Everywhere and at all times in the ancient world, when tending-towards sattvic people worshiped the Supreme Lord and His Shakti/Shekinah, They were ALWAYS worshiped TOGETHER. Thus all forms of Pure Land Buddhism have their origins in the worship of both AMITA-BHA and His SHAKTI. Tara (STAR, ASTRAYA/ASTAREA/STELLA) is one of the Shaktis of Vishnu, and when Pure Land Devotional Buddhism spread into China, TARA was initially worshiped along with Avalokiteshvara (Vishnu) as MA Guan Yin. The earliest Icons/Murtis of Guan Yin that are masculine are simply the Father Avalokiteshvara Kuan Yin Form. As the devotion to Ma Guan Yin (TARA) became ever more popular, the devotion to Father Guan Yin (Lokeshvara) both receded in importance and became absorbed-into a kind of we-don’t-know-and-we-don’t-care devotion to the rather a-sexual form of Guan Yin.
Thus, for example, at the Pure Land Temple of ASAKUSA KANNON in Tokyo Japan, the Self-Manifesting Miraculous Murti of KANNON there cannot be clearly identified as either female or male. AND, some of the Asakusa Kannon devotees worship their KANNON exclusively as Mother Kuan Yin, and others worship the same Deity as Father KANNON / Kuan Yin! All however chant their version of the Jewel-Lotus mantra, which is simply to invoke the Name of Amitabha as Nembutsu “Namu Amida Butsu”. But, if you inquire about the Bija (SEED) Mantra Name of AMIDA (Amita-Bha) you may be told that it is HRIH! Thus this Holy Name has endured from Ancient Afganistan etc. and later Tibet all the way to Japan. Vaishnavism also reached Japan by the Southern sea coast routes too. Thus Japanese Pure Land Buddhism has some North Indian and South Indian Vaishnava syncretism in it.
When I made my pilgrimage to Asakusa Kannon, I asked many devotees about their worship of Kannon, and no one seemed to care at all that some worshiped Kannon exclusively as Mother and others as Father, and some as Mother-Father combined! However, significantly, some of the other distinctly feminine and masculine Forms of Vishnu/Lokeshvara and His Shaktis are there in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, and these can be traced back overland through Korea and China to ancient Greater India and Tibet etc., or via the sea route to South Indian Vaishnavism.
Astraya/Tara/Stella Maris ki jaya!
Every time that Avalokiteshvara (Amitayus/Baladeva as Lokeshvara/Vishnu) incarnates for the salvation of the world, Tara appears as His Mother! Tara is the Mother of All incarnations of the Buddha!
This is the real significance of the Star of Bethlehem! Heavenly Tara appears on EARTH as Mary-Mariam/Nar-Narayani to give BIRTH to EmmanuEL Who is ELI/HARI ‘GOD-with-us’! Told by the Angel/Angirasa (heavenly messenger of Vishnu) to name Her Son YAHU-SHUA, Mary names and identifies Him both the Afro-Heleno-Semitic Great Physician Iasas YAHU-SHUA (Serapis/Asclepius/Eshmun), and with Lord Baladeva as the self-sacrificed cosmic Purusha (YA), Who gives Salvation (SHU) to the entire cosmos by purifying and redeeming it (Egyptian and Sanskrit SHU, Hebrew SHUA). Sanskrit YA-SHU translates the same as Hebrew Yahu-Shua, and Greek IASAS, IASON, which later become Jesus, Joshua and Jason in English.
Considering that Sanskrit Ya (Hebrew YAHU) is a Name of Purusha, and that Egyptian, Hebrew and Sanskrit SHU/Shua means to ritually purify, make pure, redeem, preserve and/or save, YA-SHU means the ‘Salvation of YA’ (Purusha) or ‘YA SAVES’. The esoteric idea, or variant Vaishnava teaching that YASODA is the ‘real’ Mother of both Krishna and Balarama cannot be dis-connected from the fact that Mary as the Mother of Jesus is YA-SHO-DHA, or ‘YAHU-SHUA-Bearer’ or ‘Jesus-Bearer’, or ‘Bearer of the Salvation of Ya’ or ‘Bearer of Ya Who Saves’. Dha, Dhara as ‘Bearer’ in Sanskrit is cognate with TOR to bear, carry, in Latin. Mary as Jesus-Bearer YA-SHO-DHA has no doubt been associated-with or confounded with Mother Yasoda/Yashoda the Mother ‘Real’ Gokula/Goloka Mother of Krishna (and sometimes Balarama). The Bucolic ‘Cow Paradise’ or Boukolion of the Hiero-gamos Sacred Wedding of Helios Kouros and Kore, is also the setting of the childhood pastimes of Kouros and Kore and their expansions as the Kouroi cowherd boys (Gopas) and Korae Girls (Gopis). In Vaishnavism the elder Gopas and Gopis, including the Mother and Father Forms, are all expansions of the original Youthful Forms of God Ess. Thus Mother Yasoda is an expansion or emanation of Radha, and Father Nanda is an expansion or emanation of Baladeva. Mary is called the Mystical Rose and is thus identified as both the Rhodian Mother of God the Son (Asclepius Iasas), and the Beloved and/or Spouse of God the Father, Helios Kouros. As Divine Mother She is YA-So-Da and as eternal Nymphia/Virgin beloved of God (in Bridal Mysticism) She is Rhoda/Radha.
