Jun 29, 2014

Evil eye that look unto thee, will very soon extinguished be

Ayn Ha'ra (Hebrew )
mal ojo, mal de ojo  (Spanish )
buri Nazar (Hindu)
mati (Greece )
isabat al-'ayn(Islam )
mal occhio (Italy )
ʿayn al-ḥasūd  ( Arabic )
Urok ( Serbian, Croatian )
Nazar ( Turkish )
mau-olhado  Portuguese 
Various names for evil eye in different languages
Merriam Webster dictionary describes the “evil eye” in a following way:
an eye or glance held capable of inflicting harm; also :  a person believed to have such an eye or glance” [1]
Indeed, the only thing that I might’ve add in there, is “capable of inflicting harm through spiritual means 
Encyclopedia Britannica explains it further :
evil eye, glance believed to have the ability to cause injury or death to those on whom it falls; pregnant women, children, and animals are thought to be particularly susceptible. Belief in the evil eye is ancient and ubiquitous; it occurred in ancient Greece and  Rome, Jewish, Islamic,  Buddhist and Hindu traditions, and in indigenous, peasant, and other folk societies, and it has persisted throughout the world into modern times. Those most often accused of casting the evil eye include strangers, malformed individuals, childless women, and old women.  “ [2]
Other than the injury and the death, the evil eye can cause misfortune, sickness, poverty,  or  it can even cause Your technical devices to malfunction.   
As a person born and raised in Mediterranean country where the  influence of Roman, Celtic, Illyrian, and Turkish   cultures is strongly present, even today,  the evil eye , or also “glance of malice”, is a concept that comes naturally to me.   People here,  are raised with the notion,  having it around  since  their most early childhood,  and therefore, it’s in a way a cultural heritage and, I’ll dare to say, even part of instinctive thoughts and behaviour.   You will see people carrying charms against it everywhere,  from barely literal people to renowned Drs. Of Science. It’s generally so in the whole Mediterranean.
Evil eye is definitely one of those beliefs that spin the globe.  We can find it in Africa, where the antidote for it ,  is believed to be saliva of the person who inflicted  it  in the first place,  though anthropologists argue  whether the  belief in evil eye in Africa is indigenous or imported. [3]
First written records are  found in some Assyrian and Babylonian ancient “poems”, circa 3000 years B.C.  [4]
Even the poet Virgil  says  ( in Eclogues, iii. 103  ) : “Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinant agnos” , which would ,  loosely  ,  translate to  : “I don’t know who glanced me with malice/ who laid evil eye on me”  [5]
Evil eyes are mentioned in Bible,  in the King James’ version,  where the “evil eye” apparently replaces “covetousness” , though in the end , the concepts come really close, more so when we consider how the evil eye works;
“He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.” [6] Proverbs 28:22 KJV   
Similar case  is  with the Quran,  where  it’s stated how envious people have “evil” , and it’s generally  understood among the Muslim people, that it’s the “evil eye” what Quarn speaks about in several places.
Many people throughout  human history were  believed to posses the power of causing  harm with the power of the glance of malice. A typical and well known example would  be the Spanish king Alfonso XIII  ( 1886. -  1931. ), whom even Benito Mussolini refused to meet, fearing his, at the time extremely notorious evil eyes. Incidentally or not, during the very visit of   King Alfonso to the Italy, when Mussolini refused to meet him   ( 1923. ), there had been all sort of terrible accidents, happening to people and soldiers who  were there to greet the king.  Two sailors were washed overboard,  there was an explosion on the submarine  , an antique canon  fired in his honor exploded, killing all of it’s crew,  and even the navy officer who shook the King’s hand collapsed and died. Finally, some damn broke during his visit  killing  50 people during his visit [7]  Italian housewives  and old women, were said to have “thrown the corns” at him, as he was passing by, meaning point “mano cornuto  at him,   or making an apotropaic hand   gesture, known also among the Hindu people and in Wicca, and used to repel evil, and block it’s power to harm.
The  “New York Times” , issue from October 22nd , 1922., published an article about a child that was “sick” , and was believed, by its parents, to be under the influence of an evil eye.  As a curative measure, white chicken was to be  sacrificed, it’s liver was to be stuck with a lot of pins, and cooked with a part of affected kid’s clothing, until there was heard some auspicious sound like bells ringing, or song melody. That would, according to person who advised the parents, signify that the evil eye effect was undone. [8]
Pope Pius   ( 1846-1878  ) IX  and Pope Leo  ( 1878-1903  ) XIII , were also believed to have possessed the dreaded glance of malice. The earlier in particular. It seemed that  nearly anything he would have blessed would  in some way become cursed. [9]
The severity attributed to the evil eye by the ancient Romans,  was finely illustrated in the plethora of measures they undertook to protect themselves from it. They even had specific deities, such as Cunina, believed to be the protectress  of the cradle from malevolent magick and evil eye, and was thus petitioned to safeguard the child from  the evil eye. Newborns were wrapped in red fabric, and even wore red clothes   for awhile , so they could be protected  from the evil eye, and  the kids, until they’d reach puberty, wore clothes with purple rims for the same purpose.
