The Evil Eye
The Evil Eye – Don’t Get Stared Down by It
By Charles L Harmon
If you’ve ever read much about superstitions or bad luck you’ve surely heard of the evil eye. The power of the evil eye is definitely something to be aware of. During the ages almost all cultures have believed in the power of the evil eye.
The evil eye is a look that is believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. It is a superstition from antiquity; however, there are still people that believe in it. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look.
This is a superstition that seems to have only bad luck and connotations associated with it, unlike many superstitions that might mean either good luck or bad luck, depending on the country or situation.
Don’t get caught in the stare of the evil eye!
According to the idea behind the evil eye is that some people have the ability to call evil spirits to have their wishes granted; the wishes to bring harm, even death to their enemies or those they do not like.
This belief in the evil eye, basically the same all over the world, is based on the concept that the eye is the source of all animal magnetism. Because of this belief it follows that the influence from the eyes of an angry or envious person can fill the air with an evil that effects not only living things, but even stone and other inanimate objects. The resulting evil could capsize a boat, cause a car to roll over, turn a bumper crop to wilting and unusable vegetables or even destroy a house.
Unusual Evil Eye Gifts
With such power all concentrated in an evil way no wonder people have been afraid of the evil eye and all its ramifications, none of which are good if you are on the receiving end. But there is a glimmer of hope. It’s possible to counteract the evil.
In ancient times people started carrying amulets and charms to open the way to constant access to good spirits who could help them or counteract the doings of the evil eye.
A lot of those amulets and charms have come down to us over the ages as “lucky” charms and amulets. Their original purpose, however, was for protection instead of luck. The symbols that were most frequently used to ward off or shield against the evil eye are in the form of crescents and horns. Over time the horns themselves became associated with divine protection.
Even fairly recently, maybe even today, in Nogales Italy, where it is said the evil eye is still perceived as very real, some people invariably carry charms in the shape of horns to protect themselves. Their belief is so strong that when or if they feel threatened it is enough just to say the word corno! – which means horn and the threat will go supposedly go away.
Do you believe in the evil eye? Well, if you don’t, come close and look at a real evil eye like this, face to face, and experience the goodness for yourself. Comment on your experience.
There are lots of horned protections still used or at least fairly recently used to counteract the evil eye. Ceremonial masks from Cambodia are enhanced with them. There are wooden images of the gods in West Africa also adorned with horns. Horned protectors have also been found in Tahiti, Peru, and among some of the original inhabitants of North America. Everywhere they were used to protect those using them from the potentially devastating effects of the evil eye.
Here in the USA and other places those who do not take the evil eye literally, either by reason of the culture in which they were raised or because they simply do not believe in such things, the phrase, “to give someone the evil eye” usually means simply to glare at the person in anger or disgust.
Enter your comment below if you have had firsthand experience with the evil eye. If the region or country that you live in follows the custom of the evil eye please update us below.
More about evil eye superstitions
The fear of the evil eye did not carry over to America, except in the form of a metaphor. While the superstition is not intense enough to take precaution, the evil eye is seen as impolite, and a warning that the source of the evil eye has bad intentions.
The evil eye is known in various terms in different languages:
- Hebrew Evil Eye – Ayin Ha’ra
- Turkish Evil Eye – Nazar Boncugu
- Spanish – Mal Ojo or El Oja
- Scotland – Droch Shuil
- Farsi – Bla Band
- Arabic – Ayin Harsha
- France – Mauvais Oeil
- Germany – Busen Blick
- Romans – Oculus Malus
- Italian Evil Eye – Mal Occhio
There are still parts of the world where the evil eye is more than a second thought. Here are a few places.
The Dutch, the Italians, the Irish, the Egyptians, and the Chinese all fear the evil eye and have charms or amulets for the purpose of warding off its evil influence.
- The Dutch place broad strips of black paint upon their farmhouses
- The Irish have special charm phrases
- The Chinese employ the commonly used universal means of fighting off the evil eye. They by spit over the shoulder to frighten away the Evil One
- Italians, especially the men, wear a charm shaped like a small horn around their necks as a deterrent to malocchio, the evil eye. Some individuals may also spit over their shoulder and cross themselves when they feel they have been the victim of malocchio. Many Italians feel an even more effective deterrent than the sign of the cross, is to make the sign of the devil’s horns by extending the index and little finger.
- Even today among the country people of Greece, people with blue or green eyes are believed to be capable of matiasma, the evil eye. People whose eyebrows are connected are also people under suspicion of the evil eye, as well as those persons who as babies, had their breast feeding interrupted. It’s said most Greeks believe that those people who possess matiasma are not necessarily evil or malicious, but may simply have uncontrolled power to cause mechanical breakdowns in machinery, to kill or injure livestock, and precipitate various accidents.
