Spilled salt: A dark omen of betrayal
The origin of spilling salt is an omen of bad luck, which you can counteract by throwing more over your shoulder. While it is generally agreed the superstition is rooted in Catholicism, the exact biblical connection is still up for debate. One of the more popular explanations claims it comes from the Last Supper, in which the betrayer of Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot, is portrayed spilling salt by the work’s painter, Leonardo da Vinci. According to Irish tradition, however, the practice comes from the Old Testament story of Sodom and Gomorrah: when Lot’s wife looked back over her shoulder after being told by an angel to flee the city and not turn around, she was instantly turned into a pillar of salt as punishment. The involvement of looking over the shoulder combined with the salt is where the negative association came from, and the tradition was passed on down through the generations.
Superstitions are still alive, even in today's modern world.
You see a ladder in your path and adjust your course to avoid walking under it. Perhaps it’s an unconscious movement, or maybe an old memory resurfaced about someone, somewhere, at some time, telling you it was bad luck to walk under a ladder.
“That’s superstitious nonsense!” You tell yourself, and yet, you make no plans to purposefully walk under a ladder the next time you see one. Where did this preternatural fear of seemingly innocuous objects and circumstances come from? Well, superstitions developed centuries ago in different parts of the world, but they are still alive and well even in today’s modern society (although they don’t carry the same sense of gravity as they once did). While these strange habits have stuck around, most people don’t know where the practices began or why.
Read on to learn more about the superstitions that people still believe.