In ancient times it was believed that people’s negative feelings were transmitted through the eyes. These beliefs were based on the idea that the eyes are the most expressive part of the human body.
Those who know me, know that I am Latino, born in Panama and that I have whether it is for studies or for work, I ́ve been visiting different countries for some time. I am currently living in Doha, Qatar and yesterday talking with friends about how common the belief, myth, legend or reality of the evil eye is in virtually all cultures, – for all understood as an evil caused by the power that have certain people with their eyes and with their energy generate disruptions to others-, I was very curious to make some comparisons about it and try to better understand this belief.
In Panama, where I come from, tradition says that we should try to protect ourselves from those who can «give us the eye», some of them just by the force of their eyes (without intention), and others by envy or even some spell (with intention).
This is how my Qatari friend told me about the importance of the use of the expression «Mashallah» for Arabic culture, which translates into: «it is the will of God» and as the will of Allah, it is unbreakable. So when pronouncing this expression you protect yourself from the evil eye or negative energies.
Saying «Mashallah,» a Turkish friend brought in the conversation, «is something that happens a lot in Turkey (former Constantinople and then capital of the Ottoman Empire), especially with children; In fact, it is very common for parents to require people who express compliments in favor of a child to finish all their prayers or compliments with the expression «mashallah», since otherwise they will feel that you are jealous of them or their children and that you will “give them a bad eye”, which would make them sick and could even – according to belief – lead them to death.
Nevertheless, for most of the Turkish population, it is not enough just to say this expression, they also have various amulets for protection, being the most recognized worldwide with the “nazar boncuk” or “blue pearl”, which is the eye embedded or painted on a Blue base and that today has also become a trending of international fashion accessories.The same beliefs are maintained by the Persians (Iranians), Pakistanis, Indians, Greeks and Europeans.
The Evil Eye in Antiquity
But the question that comes to my mind at this point is: Where does the evil eye come from first and what has been its evolution over time?The oldest version of amulets against the evil eye seems to come from Mesopotamia by 3300 B.C. in abstract images of alabaster with engraved eyes. Then, some similar versions were seen in Mediterranean villages by the year 1500 BC.
The Egyptians adopted the custom of using a pendant on the neck with a blue eye that for them represented the “Eye of Horus” also known as wadjet, wedjat or udjat, the amulet was used by the living for protection or healing purposes and was hung on the dead to avoid the disintegration of the embalmed body; it is said that the blue color of this amulet came from the Egyptian glazed mud, which contains a high percentage of oxides; copper and cobalt turn blue when baking.
This custom was later absorbed by the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans and perhaps those who ultimately made this amulet more famous: the Ottomans (now known as Turks).
It was this way that the protective eye expanded throughout the Mediterranean region, east and west. Perhaps the first who tried to explain the evil eye in a scientific way was the Greek philosopher Plutarch who said that «invisible rays of energy emanated from the human eye and he also warned that the eyes of people with blue color were especially dangerous,» perhaps from there could come another explanation of the blue color of the eyes of the nazar amulet.
The nazar was used by the Etruscans in their ships, and even now, it is currently used by some Turkish aircrafts for protection.You have probably seen it used as we said before in jewelry, necklaces, watches, bracelets, cell phone cases, shoes, rings, tattoos and even in the emoji WhatsAap or instagram stickers.
Around the world there are many amulets or talismans that are used to prevent or counteract the evil eye, the “Hand of Fatima” or “Hand of Hamsa” is also very recognized in different religions or beliefs like Jews, Christians, Islamic or Hindu. Even so, for Muslims – as we said before – as well as for Catholics, the most appropriate action if the evil eye has affected you, are to repeat specific prayers that exist in the Bible or the Quran to counter evil.
Buddhists use a white thread while in the West the same thread is used on people’s wrist, mainly babies, the only thing that differs from this two is the color of the thread, since West countries use red threads.Someone from a Slavic town once surprised me by giving me a teddy bear for good luck and protection.
With the last detail, it seems that the main objective of the amulets is to distract the dangerous look of those people who with their energy filled with feelings of envy or evil could cause harm.
The energy we project
As I have said in other articles on different occasions, I am a faithful believer of the energy and the dimensions in which we project it. As well as its states: the loving look will bring with it positive things, it will make grow and progress everything that with good eye is seen, the blessing of your loved ones when leaving home, the good wishes of those who appreciate you will eventually take a positive effect on you.
But on the other hand, the malicious look brings negative feelings, reluctance and harm.Let us try for that reason, to always have an optimistic attitude, to rejoice for the good of our neighbor and to avoid falling into thoughts of envy that can sometimes be involuntary. Let us recognize God’s plan and his will in each of the things that happen and why they happen (Mashallah), let us invoke his will in the disposition of our path and maybe, only to ensure, a protection or luck charm (Nazar), maybe it doesn’t hurt.