Zeus-Jupiter ARATOR ‘Plow Bearer’ is Balarama by His Name HALA-DHARA!
And what about Baladeva appearing as Jesus the Great Physician Who Takes away the sins of the cosmos/world (Yagna Purusha ‘Sacrifice Personified’ and Yupa Dhvaja ‘Purusha Whose Flag/Emblem is the stake of His Sacrifice’)? Does Baladeva as the cosmic PURUSHA of the Purusha Sukta Rig Vedic Hymns ever come to Earth as a ‘Great Physician’? Serapis/Asclepius (IASAS/YAHU-SHUA)/ESHMUN is Baladeva as ANANTA-CHARAKA!
Once upon visiting the Earth, Lord Baladeva (ANANTA SESHA NAGA Who delivered the AYUR VEDA) was stricken by the sufferings of the living entities, and vowed to return in a hidden incarnation as the wandering mendicant healer CHARAKA, who would purify and heal all beings! In the Mediterranean, there were whole religious orders of healers who were named after their God, such as the Asclepiadae, and the later Christians. In the East the name charaka also became a title for generations of Ayur Vedic healers, but the root ‘myth’ of Baladeva as Ananta Sesha Naga revealing the medical Ayur Veda, and later descending as Charaka is still persisting.
Baladeva as the medical-cult related sarpana serpent Ananta Sesha Naga is identifiable back through the SERAPHIM and Nahustan of the Old Testament. His Bronze miraculous Serpent-Staff figures centrally in various Biblical stories, and His Alter-Form as the serpent-staff of Asclepius is revealed in the amazing Greco-Roman story of how Asclepius went from Greece to save Rome from a devastating plague! In that story, Asclepius leaves His MURTI Form in His temple, and turning into a giant Naga, He leaves the temple and gets on a ship to Rome. He is so big that the ship rides low in the water due to His weight, and He rests His head on the top of the mast! All of the way to Rome masses of people crowd to the shores to worship Him. Then in Rome He chooses an island in the river for His sanctuary, and accepting the worship of the Romans, He miraculously ends the plague.
Reference Greek Asclepius, also see Roman Aesculapius
How ancient healing governs modern therapeutics: the contribution … – Google Books Result
by Kleanthes A. Ligeros – 1937 – Health & Fitness – 501 pages
CHAPTER VII RELIGIOUS PERIOD OF HELLENIC MEDICINE— AESCULAPIUS-ASCLEPIADAE 900-700 BC “It is clearly established that, long before the birth of philosophy, …
[The evolution of public welfare from the Asclepiadae of the ...
[The evolution of public welfare from the Asclepiadae of the Xenodochium.] [Article in Undetermined Language]. GALLASSI A. Mesh Terms: Hospitals*
When ALL of the great BIBLE / BYBLOS / PAPYRUS Libraries and Museums (Muse-houses) and Hospitals (sanctuaries of Juno and Jupiter Hospitalis/Vastu-pati Vishnu) of the ancient world were devoted to BAAL-YAHU, Vasudeva Ananta-Baladeva as ‘JESUS’ CHARAKA/ASCLEPIUS/SERAPIS ‘The Great Physician’, ‘The Medical Buddha’ (YAKUSHIJI in the cultus of HRIH in Japan), Why is the whole human race still in such denial about WHO God-With-Us is? Just the archeological evidence from the world’s most ancient and great centers of learning PROVES that from Africa and Europe to the Far East (and even in the Western Hemisphere) the same religion, the worship of HARI, Ananta-Baladeva and His Shakti was formative. Nothing has been hidden from history. It is only the racism, sexism and ‘spiritual pride’ that is blinding humanity to the unifying truth of Godhead’s constant and universal provision for us.
