The Evil Eye
Oh, that Evil Eye! Is there really such a thing? Is it a constant dire threat, a secret universal force or nothing but cliché, the worst use of magic and superstition as a repressive force? And is there really an eye involved?
The answer is a qualified yes to all of the above.
Although it may be delivered by people, the Evil Eye is not the same thing as a malevolent spell. A malevolent spell is targeted deliberately and intentionally: the spell must actually be cast.
The Evil Eye is not a spell at all, although there are many spells to oppose it. Instead the Evil Eye is an ill-defined, somewhat nebulous, but entirely malefic force naturally present in the universe—a different kind of magic power. Although there is general agreement on what constitutes the Evil Eye, who is vulnerable and the nature of its destructive effects, exactly where the Eye emanates from is subject to heated metaphysical debate.
Some perceive the Evil Eye as an abstract destructive force, like an infectious cloud that one must attempt to avoid, ward off, repel, minimize, or remove. Many other traditions, however, believe that people deliver the Evil Eye, sometimes knowingly, sometimes completely innocently and unintentionally. Sometimes they just can’t help it.
From that perspective, the Evil Eye is a destructive force that emanates from certain or potentially all people. Every one of us, according to some theories, is able to cast the Eye. It is the human ability to scorch with a glance. The Evil Eye is the force of envy, jealousy, and resentment that shoots out of the human soul like a heat-seeking missile.
The Eye reference may be understood in two ways, which are not mutually exclusive:
The Evil Eye as omnipresent destructive abstract force, somewhat similar to The Lord of the Rings’ all-seeing Eye. Try as you may to hide happiness and good fortune, the Evil Eye is attracted, sees all and spoils it.
The Evil Eye is cast with the human eye, either intentionally by those who are jealous, destructive, and malicious by nature, or involuntarily in other circumstances.
There are also two methods of avoiding the Evil Eye:
Don’t boast, brag or call undue attention to your good fortune.
Protection via the use of magically empowered amulets and spells.
Because the secrets of other hearts are unknown, believers council discretion regarding personal matters. What you might never construe as bragging may still invoke the Eye from another. The bereft, lonely, heartbroken woman, overhearing another complain that there are just too many men in her life, may involuntarily shoot her with the Evil Eye. The person unable to conceive or whose children have died, overhearing someone complaining about how hard life is because her babies won’t sleep at night, may be unable to resist casting that Evil Eye. It just shoots out.
Then there is the southern Italian jettatura. This person knows he or she is casting the Eye because they do it all the time. They can’t help it; they don’t mean to do it. It is just a force that emanates from them: everything they look at turns to disaster. Glance at a building, within 24 hours it burns down. Glance at a champion cow, by nightfall it’s sick and dying. Glance at a pregnant woman …
They’re not necessarily bad people, these jettatura. They may even be very good people. Even a pope was once branded a jettatura; people ran from him, hoping to avoid that fatal glance, no matter how benevolently it was intended. (If you fear you are or know a jettatura, don’t worry. There is a magical solution. Keep reading.)
Although anyone may be struck by the Evil Eye, not everyone is equally vulnerable. Some are more at risk than others: Brides, babies, pregnant women, children, and horses are all exceptionally vulnerable. Men are not inherently vulnerable to the Evil Eye, but their sperm, genitals, and capacity for fertility are.
The connection with eyes is not limited to the English language. In Italian, this force is called “mal d’occhio.” In Hebrew, it’s “ayin hara” literally “evil eye.” In Arabic it’s just “ayin” or “the eye.” Anti-Evil Eye amulets invariably take the form of eyes, usually, in Mediterranean lands, blue eyes.
These blue eyes indicate something else about the Evil Eye. People’s abstract conception of the Evil Eye, the concept of its existence rather than the Evil Eye itself, has historically been used to target minorities and individuals who are different from what is perceived as mass culture, although one could say that the persecutors are manifesting the destructive force of the Eye even as they accuse others. Thus in the Mediterranean, blue eyes are suspect. In Northern Europe, dark skin is suspect. Redheads, frequently a minority, are often targeted as possessing the Evil Eye.
Exploiting the Evil Eye as a tool of discrimination by a dominant culture indicates little true magical knowledge, little understanding of the Eye as a phenomenon, or else the complete degeneration of a magical system. The Evil Eye either emanates from the universe and not from any individual, or else every individual potentially casts the Eye. Real magic makes discrimination and persecution unnecessary. It’s a waste of time, only increasing tension and resentment within a society. Real magic has much more powerful means to avoid and remove the Evil Eye.
There is some belief that the Tenth Commandment that forbids covering actually refers to deliberate casting of the Evil Eye.
