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On Death and Dying

May 15, 2018

I first tasted death when I was very young. My birth mother had had a strong sense of social justice and walked the walk. She had no reservation about fighting for equality and she put her literal life on the line to meet injustice where it stood. She lost her life to a police baton. In that loss, her warrior spirit passed to me. I always look down at my legs and i know that her spirit is what keeps them strongly planted in the earth, never to shake in battle.

My sister was killed in a very public manner. Their were news stories, media on our lawn, phone calls and a film crew at her funeral. This was when I first called in the shadow of Mictecacihuatl. I asked to be hidden and embraced by death, and she obliged. I didn’t know who I was calling on at the time. But when timing was right we met a few years later. Since the night of my sisters death,

She has walked with me. Santa Muerte has been my companion in Death work before I could say her name.

Death and I broke bread multiple times in between 12 and 18. Denver used to be a very different city, pre gourmet cup cake shops.  Violence often tore through the flesh of the night sky, claiming a son to be swallowed up never to fulfill the ancestral dreams. I still set lights for Them. Asking for nothing forever knowing I have a lot to live up to. Your ancestors aren’t only those that share your bloodlines. Sometimes they are the ones who’s blood fed the earth in order for you to survive.

At 18 my father left this plane. She came full of mercy and love. Muerte knowing She was taking an accomplished soul did so peacefully, leaving an offering that would memorialize his legacy endlessly.

She has been a constant accomplice in life.

Knowing She is forever the shadow I can call in, the warmth I can fall into, the warrior I can ride into battle next to, the magic I can loose myself into has been the most powerful feeding in this lifetime. I feed Death and death feeds me. She feeds my work, my magic and is my life’s blood. She makes herself known to all around me and invites those I love to fall into her embrace when needed. Working with the Dead will always be a place of power and a place of protection for me. Working in death is truly working with the most powerful and eternal form of life.


Author: Loretta Ledesma, founder of the Mile High Conjure Gala, is Santisima Muerte devotee and practitioner who has had a relationship with the Santa Muerte for many years. She approaches the work from an eclectic and close relationship with the dead. Loretta walks her spiritual path openly and comfortably with the less freely-talked about workings and brings deep knowledge and experience of this strangely beautiful wisdom to her teachings. Find her at Ritualcravt or follow her on Instagram @thedeathwitch