Artwork By Lyla ElBaradie
We have all experienced jealousy at some point in our lives. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Even though the feeling itself is unpleasant, and sometimes we suffer from guilt for experiencing it, getting rid of jealousy is not the easiest task. So why not bury it within ourselves? We will get over it sooner or later, right? As long as we do not act on it, everything will be alright. Well, unfortunately, that might not be the case. According to some cultures, solely the feeling of jealousy may cause others harm.
This concept is called Evil Eye. It has been around for centuries and the first signs of it were found on the Egyptian papyrus (ancient thick paper-like material used for writing) made during 1200 B.C. This curse is also mentioned in the Quran, as well as in Jewish and Christian philosophical conceptions.
Being cautious is important because Evil Eye can be given to you by somebody you least expect. However, a person doesn’t need to have bad intentions to afflict people with the Evil Eye curse. Moreover, it can happen without anyone even realizing it. One can intentionally or unintentionally transfer negative energy to another with stares, thoughts, feelings, wishes, or even a simple touch. This concept is explained perfectly in the Greek romance novel Aethiopica: “When anyone looks at what is excellent with an envious eye he fills the surrounding atmosphere with a pernicious quality, and transmits his own envenomed exhalations into whatever is nearest to him.” This brings misfortune and injuries to the target of jealousy. Sometimes, the energy transfer may even happen through compliments. We might not realize it at the time that behind a compliment might be hiding a certain type of jealousy. For example, if somebody compliments your nose and you break it next week, guess what might have been the reason.
Remember, not only can we get Evil Eye from somebody else, but also we can give Evil Eye to ourselves. There are four different types of Evil Eye: Ayn, Hasad, Nafs, and Nathara.
- Ayn – The eye from somebody who loves and cares about you, therefore has no bad intentions.
- Hasad – The jealous eye of a person who does not like you and wants something you have removed from your life.
- Nafs – The admiring eyes of people who afflict misfortune on themselves.
- Nathara – The evil eye given by the Jinn.
Even though the types of Evil Eye differ from each other, the danger is still the same. Anyone can become the victim of the curse so we need to be wary of our surroundings, however, that is not enough. We need some kind of protection.
Since all of us are vulnerable to the Evil Eye, how do we protect ourselves? One of the most used tactics is simply carrying a special talisman or jewelry that contains blue eye beads. It is believed that the beads reflect the evil intention back to the onlooker. The beads were worn in many cultures and nations. They were used by Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, possibly Ottomans and were later spread all around the world. The blue in the eye beads is not coincidental. The Turkic tribes used the shade of blue since they connected it to their sky deity, Tengri. Blue, however, is not the only color used for eye beads. One can also find them in red, since the Jewish associate the color red with good fortune.
We can still find these color eye beads today, but the meaning of them changed a bit in the modern world. Blue is separated into two different colors. Dark blue represents protection from fate, whereas light blue provides health and safety. Red eye beads now signify courage. Today people use other colors as well for this kind of jewelry and talismans. For example, one may encounter pink Evil Eye Jewelry which represents love, or black beads that signify power.
The concept of Evil Eye has been around for centuries and is still very popular in the modern world. Some believe it is just a superstition, others still use it as protection. Nevertheless, the Evil Eye Jewelry is worn by many and can be found in almost every nation.
Do you believe in Evil Eye?