Sukla-Bala’s White Plume
In the cultus of HERU-ASU in Egypt, the Hieroglyph for WASU-SHU as the-SON-of-GOD-Who-SAVES, is the WHITE PLUME! This is the significance of Lord Baladeva’s White Plume. It says His Name SAVIOR! He is YAHU-SHUA, YA (PURUSHA), Who Redeems, Acquits, Buys-back out of Bondage! Baladeva is SUKLA (pure/purifying ‘WHITE’) and VALiantly purifies all = SUKLA BALA. Yahu-BAAL’s compound by-name TOBA-YAHU is VASU-DEVA. In South Egypt He is WASU-Theos VASUDEVA. S. WASU in the North is called ASU, and among the Semites He is YAHU. Among the hundreds of regional by-names of the ‘Old Testement’ ELI and YAHU (Eli-Yahu = HARI-VASU) are Holy Names of Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, HRIH (both the Adi Buddha and Lokeshvara), Helios (Kouros Apollo/Gopala and Dionysos/DevaNyasa), Heru-Asu (Heru the Elder and WASU-THEOS Vasudeva Osiris), Marduk Asaru, Asshur, Ahura Mazda, Zervan, Jupiter, Zeus, Aman-Ra, Apademak etc.
Following all of the in-common Nama Rupa of Krishna-Vishnu (Baladeva) through the different religious cultures, times and regions, reveals that everywhere He was worshiped, His Shakti was also there. Following Her worship we find Him. When they are equally worshiped, tending-toward the mode of goodness, the highest and most benevolent civilizations emerge.
The corruptions and separated worship that leads to social pathology
Where either one is worshiped with out the proper balance of the other, there is socio-religious pathology. The worship of God (ISHA / ISH) without ESS / Ishshah / ISIS / ISHI / Ishvari produces the kind of anti-feminine sexist religious fundamentalism that is most obvious in mainstream Sunni and Shia ISLAM and Protestant and Hindu-Buddhist Fundamentalism. Catholicism is always battling against being permanently over-whelmed by this sexist social force. Only because of the persistent hyperdulia worship of Mary has Catholicism endured with as much of its ancient heritage as it has. The pathology of worshiping/adoring ‘Father God’ without the equal worship/Hyperdulia of the ‘Mother of God’ / Mary-Shekinah/Shakti is obvious, but what about worshiping Shakti without Shaktiman? In history is there any example of any healthy benevolent social order, which exclusively worshiped a so-called ‘Goddess’? We cannot count Pure Land Buddhism in China, because for all of the Chinese devotion to Guan Yin, Her cult was still part of the larger tradition of Amitafo/Amita-bha.
We know that on Lesbos, Sappho and her devotees had a thriving society, but it was essentially a separatist all-female Lesbian culture, which cannot be a model for any sustainable sexually diverse civilization.
Other than considering the Lesbians of Lesbos, the separated exclusive ‘Goddess’ worship of the ancient world has seemingly not produced a motherly benevolent society, but the horrific brutality of the extreme ‘Left-hand Tantric’ ’5 Ms’, the ancient and modern Thag-like Hashhashshin, Sicilian (also Muslim!) Mob, and Japanese Yakuza crime syndicates. These have been historically devoted to the vilest most heretical conception of Kali Ma. The well-intended but dis-connected global law-enforcement fools, who are trying to reduce the global sex-slave, drug and weapons trafficing etc. without understanding the historical role of this heretical Kali Cultus, are never going to make any real progress until they realize how all of these criminal organizations are religiously connected. For example, the problem of sex-slavery and drug trafficing in the Americas has been growing with the help/investment of European and Asian Organized Crime. Along with this involvement has come a fresh ‘inspiration’ of the global heretical Kali cultus into the Americas. But, American scholars are clueless about this Left Hand Tantric heretical Kali Cultus, which entered Europe, hiding within Catholicism, from the old Muslim citrus plantations on Sicily. Now they are trying to understand the rise of the CRIMINAL cult of Santa Muerte – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia by studying pre-columbian culture, and real Catholicism. Instead they need to be looking at the separated heretical global ‘Kali’ cult that is at the religious heart of all of the historically related Organized Crime Syndicates, from that of Santa Muerte in the Americas, to the Sicilian Mob, and the 5MS ‘Tantrists’ of India, to the Yakuza in Japan. (see below….even the rites and offerings to Santa Muerte are common to the heretical Kali cults in India!)
