“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Answer to a Question

In regards to my previous post, Diandra asked a very good question - Why add salt to Holy Water?

Salt has preservative and antiseptic properties, and while these qualities do somewhat reduce the spread of illness where holy water may be shared by a coven, the use of salt is more symbolic than practical.

Salt has been employed liturgically since pre-Christian times. All of the Old Testament offerings of first-fruits had to be seasoned with salt. Paradoxically, the Prophet Eliseus used salt to sweeten the water of the spring at Jericho. It serves as a symbol of preservation from the corruption of sin, of the savor for holy things. In the rite of Baptism it is a token of wisdom.

In making Holy Water, the salt is banished of all negativity and then blessed as a symbol of exorcism:

"I banish thee, O element of the Earth,
of all negativity both seen and unseen
and bless thee in the name of the Great One.”

After both the water and salt are exorcised and blessed a mixture of the two is made “in the name of the Great One”. The final prayer speaks to the use of the blessed water:

"I cleanse and consecrate this water in the name of the Great One.
May it enhance and purify all that it touches.
With the water so blessed, may this harm none,
With these final words, let it be done.
As I will it, so mote it be.
Blessed Be!”

So basically, salt is used symbolically to represent purification. Keep in mind that you’re only adding ‘three pinches’ of salt (to about two cups of spring water depending on the vessel you want to store your Holy Water in), not a whole boatload so the effect the salt could have on the Earth or on plants is quite minimal. I personally don’t pour my salt water on plants (and I use a lot because I also cleanse my crystals and stones this way) but rather have found a nice patch of dirt in the back corner of my property for this use.

Do you need to use salt? Of course not! Do what resonates and rings true for you. If adding another mineral or stones resonates and rings true for you, then do that.

As far as the salted water harming ritual objects and such, again, the amount of salt is so minimal that this is unlikely. And remember, you’re only sprinkling the water, not dousing the object. If you are concerned you can always wipe the object down gently with a clean cloth afterwards.

Thanks for asking the question, Diandra. It got me to thinking! And if anyone else has an explanation for using salt, I’d love to hear it!


1 comment:

Tabatha said...

You have such a beautiful blog here. I've been pagan most all of my life, but was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I happened upon your youtube channel while looking for Mary videos. Your dedication altars are very sweet and lovely. Thank you for sharing. Maybe someday I will start writing down some things :)

Blessed be,