salt Mineral with magical and alchemical properties. Because it is white and thus pure and is a preservative, salt is magical protection against evil, including DEMONS, Witchcraft, the EVIL EYE, Vampires, and anything unholy. Agents of evil as well as people and animals who are bewitched cannot eat anything salted, according to lore. In magical Rituals, salt is used as a Symbol of the element of earth and also as a purifier. However, salt is avoided in Magic rituals for the CONJURATION of demons and in NECROMANCY. In Christianity salt is symbolic of incorruptibility, eternity, and divine wisdom. A Catholic ritual of benediction with salt and water ensures physical health and the exorcism of evil spirits. Salted holy water is used in baptisms. In magic rituals salt represents the earth element, spiritual purity, and the transmutation of consciousness to a higher level. In alchemy salt is part of the TRIA PRIMA with MERCURY and SULPHUR that compose all things, including the four elements. Salt represents the body, female, and earth aspects. It is the Mother, or the feminine principle within matter. Salt is a preservative against the corruption of the body—the Egyptians used a form of it, natron, in mummification—and thus is a magical Elixir. Salt, mercury, and sulphur also have spiritual properties in alchemy; salt represents the ultimate exaltation of matter—matter made aware—achieved through the union of opposities, including the fire and water, and the Above and Below. Salt is the ultimate Philosopher's Stone, representing transcendence and ultimate knowledge. Salt also represents lower consciousness in alchemy. In ancient times salt was associated with thought because of its ability to crystallize; in its purest form, thought was held to be a fluid, living substance in the higher realms that crystallized when it descended into human minds. Thus salt symbolizes consciousness—thoughts, feelings, materialism, and so forth—that must be elevated through alchemical processes of dissolution and recrystallization. Salt is identified with the OUROBOROS, the self-devouring Serpent or DRAGON. The salt of metal is the lapis or Philosopher’s Stone. Salt is a crucial ingredient in alchemical recipes for making GOLD. A 17th-century formula for potable gold, believed to be an antidote for poison, a curative of heart disease, and a repellent of the devil, included gold, salt, red wine vinegar, the ashes of a block of tin burnt in an iron pan, wine, and honey. CARL G. JUNG associated salt with lunar symbolism (see Moon) and the unconscious. Further Reading:
- Coudert, Allison. Alchemy: The Philosopher’s Stone. London: Wildwood House Ltd., 1980.
- Hauck, Dennis William. The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation. New York: Penguin/Arkana, 1999.