Traditional signs of attack by the Evil Eye include:
Sudden disaster. Everything was going really well and then, all of a sudden … a major problem or series of problems hits like a bolt of lightning. A perfectly normal pregnancy suddenly isn’t normal any longer. A perfectly healthy child suddenly has a health crisis
Not all manifestations are so sudden: the Evil Eye also manifests as malaise, characterized by consistent lack of energy and lack of interest, and by wasting illnesses that resist conventional diagnosis and/or treatment
Stubborn, persistent head or body lice
Sudden, excessive biting of the lips, especially while sleeping
The Evil Eye can also block fertility, although it is but one of many other potential metaphysical reasons given for the inability to conceive or deliver a healthy, living child
There are several issues involved when dealing with the Evil Eye: prevention, so that the Eye cannot be cast; repelling, so that even if cast it bounces off the target without causing harm; and the removal of the Eye and its effects. There are many methods employed to prevent being a victim of the Evil Eye, probably the most common being the carrying of charms and amulets.
Many Evil Eye amulets also ward off other dangers: malevolent magic, spiritual attack, etc. Each type of disaster leaves you vulnerable to others. There is an entire category of general Protection Spells (see pages 876—938); however, these may not ward off the Evil Eye and they will not remove it
Because the Evil Eye is typically inflicted during personal contact, most frequently outside the home, many Evil Eye repelling charms and spells are mobile, like amulets and conjure bags
Because one can never be sure when the Eye will be cast and from what direction, many magical anti-Evil Eye spells take the form of amulets that, once charged, will repel the Eye independently without further action from the spell-caster
Anyone (babies, brides) or anything (new cars, new houses) perceived as exceptionally vulnerable to the Evil Eye may be protected before the Eye falls upon them
Like healing and cleansing spells, Evil Eye removal spells frequently require the participation of another to perform the spell on behalf of the afflicted. Always select ritual assistants carefully. The “target” of the spell is generally the person who is afflicted with the Eye
Attach a piece of antler to a cord made from hair drawn from a black mare’s tail.
Enhance the power of this amulet by adding a silver tip to the antler. (This balances male and female forces: the male antler, the female silver.)
If the antler breaks or snaps, this indicates that it has intercepted a powerful Eye. Bury it respectfully and replace.
Body Defiance Spells
Just as certain people and objects are inherently vulnerable to the Eye, certain images, objects, and botanicals are perceived as the Evil Eye’s natural enemies, repelling, removing, defying, and destroying the Eye by power of their very nature, none more so than images depicting parts of the human anatomy.
It takes an eye to defeat an eye.
Eye shaped amulets match the Evil Eye’s glance, distract it, and overpower it.
Natural stones or crystals that vaguely or literally resemble eyes are valued but rare, a problem when the Evil Eye is so omnipresent, therefore people developed more accessible talismans. Glass beads that look like tiny, perpetually open eyes are favored worldwide, especially blue eye beads. Although this association has caused trouble for the blue-eyed in certain parts of the world, the original intention was not to point fingers at certain people or ethnic groups. Instead blue is an important color indicating spiritual protection. Doors, ceilings, and amulets are customarily painted blue for the same reason. That blue eye beads protect from the Evil Eye does not indicate that blue-eyed people are any more likely to cast it.
The most famous and accessible blue eye bead is the Turkish “nazar boncuk.” These round blue beads may be used independently one at a time, or they may be strung together to form shapes, especially horseshoes.
Blue Eve Bead Spells
Blue eye beads’ power will be enhanced if you cleanse, charge, and consecrate them before use and whenever you perceive that they’ve “worked” for you.
Wear a single bead around your neck
Pin individual beads all over using safety pins
Sew them onto clothing or anything else that needs protection
Hang them from the rear-view mirror of an automobile
If a bead cracks, it’s understood to have worked. Its demise is considered death on the field of combat, a direct hit from the Evil Eye. Bury it with honor and replace it.
Deer’s Eye Charm
Deer’s eye, like deer’s tongue, is obtained without cruelty to animals. “Ojo de venado,” the deer’s eye, is a bean that closely resembles an eye. It’s used in Latin American magic to protect against the Evil Eye. Although it will innately oppose the Evil Eye, if you’re genuinely afraid and would like to depend on enhanced power, charge and consecrate beans before their initial use.
An ojo de venado is often the centerpiece of special hanging charms.
String an ojo de venado onto red wool, together with amber, coral, and jet beads, glass blue eye beads, religious medals, and other lucky, protective symbols.
Finish off the charm with a big red pom-pom on the bottom and hang it.
