Community Shrine of Santa Muerte
Within our shop in Peabody, MA is housed a shrine dedicated to Santa Muerte. Our shrine stands as a devotional place for connection with Santa Muerte (Saint Death) and is available to receive prayers and petitions from the public both in person and online.
Our shrine was erected at the same time as the brick and mortar shop was being created at the request of Santa Muerte herself. Our shop owner Matthew has been a devotee of Santa Muerte for the past two decades and when he was laying out the shop she made it abundantly clear that she wanted an area of the shop to be devoted to her and open to all.
Though volumes could be, and indeed have been, written about Santa Muerte, in short she is a celebrated folk saint whose veneration began in Mexico and whose following has spread massively throughout the world over the past 20 years. She is believed by most to have her earliest origins in the Aztec death deity Mictēcacihuātl. Her current form and veneration has been influenced further by European and Catholic conceptions and personifications of death. In essence Santa Muerte is a multilayered being which stands as representative of Death Herself.
It is she who will come to each of us and take us in her arms when we transition from this life. She is promised to each of us. As such Santa Muerte may be viewed by some as the angel of death, as a goddess of the dead by others, or as our own personal relationship with our mortality. Death comes for us all whether we are rich or poor, young or old, virtuous, or sinful. So in Death's eyes we all stand as equals. Regardless of whether you are a caring grandmother, a sex worker, a police officer, a thief, or a healer, we all come to her as equals in her eyes. This is partly why Santa Muerte is appealed to by those on the margins of society or of the law.
Santa Muerte is appealed to for all manner of petitions and prayers. And though there are many different robes and colors associated with her, our shrine is primarily, though not exclusively, organized around the work of La Blanca, La Roja, and La Negra (the white, the red, and the black). The manner in which we generally approach the work with each robe is as follows:
La Blanca (the white robe) is the most heavenly and celestial. She stands for purity and is most commonly appealed to for healing, spiritual cleansings, uncrossing and curse breaking, blessings, and spiritual guidance.
La Roja (the red robe) is the most terrestrial. She is most concerned with our desires and daily survival. She assists in matters of love, money, success, family, and most practical requests.
La Negra (the black robe) is the most chthonic and infernal. She is commonly worked for very powerful protection, for binding of enemies, for justice and retribution, and for crossing and cursing.
At our shrine people are welcomed to pray and make petitions.
Many who visit the shop also leave cash donations or other offerings for her.
When an offering is made we give the petitioner a milagro. A small metal votive charm which is a representative token of their prayer. They are invite to make their prayer while holding the milagro and then to pin it somewhere on her shrine as a marker of their prayer. In this way there will always be a reminder of their request with her.
At the end of each year we collect and count up all of the cash offerings. 100% of the offerings that people have given go directly towards the maintenance of the shrine and cover items such as candles, food offerings, statuary, and shrine ornamentation.
We then match the amount given as offerings each year by making a donation to Mariposas. A charitable organization which helps assist and provide opportunities for young at risk women in Mexico.
We invite you to visit the shrine either in-person or make a petition or light a candle online and we will go to her physical shrine on your behalf.