© Atham-Z 2003-7
We have all heard of the bad luck associated with
spilling salt, and how subsequently throwing a pinch
over one's left shoulder should allay whatever
This belief has roots in biblical times when salt was
a necessary and hard to come by commodity! The
throwing gesture showed respect for one's bounty for
having salt in the first place. Apparently evil spirits
are supposed to lurk on one's left or "sinister" side, and
that is the reasoning for the instruction about body side.
Babies are also sometimes presented with a small
packet of salt, to ensure that they want for nothing in life.
A happy side effect from this gift is protection from
witches because whatever bad spirit supposedly has to
count every grain of salt in the packet before it can work
any harm. The child should grow to be less vulnerable
long before there is time to accomplish any mischief.
Wearing a small bit of salt on one's person, ensures that
deals will be successful. Carrying a pinch in your hand
at night protects you in the dark.
"Help me to salt, help me to sorrow."
You can wish a person bad luck if you take on the task
of salting their meal for them. Even offering salt to
another may bring misfortune.
Knocking over a salt shaker indicates a friendship is
about to be broken, because salt signifies the lasting
quality of friendship.
To ward off evil when moving into a new house,
sprinkle the steps with salt or make sure that salt is the
first item that moves in.
Some feel that every grain of spilt salt means a day of
sorrow. You can avoid those tears by picking up every
grain and throwing them over your kitchen stove. The
cooking heat will dry the tears!
Salt has also been used for divination. Leaving a small
pile on the table at night results in a message on the
morrow. In the morning if the pile is unchanged the
future looks good, but if some salt should have melted,
it is an omen of death.
And if you know any adolescent girls ... , if she forgets
to set the salt seller when laying the table, she is no
longer a virgin! Now that is sure one salty secret to