Tuesday, November 27, 2012
This work is from my book, The Voodoo Doll Spellbook, which I am very happy to announce is currently being republished with Weiser books next year.
San Simón, also known as Maximón (pronounced Masheemon), is a folk saint venerated in various forms by Mayan people of Western Guatemala. San Simon is referred to as “Champion of the Hopeless” by some folks because of his ability and willingness to work with just about anyone for just about anything. He is able to grant wishes of any kind, if you offer him the right gifts.
San Simón is believed to be a Catholicized form of the pre-Columbian Mayan god Mam (meaning Ancient One). There are many, many forms of San Simón, his evolution coinciding with the influence of European contact and missionaries. Under the influence of Catholicism, he became associated with Judas. According to another theory, he is the deification of one of my ancient ancestors, Pedro de Alvarado. Pedro de Alvarado was a Spanish conquistador who was not only responsible for bringing Catholicism to the indigenous people, he married the daughter of the Aztec King Xicotencotl el Viejo, was responsible for having the first Mixtec children.
As the incarnation of the ancient Mayan god of sexuality, San Simón is said to have slept with all of the wives in a village one day while all of the men were out in the fields. When they returned and discovered what he had done, they were so pissed off they cut off his arms and legs! This story explains why effigies of San Simón are short and stubby with no arms.
Altars to San Simón always have a doll or effigy of some kind representing him along with cloth that is characteristic of the indigenous peoples of South and Central America. People turn to him with requests of good health, family harmony, job security, good crops, and the like. He has what is referred to as a dark side as well, but I like to refer to it as human. He is said to grant requests that have something to do with revenge and success at the expense of others.
In areas where San Simón is venerated, he resides in a different house each year, moving to a new residence on every November first. He is tended to by two people referred to as Cofradia, who take care of him and maintain his altar. He is typically dressed in 18th century garb, reportedly an attempt by the indigenous people to convince the Christians of their successful conversion (not!). He usually has a lit cigarette or cigar in his mouth and wears a black cowboy hat. In some places, he wears dark sunglasses and a bandana. He often has a hole in his mouth where it is poured a drink. The alcohol passes through a tube and into a vessel and reused at a later time.
For this ritual, I will describe how to petition San Simón for a wish. First, you must create an effigy of him, or you can buy a statue if you would prefer (I would be happy to make one for you...email me with your inquiry at planetvoodoo (at) planetvoodoo.com). I think there is something to be said about creating your own effigy because it will be personal and full of your own energy, not some store’s or manufacturer’s and who knows how many other people have may have touched a store bought figure or statue. To create a San Simón doll, find a thick tree branch or tree stump (not so large that you can’t carry it) and carve out a hole in the top. You will be placing some items inside the hole so your San Simon is not empty. Since no one really knows what goes inside San Simon (except for the initiated), we will use items known to be sacred to his tradition. Fill the hole in the stump with rose petals, 40 red beans, 40 black beans, pine resin, and Indian tobacco. Seal the hole by placing another small stump on tope of his body. This will function as his head. If making him out of a stump is beyond your ability, then simply create a doll out of fabric and stuff with then aforementioned items. You will also need Guatemalan fabric and numerous colorful scarves to dress him. If you are really crafty, you can mold a face for him out of clay or paper maché, or carve his face in the stump. Otherwise, you can buy one of those unfinished full face masks available at any craft store, and paint it. Purchase a small black cowboy hat to keep on his head. These little hats can be found at any craft store.
Next, create a special place for San Simón. He should be kept in a corner of the bedroom, preferably on the floor, along with a glass of water, a red candle, corn tortillas, incense (copal) and flowers. You can add textiles from Latin America and folk art pieces to further decorate his altar space. You may also offer him cigars, cigarettes, coins from several countries, hot sauce, parrot feathers, stones, and Aguardiente. Incense should be burned daily at 12:00 noon sharp and an offering made in the name of the person needing help.
Depending on the nature of your wish, you should use candles in colors that are appropriate for your wish. In his tradition, the colors are as follows:
Red – love, faith, and good will
Green – prosperity and help in business
Blue – luck and work
Pink – health, hope, purity, innocence
Yellow – protection of loved ones
Black – counteract evil and negativity, against enemies, dispel spiritual
White – protection for children
|San Simon altar candle available at crossroadsmojo.com|
Once you have his space set up and the correct color of candle to go with your wish, write down your petition on a piece of paper and set it under the candle. Then, tap on the glass of water three times and say the following prayer:
Oh powerful San Simón, help me with all of my actions and with any dangers that may arise that I may need assistance. If I need help in matters of love, you will draw the one I love closer to me, if it be business, that I will be successful, if it be enemies, that you will help me to overcome them, and to keep hidden troubles away from me. I offer you your cigar, your tortilla, your liquor, and your candles if in return you will keep me safe from any danger I may come across. (State your petition). Amen.
It is customary to keep his altar set up and work with him daily for best results.
See Pieper’s (2002) book Guatemalan Folk Saints for a fabulous and detailed description of San Simon and his evolution throughout history.
 Prayer is found on the back of 7 day San Simon candles, reproduced in Pieper’s (2002) book Guatemalan Folk Saints.
Keywords: San Simón, Maximon, Hoodoo, Conjure, Guatemala, Mayan, ritual, candles, prayer
Denise Alvarado www.planetvoodoo.com, www.crossroadsuniversity.com, published author. Sharon Marino apologizes for being a bitch. "I`ll endeavor to remove any and all negative comments I`ve made about Denise and her businesses or work. The truth is that I do admire Denise`s artistic talents, and I`ve always found her to be an intelligent and congenial person. I do not want to feel this kind of anger or pain any longer, and I don`t want to block Denise`s ability to make a living. And so I would urge others to go ahead and order from her. I regret this whole experience and I will do whatever I can to heal the hurt of it." re: rip off report filed earlier this year Denise Alvarado www.planetvoodoo.com, www.crossroadsuniversity.com, published author, Educated? Absolutely!
Copyright 2012, Denise Alvarado, All rights reserved worldwide.