The power of the ojo de venado is sometimes enhanced by gluing spiritual images, such as tiny votive cards, onto the bean.
Other methods of accessing the power of deer’s eye include adding the beans to protective charm bags, or gluing one to wall amulets or wrapped horseshoe charms.
Because the Evil Eye can be understood as the anti-life force, as a withering force of sterility and destruction, powerful, assertive, potent signs of life repel and prevent it. What more powerful signs of life are there than those parts of the anatomy that initiate the life process in the first place?
The defiantly life-affirming energy implicit in the human genitals is among the most important elements in Evil Eye amulets. Does this mean you should unzip your jeans and flash someone you suspect has hit you with the Evil Eye? Even in ancient days, this was recognized as not a viable solution.
Amulets in the form of genitals are among the most ancient and prevalent of all charms. They are not meant to be prurient but to affirm life, energy, vitality; the very antithesis of the Evil Eye. Sometimes they are very literal, easily recognized images: penis beads or breast beads, plus an entire genre of international phallic amulets, ranging from life-sized, realistic depictions to tiny, pocket sized, heavily embellished versions.
In order to be effective, most Evil Eye amulets must be visible. If hidden away, its capacity to do its job (search out and deflect that Eye) is limited. As it’s not always appropriate to walk around with a silver penis hanging from your neck, more subtle versions abound.
Downward-facing triangles represent the vulva, upward-faring ones the penis. The downward-facing triangle is considered among the most potent anti-Evil Eye amulets of all. It is ubiquitous in beads, in tribal tattoos and in tribal ornamentation. (Take another look at that priceless Oriental carpet.)
Diamond and lozenge shapes can also stand in for the vagina. (They sometimes represent eyes, too.)
Seashells are metaphors for the vulva
The horseshoe may be the most subtle rendering of the female genitalia
A pair of horns is used to represent women’s internal reproductive organs. A single horn, or even anything vaguely similar, is used to represent a penis
Chili Pepper Spell
This is among the simplest but most potent anti-Evil charms, recommended especially for guarding sperm count, virility, and male reproductive capacity.
Pierce a fresh, firm red chili pepper; ideally it should appear as phallic or horn-like as possible.
String it from a cord and wear it around your neck.
Its effectiveness lasts as long as it remains firm and hard. A temporal amulet, replace as needed with a fresh one.
Cowrie Shell Spell (1) General Protection
String cowrie shells onto red cord, charging each shell as you pick it up and tying your desire into every knot.
Wear around your neck to repel the Evil Eye.
Cowrie Shell Spell (2) Pregnancy Protection
String cowrie shells onto red cord, long enough to wear around a pregnant belly.
Wear this belt outside your clothes to repel any envious, malevolent eyes.
Cowrie Shell Spell (3) Maximum Strength Pregnancy Protection
Sew cowries and blue eye beads onto a freely shed snakeskin.
Wear it as a belt. (The protective capacity is so powerful that this could be worn secretly under clothes.)
Mutiny Against the Eye
Winged phalluses, the symbol of the Roman spirit Mutinus and found in the ruins of Pompeii, serve as a prophylactic against the Evil Eye. Wear or hang as needed.
The shape of the human hand is a ubiquitous, international magical protective charm. The hand depicted may be realistic or extremely stylized; sometimes only the five fingers are implied using five dots, or a pentagon. Five fingers poke out the Eye. These hands are shared with general protective magic, however other hand images specifically target the Evil Eye.
The “fica” or fig hand, an ancient Italian amulet, repels the Evil Eye. This amulet depicts a hand, with the thumb poking between the first two fingers. This is intended to duplicate the reproductive act. To make matters more explicit, the word fig is ancient slang for vulva. The hand, thus, re-creates the power of the genitals
The “mano cornuto” or horned hand, another old Italian Evil Eye charm, displays a hand making the sign of the horns, first and last fingers thrust out from the otherwise clenched hand
Should you find yourself threatened without recourse to an amulet, take your hands off your belt: it’s not necessary to resort to the genuine article. Magical gestures made with the hands ward off the Eye. In general, this is not a confrontational act: the gesture is made behind the suspect’s back as they depart from you or under cover, out of sight. The goal is to stop the Eye, not start a fight.
These spells will repel the Evil Eye if you catch it as its being sent or immediately after; they will not remove its effects, however. Stronger spells are needed.
Fig Hand Spell
Make the fig hand. Stick your thumb through the first two fingers and thrust in the direction of the Eye.
Horned hand Spell
Make the sign of the horns, the mano cornuto, by holding down the two middle fingers with your thumb and thrusting out the little finger and forefinger in the direction from which you perceive the Eye, straight ahead if in doubt.
