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Santa Muerte Altars and Altar Offerings

For sharing altars and getting advice on building an altar. Altars are not necessary for building a relationship with the Santa Muerte, but constructing an altar is recognized as an act of devotion. Any questions about altars or how altar offerings are made? Please discuss here.

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  • How many candles can I burn at a time at her alter ? I currently have one multi color, two gold, one green , one white, & two red. Two are for my roommate & 5 is for me.
    • As long as you can do it safely, burn as many as you like. Each relationship with Santa Muerte is unique, so it makes sense for every altar to be a little unique as well - in my opinion.
    • I have a rosary workshop, and I maintain a continuous septenario (weekly schedule of prayers) for my customers' intentions. I also add candles regularly for the intentions of my friends and family. The one thing that I have learned is that I must always remember to add candles with gratitude and thanksgiving. She doesn't like it when She is only used or "worked" to ask for things. Santa Muerte especially values the relationship between Herself and devotees, so it's important for me to light a nice candle just to say "thank you". For those, She likes the scented tricolor jar candles from Dollar General, as well as decorated LED candles with glitter and sequins. Remember that She is a maternal Being, and say thanks to your Mama regularly with candles and flowers!
  • Hi. Is there a specific set up for her altar? Someone told me to not put anything on the left side because it was for bringing things in you’re life. I only have the Blanca statue but I had a dream where she was was wearing a dress and a shirt. This statue is solid but I’ll try to start making with 3 color cloaks. I lit a candle every day for her and have fresh water. When I lit the candle I also burn some copal and put a drop of rose oil on her or Saint oil. I do have two ongoing hoodoo spells still going on on her altar but no saint is involved in it. Would that be ok? Or do I need to move those to a different altar?
    • Many people have many rules. The tradition of Santa Muerte is one that largely grew from whispers and quiet gossip among the poorest and most desperate. Veneration of Santa Muerte is a tree with many branches that all lead to the same destination. This is why many of those rules and traditions are regional or familial. Everything you describe is okay - but nobody can give you permission on how to build your own Santa Muerte altar.
  • Hi, I’m part of a Santa Muerte Facebook group where I showed a picture of my altar. Someone suggested to keep the left part next to her statue open for new things to come into you’re life, could someone give me a good intro how to set it up? I have white robed fixed statue now too. She is in the middle on the highest place at my altar and I have a few hoodoo spells still going there too. She has water, rose petals and honey with a cereal bar piece as an offering. Sometimes I give her tequila too. I would love to know some more details about this.
    • Every relationship with death is unique. Build your altar through your own intuition. The only thing you need for a Santa Muerte altar is a depiction of Santa Muerte - the rest is really up to you.
  • My altar started out as a few pictures printed from Facebook, tacked onto the wall, with an LED candle beneath them. I eventually felt the urge to pamper a real statue, but prices and especially shipping costs were prohibitive (there are no botanicas in our area, and the Mexican shops pointedly keep their distance from Santa Muerte, Malverde, and the rest of the “folk saints”). I asked Mother Muerte, and I was led to a somber-faced Latina fashion doll sitting in the closeout bin at the dollar store. A few scraps of fabric later, and She was all dressed in black and ready to be venerated.

    Eventually there were more leftover dolls and fabric remnants, and things started to take shape. But there isn’t anything on my altar that cost more than a dollar or two. Silk flowers, LED candles, a vintage silk scarf as an altar cloth...the point is to build the relationship first and foremost. That’s what an altar is for. It’s not a checkout lane where you make transactions; it’s a cozy place where you can get to know each other better. And while I recognize that building a large altar is often an act of gratitude and love, all too often it seems to be an attempt to buy one’s way into Mother’s love and grace.

    Having said that, my red-robed Santa Muerte likes Her girly stuff. I make sure she gets a spritz of citrus cologne daily, and that Her flowers and dresses are always clean and bright. She also demands that my husband smoke a cigar and have a drink with her every Friday night. All the “Girls” like to watch us eat fruit and drink juice, but we don’t leave unattended food on the altar for the same reason that we don’t use regular candles: inquisitive cats who sleep right next to the altar. I’m prone to sneak an illicit KitKat bar into the house (I’m supposed to watch my sugar consumption) and eat it in front of the altar. The point is that Mother Muerte is a member of the household. She wants to do what families do: eat and drink together, spend time talking, and making crafts together.

    Santa Muerte’s altar is not so much about working magickal rituals, but is more about letting Her have a room of Her own where she is loved and cherished. As someone whose childhood was violent and chaotic, I find the serenity of a simple altar and flickering candles to be a healing experience for me. Sewing dresses, arranging dollar-store silk flowers, and all the rest… it’s what you do when you love each other.
    • Yes. Thank you! That makes sense. I’m already inspired to make her a few cloaks and skirts. ❤️
    • Sounds lovely - thanks for sharing how your altar grew, your post should be very helpful for new devotees.
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