This is a contemporary shrine to the deity known as Ah puch God of Death in the Mayan tradition he was considered to be a malevolent aspect of death. He was greatly feared by the Maya as he was believed to stalk those that were in their sick beds ready to take their lives. Among other things he was said to cause painful death by disease or other forms of pain he embodied the more tragic aspects of death. This is a statue of him that I own and it represents his aspect as a bloated corpse noted by his puffy or swolen features which is a mid stage of corpse decomposition. Shown in the statue he is holding a human skull and is wearing a skull necklace, around his head are bells.
This is a model altar similar to my actual working altar this model altar was photographed prior to the statue's consecration and actual use in Necromantic Ritual. Remember it is unwise to take photos of your actual ritual altars as they are an intimate part of your magikal world and thus akin to your essence.
The elements of the altar should speak for themselves as to the shade of the work at hand. Some of his sacred symbols are present three owl feathers can be seen which are from the Barn owl of which many visit the trees here in my home and leave behind feathers as birds often do. In between the feathers is a black obsidian skull representative of the dark consciousness and the death spirit itself this is more of a power object used as a focal point and beacon of power as crystals are used in shamanic work. To his left is a ceramic skull with a black candle atop representing a work or petition of a darker nature. To his right is a bottle of Tequila as an offering to the spirit and a wine glass filled with water for Ah puch to drink and at his center is a cigar to used in the offering. Also note to his far left is a death flower which smells like a rotting carcas stapelia gigantea or carrion flower. Above and behind him is a Posada dia de los muertos fan depicting Don Quixote on a skeletal horse waking the dead, further emphasing the tone of the ritual. More information will be available in an article to be posted on this fascinating and grim god of death Ah Puch
Here's another angle of the Ah Puch altar
Here's an Altar to Baron Samedi the Lord of the Cemetery and of the Dead in the Voodoo pantheon. The large cross was home made and painted the skull head with top hat was bought although also handcrafted, note the altar is draped in purple which is one the Baron's primary colors, note the skull to the left of the Baron representative of the dead he watches over in the cemetery and a purple candle burns for him as a praise offering for a request granted. Directly in front is a machete and you can see a cigar offering and a shot glass full of his pepper rum also to the right is an incense burner in which requests were burnt and incense offered behind this is a Bible.
This photo was taken six years ago the working was a general offering of reverance and through divination the Baron alowed the photo to be taken so I share this in my Museum in honor of the Baron.
Here is a photo of various sugar skulls calaveras de azucar, that we made for El dia de los Muertos this year; the skulls were homemade and were hand shaped by myself and these were decorated by my lady, there are other calaveras that I decorated myself that are on my ancestral shrine. Note the traditional cross on the forehead represents the crossroads of life and death in which the living and the dead intersect. Unfortunately the flash in the camera was not working so it is not a completely clear picture. Again the skulls were made by hand so they look more archaic as opposed to the sugar skulls made with the sugar skull molds.
Around the edges of the skulls heads are the initials of the deceased to whom each calavera is dedicated. It is traditional to take a bite from the calavera or totally consume the calavera that you dedicate to your deceased that way a part of their essence symbolically shares in your life so the dead live on not just in memories but in our daily lives..
This is an altar set up for a Necromantic working and it is very similar to the basic altar setting that I teach in the Voodoo Sorcery grimoire for Necromantic work. However this altar set-up is designed to channel the energies of the death essence itself. Note the glass of water is an offering for the shades and there is a machete which is used by the sorcerer as a symbol of authority and the bible which is the great conjure book used in this working to recite certain passages relevant to the work at hand. Note the bones in front of the skull are used to further align with the death energy the bowl to the right is for burning incense to offer the spirit of death. On top of the bible is an antler spike used to call the spirits.
Side note: The skull is ceramic and the bones are animal in origin and have been worn by decay and time which aligns with the necrotic essence quite well..
This is an altar to the Santa Muerte which is a model altar based on my own personal workings. It reflects a very real model to my actual ritual altars with the Santisima Muerte. The ritual is one of purification from slander and other spiritual ills represented by the white candle on the altar. The apple is an offering for the spirit and the glass of water is for the Santa Muerte. The flower on the altar is a cala lilly a flower of purification and innocense. The skull to the left is representative of the dead and our ancestors, those that walk with the Sacred lady whom ultimately lend their hands in our lives. This statue of the Santa Muerte is Made in Mexico and comes from Morelia Michoacan Mexico.
Calaveras de Azucar dia de los muertos 2006
Here are the recent sugar skulls for this years dia de los muertos the first picture is one of the whole set for this display. I made a few other skulls that were already placed on offertory altar for some of the spirits venerated during this three day holiday which started on Oct31-Nov2nd.
The first row left to right are dedicated to some of my muertos (my grand parents, and the 2nd to the end skull in red and black is dedicated to the Santa Muerte: The middle row are calaveras dedicated to the souls of the lost children, and the final row are a new addition in my dedication for sugar skulls. These are dedicated to the zombie spirits or restless souls that know no peace and wander the realm between life and death without any direction. The Anima Sola sugar skull as not pictured as it is currently on a shrine for the Anima Sola.
These calaveras are made from scratch so it is a lot of work and they tend to look more primitive artistic wise, this is because they are hand molded and not pressed into a sugar skull mold. I make them flat purposely for practicality sake when parts are consumed in the rituals that each calavera is dedicated to.
A close up of the Zombie calaveras..