General Evil Eye Protection Spells
Grow jack beans or sword beans as a border surrounding your home and property to repel the Eye.
The plant Alhagi camelorum is indigenous to the Mediterranean region. Naturalized in the United States, it’s considered a pest, and called “camelweed,” the bane of bicycle riders. In Azerbaijan, on the other hand, it’s known as the “camel’s needle,” because it can be used to pierce the Evil Eye.
Hang the needles above the front door. Or hang the needles from a car’s rear-view mirror, depending on where you want protection.
Carry a coconut to your front door.
Hold it in your hands and visualize the forces of evil plaguing you passing from your body out of your hands and into the coconut.
Visualize the coconut’s eyes as the Evil Eye and the coconut head grinning at you.
When you’re ready, open the door, drop kick or place the coconut on the floor and kick it out on the street, yelling aggressively, “Get the hell out!” or something stronger.
Go inside and immediately perform cleansing and protective rituals for yourself.
This may also be used to reverse any kind of malevolent spell.
These bags, in general, provide protection from the Eye, a measure of security. They will not necessarily remove the Eye that’s already been cast.
Anti-Evil Eye Conjure Bag (1)
Anti-Evil Eye recommendations from India suggest filling a red bag with some or all of the following:
Pottery shards or bits of terracotta pottery found in a cemetery
Protective verses and sacred texts
Chili peppers, lemons or limes, to be replaced with fresh ones weekly or as needed
Wear or carry the bag with you.
Anti-Evil Eye Conjure Bag (2)
Place at least one pinch of each of the following in a red conjure bag:
Red dirt, iron oxide powder or ochre
Add one or five blue eye beads and carry it with you.
Anti-Evil Eye Conjure Bag (3)
Even when not decorating your eye, traditional kohl powder has amuletic power against the Eye. Carry the powder in a red mojo bag.
Anti-Evil Eye Conjure Bag (4)
Combine at least a pinch of any one or combination of the following: antimony powder, henna powder, ground malachite powder, or iron oxide powder. Add one cowrie shell and carry in a charm bag.
Anti-Evil Eye Conjure Bag (5)
Gather dirt from a three-way crossroads.
Place it in a blue, red or mirrored conjure bag.
Wear it around your neck to avoid and repel the Eye.
Crescent Moon Charm
Underscoring the similarity between horns and crescent moons, according to ancient Hebrew practice, wearing the crescent moon shape repels the Evil Eye.
Various parts of the daghdaghan tree repel the Eye. Small twigs and branches may be hung on cords and worn. The tiny fruits can be dried, pierced, and treated like beads; sew them onto clothing, fabrics, and amulets.
Dill Evil-Eye Repellant
Hang dill over all entrances and windows to ward off the Evil Eye.
Disarm Yourself! (1) Evil Eye
Are you afraid that you’re sending the Evil Eye? To disarm:
Unroll one cigarette.
Sprinkle the tobacco onto freshly lit charcoal.
Stand over this incense or waft it toward you with your hands or a fan, so that the smoke creates a fumigation for you.
Repeat as needed.
Disarm Yourself! (2) Jettatura
The jettatura is the unwilling but constant sender of Evil Eye rays. If you’re afraid that you’re one, allegedly focusing your vision onto your left nostril incapacitates the Eye. You may look odd but no one gets hurt.
The clothing worn when the Eye is encountered can help you remove and repel its effects. This Northern European technique of averting and removing the Evil Eye should be attempted as soon as possible following contact with the Eye. The dress in the spell is understood to be the one you were wearing when you met the Eye.
Pull your dress over your head as if you were removing it, but instead, with it held over your head, twirl three times sunwise.
Remove the garment.
Holding it open and, leaving it inside-out if this is how it has come off, drop a burning coal through it three times.
Put the dress back on.
Evil Eye Diagnosis (1) Cloves
Illness caused by the Evil Eye manifests as genuine physical illness. The complicating factor is that a cure cannot be obtained without both conventional healing methods and removal of the Evil Eye. Thus sometimes the Evil Eye must be diagnosed in order to plan and complete the proper course of treatment.
The curer takes nine cloves in the right hand and passes them over and around the target of the Eye’s head.
Light a candle. (This is a traditional Italian spell and the recommendation is for a church candle, but adapt this to your needs.)
Insert a needle through the head of one clove and then insert it into the candle flame to ignite it.
Use the burning clove to make the sign of the cross over the afflicted person.
Three saw you. Three bewitched you
From your mother you were born
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
All evil away!
