If you're new to cleansing or protective rituals, one of the first things you'll be told to try isn't a special crystal or any sort of spell candle, it'll be salt — yes, the same salt that you sprinkle on your dinner. When your aim is something as mystical as guarding your home against negativity (or ghosts), humble salt might not seem powerful enough. But, as a spiritual tool, salt keeps many of its signature culinary perks: It's all-purpose, enhances the overall effect of a ritual, and is easy to use.
It's no wonder, then, that salt's spiritual properties partly have their roots in food, too. "Salt’s association with cleanliness, protection, and purity probably comes from the fact that its mundane uses include purifying and preserving food," says Barbara Moore, author of Modern Guide to Energy Clearing. She explains that salt's color (white) connects it to purity, and its ability to maintain food's freshness gives it protective properties. "Magical or symbolic uses of an item often reflect the characteristics of that item’s everyday uses," Moore adds.
To that end, the spiritual uses for salt are just about as wide and ranging as its everyday or "mundane" uses, as Moore calls them. If you're not sure how to start using salt as a spiritual tool, Moore suggests focusing on its protective powers. To maintain a sense of safety while on the go, she'll fill a small bag with salt and other protective items like runes, and she'll stow it away in her purse, luggage, or glove compartment.
But, you can also do something as simple as keeping a bowl of salt in each room of your home. Moore says doing so will help to balance and stabilize the energy throughout the house.
However you choose to use salt, Moore recommends doing a little prep work first, to ensure that the salt works to achieve the ends you desire. Put the salt you want to use on a table, bookshelf, windowsill, or, if you have one, altar. Then reflect your plans for it. "I invite the spirit of the salt to work with me to protect my home (or whatever my intention is) and leave it overnight," Moore says. By the next morning, she says that the salt's energy ought to be ready, and you can use it as you wish.
(For what it's worth, Moore says that just having salt in your pantry, without charging it to a specific goal, will have some effect on the overall energy of your home, but won't make as much of a difference.)
So, the next time you move into a new house and want to neutralize the space, all you need to do is grab your salt shaker and get down to business. The same goes for keeping you and your belongings safe while traveling and staying calm ahead of a stressful meeting or conversation. Salt's soothing energy is as versatile as it gets, so it'll never hurt to have it around. And, if nothing else, you'll never have an unseasoned meal.