Salt Superstition

Spilling Salt Superstition

Spilling Salt Superstition

Spilling salt has through out history been considered very bad luck. It predicts something bad is going to happen to someone in the company.

So, what can you do if you accidentally spill some salt? You certainly don’t want to accept this bad forecast. No fear, there is a simple cure.

What you need to do is to take a pinch of salt and throw it over your left shoulder. Problem solved; the spell is broken. You can now rest assure that you and your company are safe from the salt threat.

Notice that we wrote the salt has to be thrown over the left shoulder. There is an explanation for this rule. People of the past believed that your guardian angel was behind you always on your right. If you throw the pinch of salt over your right shoulder you risked harming your guardian angel. That would only make things worse.

It seems Leonardo da Vinci was well aware of this salt superstition. In his painting “The Last Supper” he painted Judas spilling the salt. We all know what happened; Judas betrayed Jesus, Jesus was crucified and Judas committed suicide.  

Passing the Salt Superstition

We have all experienced sitting around the dinner table when someone kindly asks us to pass the salt please. Naturally most of us are courteous. We pick up the salt and hand it to the person.

According to this superstition that is something you never want to do again. It is very bad luck. Remember the old sayings: “Pass the salt, pass the sorrow” and “Help me to salt, help me to sorrow”.

The next time you are asked to pass the salt, you certainly want to oblige. This is how you should do it from now on to avoid bad luck:

You pick up the salt cellar and place it on the table close to the person who requested it. That person needs to pick up the salt from the table. Now all is fine. Just remember to place the salt cellar on the table, never hand it over directly to another person.  

Salt and a New Home Superstition

A widespread superstition in 19th century England involved salt and a new home. This was a time when many still believed that evil spirits could be lurking around just about anywhere.

They could never be quite sure if canny spirits had taken residence in any empty house or even been left there by the previous tenants. Also, they wanted to make sure evil spirits were not tempted to move into their new home.

The method they used to prevent evil spirits from taking residence involved salt naturally.

When the house was completely empty, they would walk around in the house and sprinkle a little salt on the floor of every room. No furniture was to be brought into the house before the sprinkling of the new home with salt. 

Salt and Money Superstitions

Do you remember the old saying: “Short of salt, short of money”? Never, ever put yourself in the situation that you have no salt in your home. That would be really bad news concerning your finances.

Make sure you always have some salt in your home. To be on the safe side keep some extra salt stored away in the back of your kitchen cupboard. It is a sorrowful situation if you run out of salt.

Should someone you know run out of salt and ask to borrow some salt, say no. Never ever lend anyone salt. It is pure bad luck.

So how do you help the person in need? Simple, you give them the salt as a gift. They must not under any circumstance return any salt to you. That is bad luck, that would bring both of you bad luck.

It is perfectly fine to gift someone salt. Actually, that is a wonderful thing to do, wishing them prosperity. The only condition is that the salt is a gift and not a loan.

Salary and Salt

The word salary actually comes from the Latin word “salārius”, which means “related to salt”. “Sal” meaning salt. Many claim that the word was short for “salārium argentum” which would make the meaning “salt money”.

Unwanted Guests and Salt Superstition

You have just said good bye to some very unpleasant company. The guest you invited into your home turned out to fill the room with loads of negative energy. The last thing you wish is for that person or persons to come for a return visit.

Superstition has it that if you act quickly you can prevent that person from coming to visit you again. Immediately after your unwanted company has bid their good byes, you grab some salt.

Sprinkle salt on the floor in the room where your company had entered. Also remember to sprinkle salt on the steps or floor of the entrance. Now the salt should attract the bad vibes of that person or persons.

The next step is to get your broom and sweep up all the salt (containing the negative vibes). The final step is to burn the salt. Hopefully that should do the trick and you should be speared from their company in the future.

Death and Salt

In many Buddhist communities it used to be common to use salt to frighten the evil spirits. They believed that it was more than likely evil spirits could be tempted to follow the grievers home when returning from a cremation ceremony.

To make sure these up to no good spirit stockers would not enter their home, they would throw salt over their shoulders just before entering their home. This was known to stop the spirits and make them back off.

An old European superstition involved placing a little salt in the coffin. This was done as an extra precaution to secure the devil would not claim their dearly departed.  

Fishermen’s Luck

In the world of fishing there are tons of different superstitions around the world. On of them naturally involves salt.

If you want to wish a fisherman good luck, you could try to throw a little salt on him or her. This action was supposed to bring plenty of luck. Just make sure you avoid the face when throwing the salt. Getting the stuff in your eyes could really sting.

Babies and Salt Superstition

In 19th century England a baby was considered especially vulnerable from birth and until the baby was baptized. These were critical days and precautions were taken to protect the baby from evil happenings.

One of these protective objects was a tiny bag of salt. They rapped it in a piece of cloth and hid it in the cradle.

The cloth containing salt was also hidden in a pocket of the baby’s clothes as extra protection when they carried the baby outside of their home for the first time.

The First God in Norse Mythology

In the Norse mythology creation story one of the first creatures was the primeval cow named Audhumla.

It was Audhumla and her love of salt which led to the creation of the very first god. Audhumla was lucky indeed when she discovered a stone that tasted salt.

Eagerly the cow licked the salty stone for three days. Each day weird and unexplainable things happened.

On the first day the cow observed human hair growing from the stone.

On the second day a head arose from the rock.

Finally, on the third day the rest of the body burst out of the salty stone.

The first god named Buri had come to life. Buri was the grandfather of the well-known main god in Norse myth named Odin.

Unfortunately, Buri did eventually die even though he was a god. The reason being the apples of youth supplied by the goddess Idunn had not yet been created.

Pillar of Salt in the Bible

One well-known story is that of Lot’s wife who turned into a pillar of salt. This was her punishment for not following orders to not look back. Some speculate that as salt was a known purifier, this notion was brought to its extreme consequence.

Lot, his wife and their two daughters were told to flee the sinful city of Sodom. Lot was the nephew of Abraham.

God was going to destroy the two cities Sodom and Gomorrah and thereby eliminate all immorality in these two cities. These two cities were located by the Dead Sea. As we know the levels of salt in the Dead Sea, just over 30% salt.

“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26

On Mount Sodom by the Dead Sea there is a salt formation called Lot’s Wife.

Another interesting view is that in Ancient times it was considered a no-no to ever look back when starting something new. Another well-known story of this unwritten rule to never look back is from Greek Mythology.

We recall the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus was the son of Apollo. He fell madly in love with a nymph named Eurydice. Sadly, Eurydice was bit by a poisonous snake on their wedding day. She died and was transported to the underworld where Hades reigned.

Orpheus begged and pleaded with Hades to return Eurydice back to the world of the living. Eventually Orpheus was given permission to fetch his wife under the condition that he never looked back before arriving to world of the living.

He almost made it. Unfortunately, just before he reached his goal, he looked back to make sure she was still behind him. That was a big mistake. Eurydice immediately fell back to the land of the dead, never to be seen again.

Moral of the stories; Never look back, look only to the future.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.