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Meaning of Salt Spilling

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Meaning of Salt Spilling

Postby airwitch23 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:52 pm

Not sure if this is the right place to put this so sorry if it is.

Today my mom accidentally knocked over the salt shaker and some salt spilled out. I did a Google search but I'm getting a lot of different results and I hope one of you might know - Is there a meaning behind spilling salt?
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Re: Meaning Of Salt Spilling

Postby firebirdflys » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:01 pm

I have heard to take a pinch of the spilled salt and throw it over your left shoulder right away. It was thought to be bad luck to spill salt, but I'm not really sure why, anyway I have preformed this little task since I can remember.
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Re: Meaning Of Salt Spilling

Postby North Star » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:35 pm

I just read Cunninghams 'Magical Household' and he mentioned running out of salt is very bad luck, although I have heard of the spilled salt before of course... this part I never knew. Now I have 'reserve' salt just to make sure we never run out! :D

And yes, left shoulder!
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Re: Meaning of Salt Spilling

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:05 pm

Salt has an interesting history. It is valued as a food preservative & a purifier. It has been used in place of money for wages. Spilling salt is like throwing one's money/prosperity away. Salt is both evaporated from the Sea & mined in the Earth which have long been revered as sacred forces of life. The connection to life-force is to be honored & an insult to it (such as careless spillage) should be appeased. Throwing a pinch of spilled salt over the left shoulder (left is attuned to the unseen realms) is a peace offering to the forces (spirits) governing life. Salt has been gifted as a peace offering to stave off harm.
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Re: Meaning of Salt Spilling

Postby Corbin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:12 pm

Never really considered it. It's possibly unlucky due to the ancient cursing practice of salting the earth?

Salting the earth, or sowing with salt, is the ritual of spreading salt on conquered cities to symbolise a curse on their re-inhabitation (salt rendering the land barren, killing plant life & tainting water supplies?). The practice apparently originated in the ancient Near East and became a well-established folkloric motif in the Middle Ages.

Symbolic because the amount of salt actually required to do this for real would be monumental - and as said, salt was a valuable resource.

Casting salt over the left shoulder to ward off bad luck however, is to throw salt in the face of the angel who sits on the left hand of the Christian god (Lucifer/Satan). It's quite possible this originates with a far older practice however.

The irony that medieval Christians used more Witchcraft (folk ritual rather then their faith) for warding off the supernatural then witches probably did themselves doesn't fail to escape me.
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Re: Meaning of Salt Spilling

Postby Corbin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:02 pm

Apparently salt is symbolic of friendship and Judas was said to have spilled the salt and is actually depicted as 'spilling the salt' in Da Vinci's 'The last supper'.
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Re: Meaning of Salt Spilling

Postby firebirdflys » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:31 pm

It makes me think of the saying about being worth your salt. Which translates to payment, since salt was a commodity of the rich it was how one was paid. Guess we need to revise an old statement instead of bringing home the bacon, you're bringing home the salt! Salt pork??? lol :lol:
When you think about it though, when one labors hard and toils day long in the sun you sweat and loose salt so there is another way to affirm hard work translates to salt. We need salt to survive, with out it one could get hyponatremia which can be deadly.
Since salt was rare and valuable, ya, I doubt they would have been able to pour out enough to blight the land, but maybe so in a curse fashion?
I feel that translation from the last supper is probably the main reason behind the superstition and then we add our own as time goes on.

When I was looking around I found a few other salt references that all kind of boiling down to "worth" be it financial or what holds great meaning or virtue for you.
here are some of those other salt sayings:
back to the salt mines- hard work or drudgery.
above salt- exalted of high esteem and wealth.
below salt- the poorer or lower social status.
pinch of salt/ grain of salt- to be skeptical of a statement, not believing every thing you hear.
pound salt- to do menial chores or work.
Go pound salt- requesting someone leave your presence and do menial work.
salt of the earth- goodness and wholeness, worthy person. That which is valuable to you.
salt in the wound- to add insult to injury.

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