Coastal Breezeway

Santisima Muerte

Santisime Muerte

There’s a growing cult, or cult-like following of the spectral, wraith, hooded Scorpio-looking death’s head figure, really popular in my old borderland areas, essentially the Texas-Mexico border.

Mercury RX & Candles

Santisima MuerteI was first aware of this, bad old days in sketchy East Austin, shopping at the large grocery store at the northwest corner of East Riverside and Pleasant Valley. At the time, there was a whole row dedicated to “7 day votive” candles, with various religious iconography hastily printed on cheap labels. Included were saints, or nominally saints, maybe not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, but certainly understood locally, and one of them? “Santa Muerto.”

It has taken a cult-like meaning, as well, and according to some, worshiped as the black arts, or dark witchcraft, or whatever. I’m a little weak in cults, strong in grocery store candles.

The point and purpose? Supposedly — check the year on the one post — 2009 — Juarez, Mex. was a war zone with collateral damages with deaths in the thousands, while El Paso was relatively safe. Never did quite grasp the dynamic despite long years meandering back and forth.

Roots run deep.

While the Devil’s Elbow isn’t exactly boderlands, my last fishing trip, the specter still looked, and as a matter of form, I had one of those candles on hand, rather be safe than sorry. Last time I was at the coast, not far from the Rio Grande Valley, there was a heaviness to the emotional air, haunted by that spectral figure, the hooded death skeleton. The corona took out a disproportionate percentage of local populations.

I figure a vaccine works better than a candle, but it never hurts to honor the old gods as custom decrees — pay homage to the ancestors that led the way before; honor their paths.

Mile Marker 67

Previously? Mile Marker 67.