(Pagans may easily substitute the triple goddess for the Christian trinity. Alternately, Selene, Artemis, and Hecate, or the Irish warriors, the Morrigan are very suitable.)
Drop the burned-out clove in a glass of cold water.
Repeat with another clove. If a clove bursts, this is an indication that the person has been hit by the Evil Eye. If the person flinches from the snapping sound, then the spell has been broken. (It’s the departing evil that caused the involuntary motion.) If no cloves snap, then there is no Evil Eye influence; any ailments stem from other causes. The entire ritual may end now.
If the clove that snaps is the ninth and last one, three more cloves must be burned. If the third or last clove snaps, repeat with another series of three cloves. Repeat until the last clove does not snap.
The victim now takes three sips from the glass of water containing the burned out cloves, drinking each sip from a different spot on the glass’s rim.
Facing the victim, the curer dips his or her fingers into the glass and shakes the water in all directions. This must be repeated twice more, for a total series of three.
The curer dips his or her fingers into the water again and now forms three crosses on the victim’s forehead and three more on the back of the neck.
Evil Eye Diagnosis (2) Olive Oil
This basic method may be used to diagnosis the Evil Eye and determine whether it still lingers. It may also be used to determine whether an illness is rooted in the Evil Eye.
Drip three drops of olive oil into a dish of water.
Examine what happens.
Oil and water don’t mix. If the drops remain distinct, everything is fine. There is no Eye.
If, however, they disperse, the Evil Eye is present.
Perform anti-Evil Eye spells. After each spell, repeat this ritual to verify whether the Evil Eye has been lifted. When the oil behaves as it should, the Eye has been removed.
Evil Eye House Protection Spell
Protect your new home from the Evil Eye and other envious glances, particularly while it’s under construction.
Create a doll to divert the eye. In India, from whence this ritual derives, the doll is usually made from fabric and stuffed with straw; however, what the doll is made from isn’t as important as what the doll looks like. The crucial point is that it must be eyecatching. Usually the dolls are vivid in color, funny or sexually suggestive: long protruding red penises are customary, although this may not play well in the suburbs.
Charge the doll with its mission, then set it on scaffolding or hang it above the front door. When observers glance at your house, their eye is irresistibly drawn to the doll; they never see your house.
Remove the doll, if you like, following protective rituals for the home.
Evil Eye Oil
Although the concept of the Evil Eye and many anti-Evil Eye spells are ancient, modern versions exist, too. This Hoodoo spell draws upon a blend of Egyptian and British magical traditions.
Draw a blue eye onto a white plate using indigo or blue food coloring.
Fill a dish with Van Van Oil.
Using water, rinse the blue eye off the plate into the Van Van.
Rub the resulting concoction onto your hands and the soles of your feet daily for seven consecutive days.
For best results, accompany with recitation of Psalms and/or other sacred texts.
Evil Eye Removal Spells
A typical Evil Eye removal spell involves one person holding something in their hand which is then passed around the victim’s head three times. The substance held in the hand must be magnetic and absorbent.
The substance serves as an Evil Eye magnet: it pulls the Evil Eye off the victim
Because it is absorbent, the Evil Eye goes into the substance
The substance is then usually immediately thrown into a fire, destroying the Evil Eye and its capacity to harm
This ritual can be in response to an attack of the Evil Eye, suspicion of attack or even just as a nightly precautionary method. The person doing the removal (versus the target of the spell, the victim of the Eye) magically concentrates and focuses on removing the Eye and blessing and protecting the victim. The spell may be accompanied by murmuring blessings, sacred texts and/or defiant comments towards the Eye. Although the spell may work even if done mechanically, it lacks the potency and blessing-quality of a consciously empowered spell.
Evil Eye Removal (1) Alum
Pass alum over the person who is afflicted.
Throw the alum into fire to dispel and destroy the spell.
Should the pieces come together in the fire in some semblance of a male or female shape, this is a clue as to the gender of the spell-caster.
Evil Eye Removal (2) Black Cumin
Wrap an odd number of black cumin seeds in paper or place them inside a small paper bag.
Pass this packet around the victim of the Eye three times.
Burn it in fire.
When you hear the seeds snap, crackle, and pop, you’ll know the Evil Eye has cracked too. If no sounds are heard, consider whether further action is needed.
Evil Eye Removal (3) Date Leaves
Collect 21 date palm leaves.
Knot them together, envisioning your goals and desires as you form each knot.
Wave this garland around the afflicted person.
Place it in a covered terracotta pot in the corner of the afflicted person’s room overnight.
Put an old shoe, a broom or a piece of iron on top of the pot.