- Among Muslim and Christian Arabs of the Middle East the belief in the evil eye remains powerful. Mothers purposely leave their children unwashed and dressed shabbily so they will not attract the attention of malignant men and women who might curse their children with the evil eye if their kids should appear too healthy or attractive. If anyone should ever inquire about her child’s health, the mother will hastily emphasize any defect or illness the child has. Poor mothers dress their baby sons as girls to counter the evil eye. Some give their children nonsensical names, such as “sandal” or “toy marble,” so the possessor of the evil eye will overlook them. Any compliment that may be directed at a woman’s child will quickly prompt the exclamation, “Mashallah!” (by the grace of God) from the wary mother.
- In the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean region, especially throughout Greece and up into Turkey, people have a strong tendency to view blue-eyed people as bearers of the evil eye. That is probably because only a few locally-born people have blue eyes and those who do show up, such as tourists, are given to praising and cooing over babies. Babies are thought to be most at risk from the eye.
- In Sicily and Southern Italy, said to be the only places where is it believed that some people can DELIBERATELY cast the evil eye on others.
- Among some Asian and African people, the evil eye is particularly dreaded while eating and drinking because the soul is thought to be more vulnerable when the mouth is open.
- Once the Evil Eye has been provoked, the recipient must counter its harmful effects with magic. According to Jewish tradition if the Evil Eye is attracted, mirrors and red or blue objects are utilized to veer away the glimpse of the eye, while a sacred verse or extreme motion (jumping around or throwing oneself upon the ground) may frighten it away. Some of their ritual gestures developed to counteract the effects of the Evil Eye include:
- Placing a precious stone between the eyes,
- Putting a spot of dirt or ash on the forehead of a child,
- Spitting three times onto the fingers,
- Throwing salt into the corners of a room,
- Piercing a lemon with iron nails,
- And combining prayer with dripping olive oil or wax into water or dropping coal into water.
Almost everywhere else that the evil eye belief exists, its effects are said to occur as an inadvertent side-effect of envy or praise.
The following is a partial list of perpetrators, charms or amulets or cures of the evil eye.
Perpetrators of the Evil Eye
- Those who praise children
- Envious people
- Childless women
- Those who suffer from covetousness
- Those with blue eyes (xenophobia among brown-eyed racial groups)
- People born with the unfortunate propensity to inadvertently project the eye
Charms and Amulets to Protest against the Evil Eye
ü Refusal to accept praise on behalf of child
ü Spitting on child
ü Spot of soot or dirt on child so child will not look pretty
ü Protective hand gestures
ü Mirror charms
ü Eye-agate amulets or jewelry
ü Eye-in-hand amulets
ü Amulets that replicate protective hand-gestures, such as Mano Cornuto and Mano Fico
ü Hand of Power and Powerful Hand / Mano Poderosa images
ü Hamsa hand / Hamesh hand / Hand of Fatima / Hand of Miriam
ü Fumigation with Aspand seeds burned on charcoal and recitation of spell
ü Red thread or red cord
ü Red coral horns and twigs
ü Buckle of Isis amulets
ü Eye amulets or jewelry such as
the All-Seeing eye,
Utchat or Wadjet eye,
the Eye of Buddha,
Blue glass eye disk / Nazar Boncugu / Nazar Boncuk / Nazar Bonjuk, and the
Blue stone beads and blue glass eye beads
Some Evil Eye Cures
- Wax dripped into water with prayer
- Passing a whole raw egg over the face, then breaking it
- Breaking an egg in a dark, shadowed place, unseen
- Breaking an egg and drawing a cross on the victim’s forehead
- Coals or match heads dropped into water with prayer
- Victim spits at giver of evil eye three times
- Olive oil dripped into water with prayer
- Placing a broken egg in dish beneath victim’s bed
- Piercing a lemon with iron nails
- Victim drinks three sips of holy water
- Victim is bathed in holy water
So whether you personally believe in the evil eye yourself, now you are aware that the thought of the evil eye persists in various parts of the world. Now when someone gives you the eye or stares at you intently, your mind will start clicking, wondering if it’s an evil eye stare or just your imagination.
Copyright © Charles L Harmon
Bad Luck Betty asks…
Do you have good luck or bad?
I know luck is real. I was born with bad luck. I know people who have good luck. Because of my bad luck, I wanted to know more. So I have done research for over 30 years and confirmed my suspensions. There are many articles on the subject if you go on line about luck.
I now consider myself an authority on the subject of luck. Your honest answers will become part of my continuing research.
Suzi Q answers:
I am lucky enough to have not too much bad luck. But I must confess I make sure no one gives me the evil eye and that’s because I am nice to everyone I feel might abuse the evil eye privilege.*