Spiritual Symbols: Salt

    Salt was very important in ancient times because it helped to preserve food, especially meat, before refrigeration was inverted.  And despite doctors telling us that we have too much salt in out modern diet, we need a certain amount of it to survive.  Salt symbolized life and immortality.  It was also symbolic of truth and wisdom.  It also represented the soul.  In Alchemy, it represented clarification and our earthly nature.  Also the uniting of active and passive, body and spirit.  To the Celts, it represented the incorruptible spirit.  In Christianity, salt represents worth, purity, divine wisdom and the elect.  In Hebrew, salt represent spiritual discernment.  In Buddhist tradition, salt repels evil spirits and many Buddhists will throw salt over their shoulder before entering their house after attending a funeral to chase away any evil spirit that may have followed them from the cemetery.  The ancient Romans put salt on the lips of an 8-day old baby to protect against evil spirits.  Salt has even been used as currency and the word salary is derived from salt.  In DaVinci’s famous Last Supper painting, Judas has knocked over a bowl of salt symbolizing bad luck and evil to come.  In the Bible, we find positive reference to salt such as “salt of the earth”  and negative such as Lot’s wife becoming a pillar of salt although many Bible scholars have suggested that “Pillar of salt” is symbolic, not literal.

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