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Exploring the Symbolism of Salt (Top 13 Meanings)

Exploring the Symbolism of Salt (Top 13 Meanings)

Salt is a versatile substance that humans have been using for thousands of years. Its chemical properties have made it an integral part of almost every household worldwide.

But beyond its physical significance, it also carries some important symbolic meanings. It symbolizes purification, blessing, preservation, and healing.

In this article, we’ll explain the different symbolic meanings of salt and its significance in different cultures. So, if you want to know more about this topic, continue reading.

Salt: Symbolism and Meanings

Here’s a detailed explanation of the most common symbolic meanings of salt.

A wooden bowl filled with salt on top of a wooden table.
Photo by Faran Raufi on Unsplash

Purification and Protection

The concept of purification has been deeply intertwined with salt throughout human history. It’s regarded as a purifying agent that can cleanse and eliminate impurities, both physically and spiritually.

In many cultures, it is believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and protect against disease. For example, the Japanese have long associated salt with purification ceremonies such as Shinto weddings or funerals [1] to wash away negative energy and impurities.


Salt is often associated with the concept of blessing, which is the act of invoking divine favor or protection on someone or something.

For example, in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland, salt and bread were given to other people as a symbol to bless their new homes [2].


It has been used for centuries as a symbol of preservation due to its ability to prevent decay and spoilage. In ancient times, salt was used for preserving perishable items, such as meat and fish, for long periods.

It was especially important for people living in areas with limited access to fresh food, as it allowed them to store food items for longer periods. In addition to its practical uses, salt has also been used as a symbol of preservation in various cultures.

Himalayan pink salt in bowl.
Image by Monika from Pixabay

For example, in Christianity, it’s associated with Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, where he says: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) [3]. This means that Christians should strive to be examples of goodness in society by living according to God‘s will to preserve the purity of the world.

Additionally, ancient Egyptians used this substance for mummification rituals as it was thought to preserve the body after death [4].


Salt has also been associated with the concept of healing due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. In ancient times, it was used as a natural remedy for a wide range of ailments, such as sore throats, skin irritations, and digestive issues.

Some cultures still use it in traditional medicine and healing practices. For example, in Ayurvedic medicine, it’s used in various treatments and therapies, including salt water baths and salt water gargling [5].

Salt Symbolism in Different Cultures

Salt has held great importance in various cultures and religions worldwide for centuries. Let’s discuss what it symbolizes in different cultures and belief systems.

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greeks considered salt a sacred element and used it in various rituals. For instance, Vestal Virgins sprinkled salt on sacrificial animals alongside flour [6]. In addition, salt was believed to have healing properties and was used to treat various ailments.

Ancient Chinese

Chinese folklore tells the story of a peasant who discovered salt when Feng Huang (a mythical bird) rose from the ground [7]. The peasant was then made in charge of the salt mine, which helped him live with his family in prosperity.

Salt mine.
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay

Norse Mythology

In Norse mythology, the first god, Búri, was born of an ice block, which was salty [8]. A cow named Auðumbla licked the salty ice block to release him, which symbolizes freedom.

Aztec Religion

In the Aztec religion, a fertility goddess called Huixtocihuatl oversees the salt and saltwater [9]. She was banished by her brothers to live on salt beds because she angered them.

It allowed her to discover salt and introduce it to her people. As a result, they started honoring her with a ten-day ceremony that involved the sacrifice of Huixtocihuatl’s Ixiptla, the goddess’s embodiment in human form.


Buddhists believed salt could dispel evil spirits, and they would often sprinkle a pinch of it over their left shoulder after attending a funeral ceremony [10]. This was done to prevent any evil spirits from following them home.

Salt Dreams With Possible Interpretations

Person holding salt during daytime.
Photo by Francesco Alberti on Unsplash

If you see salt in a dream, it could mean different things depending on the dream’s context and your real-life situation. Here’s a list of some popular salt dreams and their possible interpretations.

  • Salt Appearing as an Object: When salt appears in a dream as an object held in hand, it could mean you’ll soon experience joy and happiness or gain profit. It suggests that your efforts will bear fruit, and you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work.
  • Spilled Salt: The spilled salt in a dream represents disruption and mess. It suggests that you might face some problems in your domestic life, such as a conflict with your partner. You should consider it a warning sign and take measures to avoid or handle domestic issues.
  • Salt Dissolving in the Rain: If you see salt dissolving in the rain, it can be a sign of reconciliation. It indicates that you might have had conflicts or misunderstandings with others, but they’ll soon be resolved.
  • Adding Salt to Food: Surprisingly, adding salt to food in a dream can be a sign of looming illness. It can also suggest you’re neglecting your health or engaging in unhealthy habits. This dream should be considered a reminder to take care of your well-being.

Final Words

The symbolism of salt has been a significant part of various cultures and religions around the world.

By understanding the symbolism of this highly versatile substance, you can deepen your connection with your spiritual self to make your spiritual journey more meaningful and fulfilling.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the symbolism of salt properly and how it can benefit you on your journey toward enlightenment.