The Evil Eye

Thru this gate no harm shall pass.

In this dwelling shall be no sorrow.

From this door shall come no terror.

In these quarters shall be no divisions.

In this place shall be only harmony and peace.

These are the commands of Hamsa protection against the Evil Eye. Now, the words may vary, however, the intent of the protection of the Hand of Fatima, or Hamsa is the same through the ages.  This is just one type of protection against the Evil eye.

The Evil Eye, often referred to as the Maliok, or the Malocchio, is really a curse. “Mal” meaning bad and “occhio” meaning eye in Italian.  This term is of Italian descent, however this type of curse is found across cultures.  In Italian cultures three drops of oil in a basin of water are used to detect the presence of the curse.  If it forms and eye shape then you have been afflicted.  If a sign of the cross appears, you are clear of the curse.

It is known in Spanish or Latino countries as, “Mal de Ojo,” and is often treated with an egg under the bed as a curative measure, capturing the “mal” intent within its confines as you sleep.  Where ever it derives, the intent is cursing with the eyes, especially when jealous or envious with the idea to cause physical pain such as headaches or stomach aches, or even to cause misfortune.  When we are talking in this case about curses, we are generally talking about three different types.

  • Unconscious:  harms but without intention.
  • With Intention: harms with the purpose of causing damage of some sort.
  • Unseen, Hidden “Evil”: harms with the purpose of misfortune, severe injury or even death.

So in the case of the Evil Eye, these curses are done specifically through the eyes, perhaps even including the third eye.  The cursing that we are talking about in this manner is about the gaze, the stare, the leer.  There are many other types of cursing, but we are just going to focus on this kind for now.

The first type, “unconscious” evil eye, is maybe the look you might give someone on a quick glance without even thinking about it.  Maybe its an eye roll in today’s terms, however, your thought process associated with that look is what sends out the negative energy towards that person.  You may not ever realize it.

The second type, “with intention,”  I like to equate with the road rage gaze.  You all know it, have done it, or received it.   The guy or gal in front of you cuts you off, goes too slow, turns short without a signal, steals your parking space, whatever, and you stare them down, thinking every terrible thing that is possible.  This is a level two evil eye curse!

The third type,”the Unseen,” is a whole other level of curse. This type has layers to it and is quite premeditated.  It can be substantially terrifying.  The witch sending this is rather focused on doing some serious damage here. This could result in bloodline curses, curses that continue through lifetime after lifetime, business or family destruction, severe sickness, or in some cases death.  This type has been planned, the consequences considered and weighed.  Usually this variety of curse has booby traps to taking it off.  The booby trap often is worse than the curse,  resulting in the cursed choosing to keep the “Evil” on and accepting their fate.

The curse of the Evil eye is ancient and with it also come various protections.  In Mesopetamia and Carthage, which is now, Tunisia, horned amulets associated with the Goddess Tanit, who later became the moon Goddess Astarte, were used because of the the shape of the cresent moon as horns representing her, and her fondness of horned beasts as sacrifice and which were considered sacred.  This horned talisman has carried through to modern times in the popular Italian charm of a red horn often resembling a chili pepper, the “cornetto,” “corno,” or the, “cornicello.”  They are often made of red coral, gold, or silver.

During Sumerian times, the Goddess Inanna was invoked as well using a horn or snake, as was her symbol of protection against the Evil Eye.  During Egyptian times, we see the Eye of Horus as protection or the three fingered hand’s origins.  Each finger representing Osiris, Isis, and the thumb representing Horus.  This too as a charm, has been carried into modern Italian talismans.  It is known as the “Knano Cornuta,” in Italian.  The Eye of Horus was a reminder that God is in everything, and in that a protection.

As we travel through the Middle East and North Africa, we find the Hamsa.  “Hamsa,” is Arabic for “five” and represents the five fingers to remind us to use all five senses to praise God.  The Hamsa is an open right hand, the right hand of God, with his all seeing eye in the middle.  The five fingers to give praise and be humble.  This reminder is in itself a ward against the ravages of the Evil Eye curse.  If you are humble in the first place, no such evils should befall you. The number five in Arabic cultures is considered lucky.

A hand charm is also known as the, “Mano Pantea,” or the hand of the All-Goddess and calls protection from a time when societies were more matriarchal and the all-in-one goddess reigned.  In other cultures, in various times, hands as charms against the Evil Eye include: The Hand of Mary, The Hand of Aphrodite, which protects against infertility if that were cursed upon a young woman.  There is also the hands of the Buddha in his many mudras, all considered various forms of protections in their energy directing positions.

In Turkish countries, the blue glass eye is considered a protection as well.  It sees all of the evil in the world and stares back at the world to protect it from all harms.   It is believed that if your talisman cracks that it has done its job of protecting you, that someone tried to curse you.  It is needed to be disposed of either by burying it or by fire, as the Evil Eye itself is considered part of the fire element. The blue of the talisman is also reflective of the water element, thereby combating the fire elemental properties, quenching them and the curse at hand.

And finally, even in Native American cultures, it is considered bad to stare at someone, that it equates to coveting that person’s things.  They have their own wards against such practices.

Clearly the belief in the Evil Eye is still alive and well with its many wards in the form of talismans, sigils or charms.  It is important to not only protect your person, but also your personal spaces from such forms of negative energy.  Best to keep a good charm at hand just in case!

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer, available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

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2 thoughts on “The Evil Eye

  1. Pingback: Blessings and Curses Two sides of the Same Coin | WitchPetals

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