April 5, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter E

Do you believe that envious and malicious glances can bring you bad luck or even cause you physical harm? 

Sounds kind of silly huh? 

Or is it? 

Would you be surprised to know that there are many cultures who believe just that? And that it is in fact deeply ingrained within many of their cultures. 

Let me tell you a bit what I've chosen for my "E" words.

Have you ever heard of the EVIL EYE?

Often the harm inflicted by the evil eye is linked to the envy of the person who is doing the hurting. The possession of an evil eye was often thought to reside in persons who had tendencies toward antisocial behaviors, (i.e.; meanness, selfishness & envy). 

This belief was found in many cultures (list below), and it has persisted into modern times. You'd be amazed just how many cultures actually believe in the evil eye. Each culture called it by its own name.

·         Hebrew Evil Eye – Ayin Ha’ra
·         Turkish Evil Eye – Nazar Boncugu
·         Italian Evil Eye – Mal Occhio
·         Farsi – Bla Band
·         Arabic – Ayin Harsha
·         Scotland – Droch Shuil
·         Spanish – Mal Ojo or El Oja
·         France – Mauvais Oeil
·         Germany – Böser Blick
·         Romans – Oculus Malus

Cultures also adapted and had ways of guarding and protecting against the evil eye. There were many methods and it was widely believed that children, the elderly, animals and people in transition were especially vulnerable.


They used amulets, crosses, incense were widely used as methods of protection but they were not the only methods. New mothers would put objects under the pillows of their newborns. Some of the objects used were gunpowder, nails, indigo and salt; each had its specific meaning. 

Gunpowder symbolized an ability to fight back against the evil eye. The nail was the symbol of strength, the indigo's blue color held power and salt was a symbol of strength.


The remedies are as varied as the cultures. In Bangladesh a child is adorned with a black dot on its forehead for protection.  In Greece, Armenia, and Assyria, it is thought that a good pinch in the butt will cure you of the effects of the evil eye (no joke). In some European countries they do the sign of the cross while at the same time pointing their index and pinky finger at the source of the evil eye.


Wearing evil eye talismans, jewelry, and amulets are the modern way of reflecting back the harmful power of the evil eye.


It is hard not to imagine that the evil eye would not somehow become part of popular culture here in America. In fact many Hollywood stars can be seen wearing jewelry and other fashions adorned with the evil eye. And it’s no wonder in one Google search I found tons of evil eye products…. IPhone covers, jewelry, T-shirts, posters, key chains, coffee cups, refrigerator magnets, pacifiers, bumper stickers and greeting cards. Go Figure!

Wink ;  

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  1. Ah, the good old evil eye. Gotta keep the sign of the horn ready, just to be on the safe side ;P

  2. I do believe in bad karma. Wow maybe I should use karma as my K word. HMMMMM

    Came by from Tales of the Reborn Crafter


    1. Sounds like a plan MaryAnne!
      Thanks for the comment..

  3. Perhaps there is truth in some of the old customs and traditions, who knows? Interesting post.

  4. Hi Jen, VEry interesting post. I don't much believe in the power of the evil eye, although, let's face it, no one likes to have someone look at them in such a way. We may feel bad after and stew wondering how to repair the relationship or appease the one who shares such a sentiment. So that'evil eye' does have its impact whether you believe in the superstition behind it or not. God bless, Maria Delight Directed Living

    1. I'm not superstitious either, I believe in a greater power. But it is interesting how many cultures do believe.

  5. Replies
    1. Actually I found it pretty interesting too, and the products, t-shirts and jewelry are actually very attractive.

  6. Interesting post! I have noticed more evil eye products in the past few years, too. I guess everything is trendy at one time or another :-) Have fun with A to Z!

    Jenny at Choice City Native

  7. There were tons of evil eye products. I think probably the most original was the Obama 'o' as an evil eye. Strange but true!

  8. I had a friend whose family came from Sicily and they believed in all of that. They told her she was evil from a little girl on. Really messed her up. But she did eventually come to know God and put all of that behind her. Interesting.

  9. Interesting that there are 'evil eye' remedies in parts of the world. I've heard it said before "oh, he gave the evil eye," and never gave it much thought. I shall pay more attention in the future. :)
    Thanks for the interesting post.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

    1. Never thought i should be grateful to someone for a pinch in the bottom :)

  10. Ahh.. I hate the evil eye! Interesting that there are remedies for it. Was unaware. Interesting post :)
    We Are Adventure

    1. To many to list actually, I just picked a few, each culture has their own!

  11. Oh, I know about the evil eye. I give it to the husband all the time. LOL Seriously, this is interesting. And a bit unnerving.

  12. I brought back a handful of blue evil eye amulets from Turkey and Greece, blue glass with a white circle in the middle, I thought they were cool.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  13. Hmm, I guess I'm not too superstitious about the evil eye! I've have seen those necklaces but never thought about them! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

    1. I agree neither am I. I couldn't see taking of my cross for an evil eye in a million years!

  14. My grandmother believed in the evil eye.I've even said, "Don't give me the evil eye." without really thinking about the true meaning behind the words.

    Interesting post!

    1. That's interesting Karen, It's become somewhat of an expression for our generation. But maybe in hers it was an actual belief or concern.

  15. The first thing I thought of was a great-great.. uncle back in the 1620s, who looked like a rather unpleasant man. He lived next door to a woman who was the "man of the family." Evidently, she looked at him the wrong way, and next thing he knows, he has this "corruption" in his leg (most likely an infection from an untreated cut). He claimed she was a witch and had cursed him, and she ended up being executed.

    Sometimes it makes me wonder if people see what they want to see.

    1. Wow Linda, that is some story! They didn't live in Massachusetts by any chance?

  16. Very interesting! Give new meaning to the saying "giving the evil eye."

  17. My evil eye is on stand-by for as soon as hubby or the kids forget that I'm not their live in butler. I shoot them a fiery glance that says: "REALLY" lol Great post.

    1. When we got real messy my mom didn't mess with the evil eye she used to throw our crap out the window! Evil eye be darned!


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