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The Scythe and the Pentagram: Santa Muerte from Folk Catholicism to Occultism
Uppsala University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9136-4277
2017 (English)In: Religions, ISSN 2077-1444, E-ISSN 2077-1444, Vol. 8, no 1, 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Santa Muerte is establishing a presence among practitioners of contemporary occultism in Europe and North America. The occult milieu is highly different from the Mexican cult of Santa Muerte, having a strong heritage of secrecy and tradition as social capital and being mostly middle-class in orientation. Nonetheless, this Catholic folk saint with a mostly pragmatic, popular, and grassroots cult is becoming increasingly popular among occultists. Based on a survey of three recent books on Santa Muerte geared towards an Anglophone, occult audience, it is therefore the aim of this article to understand how and why the Skeleton Saint is attracting adherents in the occult milieu, by analyzing the underlying causes of this growing trend, as well as the conditions shaping it. It is the overall argument of this article that the beginning reception of Santa Muerte in occultism is a result of perceived needs and demands specific to the occult milieu rather than characteristics inherent in the symbol itself, and that an analysis of the ways in which she is spreading outside of her original sociocultural context must be guided by an understanding of the novel one she is integrated in.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2017. Vol. 8, no 1, 1
Keyword [en]
Santa Muerte; occultism; Catholicism
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136896DOI: 10.3390/rel8010001ISI: 000398703400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136896DiVA: diva2:1092058
Available from: 2017-04-29 Created: 2017-04-29 Last updated: 2017-05-21

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf