Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday: Superstitions: a sprinkle of salt

Superstitions are very interesting to me. Such beliefs may be viewed by some as just silly; however, it seems as though those who give credence to superstitions do so because such beliefs are based either in real life experience or in religious training.

One of the practices my mom has shared with me, of throwing salt over your left shoulder after you spill it, is one she learned as a child.

A pinch of salt thrown over the left shoulder is meant to keep the devil at bay.

Salt was once a highly prized commodity, crucial in preserving food, and even used as currency in ancient times. According to my mom spilling salt has long been viewed as a sin. The action of throwing a pinch of the salt you have spilled over your left shoulder is intended to keep the devil at bay.

In Latin 'left' is 'sinistro' from which the word sinister is derived; thus, the left side is thought to be the devil's side. 'Right' in Latin is "dextro", interpreted as 'to the right', meaning good and fortunate; therefore, you toss the salt over your left shoulder with your right hand.

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Cheers, Jennifer

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