In the morning dispose of the pot’s contents at a crossroads or burn the garland outside the home.
Spiritually cleanse the pot before further use.
Evil Eye Removal (4) Dragon
To remove particularly persistent Evil Eye infestation, erect a dragon altar using an image of a fierce dragon with wide-open staring eyes.
Create a lair to invite the dragon’s presence. Offer treasure to guard: crystals, replica coins and gold ingots, gemstone beads.
When the dragon is happy and comfortable, explain your dilemma and that he is the only one strong enough to destroy and consume the Eye. Visualizations before you go to sleep are especially effective.
Evil Eye Removal (5) Egg
Pass one egg around the afflicted person three times, muttering blessings, sacred texts, and defiance towards the Eye.
Take the egg outside, ideally off your property and smash it on the ground.
Check for signs of blood; if any appear, continued magical action is required.
Evil Eye Removal (6) Egg and Oil
Fill a dish with olive oil and reserve.
Rub the body from head to toe, using a downward, outward motion, with five whole raw eggs.
Use one egg at a time; after each turn, place the used egg in the oil.
When all eggs are in the bowl, sprinkle them with cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon.
Insert cotton wicks into the oil and burn the oil.
Evil Eye Removal (7) Egg and Thorn
Gently rub an egg over the afflicted person, especially over their eyes.
Break the egg into a bowl.
Pierce the yolk with seven sharp thorns.
Evil Eye Removal (8) Iron
Heat a bar of iron until it is red-hot.
Holding it with tongs, pass the iron bar around the afflicted person three times.
Drop the bar into a dish of turmeric water.
Leave it there until the water cools, then dispose of the water outside the house.
Evil Eye Removal (9) Is It Gone Yet?
To determine whether the Eye has been removed, follow spells to remove the Eye by dropping three fresh drops of oil into a pan of fresh water. When the drops remain round and distinct, the Eye is gone.
Evil Eye Removal (10) Novena
The concept of the “Novena,” a nine-day candle spell, pre-dates Roman Catholicism. Burn a new candle for nine consecutive evenings, murmuring over it, reciting sacred verses, and charging the candle with your desires. Each morning throw the wax remnants as far from your home as possible.
Evil Eye Removal (11) Salt
Prepare a fire.
Pass a handful of salt around the afflicted person’s head three times.
Toss the salt into the fire.
Evil Eye Removal (12) Sizzling Water
You need to create a hot surface: either place hot coals onto a plate or heat up a metal plate.
Place an overturned jar on top of the plate.
Fill a bowl with water. Pass it over the afflicted person. Empty the water over the jar so that it spills onto the plate. (If the water hisses or sizzles or somehow makes noise, it’s attempting to communicate with you regarding the spell and the success of the removal. Try to interpret.)
Place a metal implement across the now-empty bowl until you can properly cleanse it.
Evil Eye Removal (13) Three Hot Peppers
Pass three red chili peppers around the affected person’s head three times.
Each time you make a rotation, chant: “I pull off the Eye, be it man, woman or spirit!”
Throw the chilies into an open fire and burn them.
Evil Eye Removal (14) Uzarlik
Prepare a fire.
Take a handful of uzarlik (Syrian rue, harmel) and sea salt.
Pass it around the target’s head in a circle, making three complete rotations while chanting:
You are air
You are against every grief
Pluck out the Evil Eye and place it in my hand.
Throw the handful of herbs and salt into the fire. Popping and spluttering is a very good sign.
Evil Eye Remove and Repel
This Palestinian spell may be used to remove or repel the Evil Eye or any other malevolent spell:
Place a piece of tamarisk wood and either a pinch of salt or a pinch of alum in a pan over the fire.
The patient must walk around it seven times.
As soon as a crackling sound is heard, the spell is broken.
Evil Eye Waters
The following formula waters repel the Eye:
Marie Laveau Water
Notre Dame Water
Formulas may be found in the Formulary (page 1037).
Add substantial quantities of one or a combination of these waters to your bath. Alternately, asperge an area using a rue wand to cleanse the place of the Evil Eye’s influence.
Eyebright Evil Eye Repellant
The dark spot in the center of the eyebright flower is often interpreted as an eye. Grow the flower around your home to repel the Eye.
Five Eye Spell
Five pairs of glass beads, each pair in a different distinct color, are required for this amulet. Dizzying colors dazzle the Evil Eye.
String the beads in a double row.
Arrange them in a circle.
Post or wear.
Five in Your Eye!
