The Evil Eye & Its Meaning Through The Ages

6 mins 47 secs

Posted by Ryan Trinh on

By House of Intuition Healer, Ryan Trinh

To welcome our newest collection, The Protection Amulet Bracelet Collection, I wanted to share some information about the ubiquitous Evil Eye and why we decided to create this special collection.  

With the advent of cross cultural exchanges, the Evil Eye and its stories have influenced and dispersed into a variety of other cultures.  Early written examples of Evil Eye seem to stem from the Middle East and Mediterranean, but also appear in other cultures such as African, Europeans, South Asian, and even in America.  Bear in mind that every culture has their own interpretations of what the Evil Eye is and can do but they do seem to have a common thread.  

In this day and age, we all know what envy can do to a person and the recipient of said envy. This is not a new concept as ancient cultures and beliefs shared this same fear of how a person’s envy can harm another person. Envy is an ugly creature and unfortunately is, in a sense, human nature no matter which way it manifests.

The Evil Eye can be thrown or given to people, whether by intentionally giving it to others or sometimes unknowingly giving it to others. You may be asking how the Evil Eye is transferred, and the obvious answer is through gazing at another, but surprisingly, there are a variety of ways it can be given and differs culturally.  Symptoms of the Evil Eye can also vary from culture to culture, but luckily cures, aversions, and charms to ward against it are also plentiful.  

The most common way to give the Evil Eye is by looking or staring at something or someone too long with envy.  Some also believe that the act of giving too much praise is thought to convey the Evil Eye onto the recipient. Prayer and ill intent can send out the Evil Eye, especially if the prayer is with the intention of humbling the target. Some even believe it is possible to give yourself the Evil Eye by staring at oneself too long in a mirror especially when thinking negative thoughts about yourself.  

Symptoms or the results of the Evil Eye most commonly is seen as bad luck or recurring bouts of bad luck, however in older traditions, the results can be much more severe. Some say that the Evil Eye can cause illness and fussiness in children and babies, the inability to breastfeed in new mothers, livestock and crops to become ill or fail, impotence and infertility, and illness in general as a few examples. However with all this fear of the Evil Eye, there are luckily lots of tools out there to help avert and cleanse the Evil Eye so rest assured there are plenty of ways around this.

Common ways to avert the Evil Eye is to wear protective charms that avert the eye or reflect its energy back to them. The most seen charm is the blue bead eye or the hand with the eye in the center known as the Hamsa, Hamesh, Hand of Fatima, Hand of Miriam, just to name a few. This charm is to protect the wearer from the Evil Eye as a reflector and often is blue in color which is a nod to the element of water which is said to cleanse and wash away the Evil Eye. Some traditions also believe that when a protection charm breaks, like the charms to avert the Evil Eye or even crystal bracelets, that it is taking a hit of negative energy intended for you and protecting you, which may just require you to get a new charm to continue the protection. A more humorous charm that is deployed by some is the charm called the Fascinus, which is a phallus, sometimes winged as a way to confuse or distract the Evil Eye away from the target. In this vein, we also see charms or painting of this phallus, obscene objects or gestures, or confounding patterns to also distract the Evil Eye. However, even if one wears a protective charm or deploys a protection, one may still receive some effects of the Evil Eye, so there are a variety of cures or cleanses that can be done.  

Now in many traditions, the use of water is also a common way to avert and protect against the Evil Eye such as bathing but this also brings up that in some belief systems, the zodiac sign, Pisces is thought to be immune to the effects of the Evil Eye due to fish spending their lives in water so that some good news for the Pisces out there. On the note of water, holy water is also a common way to cleanse one of the Evil Eye by bathing in it or, in some traditions, drinking it. Spitting and saliva is a common way of averting or removing the effects of the Evil Eye, but of course in these times, this may not be a preferred method. It is against a common belief by some when giving a child or person a compliment to spit after to protect the child against the Evil Eye’s effect.  

Another common way to cleanse the Evil Eye from another is the use of household items such as water, but herbs and knives, needles, and pins were also used. One way to remove the Evil Eye is to burn herbs on top of charcoal such as Clove Buds or Aspand seeds, also known as Syrian Rue, followed by prayer. Hanging Garlic in the home or by the doors is also said to ward off the Evil Eye. If we think of the Evil Eye as just an eye, think of the things that hurt when it gets into our eyes. Common things such as Lemons or Salt can be used to avert or cure one who may be afflicted. A common ritual uses a Lemon which is stuck with an odd number, most often 9, of nails, needles, or pins then wrapping red thread around these pins and nailing it above the door to protect the inhabitants from the Evil Eye.  Another common technique to remove the Evil Eye is the use of Eggs, especially in Latin American countries. One can use an Egg to diagnose and see if the Evil Eye is causing someone an affliction, or even use an Egg to cleanse and absorb the negative energy of the Evil Eye. Other traditions will also break an Egg, which looks like an eye, to break or ward its effects.  

It bears repeating that not every inconvenience that we experience is the result of a curse, hexing, jinxing, or the effect of the Evil Eye. With the various platforms out there that allow us to express ourselves and our lives at its best, it must surely mean that the Evil Eye is out there being thrown every which way. But remember, not everyone is giving out the Evil Eye nor is everyone the target of the Evil Eye. Life sometimes throws us a curveball to keep us on our toes and sometimes we are met with challenges to help us grow so not everything is due to the eyes of a jealous person. That being said, if you ever feel yourself being afflicted, cleanse yourself with the ways listed above, and maybe throw on one of our Protection Amulets to help protect your own energy when you feel it is called for.  

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