The Evil Eye

Origins

The Evil Eyte

There are many cultures that believe receiving the evil eye will cause injury or misfortune. The curse is cast by a malevolent glare and given to a person when they are unaware. Talismans created to guard against the evil eye are also called “evil eyes”.

Some of the countries that pursue protective measures against the concern over the evil eye include:

  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Morocco
  • Southern Italy (Naples)
  • Afghanistan
  • Levant
  • United States (Hawaii-“stink eye”)
  • India
  • Ethiopia
  • Pakistan
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Arabia

History

The evil eye belief dates back to Classical Antiquity and references to it are made by Plato, Diodorus, Hesiod and many others. Peter Walcot’s Envy and the Greeks listed more than one hundred works by authors who mention the evil eye. The evil eye was treated as a phenomenon from an inexplicable source and feared  in certain areas of the Roman Empire more intently. There were locations where people felt more conscious of the dangers associated with the evil eye and some tribes believed that they, as a whole, possessed the powers of the evil eye. Pontus and Scythia, were believed to be transmitters of the evil eye. The phallic charm called fascinum in Latin for the verb fascinare, “to cast a spell” (the origin of the English word “fascinate”) was used against the evil eye. The belief of the evil eye spread towards the East as a result of the Empire of Alexander the Great which spread Greek ideas throughout his empire.

Where is the belief Strongest?

  • West Africa
  • Latin America
  • East Africa
  • Central America
  • South Asia
  • Europe
  • Mediterranean region
  • Northern Europe-Celtic regions
  • Americas

fGuarding against the evil eye.

In the Aegean Region where light-colored eyes are relatively rare, people with green eyes and especially blue eyes, are thought to bestow the curse, intentionally or unintentionally. In Greece and Turkey amulets against the evil eye take the form of blue eyes.

Evil eye, Isabat al-’ayn, is a common belief that individuals have the power to look at people, animals or objects to cause them harm. It is tradition among many Muslims that if a compliment is to be made one should say “Masha Allah”, God has willed it or, “Tabarakallas”, Blessings of God to ward off the evil eye.

Among 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.

blue_green_peacock_eyes (1)

Christian countries make the sign of the cross with the hand and point two fingers, the index finger and the little finger  towards the  source of influence or victim. This was described in the first chapter of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula published in 1897:

When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the cross and pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty, I got a fellow passenger to tell me what they meant. He would not answer at first, but on learning that I was English, he explained that it was a charm or guard against the evil eye.

In Judaism the evil eye is mentioned several times in the classic Pirkei Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers by Rabbi Eliezer. He states that an evil eye is worse than a bad friend, neighbor of an evil heart. Judaism believes that a “good eye” designates good will and kindness towards others. Such a person will prosper. An “evil eye” is the opposite attitude and a man with “an evil eye” will not only feel no joy but will experience distress when others prosper.

Blue eyes were special

It has also been suggested the 10th commandment: “do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor” is a law against bestowing the evil eye on another person.

In some cultures over complimenting equates to casting a curse. The same is true about envy. According to the book The Evil Eye by folklorist Alan Dudes, the belief’s premise is that an individual can cause harm simply by looking at another’s person or property. But protection is easy to come by with talismans that can be worn, carried, or hung in homes, most often incorporating the contours of a human eye. In Aegean countries people with light-colored eyes are thought to be particularly powerful, and amulets in Greece and Turkey are usually blue orbs. Indians, Muslims, and Jews use charms with palm-forward hands with an eye in the center; Italians employ horns, phallic shapes meant to distract spell casters.

Short Video-Meaning of Amulets


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave comments or questions below.

newmona

Haunted U.S. Roads

6 Comments

  1. Susan Mckenney

    I didn’t know about any of this. It was an accident. It even created an evil sound. I want to say if you was An old lady witch that heckles. It said the HEX but drawn out. It echoed the hospital floor. It’s on film in my medical records. I don’t know to gather it to see it from a birds eyes. Someone even came and open my door asking if I screamed something. I told him no and shut the door nervously. I was going through what I believe to be an awaking. I’m very gifted yet cursed. I felt like I was being manipulated by whoever was looking at me through camera and couldn’t see them well a him. Well I vulnerability at on a new level and got pushed too far as I remember glaring out of my left eye While I though of the word HEX WHICH I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE. I felt my eye kinda pop outward then this vision of my eye coolor changing like in waves or ripples. Then I heard the exact way as it did my head. Someone needs learn me. I’m confused on what’s going on with me and why.

    The appropriated,

    Butterflybeautiful333

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      Where are you living? In a hospital ward?

      Reply
  2. Skye

    I was in school once and I was staring at my classmates eyes enviously. I’m not usually a jealous person but I was really seriously jealous for some reason and thinking “why don’t I have eyes that pretty” or something along those lines.
    The next day I kid you not, she came in and the whites of her eyes were completely red and it looked really scary, she said she woke up like that and didn’t know why, must’ve been some sort of infection. I still feel guilty about it haha

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      I’d call that a strange coincidence for sure!! Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  3. Rita

    My sun in law has the evil eye he uses it on mt daughter and g

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      How do you know that?

      Reply

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