Sometimes dazzling the Eye isn’t sufficient. Just as people attempt to protect themselves from the Eye, so the Eye is believed to possess instincts of self-preservation and will recoil from potential harm. How many times have you heard adults admonish children, “Don’t play with sticks! You’ll poke someone’s eye out!” or “Don’t point your finger! You’re liable to poke out an eye!” Sharp, pointy objects and plain human fingers serve as potent Evil Eye amulets.
Many Evil Eye spells feign aggressive action and mimic destruction of the Eye. Don’t touch or get near anyone’s actual eyes! It’s that big abstract malevolent invisible force that must be stopped, not anyone’s actual glance or their ability to glance.
When the threat of the Eye is perceived aggressively mutter or shout, as appropriate, the Moroccan saying “Five in your eye!”
Add a thrusting motion of the hand with splayed fingers in the direction that the Eye is believed to come from, or straight ahead of you if unknown.
Four Corners Dirt Spell
This quick-fix pan-Semitic spell is extremely effective for removing all traces of the Evil Eye.
Take dirt from the four corners of your home.
Mix it together and throw it on a fire within the house shouting fiercely “Get the hell out, Evil Eye!”
Amulets are left at home, lost, forgotten, or given to others as emergency protection. Permanent amulets that can’t be lost create another option: one of the primary primal reasons for tattooing is the creation of such a permanent amulet.
Once upon a time, and sometimes still, throughout Africa and Asia, women’s faces were tattooed with small blue downward facing triangles and/or a series of five dots, representing the protective energy of the human anatomy.
North African tattoo designs were particularly intricate, each detail filled with symbolic value. After the Islamic conquest, Berber women were forbidden their traditional tattoos. So that the shapes would not be forgotten, the women turned to henna.
Henna, in itself, is an extremely potent enemy of the Evil Eye. Even carrying the powder in an amulet bag repels the Eye; however its power is magnified when combined with anti-Evil Eye imagery.
Most other botanicals demonstrate their power ephemerally or through aroma. Henna does both and adds visual impact too. Henna creates a temporary dye on the skin. The color ranges from orange to brick red to deep brown, all metaphysically powerful colors, particularly in regards to spiritual protection. Magical, amuletic, and talismanic designs are displayed on the skin. Henna’s primary associations with weddings and fertility may derive from its reputation as a potent anti-Evil Eye weapon.
Use the powder to create henna paste in order to decorate hand and body. (Check the Formulary for further instruction.) The most efficacious anti-Evil Eye designs to be incorporated into henna decoration include:
Downward facing triangles
Dots grouped together in series of five
Eyes, especially an eye inside a triangle
These designs may also be incorporated into tattoos and other body art.
Home Protection Spell
Envious neighbors? Too many passers-by gazing at your house? This spell is particularly effective when undergoing construction work on a home.
Attach a red ribbon to a hand of bananas and some rue. Add Evil Eye beads or a cimaruta, the Italian Evil Eye amulet, for maximum effect. (The cimaruta is usually crafted from silver or a silver-colored metal, and has evolved into a complex, fabulous amulet.)
Hang outside the house until the bananas are completely rotten.
Burn or bury everything; do not bring within the home.
Repeat as needed.
Horn Charm Spell
Fill a small horn or cornucopia with sage leaves to protect against the Eye. Wear it or situate it strategically.
Iron Anti-Evil Eye Spell
Found nails protect against the Evil Eye. If you find one, pick it up and carry it in a red conjure bag.
Among the arts the angels taught those early Daughters of Men were the use of cosmetics. Although there may have always been an erotic component intrinsic to make-up, its initial use was magically protective: to shield against the Evil Eye.
Heavily ornamented eyes distract the Eye from the vulnerable iris. Power is enhanced by using kohl (kajal) powder, which, like henna, is believed to possess inherent anti-Evil Eye properties. One can carry the powder discreetly in a bag to receive its benefits, however its power is magnified when used to decorate your eye.
Outline the shape of your eyes in black: genuine kohl is most powerful, however more conventional black eyeliner or modern “kohl pencils” also work.
Bold red lipstick diverts the Eye from vulnerable eyes toward the more aggressive (the teeth!) mouth.
Maximon Anti-Evil Eye Spell
Maximon (pronounced “mah-she-mon”) is the primal Guatemalan spirit of the crossroads and male phallic energy. A modern unofficial saint who emerged from the juxtaposition of an ancient Mayan grandfather spirit with Saint Simon, fearless Maximon offers his devotees many gifts, not least protection from the Evil Eye. Sprinkle a circle of tobacco around a black candle and burn it in front of Maximon’s image to repel and remove the Evil Eye.
Supplying your own eye may not be necessary. Mirrors reflect the Evil Eye straight back where it came from and, as with the fabled basilisk, can prove fatal.