Priapus, the deity of phallus, also Roman, is probably yet another source to the, surviving, Italian folk custom  of using phallic symbols to ward off evil  eyes. As If they needed more excuses ( lol ) Italian men will even nowadays grab their genitals , to repel and null the effects of the evil eye.
In Africa ( particularly Northern ), when a women is having troubles with labor, it’s often believed  ( this state/condition ) to be caused  by the evil eye. Therefore, the father invites all the village people to come visit the lady in labor, spit on their hands and pass them over pregnant women’s belly. If the person who inflicted evil eye upon the women was among them, as soon as they’d touch her belly, she would instantaneously lose pains and ills, and the labor would onwards go swiftly and relatively painlessly.   So we see, that countering the evil eye is so important there that the villagers take it seriously, and all reply  to the invitation, taking in  count that it could be any of them that casted the evil eye, be it accidentally. In fact, refusing such invitation, in Northern Africa is seen as extremely rude, selfish or even hostile, and people will hardly ever do it.
In Balkans, folk believe that the Evil eye is some kind of a power that came from extremely arid regions ( ! ) hence, they believe that one of it’s principal methods of attack is draining the victim of things, spiritually luck, energy, and  physically, water or body fluids. Hence, the Balkan cunning folk, chant over bowl  of “new” water, in which they drop, one by one,  the shining hot coals, as they chant the secret incantations that speak of three eyes, one of which is evil eye, another being watery  eye and the third one being fiery, and invoke the powers of Sun, Moon, Stars and even G’d itself and  The Virgin Mary  to counter it, and send it off to “never-land”.   This serves both as diagnostic measure, and as cure. When dropping the coals the “cunning folk” pronounces names or specific characters ( for example: men , women, child, animal, old, young …etc ) of the suspected caster of the evil eye. When some of the coals sinks down to the bottom of the bowl ( in some version floats, or make a loud noise, blackens the water in the bowl etc. )  the wrongdoer is found, and then the aforementioned chanting begins. Finally, the afflicted either takes three small sips of the water, or the water is used to draw three Crosses on  his  forehead and some  is given to him to sprinkle the house, in order to undo the hazardous effects of the evil eye. Occasionally, in some regions, the leftover water is poured on a dog [10]
It seems that the evil eye has even taken place in popular culture of today.  Have You ever seen an episode of the  “Naruto Shippuden”  anime ? Yes? What  is it that  You think had inspired the author to create those havoc-wreaking  doijutsus such as Sharingan and Rinnengan . Evil eye indeed ! *blinks*

Protection and countering of the evil eye, or glance of malice
It’s only to be expected, that such ever present threat was to be dealt with seriously, and hence, in magickal community was treated with  caution and  countermeasures.
Indeed, even up until today, both ancient and some “newer “ methods have been preserved, and amulets and charms commonly used.  Turkish air companies, for example,  often paint a great blue  eye, somewhere on the tail of their airplanes, to safeguard it from the  devastating  power of the glance of malice. You know, If for nothing else, just to be on the safe side J
The “cimaruta” is  still one of the  best selling charms ( amulets ) in Italy , and not only  because of it’s broad apotropaic spectrum of  influence, but because it’s considered to be an  “eye-proof” safeguard from the evil eye, If You’ll excuse the pun J
So, without further adieu, let’s proceed on the practical advices   in regards to fighting the evil eye.
Botanical agents against evil eye
Herbs that counter and remove effects of the evil eye include: Basil, Cayenne peppers ( in Balkan ), Rue ( particularly in Italy ),  Lemons ( fruits, often halved and placed around for protection ), Periwinkle ( dispels the evil eye ), Aspand ( Ancient Zooratostrian and Muslim rites )  , Garlic (  particularly in Greece )  ,  Black peppercorns ( for removal of the evil eye ) , Barley ( extremely powerful against Evil eyes, and demons that cause illness, in Hindu beliefs ),  and others.
