Do you often see a blue-eyed necklace or bracelet and are curious what the heck it is? The Evil Eye meaning is simply a form of protection, but there’s a lot more to it depending on the culture or region of the world. Let’s jump in!
Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.
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Evil Eye Meaning and Origins
Contrary to popular belief, the Evil Eye amulet, sometimes called Nazar, isn’t the “Evil Eye.” Instead, the Evil Eye is the look a person or supernatural being gives when they’re envious of someone.
The eyes are considered to have mystical powers and serve as the doorway to the soul. The Evil Eye receiver will then be cursed, harmed, or receive bad luck. However, if you’re wearing the Evil Eye amulet, this negative energy will be repelled from you and sent back to the giver.
Women who are pregnant, children, and animals are believed to be the most vulnerable to the Evil Eye curse.
The Evil Eye meaning and interpretation can differ depending on the culture or region. Evil Eye beliefs exist in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and many others.
So where exactly did the Evil Eye originate? Well, according to The Fabric of Life: Cultural Transformations in Turkish Society –
The origin of Nazar [ Evil Eye amulet] is obscure and buried in distant antiquity.
…Documentation of its existence is widespread in the Near and Middle East, North Africa, much of Europe, including Northern and Eastern Europe, and India.
Roberts, after an exhaustive study, concluded that the Evil Eye developed within the cultures of the Near East during or immediately after the Neolithic period (7000 – 3000 B.C.)Ronald T. Marchese – The Fabric Of Life: Cultural Transformations In Turkish Society
Evil Eye Protection Throughout the World
Many cultures believe you can prevent the Evil Eye by touching or laying your hands on what you admire. For example, if you love someone’s bracelet, you’d say, “Your bracelet is beautiful,” and then you’d touch the bracelet.
Other traditions believe that following a compliment or congratulations with the phrase Masha Allah (meaning what God has willed) is the best way to avoid unintentionally giving someone the Evil Eye. This phrase is believed to protect the giver from jealousy because God likes it and has willed it.
Eyes are also capable of destruction, but in Egypt, the eye is used as a protective talisman. In Buddhism it symbolizes widsom, while others believe in the evil eye – the curse of a single glance.
Through the ages, eyes in works of art have been mutilated through fear of their power.Signs and Symbols an Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings
Here are a few more examples of the Evil Eye amulet from around the world:
- Italy – mal’occhio (Italians are also known to wear a Corno meaning horn; it’s also believed to ward off the Evil Eye and bad luck)
- Spanish – In Venezuela, they often use a stone called Azabache to ward off the evil eye
- .Mexico – Mal de Ojo (in Mexico, the Evil Eye is usually cured by rubbing a raw chicken egg all over the cursed person. The egg is then cracked into a bowl of water and placed beneath the bed of the cursed person. In the morning, if the egg is cooked, it’s because somebody did curse them, but it’s now been removed by transference magic. The Eye of God is also used to protect against the Evil Eye.
- Hebrew – ayin ha’ra (The phrase Evil Eye appears many times in the Torah. Those who follow the Jewish faith will often spit three times when a vulnerable or defenseless person’s name is mentioned. They will also protect themselves against the Evil Eye by wearing a Hamsa or Hand of Fatima (more details on that below). They may also wear a red thread made of wool around their wrist to ward off the Evil Eye. The thread is then knotted seven times and then blessed.
- Egyptian – There’s often a debate about Egypt and the Evil Eye. The eye symbol was important to ancient Egyptians, and the Eye of Horace (aka wedjat pendant) is an excellent example. The wedjat was buried with pharaohs for protection. However, it’s unclear if it’s linked to the Evil.
Ancient Egyptian coffins are often decorated with a pair of eyes, which were believed to allow the dead person to ‘look at the outside world therough the painted eyes without moving himself’Dictionary of Symbols
- Turkey – nazar boncuğu (or boncuk) Even today, bringing a Nazar or Evil Eye amulet to a newborn baby is common.
- Greece – mati (the Evil Eye is a type of apotropaic magic meaning to ward off). In Ancient Greece, sailors afraid of the baskania (the Evil Eye) would wear an eye-shaped pendant for protection.
- Rome – bulla (phallus-shaped amulets) were frequently worn by children (typically boys) as a defense against the Evil Eye.
- Early Islam – It was believed that malicious shayatin (wicked demons), jinns (evil genies), and the Evil Eye could be defeated by talismans. (see quote below)
The Quran frowned upon the talismans of the pagan Arabs, but that did not stop early Muslims from calling upon their powers to ward off the shayatin and the evil eye.
