blue-robed santa muerte

Get to Know Santa Muerte (with Tarot Spread)

blue-robed santa muerte

Santa Muerte is featured as XIII Death in the Mystical Tarot of the Saints that I reviewed here on the blog last week. I immediately felt drawn to getting to know her better as soon as I saw her image. Santa Muerte is a Mexican Catholic folk saint known as Our Lady of the Holy Death or simply Holy Death in English. In spite of being referred to as a folk saint, many take her syncretic pagan origins into account and view her more as an underworld deity or the personification of death.

Take me to the Santa Muerte Tarot spread!

Santa Muerte, who is known by many names including La Nina Bonita (the pretty girl), La Dama Poderosa (the powerful lady) and La Huesuda (the bony one), is the result of a a complex cultural syncretism. The skeletal grim reaper figure that Catholic priests used as a visual aid when preaching the gospel to the indigenous population gradually blended with veneration of underworld deities. This fusion incorporates elements from indigenous religions alongside Catholic practices and iconography. However, it is important to note that the Catholic church completely condemns veneration of Santa Muerte.

Satanic Claims

Mainstream Catholic doctrine maintains that worship should be reserved for God and recognised saints. La Dama Poderosa does not fit within the parameters of Catholic sainthood. They even refer to her veneration as ‘satanic.’ Despite the church’s stance (or because of it?), veneration of Santa Muerte is the fastest growing new religious movement in the world according to author Andrew Chestnut.

Part of Santa Muerte’s appeal is perhaps that she, unlike the church represents a total lack of judgment. Hence many on both sides of the law appeal to her for help. And people on both sides of the law testify to her swift and efficient aid.

Study Resources

If you want more information about Santa Muerte, her history and how the movement is spreading in the world today, I recommend this video by Religion for Breakfast (only 20 minutes but packed with facts) and the book La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic and Mysticism of Death by Tomás Prower (affiliate link).

My Personal Experience with Santa Muerte

Based on my limited knowledge of and experience with Santa Muerte, I view her as an aspect of the Dark Mother and quite similar to the Norse Goddess Hel. However, I do believe she is a unique being with her own specific likes and dislikes. My understanding of who she is will hopefully continue to evolve as I get to know her better.

Why I feel drawn to work with Santa Muerte rather than returning to work with Hel is that I can more easily integrate her energy and make it part of the spiritual support system of my deep mind since I already mainly work with other deities and beings from the same/a similar pantheon, including Archangel Michael, Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary as well as some of the saints.

I also see Santa Muerte as the death aspect of the Great Mother Goddess who encompasses life, death and rebirth. But I don’t feel a need to expand on this knowledge at an intellectual level at this point in time. Getting to know Santa Muerte is all about experiencing her. There is no established authoritative literature or dogma that accompanies this relatively new, exponentially expanding spiritual/religious movement. And to be frank, that is probably the main appeal for me. I’m thirsty for gnosis.

I Asked for a Sign from Santa Muerte

So one evening a couple of days ago, I asked for a clear sign from Santa Muerte. I wanted a sign that she wants me to learn from her as much as I desire to be under her tutelage. To my dismay, I received no sign through the night but I made a note of that in my journal and decided that I would continue to look for signs. I quietly asked for a sign later the same morning while walking the dogs. Popular signs from underworld deities are… you guessed it… bones! Well, look what I nearly stumbled on. It was literally on the path in front of me as if someone had left it there for me to find. It is now on my altar and since I made this video, I have also added an image of Santa Muerte to my altar.

The Santa Muerte Tarot Spread

Santa Muerte Tarot Spread
  1. The Call – Why Santa Muerte is reaching out to you
    Reflect on the reasons why you might feel drawn to or called upon by her. This card can reveal the underlying motives or spiritual insights that she wishes to impart upon you.
  2. The Offering – What you can offer to Santa Muerte
    Consider what personal abilities, energies or sacrifices you can offer to show your commitment and respect towards Santa Muerte. This might be an activity, a change in behavior, or an energy you are willing to release.
  3. The Challenge – Obstacles in your path with Holy Death
    Identify the difficulties or challenges you might face in establishing or maintaining a connection with her. Awareness of these can help you prepare and overcome them.
  4. The Protection – How Our Lady of the Holy Death can shield you
    Seek understanding of the ways in which she may offer protection and comfort to you. This card represents the guardianship and safekeeping you can expect on your path.
  5. The Lesson – The wisdom Santa Muerte imparts to you
    This card may represent a key lesson or area of growth that she is guiding you towards. Read together with the next card.
  6. The Transformation – The change Santa Muerte brings into your life
    Reflect on how she can facilitate your transformation and guide you through cycles of death and rebirth. This card symbolises the evolution you will experience through her influence. Read together with the previous card.
  7. The Connection – How to strengthen your bond with Santa Muerte
    Contemplate on ways to deepen your relationship with her. This card can suggest actions, meditations, or offerings that could enhance your spiritual connection with her.


  1. Begin by finding a quiet space, and clear your mind. You may wish to light a candle and some incense to facilitate the connection. Set the intention to connect with Santa Muerte through the Tarot. You may wish to say a prayer from the heart here.
  2. Shuffle the cards while focusing on your question or the type of guidance you are seeking.
  3. Draw seven cards from the Tarot deck and lay them out in the order described above.
  4. Interpret each card according to its position and how it relates to your life and spiritual practice.
  5. Contemplate the spread and journal about the insights or messages received.

Sampe Reading with the Mystical Tarot of the Saints

sample tarot reading santa muerte tarot  spread mystical tarot of the saints

Remember to approach the reading with respect and openness, and to thank Santa Muerte for any wisdom and guidance you receive through this spread.

1. The Call – Why Santa Muerte is reaching out to you

XIII Death

Santa Muerte’s call to you through the Death (her own card!) card signifies a time of transformation and transition. This is not an omen of physical demise, but rather an indication of profound change. She is reaching out to you at this pivotal moment in your life, where outmoded beliefs or aspects of your identity are shedding away, making room for a new phase. Embrace the end of one cycle to welcome the beginning of another. Her calling is definitely real rather than imagined. You couldn’t ask for stronger confirmation than Arcanum XIII.

2. The Offering – What you can offer to Santa Muerte

6 of Swords

Your offering to Santa Muerte as represented by the 6 of Swords is your willingness to move forward. It suggests a journey away from turbulence towards calmer waters. Your conscious effort to transition into a place of healing and clarity is what you can present to Santa Muerte, acknowledging your readiness for change and growth. It can also relate to writing and teaching about her.

3. The Challenge – Obstacles in your path with Holy Death

Ace of Wands

The obstacle presented by the Ace of Wands indicates that your challenge may lie in finding the initiative or spark to start a new venture or create a fresh start. Santa Muerte is guiding you to overcome inertia or the overwhelming potential of beginnings. Harness this creative energy to push through obstacles that are impeding your path.

4. The Protection – How Santa Muerte can shield you

The Moon

Her protection envelops you with the energy of The Moon. This card suggests that she can help you navigate through fears, anxieties, uncertainty and the unknown. The Mystical Tarot of the Saints depicts the comforting embrace of the Great Mother Goddess. She grants increased psychic abilities and insight as your protective cloak. Trust your intuition to guide you through the shadows.

5. The Lesson – The wisdom she imparts to you

10 of Swords

The wisdom imparted by Holy Death through the 10 of Swords is one of acceptance in the face of betrayal or painful endings. This difficult card indicates that the lesson is in confronting harsh truths and finding the strength to release yourself from past burdens. It’s teaching you the value in hitting rock bottom; there’s nowhere to go but up. New beginnings are showing in the next card…

6. The Transformation – The change Santa Muerte brings into your life

The Magician

Our Lady of the Holy Death facilitates a powerful transformation in your life with The Magician. This change is about realising the power that lies within you to manifest your reality. You are being called to use your skills, tools, and resources to create your desired outcomes. This is a time of actualising your potential and bringing forth a significant, life-altering change through your own will. It’s a time of new beginnings after the difficult endings indicated in the 10 of Swords.

The Connection – How to strengthen your bond with Holy Death

4 of Cups

To strengthen your bond with her, attend to the message of the 4 of Cups. This card suggests that you may be feeling dissatisfied with your current spiritual connection or doubting your ability to develop a close relationship. Look beyond past disillusionment and recognise the gifts being offered now. Open yourself up to divine insights and embrace the emotional and spiritual nourishment she has for you.

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