The woman known as Maria de Padilla was 14th century Spanish noblewoman who was the mistress to King Pedro of Castile. After her death, the King had his marriage annulled and Maria de Padilla named Queen. This ‘crowning in hell’ increased her notoriety among the people, most especially witches, who began to call upon her as a source of power, naming her the wife of the Devil, and patron of outcasts, of women, of divination and love magic, and more.
In Brazil her cult found new life and expression within the Afro-Diasporic traditions, earning her a unique place among the Pomba Giras, those female crossroads spirits of Quimbanda. Here as Dona Maria Padilha, she still reigns, a celebration of witch, of fire, of Woman. Is she merely a legend? The memory of a witch? A Demon? A Witch-Goddess?
Maria Padilha is legion, her name an invocation in itself. She invites us to join her ranks, to recognize the power of choice in the fire that burns at the crossroads of each moment!
- Class Description for The Mighty Dead Class Series: Maria Padilha: The Woman, Witch, & Devil’s Wife presented by Jesse Hathaway Diaz