The Sign of the Evil Eye
Did someone think they were protecting their property with this evil eye carved in a tree? Maybe…. or maybe it was just what they SAW in the tree and they enhanced it, thinking it was cool looking.
The Evil Eye, What It Is or May Be To Some
But there IS something known as the “evil eye” throughout the world and down through many centuries. The ancients, and even some people of the modern world believe in “the evil eye.” They believe it casts a spell on someone, or actually could kill them with just a look. Ancient Egyptians painted an evil eye symbol inside many of their tombs in hopes it would scare away looters. There are still people all over the world, including the United States, who believe that this ability is real.
How did it all begin, and why? Nobody really knows, but the speculation is that it arose from a primitive terror of being watched by wild animals, hostile tribes, evil spirits, or Gods who were jealous of the human ability to thrive despite hardship.
The evil eye, was said to be responsible for crops that failed, unexplained illnesses and deaths. If there was someone in a village who had a physical deformity, they were often blamed for this, as they were thought to harbor envy and hate for their neighbors who were “normal.”
People Lost Their Lives
People who were accused of witchcraft, were often thought to be gifted with the evil eye, in order to cause ordinary mortals trouble and pain. Hundreds of people were executed, sometimes when the only evidence against them was that they glanced at another person angrily. Innocents were hanged, burned, drowned, and knifed through the heart in the mistaken idea that they possessed the evil eye.
Were There Protections Against Evil Eye?
Yes, there were protections against the power of Evil Eye. The color red, symbol of blood and good health in 18th century Europe, was believed to ward off the effects of the evil eye. Italian brides covered their heads with large red veils for this reason. In Rumania, oxen had red rags tied to their horns to prevent the oxen from being bewitched and unable to work. Scottish farmers tied red ribbons to the tails of their livestock with the same thought. They also made crosses from the wood of the sacred Rowan tree and tied them with strands of red thread.
Other ways to protect oneself were to buy a used hangman’s rope, and burn it to ashes. The ashes were then mixed with water and swallowed to offset the dangers of the evil eye. People threw water on the footsteps of someone who they believed had cursed them with an evil eye, thinking it would return the misfortune to the original sender.
During WWII Italy’s Dictator Benito Mussolini was so terrified of the phenomena, that he refused to meet with King Alfonso of Spain, because the King was said to possess the ability to cast the evil eye on those who disagreed with him.
Today, at the United Nations, some delegates still turn away whenever they see an eye-like design. There’s a story that the reason the peacocks that once roamed the lawns of the UN headquarters in New York City were removed was to allay the peril. The truth is, the climate did not suit the peacocks and they sickened and died and were never replaced. Today, there are modern day people who believe that Evil Eye can also be used for protection!
What About Using Evil Eye For Protection?
Yes, there are those who say that Evil Eye can be used to protect, warding off evil effects directed at oneself. Wearing an evil eye in clothing, or jewelry or putting it into a design on your house is said to stop evil eye and protect those who use its power.
So, is the “eye” a symbol for good or for evil? I guess it depends on your viewpoint.
What do you think….does the “evil eye” really exist, or is it just another ancient tale?
If you’re curious about the origins of Evil Eye and would like more on this subject, books on the History of the Evil Eye are available at this link: