Reed Kaplan 19: Spilling Salt

“So the reason why when you spill salt. You have to throw it over your left shoulder is because the right side is the path of god and the left side is the path of the devil and you have to throw salt at the devil to counteract the omen my spilling salt.”

Context: I collected this story from Reed at the University of Southern California. Reed is an American Jew with roots in Louisiana.

Analysis: In Louisiana, occult religious beliefs are common alongside with the Vodun religion. Because of this, Christianity has also been mystified in a lot of random traditions, this being one of them. In Christianity, the left is often associated with the devil as “ it was thought that the Devil baptised his followers with his left-hand and there are many references in superstitions to the “left-hand side” being associated with evil.” That is why there are phrases like: “do the right thing”. This belief may stem from the fact that most of the population is right handed, so there would obviously be a mistrust of left handed individuals.