Back to the nectar of the REAL KALI MA…
Kali is the feminine Shakti/Shekinah of NARA HARI as TIME/KALAH. Heru/Eli/Heli/Hari as TIME is Jupiter Saturnus, YHVH TZABAOTH, Zeus Chronos, Heru-Amun-Ra (see Metternich Stela), Apademak in Kush and Ethiopia, Zervan in Persia, ZA in Nepal and Tibet etc. Hari as TIME is also Shiva KALAH Bairava and KALA-PURUSHA, KALA-CHANDJI etc. Kali Ma is also TIME, just as He is. In Her CHRONE form of HEKATE/HEXAD/SEKHET/SHEKINAH/SHAKTI She is the Oldest, and see how in the Americas, corrupted as the L.H. Tantric Santa Muerte, she holds the same symbols as the European Saturnus or ‘Father Time’ as Death the ‘Grim Reaper’. This aged or skeletal Form of Hers is only associated with the Saha Worlds.
Her Original Form
In Her Original Form, Shakti is always the beautiful virgin maiden RHODA (RADHA), NYMPHIA (LOTUS PADME) or KORE (HARE). Her expansions as the Muses, Nymphs (lotus-virgins), Nyads and Milk-Maids (Gopis) of Helios-Kouros (Apollo=Gopala Krishna) on Rhodes are the KORAE. Krishna is Kouros, and Rhoda (Radha) is Kore.
Baal-Theos (Baladeva as Dionysos) is Their Hierophant Priest-Master, and the sole, alone, only Initiator into Their Supreme BUCOLIC BOUKOLION HIERO-GAMOS GOKULA Rhodian ‘Bridal Mysticism’ Mysteries! No one can experience Rhoda and Kouros except by, through, with and in the mercy of the Master of Their Mysteries, the supreme Revelator and priest Servitor Lord BAAL-YAHU (Dionysos). The nearby sacred Isle Dwipa of Ascelpius was His Isle, in His Great Physician Form as IASAS / YAHU-SHUA the cosmos-saving Son of Kouros!
In Egypt, according to legend, all of the great Heliopolitan high civilization of the North and South began with the founding of Heliopolis by Actis (a RAY of Helios), as an offering to his Mother Rhoda and Father Helios Kouros, because he (Actis) was exiled from Rhodes (Eden?) for killing one of his brothers. Other founding stories of Heliopolis involve Heru the Elder and His expansion or alter-Form Asu (Osiris). Heru and Asu are the Semitic ELI-YAHU. BAAL-YAHU was variously considered an alter-from, emanation/expansion or son of ELI. ELI / HELI is HARI (KRISHNA) and BAAL-YAHU is BALADEVA the via-media to ELI/HARI. In every case of Egyptian Heliopolitan founding traditions, there are connections to both the prehistoric cult of HERU-ASU in the Nile Delta, and the cult of Helios on His giant Lotus Island (PADMA-DVIPA) of Rhoda-NYMPHIA, the sacred bucolic (Gokula Cow Paradise/Paradesha) Isle of Rhodes.
In the South ASU as the supreme Lord is called WS, and all of His expansions or alter-forms carry a WS septre that identifies them as VASU-DEVAS. Related to HERU in the North, these are the Biblical ELOHIMA. Compare the many Deity by-names of ELi and Yahu. The sacred cities of the Heliopolitan Alliances are called PER in Egypt, POL in Greece and IR / YIR / UR / UUR etc. among the Semites. These are the PURAS of PUR-USHA. Thus the HERU / ELI / HELI / HARI Form that presided over each of these cities was called its POLIEUS. The word Police, meaning ‘city protector’, is derived from the Holy Name POLIEUS, because each sacred city had its presiding PUR-USHA Form of God, the Vastu Purusha of its main temple, Who was the SOUL and Protector of that city’s mystical Social Body. Of course the Lord could not be ‘born’ or appear in His Temple and city without His HLADINI SHAKTI. So every Heliopolitan Asyla Federation sacred Temple City-state existed only through, with, in and by equal worship of Shakti/Shekinah as TYCHE-FORTUNA.
Today, when you are in a beautiful Catholic Church that has a ROSE WINDOW through which sunlight falls on the sanctuary and the altar, remember that Mary is the MYSTICAL ROSE / RHODA / RADHA and Shekinah Beloved of ELI, and that through HER PERFECT YES ONLY does Christ Enter the World to save it! Thus when sunlight falls on the altar through Mary-Rhoda’s Rose window, this is to remind us that Jesus is the Eternal and Infinite Light (Amita-BHA = Greek PHO!) of the World, Whose revelation always comes through His Eternal Mother RHODA-PADME-TARA-NARAYANI-HARE-SHEKINAH ….
