The Evil Eye is the subject of many movies and television series. Many books have also been written on the subject, but almost nobody knows the exact meaning of the Evil Eye. So, to help our readers understand the concept of the Evil Eye, we have created an overview of its history as well as its meaning.
The History of the Evil Eye
The history of the Evil Eye is almost as complicated as its meaning; this is probably due to the fact that the first references of the Evil Eye can be found in ancient Greek and Roman texts. Even the bible contains a reference to the Evil Eye.
“Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats” Proverbs 23:6
References to the Evil Eye are not just limited to religious texts such as the bible, it also occurs in the Koran. Even the theater has references to the Evil Eye, the most notable ones being in Shakespeare’s plays.
Which Cultures Believe in the Evil Eye
A study executed by John Roberts in 1976 showed that approximately 36 percent of cultures around the world believe in the Evil Eye. However, the Evil Eye seems to be most present in gypsy culture.
When talking about gypsy culture, I talk about the genuine gypsy culture opposed to the modern traveler community. Even though the Evil Eye still has some meaning in the culture of modern day travelers, the core gypsy community still uses the Evil Eye as a symbol of protection, causing havoc on anyone who wishes their family harm.
In addition to the gypsy culture, the Evil Eye is still quite a popular phenomenon in Turkey. However, the Evil Eye in Turkish culture is more seen as a tourist souvenir, so necklaces and earrings with images of the Evil Eye are often sold in tourist shops.
Some cultures believe that the Evil Eye is especially harmful to children; this belief is quite known in countries such as India and Romania. It is believed that children should not be praised in public. Otherwise, that praise could draw the attention of the Evil Eye.
What Is the Actual Meaning of the Evil Eye?
There are many interpretations on the meaning of the Evil Eye. However, the actual meaning of the Evil Eye is a curse. For example, the Evil Eye can be used to cause someone bad luck, ill health, or similar things we do not want to see happen in our lives.
The meaning of the Evil Eye finds its roots in superstition. Various cultures believe that the eyes have special power. Irregularities in the eyes can therefore be seen as a curse in some cultures.
Is There Protection Against the Evil Eye?
Just like most curses in modern culture, protection against the Evil Eye is possible. Of course, the types of protection available depend on the culture you are in. For example, citizens of Puerto Rico give their newborns an azabache (good luck charm) to protect them against the Evil Eye. Other cultures simply use garlic to deter the curse.
One of the most popular forms of protection against the Evil Eye is a special blue amulet (photograph above). The amulet is characterized by a distinct blue colour and has an eye symbol in the center. It is believed the blue colour stands for heaven or good, while the eye can absorb the evil intentions of the Evil Eye. These types of amulets can be bought around the world, but are quite popular in Turkey specifically.
Another method that is used to ward off the Evil Eye is commonly used in Mexico. The method involves the use of a raw egg, which is believed to stand for things such as purity and birth. Locals believe the egg can absorb evil energy, hence providing ample protection against the Evil Eye.
Is the Evil Eye Superstition or Not?
In my humble opinion, there is some truth to the Evil Eye. While I do not believe there is an entity in the form of an Evil Eye, I believe strongly in energies and other people wanting to cause you harm.
When you upset someone, you will know by the look they give you. The eyes speak volumes and it is from this phenomenon the Evil Eye stems. While the Evil Eye has a lot of symbolic meaning, its core meaning remains the same. Other people wanting to cause you harm and the look in their eyes being a clear warning. So, it might be best not to discount the meaning of the Evil Eye in our current culture.