The concession made by followers of Islam was that talismans were inscribed with quotes from the Quran. Indeed, some might even be miniature Qurans.
Solomon was known as both a prophet in the Quran and a magician of old, and his six-pointed star seal often appeared on talismans.A History of Magic, Witchcrafts, and the Occult
Is the Evil Eye Good or Bad?
This is a commonly asked question, especially in the United States. People often think the Evil Eye amulet or Nazar is what sends out bad luck. They avoid looking at it and don’t understand it’s meant to repel the Evil Eye curse, not inflict it on others.
To be clear, the Evil Eye sends out the negativity or curse, but the Nazar or Evil Eye amulet helps protect you from it.
Evil Eye in Hand Meaning (Hamsa)
Historians have described the hamsa (aka The Hand of Fatima) as a pagan fertility symbol and a Jewish, Christian, or Islamic talisman. The origins of this mystical design are still largely unknown, and experts disagree on many details. However, nowadays, it’s seen as a kabbalistic amulet.
[The Hand of Fatima] commonly known as a hamsa, this palm-shaped amulet is popular throughout the Middle East and Africa.
In Islam, it is named after Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra. A universal sign of protection, the image of the open right hand was first found as an amulet among Mesopotamian artifacts in the temples of Ishtar.Sarah Bartlett – The Secrets of the Universe in 100 Symbols
How To Get Rid of Evil Eye
The easiest way to get rid of the Evil Eye is to not avoid its gaze in the first place by wearing a Nazar (Evil Eye amulet). However, if you feel you’re cursed by the Evil Eye, here are a few ways to get rid of it.
- (See also Evil Eye Protection Throughout the World (Mexico) above for an additional method)
- Sacred Geometry symbols
- To ward off the Evil Eye, people in Brazil arrange plants associated with native fire gods, such as Caboclo, in the entranceways of their houses and places of business.
- Horse Shoes (see quote below)
Horse-shoes are also preservatives against the evil eye, apparently because of their shape, material, and use concentrating magical powers of such various symbols as horn, crescent, hand as well of those of the horse, a domestic and once-sacred animal.Dictionary of Symbols
What Does It Mean When Your Evil Eye Bracelet Breaks
This often happens with bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc., and usually leaves the wearer baffled.
It’s commonly believed the Evil Eye amulet worked and protected you from the Evil Eye curse. Now it’s time to replace it!
Does an Evil Eye Have to Be Gifted?
Traditionally, an Evil Eye is gifted to another and is infused with the giver’s spiritual intention of protection. Plus, it adds an extra bit of luck! However, it’s totally acceptable to buy your own! Contrary to popular belief, purchasing your own Evil Eye is not unlucky.
Where Do I Put My Evil Eye Amulet?
This depends on the culture and belief system, but here are a few ideas to get you started!
- In your car (typically hanging from your rearview mirror)
- Pinned to a babies diaper
- On your doormat
- Next to you when you sleep
- As a piece of jewelry (bracelet, necklace, earrings, ankle bracelet, rings, etc.)
- On a pet’s collar
- On or around your front door (using the amulet, painted, etc.)
- On your altar or sacred space
- Somewhere it can be easily seen when walking in your house
- In your window
- Incorporate it into your rituals, spells, or sigil work
- Embroider or sew into fabric or clothing
- Place in artwork
- On your office desk or at work
Evil Eye Color Meaning
The Evil Eye meaning and interpretation can differ depending on the culture or region. You can find the concept or belief of the Evil Eye in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and many others.
I was unable to find a credible source depicting what each color represents. However, I believe it’s rooted in the same ideas and concepts as color therapy, similar to Candle magic. Colors have specific vibrations and frequencies that can be used in many ways, including our mental wellness and spiritual practice.
Black Evil Eye
Black is useful when letting go of past traumas and grieving or mourning a loved one. Black candles absorb negative energy as a way to protect you.
The color black represents:
- Protection from negative energy, disease, evil, etc
- Eliminates bad habits
- Death (as in the afterlife or spiritual realm)
- Unblock energy
- Breaks curses or hexes
- Reveal secrets
- Removes barriers
Red Evil Eye Meaning
Some cultures believe the Evil Eye amulet must be red or have a red string for protection. Others will also use a seed called deer eye and red beads.
The color red represents:
- Sexual Love
- Strong energy
- Maximize vitality
- Personal power
Green Evil Eye
Green represents Nature and spiritual growth while helping you balance feelings of anxiety, stress, or spiritual disconnect.
