The evil eye superstition has a long history and it is considered as one of the most powerful and well-known emblems worldwide. It can be found to many different civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, Mesopotamians, Turkish, Jewish and many others. Despite the differences in all these cultures the evil eye has pretty much the same meaning (bad luck) and significance.
How the evil eye affects Greek people’s lives
The Evil eye is seen as a major symbol particularly by the West Asian and Mediterranean people. In Greece it is widely known as “mati” and it is believed that an individual can cause bad luck to someone else, with a malicious or jealous glance. Sometimes it can be caused unintentionally by an admiring stare or by giving compliments to someone else. The consequences of receiving this negative energy include various symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, trouble concentrating, drowsiness, weakness and illness, as well as an unreasonable change in luck or unpleasant circumstances.
This superstition has a significant impact in Greeks’ everyday life and this the reason why the evil eye has become a representation of protection and a force of positive energy against bad luck and negative effects.
Its major significance in Greek culture can be explained by the fact that the Orthodox church accepts the superstition of evil eye which is known as “vaskania”. A large number of prayers have been created to help people heal from vaskania and the evil eye. According to church custom, a priest is required to read a specific prayer to the person who has been cursed so as to lift the curse. The Church also accepts prayers that can be read by the affected person until a priest is found.
One of the most common practices, which is connected with the church, for healing from evil eye curse is “xematiasma” and it can be applied in several different methods. The most popular method is one were a person knows a particular, secret prayer that is read to remove the evil eye's curse. The healer prays in silence and when they begin yawning or even crying it indicates that the individual who was afflicted by an evil eye curse has had the curse removed.
All generations of Greeks use the “xematiasma” ritual when they inexplicably feel ill, dizzy or get a sudden headache. Even young people appeal to their mother or grandmother when they don’t feel well or they have experienced bad luck. This whole process is a large part of Greek culture.
Giving talismans and other symbols of luck and protection to a beloved person has been a long tradition. There are many occasions that Greek people offer the evil eye emblem as a gift, it is mainly when they would like to wish to someone they love, good luck. Some of these occasions are mentioned below:
- Newborn babies. Greek people offer an evil eye pin as a gift, for good luck and protection in baby’s life.
- Just married couples, for good luck in their common lives.
- When someone starts a new job, for good fortune.
- New business beginning to bring prosperity.
- When someone comes out of a difficult situation, Greek people offer evil eye emblem for protection and good luck from this point forward.
- New houses for protection.
- Students when they start going to the university.
Evil eye as a Jewelry
As the evil eye tradition has a long history in Greece and is strongly associated with good luck and protection people want to wear it everyday and all day long were possible. So, it is very common to see Greeks (men and women) wear it as a jewelry. Women usually wear it as a pendant, bracelet, ring or earrings and men prefer wearing it as a charm bracelet.
The most famous shape and color is a blue or turquoise eye shape (or polygon) talisman with a white circle in the center, but because of its increasing popularity in the latest years, you can find it in many different shapes and colors, such as green, red, orange, purple, etc and each one has its own meaning.
Due to the huge acceptance of “mati”, there has been a raised a need to make these jewelery pieces more attractive and beautiful. So nowadays, evil eye jewelries are frequently created with semiprecious stones, glass beads, diamonds, crystals, and metals, all of which have special protective qualities. But no matter what it is made of, the evil eye amulet will still function as a protective shield.
With the passage of time, the evil eye symbol has evolved from a protective amulet to a fashion statement and trend, mainly in Greece. Whether someone gets it for protection from evil or as a fashion item, there is no doubt that it is a great piece that will enhance his/her appearance. It also works as a confidence booster because nothing improves courage more than the feeling that you are wearing something which provides greater protection.