Mary has StarTARA Names like Stella Maris ‘Star of the Sea’. But Maris is another form (feminine) of Her Name as Juno Marina, which is Fem. as the ‘consort’ Shakti Shekinah of Jupiter Marimus, Who is Narayana! Jupiter Marimus is Narayana and Juno Marina is Narayani. The original beautiful youthful Greek Forms of Helios Kouros and Kore Forms were also considered the original Forms of Roman supreme Jupiter (Ya-Pati) and Juno (Yoni). Thus in Rome the original YOUTH-FUL forms of JUPITER and JUNO were called masculine JUVENALIS (Juvenile) and feminine JUVENTA. Obviously this is Krishna Yauvana and Radha Yauvani! Krishna and Radha are nava-Yauvana and Nava-yauvani the ‘ever-new-youthful Beauties’. Sometimes the Kore maiden virgin (Nymphia) Form of Shekinah was called HEBE or ‘hve EVE, which brings us back to all of the Bridal Mysticism theology about the Egyptian BA or bird-symbolized feminine ‘EVE / HEBE / VIVOS / BIOS / JIVA ‘living’ soul-self as the beloved of GOD. The Bactrian era Greeks and Indians who identified Krishna with the ancient Heliopolitan God Heracles (not the late hero) probably considered HEBE ‘HBA to be one of the Forms of the ‘consort’ of that Heracles. Heracles and Hebe (KORE) were definitely associated with each other in the Mediterranean.
Fertile Mother Earth/Eartha/Eortha/Ferta/Bertha/Birth/Ephrata/Phrot/Bharata
The ancient Chaldean and Hebrew name of Beth Lehem is EPHRATA meaning FERTILE! When Vishnu incarnates He ALWAYS appears in BHARATA! Bharata was the name of the entire EARTH. (Once ruled by Maharaja Bharata.)
Beth Lehem is in the area of the earlier BETH EL, which is HET-HERU, the Egyptian Name of Isis as the Mother of the Incarnations of God HERU /ELI. Jesus called His Father ELI and according to Catholic Tradition, both of His ‘material grandfathers’ names were HELI, the Greek form of ELI! So Jesus was the Divine Son and Grandson of ELI/HELI, born of BETH-EL (MARY) HET-HERU, MARI-MARIAM NARI-NARYANI, Shekinah/Shakti in EPHRATA / Thai PHROT / Bharata!
EORTHA (EARTHA feminine) is the same name. BIRTH and Latin FERTA are the same name/word. Only recently has the sub-continent of India been exclusively called Bharata. But Hindu-centrists teach that there have been NO INCARNATIONS OF GOD OUTSIDE OF INDIA, because God only comes to Bharata! Since God does not visit mlecchas and yavanas, He only comes to the hallowed ground of India!
Thus they ignore the Scriptures that tell about Valiant Lord Baladeva (Lokeshvara / Vishnu) descending into every species and world, and even harrowing hells to rescue the most fallen! They chose to ignore the fact that the whole EARTH was called BHARATA, the Fertile place of Birth!
Bharata (Ramayana) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bharata (Sanskrit: भरत, IAST Bharata, Malay: Barata, Thai: Phra Phrot) was the second brother of the main protagonist Lord …
Birth – Exile of Rama – ‘King’ of Ayodhya – King of Takshshila
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharata_(Ramayana) – Cached – Similar -
History – City of Ephrata Home Page
City of Ephrata, 121 Alder Street SW, Ephrata Washington 98823 Phone (509) … the area “Ephrata”- Hebrew for “fruitful” and an older name for Bethlehem. …
http://www.ephrata.org/217.html – Cached – Similar -
Ephrath – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 27, 2009 … The birth of Jesus in nearby Bethlehem in the territory of or “towards Ephrata” (Bethlehem Ephrata) has always been accounted by Christians …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephrath – Cached – Similar -
Ephrath or Ephratah (Hebrew: אפרת\ה) is the name of a Biblical place or tribe.
The first mention of Ephrath occurs in Genesis, in reference to where Rachel dies giving birth to Benjamin and is buried on the road from Bethel. A very old tradition is that Ephrath refers to Bethlehem, and thus that she died on the way there, reflected by the ancient Tomb of Rachel at the city’s entrance.
