Purify, Protect, and Bless: How (and why) to make a Salt Jar
he salt jar is a simple homemade sacred vessel, the purpose of which is to purify, protect and bless not only the spaces you inhabit, but also your aspirations and intentions. This is one of the illuminations we are working with in this month’s Spinning Gold coursework and I decided it would useful to share here as well.
Cleansing and blessing are two fundamental acts we find across the broad spectrum of the sacred arts; they are essential skills. The salt jar is a specific version of cleansing and blessing – one that is portable and that has a long history starting out (as did honey and sugar jars) as a special type of Jewish bowl blessing. Just as creating a sugar jar for yourself can bring sweetness into your life in accordance with the sympathetic magical traits associated with sugar, creating a salt jar can create an opportunity for purification, protection and blessing.
Salt is one of the oldest magical substances, entire books have been written about this ingredient alone. It has long been seen to have protective and preserving qualities and is used as a food preservative even today. Salt is also deeply associated with cleansing as the many cleansing and baptism rites calling for either the use of ocean water or water to which salt has been added attest to. The substance is understood to both remove and absorb negative influences or damage caused by the evil eye. As such it is also a blessing ingredient and I take this part quite literally, for without the right amount of salt in our bodies we would die.
A few years ago I began making salt jars on behalf of some of my clients, we have found them to be extremely effective at dealing with the following:
- hitting a magical “reset” button for relationships that have been recently plagues by illness, fighting, distrust, or heavy stress
- supporting and encouraging individuals who are breaking the chains of addictive behaviors, thoughts, actions, or emotions that keep holding them back
- protecting and blessing new babies and families who have been blessed with new children
- removing streaks of bad luck and difficult times
- recovering from illness and/or trauma either chronic or acute in nature
- cleansing an individual who is undergoing or about to undergo an initiatory experience
- protecting pregnant women
- protecting and blessing elderly family members
- restoring peace to fraught relationships
- to avert jealousy and ill wishes away from an individual and their family
Making the Jar
1. Choose a glass vessel. Vessels can be plain and simple as a little mason jar or elaborate as a colorful blown glass. If you use colors, be aware that traditional colors for this kind of work would be blue or red. Whatever you choose, keep in mind you will need to be able to shake it.
2. Salt – Kosher salt is recommended as it has been blessed.
3. Create a petition and place petition in jar. (See below for instructions)
4. Fill jar with salt, giving the jar a little space at the top.
5. Breathe into and the cap and seal the jar.
6. Hold it your hands. Bless it in whatever way you want.
Writing the Petition
You will need a pen and a piece of paper the size of a post-it note. Use whatever quality of paper you wish. Write your full legal name on paper three times. Turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise. Write the following over your name:
“May I be cleansed, purified and protected, today, yesterday and all of my days.” Finish by writing “Amen”, “May it be so” or “It is done”.
Fold paper, or roll it up and place in jar or bottle.
Other additions to the jar
There are some traditional ingredients that are often added to these jars and many of them live in your kitchen, they include:
- Rue – the Greek word for this Mediterranean herb means “to be set free” and the leaves of the herb are shaped like little eyes. It has long been an additive in rites and ceremonies designed to address and remove negative influences caused by envy, jealousy, bitterness, and the “evil eye”.
- Gold – a small bit of jewelry or even a broken gold chain will work just fine. Gold is added to a salt jar when one especially desires to protect their wealth and/or good fortune. It may also be added for salt jars made on behalf of expectant mothers or newborn children to ensure that they prosper in all ways.
- Rosemary – another Mediterranean herb like rue, rosemary has long been associated with blessing and keeping the peace in a home and family.
- Cloves – these pungent spices are worked with in numerous folk magic traditions to restore clarity and open the road for reconciliation in relationships that have been damaged.
- Garlic – perhaps the best known protective herb, five single garlic cloves when tied together and placed into a bag or a salt jar are considered symbolic of the blessed “hand of Solomon” the wises man to have ever lived. Adding garlic ensures stronger protection and increased clarity and wisdom.
- Sugar – for couples or families that are having a rough time I like suggesting that they make a combination sacred vessel working with both salt and sugar – the sugar keeps things and people sweet while the salt confers the benefits mentioned above.
- Onion/wild onion – this is one of my personal favorite additions as it grows naturally where I live in both spring and autumn. Onions are worked with in both sweetening rites and as absorbing forces for harm and negativity.
Working with your salt jar
Like sugar jars, salt jars can be worked with in several different ways. Provided you use a vessel with a fireproof lid you can burn a candle on the top of the salt jar and pay attention to how the candle burns. You can use the jar much like you would a ritual rattle – shaking it rhythmically while singing or praying and also shaking it over people, places, or objects that are in need of cleansing, protection, and blessing.
Finally, for the plant people among my readers, you may have noticed that many of the additions I recommend are edible. You can indeed make a salt jar filled with delicious herbs like garlic and rosemary and then use it to season your foods. This has the extra step of allowing you to take the blessing of the salt jar directly into your body. NOTE: rue is NOT edible.
What I love best about the salt jar is what I love best about folk magic traditions world – over, the profoundly transformative is so often found in the every day – enjoy!