(updated from an article on my previous blog)
The holiday season has begun here in the States, and instead of gently retreating into Inner Sanctum time, Hermit time, and recuperation time, most of us actually “speed up” and try to add even more tasks, social visits, and travels to our packed schedules.
The month of December, during ancestral times, focused on keeping both animals and humans alive during the coldest months. Conserving energy, carefully portioning food, but also celebrating all of the hard work of the entire year for survival. The exchange of stories, adventures, hospitality, and gifts strengthened not only social and familial bonds, but magical bonds too (for those that work with the Runes, this is the heart of GEBO).
As modern Druids, shamans, and spiritual folx, our magical, energetic, etheric, and auric bodies are constantly trying to balance the “going inward” ancestral impetus with the externalized “social and familial responsibilities.” Not only does this lead to exhaustion (especially after a rough, traumatic, and/or chaotic holiday season), it can drain our boundaries, reserves of energy, and our connection to ” ” that exists outside of ourselves.
No matter what your training, spiritual practice, or understanding of the complexities of the Universe, Salt is the greatest gift of our Earth Mother for healing and recuperation.
Salt, chemically written as NaCl (sodium chloride)*, has many layers of healing properties. It is vitally important to our Oceans (which make up 75% of the planet Earth), and is representative of the Element of Earth in countless rituals, ceremonies, and religious offerings. Chemically, it is a balanced and stable compound, and when its chemical bonds break, it releases negatively-charged ions. It is part of the mammalian body system, and certain levels must be maintained for heart function, electrolytes, brain chemistry, etc. Magically, it is a great energy neutralizer and banisher, and has been used in house clearings, Psychopomp rituals, work/offfice “resets”, and restorative rites.**
Personally, it is one of the best ways that humans can reset and rebalance their own energy fields. Salt baths and salt scrubs (if one prefers a shower) are excellent ways in which one can release the tension and “energy-projections-from-others.” Many spiritual practitioners also use salt in their own ritual purification baths, both before and after great ceremonies. Salt helps to release built-up energy (whether positive or negative), and can help ground an over-abundance of psychic phenomena.
If you are struggling with “leaving work at work,” or “feeling drained after difficult conversations with loved ones,” then try a salt bath or use a salt scrub in the shower. There are many varieties, such as Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, Hawaiian Black Salt, and regular table salt (without Iodine works best), but please make sure that it is sodium chloride (NaCl). It is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to restore one’s sovereignty of Self, and can also be good preparation before a Shamanic Healing Ceremony.
*Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is functionally different from Epsom Salts, which are Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4). While Epsom Salts feel wonderful for muscle pain and spasm, they are a completely different “magical substance,” used for Auric/Higher Self workings. Sodium Chloride is much more effective for the specific uses of neutralizing energies within a home and within a body.
**Note: Salt should NEVER be used in land rituals or land clearings. It damages grass, plants, and soil, and can actually destroy the energetic state of an area (bringing it to “zero” instead of “neutral”; a major distinction).