Bread and Salt

“At its East, South, West and North Angles are a Rose, Fire, Cup of Wine and Bread and Salt. These allude to the Four Elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth.”—Neophyte Ritual of the Golden Dawn

“I invite you to inhale with me the perfume of this rose as a symbol of Air (smelling rose): To feel with me the warmth of this sacred Fire (spreading hands over it): To eat with me this Bread and Salt as types of earth (eats): and finally to drink with me this Wine, the consecrated emblem of elemental Water (drinks from cup).”—Ritual of the 0=0 Grade of Neophyte

“The Eucharist of four elements consists of fire, air, water, and earth. These are represented by a flame for fire, by incense or roses for air, by wine for water, and by bread and salt for earth.”—Chapter XX Of the Eucharist and of the Art of Alchemy

“I am like a black eunuch; and Thou art the scimitar. I smite off the head of the light one, the breaker of bread and salt.”—Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum sub figurâ VII

“For the Scent of the dying rose is the repressed sigh of my suffering; The Flame-Red fire is the energy of my undaunted Will; The Cup of Wine is the outpouring of the blood of my heart, sacrificed to regeneration; And the Bread and Salt are the Foundations of my Body Which I destroy in order that they may be renewed. For I am Asar triumphant, even Asar Un-nefer the Justified One!”—Liber LIX Across the Gulf and ACROSS THE GULF

“For the secret of the Dying Rose is as the repressed sigh of my suffering. (sniffs rose)
And the flame-red fire as the energy of my undaunted will. (passes hand over flame)
And the cup of wine is the outpouring of the Blood of my heart sacrificed unto
regeneration and the Newer Life. (sips wine)
And the Bread and the Salt are as the Foundations of my Body. (tastes bread and salt)
Which I destroy in order that they may be renewed.”—Service Celebrating the Feast of the Initiation of the Prophet

“In the Helvetian or Swiss instructions, salt is added to corn, wine, and oil as one of the elements of consecration, because it is a symbol of the wisdom and learning which should characterize a Freemason's Lodge. When the foundation-stone of a Lodge is laid, the Helvetian ceremonial directs that it shall be sprinkled with salt, and this formula be used: “May this undertaking, contrived by wisdom, be executed in strength and adorned with beauty, so that it may be a house where peace, harmony, and brotherly love shall perpetually reign.

This is but carrying out the ancient instructions of Leviticus (ii, 13), “And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. Significant as are the references in the Bible to salt… these are all reminders of the ancient importance of salt, the symbol of pledged affiliation, as in the weighty and warning utterance of Jesus in Matthew (v, 13) “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Salt to the ancient world was pronounced a substance dear to the gods (Plato, Timaeus) and to break bread and eat salt at a meal with others were symbols of plighted faith and loyalty.”–Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry at A Masonic Glossary of the Gnostic Mass also Salt

“Consecrated bread and wine, that is to say, bread and wine used not simply for food, but made sacred by the purpose of symbolizing a bond of brotherhood, and the eating and drinking of which are sometimes called the Communion of the Brethren, is found in some of the advanced Degrees, such as the Order of High Priesthood in the American Rite, and the Rose Croix of the French and Scottish Rites.

It was in ancient times a custom religiously observed, that those who sacrificed to the gods should unite in partaking of a part of the food that had been offered. And in the Jewish Church it was strictly commanded that the sacrificers should “eat before the Lord,” and unite in a feast of joy on the occasion of their offerings. By this common partaking of that which had been consecrated to a sacred purpose, those who partook of the feast seemed to give an evidence and attestation of the sincerity with which they made the offering; while the feast itself was, as it were, the renewal of the covenant of friendship between the parties.”–Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry at A Masonic Glossary of the Gnostic Mass also Bread

External references

  • — “Together, Mother bread and Father salt encompass the work of civilization — sowing, harvesting, milling; leavening and baking of grain; seeking and gathering salt from the sea and earth; trade and commerce in salt. Together they symbolize effort, creativity, intelligence and wisdom, and the cooperation that is necessary to bring them to the table and to keep peace in the world. Islamic traditions of the esoteric bonding power of bread and salt date back to the early days of the Qur'anic revelation. It is said that a shared mouthful of bread was the meal shared by disciples of Jesus, in answer to their prayer for a sign of God's acceptance of their faith.” “The hadith al-luqma was a tradition in which the knowledge of God was transmitted by means of a mouthful of bread, passed from Hasan al-Basri through a line of early Sufis down to Mansur al-Hallaj: I entered the house of my shaikh who gave me a mouthful, saying I entered the house of my shaikh who gave me a mouthful, saying I entered the house of my shaikh who gave me a mouthful… Eat this which we give you for your well-being, for we may have partaken of the meal of the holy people, the custodians of graces; we have therefore shared in this blessing; you share, too, therefore, in their blessing.—Mansur al-Hallaj. At the second trial of Hallaj for heresy, testimony was offered that a piece of miraculously preserved bread found in a basket belonging to him was, in fact, the holy luqma of that tradition.” See Mansur al-Hallaj
  • — “For the Sufi, observance of adab forges links with a spiritual heritage. The extension of hospitality and sharing of meals offer opportunities to embody remembrance of God within traditions shared by generations of fellow travelers on the path.” “Most early Sufis were well-known for their asceticism, both individually and in community. The early Sufi mystic and martyr Mansur al-Hallaj was said to have survived for seven years on a diet of bread and salt. ”
  • — “By bringing bread and salt to a new home, one is making it possible for the people who have just moved to sustain themselves.”
  • — “A person with whom one has shared ‘bread and salt’, as Westerners would say, is supposed to remain loyal, hence the Persian term namak ḥarām, ‘whose salt is prohibited’, for a disloyal person.”
  • - “And one who stays at the graves of martyrs in the Quraish cemetery for ten days, praying and fasting and breaking the fast only with some barley bread and salt he would be made needless of worship and obedience of Allah (SwT).” Also
  • — “Lovers of God, however, being absorbed in God, have come to know the Builder and have seen with the eye of knowingness. They have eaten bread and salt together, and mingled the two. The Builder is never absent from their heart and their gaze. Men and women such as this pass away in God. With them, sin is not sin, and crime is not crime, since they are absorbed.”
  • - “So far I can rely on the generous disposition of his reverence, that he will one day favor me by partaking of my bread and salt, by becoming my guest.”
  • — (Richard Francis Burton, Arabian Nights, v 9 ch 2) “So she left her home to them and wended her way, whereupon Hasan brought in the Persian, who entered after asking leave. Then he took in hand a dish and going to the market, returned with food, which he set before the Persian, saying, “Eat, O my lord, that between us there may be bread and salt and may Almighty Allah do vengeance upon the traitor to bread and salt!” The Persian replied with a smile, “True, O my son! Who knoweth the virtue and worth of bread and salt?” Then he came forward and ate with Hasan, till they were satisfied; after which the Ajami said, “O my son Hasan, bring us somewhat of sweetmeats.” So Hasan went to the market, rejoicing in his words, and returned with ten saucers of sweetmeats, of which they both ate and the Persian said, “May Allah abundantly requite thee, O my son! It is the like of thee with whom folk company and to whom they discover their secrets and teach what may profit him!” Then said he, “O Hasan bring the gear.” But hardly did Hasan hear these words than he went forth like a colt let out to grass in spring-tide, and hastening to the shop, fetched the apparatus and set it before the Persian, who pulled out a piece of paper and said, “O Hasan, by the bond of bread and salt, wert thou not dearer to me than my son, I would not let thee into the mysteries of this art, for I have none of the Elixir left save what is in this paper; but by and by I will compound the simples whereof it is composed and will make it before thee.” Also


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