presented to Santa Muerte in the form of a pre-rolled joint or cigarette, loose buds, or as smoke blown in her face. This offering can be used for a large variety of prayers, including ones of passion (marijuana has aphrodisiac qualities), health (the medicinal benefits of marijuana are widely known), prosperity, insight, and knowledge.
Myrrh is a traditional offering associated with cleansing and health. The gum or resin can be placed as an offering or used as an incense or aromatic.
Oranges can be placed as a food offering to Santa Muerte for general purposes.
The red candle of Santa Muerte is used for instances where she can help you with love or passion.
Distilled from sugar cane, an important commodity of Mexico, Rum is used much like tequila as an offering to the Bony Lady.
Sage, known for its cleansing properties, is another offering found on altars of Santa Muerte. It can be burned as an incense or offered whole.
Scales of Justice
Santa Muerte has always been a representative for those who have been underserved or underrepresented in the legal system. You can place these on her altar to ensure a positive outcome in a legal proceeding, or for fairness throughout your life.
The tool of Holy Death. The scythe represents reaping of souls, which helps to pass them to the next stage of life. This is the job of Santa Muerte. The scythe also represents harvesting of crops, which leads to abundance, health, and prosperity.
Santa Muerte is known for her sweet tooth, and is known to love sugar. This offering can be used as a sign of thanks and to satisfy Santa Muerte’s appetite.
Sweets can take the form of baked goods, candies, or any other sugary substance. Santa Muerte enjoys sweets as much as the next person. These offerings are typically replenished on a regular basis.
One of the most popular offerings, Tequila is placed as an offering to the Bony Lady in order to allow her to partake in the world’s most popular intoxicant. Tequila can be used for almost any purpose, although for instances dealing with health or wellness other offerings might be more appropriate. Place in a shot glass, or offer an entire bottle.
Tobacco can be given to Santa Muerte in the form of a cigarette, cigar, or blown in her face. Used for general purposes and offerings.
One of the two required items at a Santa Muerte altar, water should be placed in a glass and refilled daily. Everyone needs water to survive; Santisima is no different.
A white candle embodies Santa Muerte’s powers of healing, wellness, blessing, cleansing, and just about any other general purpose. If you purchase a candle, this is the one to buy.
While not as popular as beer and certainly a far distance from Tequila, a glass of wine is perfectly appropriate as an offering.