Minerals , animal curios , and Household items against the evil eye
Knifes and needles ( for protection, and removal,  folk magick ) , sugar and salt, broom straws ( for removing the evil eye,  Balkan folk magick, also Hindu  ), Cotton balls ( for removal  via sympathetic magick methods ) , Olive oil ( for diagnosing and removing the evil eye ) , ashes ( in varying rituals, shown to the child and thrown on  crossroads  ),  mirrors ( for deflecting the evil eye , negating the power of it, and returning it to the source, also for removing one 's own   evil eye, in Russian folk magick ),  Alum ( when burnt it creates bubbles, that are believed to destroy the evil eye ) ,  one's own or children’s saliva, Cat eye’s shell ( Turbo sp. shells ), Tiger’s eye or Cat’s eye minerals, also Turquoise mineral ( for protection ), Blue glass pearls ( protection ) ,  Red thread or ribbon ( for protection, particularly of the children ), hand or Cross drawing, tattoo ,or charm ( for protection ) , small, unripe lemons filled with pins ,  and others.
Symbols and charms against the evil eye
Hand of Miriam ( The Hamsa ) , Hand of Fatma, Manopoderosa, Tiger’s paw ( tattoo , often seen on Hindu 
Mano ponderosa,  XIX  century  work , can be
found in Brooklyn museum  ( see image
credits for more details )
children’s face cheeks ), fishes ( fishes are immune to the evil eye, possibly they are the only animals or even objects on Earth which are immune to it, they may appear on Hamsa amulet ) , Eyes , for example the Udjat or Vedjat also know as Eye of Horus( Eye drawings, designs, and charms can  repel the evil eye , various designs ), Cross ( all sort of Cross designs  are believed   to block and annul the harmful effect of the evil eye ) , Moon, particularly new Moon shape, Turquoise pendants and bracelets, copper anklets  with garlic or beet root ( Hindu, often seen on kids ), Blue or Green glass spheres ( also called “witch balls” ) , Yarn spun    from the black sheep’s wool,   Charm bag ( mojo bag ) filled with Pumpkin seeds.
Diagnosing and removing the evil eye
Although there are certain symptoms  that appear in people affected  with the evil eye,  diagnostic methods still do exist, although they may vary in different cultures.
I’ve mentioned the method with the coals, which are extinguished in water, that’s done  in Balkan peninsula folk magick, not only  to determine the presence of evil eye, but also reveal information about the caster, and finally, even  remove the effects of the evil eye.
Likewise, the methods of removal vary. The Evil eye is most often destroyed by fire, smudging or  with water.  Oftentimes, puppets are made to take  the evil eye from the afflicted and then tossed into fire. A good part of Atharva veda is concerned with remedies to the evil eye. Children, while susceptible to it,  are  also believed  to  have natural powers to  destroy the evil eye, hence showing a piece of clothes of the afflicted to a child is sometimes all that needs to be done. The power of children against the evil eye is extremely present among the Hindu people.
Let’s go through few examples.
Italian folk magick, evil eye test
It’s rather simple. It’s a form of hydromancy  really.
Italian women, particularly the old ones, are famed for diagnosing and removing the  evil eye which they do with by dripping Olive oil into a vessel with water as they recite secret prayers or sometimes incantations, passed onto them by their mothers , grandmothers , aunts and so on.  The eye symbol is said to be  formed  by the  oil in the water, If indeed the cause is the evil eye. Then , these cunning women would continue to drip more olive oil, drop by drop, reciting prayers, until the eye shape in the bowl falls apart.
Muslim custom of testing for the presence of the evil eye
This custom/ritual has been recorded in the Sindh Pakistane Province and is done by Muslims, predominantly. It’s wise to note, though,  that the similar ritual  is also done by the Hindu people [12]
The person afflicted ties a rope, or a yarn around a stone. The stone is then  tossed into the fire. If the rope/yarn does not burn, the person is under the effect of the evil eye.  
Hindu ritual for detecting evil eye
For this ritual one needs to  pour water on some plate,  and sprinkle  it with some Crossroads dirt. 
Inside some pot, practitioner  places Broom straws, Salt and Cayenne pepper and waves with the pot ( or circles around ) in front of the afflicted person’s head.
Finally the pot is swiftly placed opening down on the aforementioned plate, and if it sticks ( so that  one can lift the plate with the pot  ) , it’s interpreted as a definitive omen of presence of the evil eye. [11]
Spanish / Latin American method of diagnosing evil eye with an egg
A new, fresh egg is taken and rolled over the face of the afflicted. Then it’s broken ( on a plate or in a bowl, obviously! )  and placed bellow their bed. After a day, the egg is inspected. Extremely foul odours,  extremely dried up egg, or eye shapes formed by the eggs are signs that someone is afflicted with the evil eye.
Often times, the practitioner will  then pray over another, new , fresh egg, and then break it and spread some ( usually by making a sign of Cross, Brujeria and Santeria practitioners will do this often ) over the forehead of the afflicted and the rest will be placed bellow their bed, once again, and inspected after a day.