The color green represents:
- Financial abundance
- New business success
Blue Evil Eye Meaning
A Blue Evil Eye is the most common color, and its origin is believed to stem from the Greek philosopher Plutarch. He claimed that blue-eyed people were the best at cursing others with the evil eye. It was very rare for someone to have blue eyes at the time. This is why Evil Eye amulets are typically blue.
The glass beads of the Aegean islands and Asia Minor were directly dependent upon improvements in glass production, Dr. Nese Yildiran, [an art history professor at Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir University] explains.
As for the colour blue, it definitely first comes from Egyptian glazed mud, which contains a high percentage of oxides; the copper and cobalt give the blue colour when baked.BBC – The strange power of the ‘evil eye’
The color blue represents:
Pink Evil Eye
Pink is often used for positive or happy spiritual purposes. Pink symbolizes love in many forms, including children, family, and other loved ones.
The color pink represents:
- Unconditional love
Purple Evil Eye
Purple is often used to enhance the intentions you already have. It’s also used to seek spiritual support, praise, or peace with anything in the spirit world.
The color purple represents:
- Spiritual enligtenment
- Hidden knowledge and secrets
- The unconscious
- Spiritual transformation
White Evil Eye Meaning
White is often used to sweep out negative energy while welcoming in positive energy. It removes stress and attracts peace and tranquility.
The color white represents:
- Moon energy
Yellow Evil Eye
Yellow represents the element air and powerful solar energy. The analytical mind is ruled by yellow energy and is terrific for concentration.
The color yellow represents:
- Mental health
- Studying or exams
Orange Evil Eye Meaning
Orange is a powerful and cheerful color that also represents the sun. Useful for success (business or personal) or if you lack energy or enthusiasm.
The color orange represents:
- Positive energy
- Profound change
- Fast action
Brown Evil Eye
Brown is associated with the element earth, symbolizes soil, and has strong energy. Brown’s energy is terrific when you’re pursuing more dependability, stability, and trying to get your feet on solid ground. Great for animals and pets!
The color brown represents:
- Earth Magic
- Real estate, land, or property
Evil Eye Tattoo
Many people often want to get an Evil Eye tattoo and want to know if it’s okay to do so. As long as the Evil Eye’s meaning and symbol resonates with you, feel free to do what you like. It’s your body, and you can choose what to put on it!
Where To Buy an Evil Eye Amulet
There are many different places to buy an Evil Eye amulet, and it’s totally personal preference! Below I’ve listed a few options based on what type you’d like! I hope it’s helpful!
Evil Eye Charm
Here are a few Turkish Etsy sellers creating beautiful Evil Eye Charms. I chose a few larger ones to place in your home or car.
Evil Eye Wall Hanging by Talia and Talia (Istanbul, Turkey)
Evil Eye Candy Pink – Handmade Evil Eye Decor by Uvra Favors (Istanbul, Turkey)
Evil Eye Necklace
Here are a few beautiful choices if you want something smaller to wear as an Evil Eye Necklace.
Bohemian Evil Eye Pendant (Made To Order) by HYESKULZ1915 (Female Armenian Business Owner)
Evil Eye Bracelet
Evil Eye bracelets can be as delicate or chunky as you’d like. Here are two different bracelet style options. One is simple and delicate, and the other is chunkier with onyx stone.
Evil Eye Beads
Maybe you’d like to create your own Evil Eye jewelry or an ornament for your Yule tree. They’d also make excellent gifts.
I hope you found this article on the Evil Eye meaning and protection helpful! Lots of love to you and remember as always…
Bartlett, Sarah. The Secrets of the Universe in 100 Symbols. Fair Winds Press. 2015.
Chevalier, Jean. Gheerbrant, Alain. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols. Penguin Books. 1 March 1997.
DK. A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult. 18 August 2020.
DK. Signs and Symbols an Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings. Penguin Random House. 2019.
Marchese, Ronald T. The Fabric Of Life: Cultural Transformations In Turkish Society. 1 February 2005. Global Academic Publishing. (Check out a preview of it here on Google Books)
Voeks, Robert. Sacred Leaves of Candomblé: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil. 1 January 2010. University of Texas Press. (Check out a preview of it here on Google Books)
Additional Recommended Reading
Molina, Anatilde Idoyaga. “The Evil Eye as a Folk Disease and Its Argentine and Ibero-American Historical Explanatory Frame.” Western Folklore, vol. 75, no. 1, 2016, pp. 5–32. JSTOR, ;
Herzfeld, Michael. “Meaning and Morality: A Semiotic Approach to Evil Eye Accusations in a Greek Village.” American Ethnologist, vol. 8, no. 3, 1981, pp. 560–74. JSTOR, .