lady_kishiria: (Santa Muerte)

Well, then, the goons at the Vatican can't have any pan de los muertos or tequila from me! Santa Muerte and I are BFFs.
lady_kishiria: (wreath)
The previous baktun (Mayan long count calendar) is over. A new one has begun. I've heard that the omens are good for this 2013, but that's largely up to us. So endeth the lesson.

Steve and I went back to Tucson for the long weekend. It was quite cold, which I enjoyed, of course. We got in Saturday night and went out for mesquite-grilled MEAT at a place called Lil' Abner's. It's in an old ranch building from the mid 19th century and the pit is located outside.

On Sunday, Dawn had to work so Karl, Steve and I went shooting in the morning then into Tucscon. We visited the Presidio for a bit, then heard drumming so we crossed the street to see what was up. A restaurant had twho Aztec dancers in very familiar costumes getting ready to do a performance. The one who was speaking was mixing up Mayan and Aztec and putting in mumbo jumbo about being barefoot in order to be in touch with Mother Earth, so we left. I found out from the lady in an arts and crafts store that the performers lived in Tijuana, so the reason they looked so familiar is because I've seen them in Tijuana many times!

After that we stopped by the shrine of El Tiradito. I'd read about this shrine in books by James S. Griffith, who specializes in southern Arizona folklore, so I was very pleased to see it. In addition to the usual saint candles, there were a number of Louisiana voodoo offerings in the form of featureless dolls made of blue satin. After that, we swung by a botanica because it has a Santa Muerte mural, and Karl wanted a picture of himself with it. Karl is an old friend of Steve's from when they were both in high school, and they reconnected because of FaceBook about a year ago. We were astonished to discover that he was now an Asatru with a devotion to Santa Muerte!

We proceeded to St. Xavier del Bac, which is a mission church that has been in continual use since it was built. This is not the case with most, if any, California missions. It's also much more ornamented than any mission church I've seen here, and looks more Mexican than any church I've seen in the U.S. There's a tradition, also written about by Mr. Griffith, that an unfaithful spouse cannot lift the head of the statue of St. Xavier. The statue lies prone with its head on a pillow. I lifted its head but Steve seemed unimpressed.

St Xavier

Yesterday (New Year's Eve), Dawn had the day off so the four of us drove to Tombstone. It's always odd for me to go to a place that is that legendary because it's hard to believe it's real. But it is, and I'll resume the story tomorrow.
lady_kishiria: (Santa Muerte)
Even though this is my "books" tag, Santa Muerte gets the userpic because this review is all about her!

"Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint" is the book I wanted to write, but R. Andrew Chestnut, professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, beat me to it. Darn people who don't have to spend years away in central Asia! Chestnut was going to write a Guadalupe book (his wife is Mexican) but he got sidetracked when he saw a glass-encased candle with La Flaca on the side. This took him and his family on many journeys, some of which I'm glad he took, and not me. Tepito in Mexico City is as dangerous as they say, and I'm a little too cautious to go to isolated shrines on the border.

This book came out this year, so it mentions the very good Santa Muerte documentary (Netflix has it), as well as all the most recent pop culture mentions. There is, for instance, a movie by an Evangelical Christian that is meant to warn against Santa Muerte but instead is P.R. for her. (Must find.) He also got lengthy interviews with both Santa Muerte priest David Romo (now incarcerated for kidnaping) and Dona Queta, owner of the original Tepito shrine.

Chestnut arranges the book in chapters named after the colours of the Santa Muerte candle, white for belief, red for love, green for justice, etc.

While it's inevitable that narcotraficantes and other thugs appear in his book, he neither minimizes their presence among the more law-abiding faithful nor makes it appear that Santa Muerte is primarily a saint for the drug trade. She comes across instead as a love goddess gone generalist, to whom anyone may pray for anything because she treats everyone equally. Interestingly, many of the things the believers Chestnut interviewed repeated things that I'd come to believe through my own unverified personal gnosis (UPG), such as that Santa Muerte doesn't like coming for the soul of someone bound for damnation.

There is also a very nice bibliography.

Santa Muerte gives this one five tequila bottles out of five.
lady_kishiria: (Virgin of Ocotlan)
My subconscious is trying to tell me something but I don't know what.

Dreamt I was in the living room of the house I grew up in. Some people who I know now, but not well, who are heathens were coming over to celebrate a feast day. My dad showed up, and didn't go off into a rage, he sat down to see what was going on and even participated. I put my rugs from Afghanistan down on the table and before I could get any of my religious objects, they'd put down theirs. The devotional items in question were images of Thor. I was worried that my mom was going to show up as my dad was still interested. I went into my room (old bedroom in old house) to put the items I'd taken back onto an altar I'd built to "the goddesses". Most of the images were of the Virgin Mary and one was of Santa Muerte. I remembered I had an image of Kali (which I do in the waking world) and thought, "Oh, how could I have forgotten her?" I got it from my current waking-world living room and put it on the goddesses altar. Then I went back to the living room and we pulled runes. The only one I remember is Othala.

I've a feeling the meaning is obvious and I'm "too close" to see it. Mothers are definitely a theme, but I don't know in what capacity.
lady_kishiria: (Default)
I didn't get what [profile] dmckilli meant when he commented on Russians taking over LJ. I thought it was a reference to all those Russian LJers who come in and friendlist you for no reason you can determine because you can't read Russian and neither can I anymore. (I did once.)

Newp, apparently LJ has literally been Sold To The Russians. I'm not really comfortable about this. I shrugged off the Great Strikeout and know people who are finding the flagging feature useful. This feels really wrong, though, so we'll see what happens.

Remember, in Soviet Russia, LJ blog YOU.

In other news, Mei-Mei has a new personal physician, the staff at VCA Angel four minutes from us down 30th. She needs a blood panel, a teeth cleaning, and a sample of her pewpiez taken in to make sure she doesn't carry toxicoplasmosis or giardia. Steve tested her glucose this afternoon and it was still in normal levels, yay. She's kind of been peeing a lot so I wondered.

Christmas tree is up. I brought it and the box of ornaments in yesterday afternoon and we put it up yesterday evening. I can't find my German ornaments though, and that has me very upset! No time to hunt for them now, so I may just hit Target for some other ornaments to keep the tree from looking underdressed.

And because this is a mishmash of, like, everything, here's a closeup of that Santa Muerte "makeover". I really, really hate it. A lady in the church said to the interviewer that she likes the new statue because "it's not as scary now." She's supposed to be scary! She's DEATH! Somebody thinks she's Cher, apparently.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

lady_kishiria: (Pope Happycat)
I've been reading a lot about St Francis of Assisi lately. I've taken to wearing the Tau cross to remind myself all the time of how the Seraphic Father would react to those around him.

I'm reading a book of his writings. Some of his words that struck me:

"I should like you to prove that you love God and me, his servant and yours, in the following way. there should be no friar in the whole world who has fallen into sin, no matter how far he has fallen, who will ever fail to find your forgiveness for the asking, if he will only look into your eyes."

His blessing to Brother Leo is world famous:

"God bless you and keep you.
May God smile on you and be merciful to you.
May God turn His regard towards you and give you peace."

And of course the Canticle of the Sun:

"Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility."
lady_kishiria: (horrors!)
They turned Santa Muerte into...into...

...I can't even say it. Just see for yourself:
lady_kishiria: (Hapsburg)
I dreamt Steve dropped me off in Tijuana. Based on my recent Santa Muerte kick here, I had decided to start researching for an article or book. As in the waking world, this meant, "Buy gewgaws and thingummies."

I walked through a TJ that looked somewhat different (more Disney-like) than the real one and got to the cathedral where someone had placed a 24-inch Santa Muerte in the church, sort of in the middle of an aisle. I was curious as to what the reaction to this would be. I went off to a shop and bought statues, medals, and a Santa Muerte tarot deck which was about 104 cards, twice the thickness of a normal deck, and packaged in a box 2/3 its size. Irked about extra packaging, I nonetheless realized I could put everything awkwardly in the box for carrying. I took the deck out of its inner box and looked through the cards. They gave me a very unsettled feeling, even if the images weren't terribly eerie, and this unsettled feeling lasted into me waking up from the dream.

I went back to the cathedral and it was overflowing with people. The statue had been removed. There was a priest outside who I knew and liked, but I didn't want him to see me with a boxful of Santa Muerte items in case he freaked out about them, so I hastened on. I ran into Steve who offered to give me a ride somewhere. I said yes and asked him to take my courier bag home so I wouldn't have to carry it and the box (which wasn't that large).

A few minutes later I decided to go home. I suddenly realized I'd given Steve all my ID and that now I was about to try to go through the border guards with no ID and a boxful of merchandise for a figure associated in the American mind with drug traffickers. I thought about pulling a Hunter S. Thompson type, "I AM A DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY!" and that this was for my research, which was true, but I didn't think they'd buy it with no ID. I didn't want to abandon the box since it was about $30 bucks of stuff. I was still thinking about this when I woke up.
lady_kishiria: (Mexican coat of arms)

Academic article from the US Army on Santa Muerte. No one will read it but [ profile] garpu and [ profile] letter_d, but they'll be fascinated, so it's all good.
lady_kishiria: (Mexican coat of arms)
This is kind of a long video, starting with a religious ceremony in Sta. Muerte's honour, turning into the band doing a song celebrating her as well. Not something you see every day.

lady_kishiria: (Mexican coat of arms)
I just found the greatest Santa Muerte EVAR! This is her in the style called "Dona Sebastiana". I've written stories about Dona Sebastiana in the past. She featured in a story I wrote called "In The Street Of Souls" about 17 years back and Lt. Luna Ruiz prays to her to guide her Zaku's machine gun in "Quinto Sol":
lady_kishiria: (Default)
Found on [profile] echthros

The Tepito neighbourhood, eh? I was going to go to Tepito station anyway since one of my nicknames is Teppy. I'll make a point of checking it out.

(On second thought, I re-read the description of the 'hood...maybe I'll just go visit a nice museum instead.)

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