However, some modern scholars have placed this location closer to Bethel, in the vicinity of Ramallah, based on verses in Samuel I and Jeremiah. A prime candidate according to this view is a site known in Arabic as “kubur beni israil” (“burial of the Children of Israel”), and is adjacent to the “Farah” wadi, whose name recalls “Ephrath”.
Throughout much of the Bible, Ephrath is a description for members of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim, as well as for the possible founders of Bethlehem.
The birth of Jesus in nearby Bethlehem in the territory of or “towards Ephrata” (Bethlehem Ephrata) has always been accounted by Christians a fulfillment of the prophecy in Micah (5:2) [5:1 by Judaism's count]:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (King James Version).
Ephrath was the wife of Caleb (son of Hezron) and mother of Hur (I Chronicles ii. 19 and 50; iv. 4). According to Jewish tradition this was another name for Miriam.
More About Mary/Nari as Shekinah/Hladini Shakti
Just as the Names and Forms of Eli-Yahu and Jesus comprehend the multiplicity of Eastern and ‘Western’ Name-Forms of Hari-Vasu, Mary’s many litanies and apparitions contain the Nama Rupa (Name and Form) of countless manifestations of Shakti/Shekinah. For example, the entire sattvic tradition of ISIS is contained in Her. So as ISIS is HET-HERU as the Mother of HERU, (HARI-KUTI is the Hut or House of Hari), so Mary as the Mother of Jesus is BETH-EL.
Mother Tara/Astraya/Stella ki jaya!
When you establish the sacred place HLADINI SHAKTI SHAKTI / HEKATE / SEKHET / HEXAD / SIX / SEX STAR for the patra etc. in all R HAND Vaishnava and ‘Tantric’ rituals, you invoke Hladini Shakti/Shekinah with (fem.) ASTRAYA. Thus the Greek Supreme Lord as POLIEUS/PURUSHA was ALWAYS invoked with and through His fem. TYCHE. The Romans called TYCHE FORTUNA-MONETA. Fortune and money are derived from Her Name. She was the Shakti of God as Providence. Another name for Fortuna-Moneta was Lucretia. Lucrum, LUCK and Lucre WEALTH are related, as is LAKSHMI. Coins were first MINTED at Her temples in the ancient world! The word MINT is a pun on Her Name as MINTHE/Sacred Labiate/Tulasi and to MINT or create coin.
Of course the earliest metalurgy and minting is also associated with the LEMNOS SHRINES of ELI-YAHU, but that is a million more connections, at least.
Reference: the organized crime cultus of heretical Kali-ma as Santa Muerte
Santa Muerte – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Experts say that residents of crime-ridden neighborhoods such as Mexico City’s Tepito have begun to revere Santa Muerte more than Jesus Christ. Some of her most devoted followers are prostitutes, pickpockets, petty thieves and drug traffickers, associated with economic crimes often done out of desperation. A larger group of believers are poor people who are not necessarily criminals, but the public belief in her by drug traffickers and other criminals has associated her with crime, especially organized crime.
While the cult is most firmly based in poor neighborhoods, Santa Muerte is not unknown in upper class areas such as Mexico Cit’s Condesa and Coyoacán districts. However, the cult’s negative image in the rest of society has an effect. With the exception of some artists and politicians, some of whom perform rituals secretly, those in higher socioeconomic strata look upon the cult with distaste as a form of superstition.
Mexican authorities have linked the worship of Santa Muerte to prostitution, drug trafficking, kidnapping, smuggling and homicides. Criminals, among her most fervent believers, are likely to pray to her for successful conclusion of a job as well as escaping from the police or jail. In the north of Mexico, she is venerated along with Jesús Malverde, the so called “Saint of Drug Traffickers.” Altars with images of Santa Muerte have been found in many drug houses in both Mexico and the United States. Among two of Santa Muerte’s more famous devotees are kidnapper Daniel Arizmendi López, known as El Mochaorejas, and Gilberto García Mena, one of the bosses of the Gulf Cartel. She is considered to be the “Virgin of the Incarcerated.” Many of those who enter prison in Mexico without believing in her, come to do so after a number of months. Many cells have images of Santa Muerte in different forms. Conversely, however, both police and military in Mexico can be counted among the faithful who ask for blessings on their weapons and ammunition.
As noted above, the cult’s roughly two million adherents are mostly in Mexico State, Guerrero, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Campeche, Morelos and Mexico City, with a recent spread to Nuevo León and Chihuahua. However, Santa Muerte can be found throughout Mexico and now in parts of the United States.