Where did the Evil Eye Originate and Why?

A curse of The Evil Eye is given by casting a malevolent glare to a person not liked or trusted. It is believed by many cultures that The Evil Eye brings injury or misfortune to those who possess it.

Evil Eye Cultures Originate

Aulus Gellius, Callimachus, Diodorus Siculus, Heliodorus, Theocritus, and other authors of the classics are where you will find the first mention of The Evil Eye. Prophet Muhammad statement of The Evil Eye is found in the Islamic doctrine.

Many cultures have their own protective measurements against The Evil Eye with a variety of Talismans.  And just as many ways to protect one against this symbol, each culture has its own concept and significance as well.

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In translations of the Old Testament, the idea appears many times. Asian tribes and Mediterranean cultures have extended beliefs. There are nazars and other charms or decorations of eye-like symbols which are believed to repel The Evil Eye.

These are most common in Afghanistan, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon as well as Southern Italy. Tourists to these areas frequently purchase items decorated with this symbol.

Muslims have authentic practices to ward off curses of the evil eye. Instead of offering direct appreciation or admiration of something, it is their customary practice is to quote “Masha’Allah” meaning “God has willed it”.  Folk religion expresses many beliefs about The Evil Eye, most of which revolve amulets or talismans for protection.

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Light-Colored eyes are rare in areas like the Aegean Region. While it may be intentional or unintentional, there, it is believed that anyone with blue or green eyes present the curse. Countries like Greece and Turkey, amulets take the form of blue eyes to ward off The Evil Eye.

But not everyone all around the world believes in The Evil Eye though. The statement of “to give someone the evil eye” simply means they are casting an angry or disgusted glare toward a person.

Where Did the Evil Eye Talismans Originate

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The many talismans created in various cultures are all in an attempt to ward the curse of The Evil Eye off. As a class, they are called “apotropaic” which is Greek for “protective” or “turns away”. It is believed that talismans mean they turn harm away or back.

There are ball or disks made of concentric blue & white circles. The circles start inward in a dark blue and change to light, blue then white as they go outward. In some folklore, the staring eyes are believed to bend the sorcerer’s malicious gaze back to them. The talisman most common in Turkey is the Nazar and found being worn as beads or inside or on homes and vehicles.

Other forms where you’ll find blue or green eye talismans are the Hamsa hand. This is an apotropaic hand-shaped talisman found in West Asia. The word is spelled differently around the world and means “five” as in reference to a hand’s fingers. There are also several motifs such as the tribal kilim rugs or the Turkish Hac (across).

The post The Evil Eye – Where Did It Originate and Why? appeared first on Karma and Luck.

The history of evil eye jewelry is full of rich and fascinating stories. Learn about the evolution of evil eye accessories and their importance in different cultures in our guide.

Evil Eye Originate And Why

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  • Jacqueline Peoples

    Always wondered exactly what the evil eye was about. Thanks for the knowledge

  • katie

    thank you, this is super helpful!