Salt has been known for its many uses as, of course, a seasoning and preservative practically since the dawn of civilization as we understand it. It quickly became of such high value that not only were wars fought over it, but it was also used as currency. Consider that a person (worker) is “worth his salt”, an expression referring to a worker who worked hard for their wages. The word “salary” has its root in the Latin word for salt.
The magickal, purifying and protective properties of salt were also known and used quite early and on down through history and is still used in folk magick around the globe.
Consider poor Lot’s wife, turned to a pillar of salt for glancing over her shoulder at her home. Ancient Hebrews made a covenant of salt with their God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement and an ancient practice in times of war was salting the earth; scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant regrowth.
- Germany, Normandy, and Scotland: salt in or around the churn keeps witches from souring the butter.
- Irish folk remedies use of salt along with the Lord’s Prayer, to cure those who might have been fairy-struck. Similarly, salt is used to determine if a child is bewitched in Bavaria and Ukraine.
- Egyptian caravans used to perform a ritual that involved burning salt on hot coals before setting out across the desert. This ensured that evil spirits wouldn’t get in the way of the travelers.
In many Eastern belief systems, such as Buddhism and Shintoism, salt is used both as a purifier and to repel evil.
- If someone spills the salt at dinner, it means a violent family quarrel is on the way.
- It’s considered bad luck to lend salt to someone because that can lead to a feud between the borrower and the lender. A good way to avoid this problem is if you get a cup of salt from someone, pay it back with sugar or molasses instead. Interestingly, in parts of northern England and Scotland, it is also seen as bad luck to lend salt, mostly because the person borrowing it can use it as a magical link to curse you.
- Salt can also be used to detect the presence of witches: in the Ozarks, it is believed that witches don’t eat much salt, so if someone complains about food being too salty, she might be regarded with suspicion. There is also a tale that bewitched cattle will not touch salt.As far back as 6050 BC, salt has been an important and integral part of the world’s history, as it has been interwoven into countless civilizations. Used as a part of Egyptian religious offerings and valuable trade between the Phoenicians and their Mediterranean empire, salt and history have been inextricably intertwined for millennia, with great importance placed on salt by many different cultures. Even today, the history of salt touches our daily lives. The word “salary” was derived from the word “salt.” Salt was highly valued and its production was legally restricted in ancient times, so it was historically used as a method of trade and currency. The word “salad” also originated from “salt,” and began with the early Romans salting their leafy greens and vegetables. Undeniably, the history of salt is both broad and unique, leaving its indelible mark in cultures across the globe.Most people probably think of salt as simply that white granular seasoning found in saltshakers on virtually every dining table.It is that, surely, but it is far more. It is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives. Its industrial and other uses are almost without number. Offering bread and salt to visitors, in many cultures, is traditional etiquette.
Many areas include salt as part of local superstition – perhaps the best-known bit of advice is that if you spill salt, you should throw a bit of it over your shoulder. This either brings good luck or keeps evil at bay, depending on which source you consult.
Often, salt is used in purification spells. It can be incorporated into smudging and asperging, and in some NeoWiccan traditions, it is used on the altar to represent the element of earth. It should be noted that some groups associate salt with water, because of its origins in the sea
- For all of these magickal salts, follow my general crushing and mixing instructions on my Witches’ Salt Recipe, substituting the herbs/ ingredients for the charcoal.
Black Salt, Witches’ Salt, Sal Negro
protection, banishing, crossing, uncrossing, hexing & removing hexes. See my instructions here.
For protection from specific threats and wrong doers. Add Red Brick Dust and Chile powder for this one.
For money, prosperity, fertility & increase. Fresh herbs (as opposed to dried) are best used for this blend, as they will more readily turn the salt green. (That said, your salt will be every bit as magickal to its purpose made with dried herbs, it just won’t be as vibrantly colored) My favorites for this purpose are basil, alfalfa and grass, but among the many other to choose from that you may have growing in your garden are: blackberry leaf, chamomile, clover, comfrey, dill and goldenrod. With the fresh herbs this will take a couple of days as you crush and blend the fresh herb into the salt, set it aside to dry a bit, then crush and blend again.
For calm, connection to higher self, emotional healing, spirit guides & ancestors. Fresh is best (as explained above in the Green Salt blend). Use Hyacinth, cornflowers purple iris r my personal favorite, borage flowers.
For love & affection. Again, fresh is best, but dried will work, making a fully magickal salt, if of a less vibrant color. Use red &/or pink roses, lavender, and add any pink or red flower you wish, along with a dash of Chile powder for added passion!
In some parts of Sweden, families of unmarried girls would make them “a dream porridge,” that was made in silence and heavily salted. The custom was that the girl would eat this salty food and then go to sleep without drinking anything. As she slept, her future husband would come to her in a dream and give her water to quench her thirst.
Variations of this story have been passed down over the years in several countries:
A king once asked his daughter how dear he was to her. “As dear, as dear – as salt!” she said. The king was very dissatisfied with his child’s answer, thinking she did not love him enough.
Not long after this, the king held a great feast. His daughter saw to it that every dish was brought to the table unsalted, and thus nothing tasted good to the king, or to his guests. When he understood what had happened, he recognized the full importance of salt, and realized the truth of his daughter’s response. Thus he loved her again as dearly as before.
For home & hearth, healing, groundedness & transformation. Use earthy herbs here. Patchouly, mints, clove powder, nutmeg.
Intellect, inspiration, joy & fulfillment. Sunflower petals, calendula, marigolds.
I hope this short lesson starts or enhances your journey in magickal crafting. Please don’t be shy if you have questions. Feel free to ask here in comments, on my Patreon or in our Supporter group on FaceBook.
In Light and Shadow,
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