Removing the evil eye with the saliva
Spitting in front of a child, immediately after it has been praised, oftentimes by the very person who had complimented it, is considered to be a safe, fail-proof way, to negate the power of the evil eye.
Old women in Europe are believed to be able to remove the evil eye that causes suffering to the dying  person, by spiting on their hand and passing with it over them. Similar belief exists in northern Africa.
Simple heart-felt prayer, also immediately after someone receives compliment, or the look which is suspicious is an alternative to the above, although I don’t see  the reason  to not combine the two myself J
Burning the Evil eye
Make a poppet shaped like a human from a cotton wool  ( must be natural cotton wool !)  then waving around the afflicted person three times, chant three times
From N.N. into this poppet evil eye shall transfer
And into the flames, forever it will disappear 
Then burn the poppet. It is done.
Similarly, there is a custom among Hindu people to make a three small human shaped puppets from the cotton wool by  the afflicted person, hung them upside down on a wall, and burn them in order to remove the evil eye, according to Henry Gamache .
Removing the Evil eye with liquids
Evil eye seems to have "drying"  effect on people and  sometimes even objects.   People take this as common knowledge, where I am from , ones that believe in it, at least. Hence it makes sense why water and liquids ( like the saliva ) are used as cures.
It’s common among Christians to give three sips of Holy water to the afflicted , and to sprinkle them ( or wash their face thrice ) with it, to remove the overlooking.
Combine water and some Barley, and give to the afflicted to drink and pour some over their head. Atharva veda  speaks of use of water and Barely for remedy:
VI, 91. Barley and water as universal remedies.
1. This barley they did plough vigorously, with yokes of eight and yokes of six. With it I drive off to a far distance the ailment from thy body.
2. Downward blows the wind, downward burns the sun, downward the cow is milked: downward shall thy ailment pass!
3. The waters verily are healing, the waters chase away disease, the waters cure all (disease): may they prepare a remedy for thee!” [12]
Pour a whole bottle of bear ( natural, not those with all sort of synthetic flavors added )  into a bathtub with water, and pray over the water for the healing of the afflicted. Have them take a bath, and immerse completely at least three times. 
Such beer bath is considered to be cure per excellence for the evil eye by some authors [13]
I myself like to suggest bath made with infusion of the Basil and Rue, to which salt and lemon slices have been added. Of course, praying over such bath is needed, and pouring it over body , or immersing it three times , too.
Another Hindu “tip” calls for boiling Rice and Lemon slices in water ( presumably until it boils ), then shaking the mixture around the afflicted children’s body, or circling with pot around it, and then pouring the mixture on some crossroads. [14]
Burning incense and spices , other non-specific rituals
Burning alum and wafting the  smoke towards the afflicted,  is a  fast ,  and safe measure undertaken to render the glance of malice null and void. Frankincense is used in similar manner.
Muslims from the Sindh, also suggest a ritual , where one places terracotta or clay container on the shadow of the afflicted and burns seven black peppercorns in it to accomplish the like with the previous. Muslims in the Sindh also place four  lemons  of the shadow of the afflicted, cut in them in halves, and then throw the halves in four quarters. Caution is needed here through. For the two halves of the same lemon must never (!) be thrown in  the same direction ( quarter , N, S, E, W ) . [15]

Hope You find this useful, interesting and helpful
Many Blessings,  LUV Shadow :)
NOTES:  This article was  written / composed by myself,  therefore, If You wish to  use any part of it elsewhere feel free, but do add credits  :  Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post.
[3]  Acc. to  Sir James G. Fraser  ; “Golden Bough”
[4] Acc. to Cassandra Eason  ; as stated in her “ Encyclopedia of Magick and Ancient wisdom”
[8] As  stated in “Protection against evil” by Henri Gamache
[9] According to “ Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca”( pg.114th )  by Rosemary Ellen Guilley,  Third edition, Facts of Life publishing
[10] As  described in “Tajanstvene pojave u nasem narodu” ( lit./  verbatim ; “Mysterious occurrences among our people”  , referring to the, now former,  Yugoslavian people)   by Radovan Kazimirovic
[11] As under [8]
[12] Retrieved from : http://www.astrojyoti.com/av1-7.htm
[13]  Draja Micharic praises beer bath in his famous “Spiritual cleansing” book
[14]  According to source listed under [8]
[15]  As under [8]

The first image, depicting an eye, is courtesy of "The Graphic's fairy" and can be found here  : http://thegraphicsfairy.com/antique-images-human-eyes/ , digitally edited for use here, by myself
The other image is a scribble by my minority
The third image is from http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/766/Mano_Poderosa_The_All-Powerful_Hand_or_Las_Cinco_Personas_The_Five_Persons used here for illustrative and explanatory purposes without any ill will

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The evil can happen by admiration, not only by envy.