I’ve been exploring much more of LA lately after I’ve settled in town for quite some time. I can’t say that I’m fully accepting of where I live right now, but I’m trying to feel at home here. The city itself is alive with so much energy and it was a little jarring at first seeing the sights, being around the people, and learning the streets and the freeways (which I am not entirely of the 605 and 405).
But yeah, yesterday when I was with family we were on our way for lunch on Melrose and we passed by this little sanctuary for La Santa Muerte. It was the Templo Santa Muerte and it is one of LA’s many dedicated shrines to the Holy Mother of Death. Santa Muerte isn’t a spirit to be trifled with and not a spirit to take lightly. Her dedicated followers leave cigarettes, alcohol, and other prescribed items on her altar and they pray for a remission of problems, a spurned lover, safety of travel, personal safety, and so on.
She is a spirit of the disenfranchised and the people living on the fringes of society. They turn to her for help when no one else seems to offer any other solutions.
I came across La Santa Muerte for the first time in Greensboro, NC when I was perusing through the local metaphysical shop that wasn’t too far from my college. There was a white novena candle with La Santa Muerte inscribed on the glass and an oración or prayer to her. I was intrigued and a little intimidated by the thought of praying to Death of all things in the world. I did some research on La Santa Muerte after and found a lot of things about her resonating with me and intriguing me even more. My experience with La Santa Muerte doesn’t stop there.
On another occasion when I was in an occult shop in Raleigh, NC, I saw a book (look up Tomás Prower’s La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of Death) on the shelf and decided to pick it up and read a couple of pages. I was intrigued and felt a call toward her at that moment. There have been spirits that have been popping up left and right ever since I put myself on the occult path and studying the mysteries. La Santa Muerte just happened to be one of the spirits that I drew toward to.
Why did I draw toward La Santa Muerte? Well, for one, she accepts anyone who is viewed by society as a pariah or “outcast.” She is a mother for outcasts. Gay people being one of them. Even to this day, LGBT people unfortunately still have some ways to go in terms of possessing equality and prejudice. I’ve felt like an outcast most of my entire life, not always fitting in wherever I am but I did manage to find a small glimmer of light with the few friends I have had. I guess feeling different and set apart from everyone else makes you look for something in other places that most people wouldn’t dare tread and let alone looking for consolation in a spirit of death that can grant any wish to anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, and motives whether benevolent or malevolent.
Also, perhaps I drew to La Santa Muerte specifically in that my Roman Catholic background and Hispanic heritage may have something to do with it. I grew up learning about Roman Catholicism before converting to Southern Baptist (yikes) after moving to the Bible belt when I was 3 years old. La Santa Muerte was a “saint” that I guess I drew toward to naturally because of the veneration and appealing to saints that came with Roman Catholicism.
If I have anymore experiences with her, I’ll be sure to write another post in detail.
As for LA’s metaphysical scene, it’s something I’m still looking into. I’m trying to find likeminded people however in a city as big as LA, it shouldn’t be impossible but I’m very selective with who I hang out with. A lot of the metaphysical and spiritual wellness scenes can be a lot of crock and “woo-woo” to the point of being absurdedly out of the realm of reality and personal empowerment. There are some things in the metaphysical scene I don’t agree with which I will not go into too much detail on here, but the fact that some people spend over $200 on large chunks of crystals and thinking that it will give them wealth and success WITHOUT the work involved, is just……. offensive I think.
It may be because I’m more of a logical thinker and that (well no brainer!) putting in work into the physical realm along with spiritual help is more effective than just lighting a candle and praying over a crystal without physical effort involved. I may believe in magic and the supernatural but I am also for sure going to put in my work with the added bonus of a spell or candle prayer. It’s like doing a job spell and not sending out resumés to employers and you just expect something to come out of nothing. I’d rather not wait for an employer to contact me. The spell is an added boost to draw chances of finding a job for you higher than maybe without the spell. Who knows, do what you want to do and do what you feel works for you. But that’s just my personal take on it.
The only occult shops I’ve been to here in LA so far have been House of Intuition (of which they have 3 known locations so far in Highland Park, Sunset Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood). The other occult I went to was Panpipes’ Magickal Marketplace on N. Cahuenga Boulevard, being LA’s oldest occult shop from 1970 starting out as a museum and then to what it is now. Vicky (the current shopkeeper) at Panpipes’ was really nice and helpful on my first visit. The shop was smaller than I expected but it had a plethora of herbs and oils on one wall that looks like a medieval apothecary.
I’ll document more of my LA occult findings throughout the course of this blog.
But yeaah, that’s it for now.