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 Salt

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Ian
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PostSubject: Salt   Mon 25 Feb 2008, 1:46 am

Salt seems to appear in various rituals, usually connected with cleansing. Why?
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PostSubject: Re: Salt   Mon 25 Feb 2008, 4:29 am

It's preservative properties? It kills bacteria if used in high enough concentration (ie pouring it on). I assume we're talking about your average Sodium Chloride salt here. It is also essential to life, as we require the sodium in our cells- we need the ions in our cells to provide a positive charge for depolarization. Bearing in mind that our very being is dependent on electrical signals (essentially we are organic machines). Mind you, I don't know if I'm 100% here as it's been about 5 years since I last studied physiology and biomechanisms...



I'd say the preservative property is the main reason- because it kills off terrestrial microbes (or at least slows their metabolism right down!) it can be seen as clean or cleansing. Possibly the same as iron and silver etc. The Arabians supposedly used to carry two silver coins in their water flasks as the clinking together of the coins was said to cause a small charge that was just enough to kill off potentially harmfull microbes. Whether this is true or "auld wives' tales" I'm not so sure, but there might be some truth in it- we all hear about hte healing properties of silver, which is down to its bacteria-killing tendency.


There might be something in Marian McNeill's The Silver Bough. I will have a look.
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PostSubject: Re: Salt   Tue 26 Feb 2008, 6:34 am

I've found this site that shows some of it's "magical" uses:

http://www.luckymojo.com/salt.html

Another site http://www.saltinstitute.org/38.html covers the history and cultural impact of salt fairly well. Even the Egyptians used it to preserve mummies. It also appears appears in Folk Lore and Fairy Tales, though I was hard pressed to come up with any. It also says there are 30 references to salt in the Bible.

I should imagine that salt these days is just regarded as something common and it's ritual use may not carry the same significance as it once did
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