On this New Year’s Eve, as I sit and reflect on the life-altering events I’ve experienced in the past 12 months, I salute La Santa Muerte Verde once again. This is night 3 of my public devotional novena to Her. She is deserving of such thanks and praise!
La Santa Muerte Verde came through for me in a big way, granting me victory in a tedious legal proceeding that began on Halloween. As part of my way of expressing my profound thanks, not just for my unequivocal victory but for resolving matters before this year ended, I vowed to Her that I would publicly praise Her for nine nights. May She be ever hailed! Continue reading
“Hymn to Hermes”
(c) A. Applegate 2017
We give greetings to Hermes,
Clever Son of Zeus and Maia,
Wanderer of all the worlds
God of great cunning
Who, on His very first day of drawing breath,
Proved Himself a maker of music and mischief,
Strummer of the lyre,
Thief of the cattle of Apollon
The One Who achieves fame amongst the Gods by His deeds
The Prowler by night Who lurks in the street before the gates.
We hail holy Hermes
Who wards all wayfarers
Whether travelers for pleasure or commercial pursuits,
or those seized by thanatos
Who wend their way into dark caverns to be seated as guests
in Hades’ great, gilded halls
We hail Hermes Psychopompos,
His most sacred charge
Serve as our unerring Guide, our Companion, O Khthonios,
May Your lamps reveal the Mysteries
Glory gleaned in gloomy depths
To those ready to receive the Light of Your Wisdom
Hermes of Arkadia’s dawn
Hermes by Persephone’s shade
Be here with us as our magic is made!
Holy Powers, Holy Places, Sacred Spaces: A Call for Submissions for the Summer Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal
Seeking Submissions for the 2016 Summer Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “Holy Powers, Holy Places, Sacred Spaces”–Deadline: Friday, July 8
From the mystae of ancient Greece walking the sacred way from Athens to Eleusis to celebrate the Mysteries of the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone, to modern pilgrims (Polytheist and Pagan as well as Roman Catholic Christian) in Kildare, Ireland, tying clootie rags on the hawthorn trees flanking holy wells to transmit their prayers to Brigid, to Brazilian Umbanda practitioners tracing the ponto rescado (sacred sigil) of Pomba Gira Sete Encruzhiladas with gunpowder or corn meal in the middle of a three-way crossroads in a cemetery, the association of Holy Powers with Holy Places is a natural one in the human brain hardwired for religious devotion. Whom do you honor, and where? Do you have narrative experiences to share of journeys to sacred sites? How were you transformed by your visit? What does it mean to demarcate Sacred Space at the outset of a ritual? Those are the issues I’d like to explore in the Summer 2016 issue of Isis-Seshat journal, a quarterly journal of the worldwide Fellowship of Isis open to all theistic Pagans, Polytheists, shamans, spirit-workers, and related practitioners besides FOI members (clergy and laity). Continue reading
The ninth and final day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should occur on a Wednesday. The third of the three-day white glass candles burned in Her honor should be close to burning itself out. Take time for quiet contemplation of the entire Novena experience: How did your devotional relationship with La Santísima deepen? In what ways have you changed–perhaps your attitude towards your own mortality? Or your understanding of the nature of prayer in general, or its contextualization in Mexican folk magic and religion in particular? Have any portents presented themselves at any time during the Novena, assuring you that La Flaquíta has in fact been listening to you? Did you feel Her bony fingers steering your ship of destiny in the past nine days in any way? Synchronicities often abound, in my experience. And it has always been my experience that my prayers manifested pretty quickly, especially if I was seeking payback against an enemy. And somewhere in the darkness, La Santa Muerte Negra grins Her skeletal grin broadly…
The eighth day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should take place on a Tuesday. Check to see how the three-day candle you lit yesterday is faring. Is the flame burning steadily and cleanly? Is the glass clear? Or has a dark layer of soot, representing an obstacle to the fulfillment of your prayers, formed at the lip of the glass? Overall, what sort of vibration does your shrine to La Santísima exude? How content does She seem to be with your offerings?
The seventh day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should occur on a Monday. Today is the day to light the third of the three white, three-day glass candles that were required for the perpetual flame. Again, if at all possible, transfer, using a stick of incense or the head of a match, the flame from the second candle before it expires to the third one. As you do so, say:
“Flame to flame, the purity of my intentions is ignited.”
If the second candle has already burned out, don’t worry about it. Dress the third candle with any essential oils or herbs that would correspond with your intentions. Light your incense first—again, copal is traditional.
Monday is the day traditionally assigned to offering La Santa Muerte Her offerings on a weekly basis, so go all out and splurge on delectable offerings for Her shrine(s), especially as this is the last third of the Novena. Procure pretty flowers. Offer fresh water in Her clear chalice. Give Her fine chocolates. Pour some primo tequila in a shot glass. Get a decent cigar, if you’re not adverse to offering tobacco, and blow some smoke in Her face before you begin your prayers. Continue reading
The sixth day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should fall on a Sunday. As it’s the start of a new week, the emphasis is on purification and on cleanliness. On this day of the Novena, it’s best to approach La Santa Muerte after you’ve had a cleansing spiritual bath, which can be as simple as adding epsom salts and either dried jasmine flowers or drops of jasmine essential oil to your hot bath water. If you’re in need of healing, add hyssop as well. If you’re looking to bolster your spiritual protection/psychic hygiene, rue and bergamot are good choices. Continue reading
The fifth day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should occur on a Saturday. This day is a day of power–technically past the midpoint–in the nine-day prayer vigil and series of offerings, so you want to ensure that you’re stepping up your offerings today. Show La Santísima that you appreciate Her for Who She is, not just what She does for you. Continue reading
The fourth day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should occur on a Friday. If you’ve been paying Her proper homage all this time, you should definitely be experiencing a shift in energies surrounding the areas in your life for which you’ve been petitioning Her help. In my experience, She responds to prayers pretty swiftly, especially when it comes to addressing injustice: Gracías, Mi Flaquíta! As with other Virgin Goddesses I venerate (such as Artemis), I find that La Santa Muerte paradoxically exudes a fierce maternal protectiveness towards Her devotees. She is so deserving of our thanks and praise! Be generous with your offerings for Her. The great Irish writer Oscar Wilde is said to have quipped, “I have very simple tastes: I simply demand the best of everything!” Let that be your guide in the quality of the heartfelt offerings you give to the Bony Lady! Continue reading