Black Salt or Witch Salt is used for warding and protection. There are varying methods for making this salt, but most of them boil down to creating some combination of salt, carbon, and or iron. Some also add protective herbs to the mixture, though opinions on this, and your mileage with them, may vary.

Here’s how I make mine. First, take the battery out of your smoke alarm (just in case) and place it somewhere visible so you’ll remember to put it back in when you’re finished. Then lightly oil a well seasoned and preferably well used cast iron skillet (I use olive oil) and fill it one-third to halfway with salt. I prefer kosher salt, but use what you like. Applying medium heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with the edge of a metal spatula pushing and dragging the salt across the pan, much like stirring, but with a little force. This will add some carbon and iron particles to your salt. Use mitts! Your pan and spatula will get very hot! Continue this until your salt begins to darken. It will turn a light to dark brownish color, depending on how long you cook it. Don’t panic, at this stage brown is fine. If there is no color change, remove it from the heat, let it cool some, add a bit more oil, and try again. DO NOT pour oil directly into the hot pan! You can chant, meditate, or pray while doing this to imbue it with energy. I find martial related gods and spirits and dark goddesses to be quite helpful with this, but be mindful of the risk of fire. Mars likes both iron and heat and isn’t particularly known for self-control. If you’re not paying close attention, the element of fire can quickly get away from you. Once you feel your salt has acquired a sufficient amount of energy and iron, remove it from the heat and allow it to completely cool.

In an alternate method, salt can be blackened nicely by adding more oil, carefully controlling the heat, and scraping until a coating of carbon simply builds up on the salt and it turns completely black. When this method is done right, it comes out breathtakingly beautiful, powerfully effective, and slightly less messy. However, be warned, if your oil to salt ratio, temperature, or timing is even a little bit off, you can can set fire to the oil, smoke up your entire house, and turn the gorgeous carbon coating your salt had, to ash … thereby making it white again. An ugly greyish white, but white, just the same. I’ve done this. It sucks. I have also tried doing this outside over both a fire and a camp stove (to avoid smoke in the house) but found the necessary temperatures too difficult to regulate. So the following is how I typically continue.

Once your salt has cooled, mix in just enough charcoal (from a wood burned ritual fire) to turn your salt a deep black. I make my charcoal by burning (outside, ahead of time) cedar wood in a small ritual fire started with a bundle of dried protection herbs. Chanting, dancing, prayer, spells, or any number of other things can be done while the fire burns. Wait for it to go out and completely cool, then pick out the leftover blackened pieces of wood and crush them (Do this outside! No one should be inhaling charcoal!) and store the powder in an air tight container. Or simply use the charcoal from any ritual or celebratory fire. The oil picked up from the skillet will help the charcoal stick to the salt so it won’t be a powdery mess. Oh it will be a mess, but it shouldn’t be a powdery one! Besides, a willingness to get your hands dirty, is a fitting symbolism that isn’t lost here.

All of that said, in a pinch, you can simply put some scrapings from your cast iron skillet into any salt on hand, throw in some charcoal, and call it done, thereby skipping the heating step all together, but I happen to be fond of incorporating alchemical processes and playing with fire, and do feel that the work and concentration necessary, seem to add potency to the final product..

Finally you can mix in protection herbs of your choice. I like to use angelica, bay, basil, rue, and black pepper, but please use anything that works well for you. Now you’re ready to place your salt! I like to lay mine at the four quarters of our property, across entry doors, and sometimes place tiny bottles of it in windowsills. In the past I have even carried some of it in my purse and have used it to ward the quarters of a route I traveled daily for work. It can be used much like brick-dust is used in hoodoo. However if sprinkled on the soil, some of its ingredients can kill your plants, so be very careful around flower beds and if in doubt, put it in a container before placing. Baby food jars and small jelly jars work well for this. Store any unused Black Salt in an air tight container.

For many making Black Salt can be a pretty informal affair and really it can be made anytime, but for those who prefer more structured ritual and want include moon phases and planetary correspondences in their work, my personal preference for protection is a dark moon. If that moon happens to fall in Aries, Scorpio, or Capricorn, all the better! As for days and hours, I like the energy of a Tuesday or Saturday and an hour of Mars or Saturn.

Good luck, Happy Crafting, and remember to mind your fires!