In many Mediterranean cultures there is an over abundance of superstitions or “ways to prevent bad luck, misfortune and the evil eye”.
I remember when my little sister was born my mom passed by a mirror holding her and my Grandmother flipped because a baby apparently can not see their reflection before they are Baptized. Here I will outline some of the more popular and interesting ways you too can protect yourself from the evil eye in the tradition of the Mediterranean.
So firstly… What is the Evil Eye?
The Evil Eye is basically a curse. Someone can give it to you just by looking at you with intent, envy, or jealousy. In Italian it is called malocchio and in Arabic it is ’ayn al-ḥasūd.
The most common charm against this Jinx is this:
We then have The Hand of Fatima:
Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The symbol predates Christianity and Islam. In Islam, it is also known as the hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad’s (PBUH) daughter Fatima Zahra (wiki)
Specific to Southern Italy and Sicily we have the cornetto. The gold horn for males and the red coral branch for women.
One of the tests my Great Grandmother used to see if we were jinxed was an olive oil test. If too many oil bubbles sank, we were cursed and must have it removed which meant more olive oil, in a bath with herbs and all the mirrors were covered.
Speaking of mirrors…. It is a good idea to keep a mirror on your front door, it will keep the spirits out as well as the Evil Eye and any Jinxes. Make sure the mirror is blue as well and not too obvious. There have been many times I would bring friends over and they would ask why we kept a mirror on our front door.
So, go out and live not in fear of jinxes and the Evil Eye! But remember this has a great cultural significance for all Mediterranean cultures… Keep that in mind when shopping for beauties like this…