Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why salt is used for protection and cleansing

Few elements have had a longer importance in human cultures as regular table salt, both mined stone salt and sea salt has been the prime tool for preserving foods and adding flavor even long before recorded history. Salt also played an important role in many religions and faiths, it was considered one of the prime elements in the European medieval alchemy and therefore essential for the making of the philosophers stone. In Christianity salt is also a religious symbol. Salt is a symbol of the sanctity of Jesus, as a preserving value of his sanctity and, protection it is used to make holy water in the Roman Catholic Church. 

Salt as a sign of bad omens. According to some recollections salt was spilled by Judas Iscariot at the last supper, and since then is seen as a sign of omen and bad luck. If you spilled salt you could avert your bad luck by tossing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder, which was thought to be the devils side. By doing this one would advert any evils that the devils lurking at your left side had in store for you.


In many pagan rituals salt was also important, it is used in magical spells, cleansing rituals, charms and concoctions, and already in ancient Pre-christian Rome salt were a symbol of friendship and spilling of salt, a symbol of ill luck. Later with Christianity a deep faith and salt as a symbol of Jesus, one assumed at the pagan witch sabbath everything was salt free.

In Norse mythology they thought that the gods came from a salty ice-block as the cow, Auðumblabrought  Búri the first god in Norse mythology, grandfather of Odin, out of the salty ice block over the course of four days. In general, other than its role as part of Norse creation myths salt had little importance other than a tool used to preserve and condition foods, though later Christianity brought in a lot of their beliefs in salt.

In Hawaii and Samoa sea salt is used for protection both by placing salt in each of the four corners of the house and by poring salt on the door threshold to prevent any spirits from crossing into ones home.

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