Mirrors are incorporated into other amulets. Or they can be strategically arranged so best to repel the Evil Eye; sew small mirrors and reflecting surfaces onto your clothing.
Moroccan Anti-Evil Eye Incense (1) Basic Version
Benzoin incense, called “jawi” in Morocco, destroys the effects of the Evil Eye.
Mash up benzoin resin or use benzoin powder.
Sprinkle onto lit charcoals and fumigate an area or a person.
Benzoin comes in different colors; for maximum power, blend darker and lighter pieces.
Moroccan Anti-Evil Eye Incense (2) Extra Strength Version
Benzoin is also a component of complex protective incense formulas.
Gather the following ingredients:
Harmel (Syrian rue, uzarlik)
Blend the ingredients together, mashing with mortar and pestle.
Grind them to a fine powder and burn.
Nine Nail Lemon Charm
Pierce a lemon with nine nails.
Wind red thread around these nails.
Knot the end of the thread around one of the nails.
Place this charm above the door to repel the Evil Eye.
Pomander Anti-Evil Eye Spell
Pomanders are presently most associated with old-fashioned Christmas crafts, though their roots lie in magical and herbal healing. There is an implicit aspect of Evil Eye removal involved in crafting a pomander.
Choose an eye-shaped fruit if possible: a lemon, lime, or citron may be more effective than an orange.
Completely pierce it with holes. Visualize piercing the Evil Eye simultaneously. (It’s not necessary to imagine literally piercing an eye; visualize piercing the damage done, like removing the air from a balloon.)
Fill each hole, each vacuum, with a clove. Cloves are magical “nails,” the traditional botanical Evil Eye repellant.
Bind the pomander with blue or red ribbons and hang it as a warning symbol of what will happen to the Eye should it return.
Quick-fix Evil Eye Spells
Although many anti-Evil Eye spells and rituals are lengthy and complex, in a pinch, quick-fix anti-Evil Eye spells can be very effective, especially when you need to remove the Eye from oneself without assistance.
Quick-fix Evil Eye Spell (1)
Drip olive oil into water, especially boiling water. Let the water cool, and then bathe yourself with it, focusing on the face, back of the neck, and the soles of your feet.
Quick-fix Evil Eye Spell (2)
Drop glowing coals or lit matches into water. Watch them hit the water. Expose yourself to any steam. Visualize the Eye extinguished.
Quick-fix Evil Eye Spell (3)
Pierce a lemon with iron nails. Visualize yourself simultaneously piercing the Evil Eye.
Remove the Eye Spell
This Italian spell removes the Evil Eye.
Add spring or Holy Water to a saucer.
Add three drops of olive oil to the water plus seven small leaves from an olive branch that has been blessed on Palm Sunday.
Dip your finger into the dish, swirl it in the ingredients, then use your finger to make a cross on the victim’s forehead, saying:
Jesus, Joseph and Mary
Evil Eye Away!
Repeat two more times for a total of three crosses and three chants.
Repeat on three consecutive mornings. Here’s the catch: oil and water don’t mix; if they do, something is wrong. The drops of oil need to remain visibly distinct within the water. Should they at any point disperse completely into the water, dispose of the ingredients. Wait 24 hours and repeat the entire ritual.
An alternative rhyme is sometimes used:
Two eyes have overlooked you
Two saints have enjoyed you
By the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
Evil Eye Away!
Rue, the herb of grace, is one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal used against the Evil Eye
Rue Spell (1) Basic
Pin a single fresh sprig of rue to your clothing or hair to repel the Eye. Remember to replace it with a fresh one daily.
Rue Spell (2) Bath
Mash up some fresh rue.
Cover this with boiling water.
Let the infusion cool and use it to bathe the afflicted person.
Bathing in an infusion of rue is a common recommendation for removing the Eye and for cleansing spells in general, however rue is an extremely potent and potentially dangerous botanical. It is not safe for pregnant women or those actively attempting to conceive to use rue.
Rue Spell (3) Charm
A safer method to benefit from rue’s power is available: the cimaruta. The amulet derives its shape from the rue plant (“ruta” in Italian). Different amuletic shapes are hung from the ends of the stylized sprig of rue.
Charge and consecrate a cimaruta before wearing.
For maximum effectiveness, cleanse and empower the amulet by passing through rue smoke. (Someone else can cleanse the charm for its wearer, if exposure to rue is problematic.)
Rue Spell (4) Culinary
It’s no accident that witches are so frequently depicted stirring a cauldron. Cauldrons double as magic ritual and culinary tools. Once upon a time, spells were frequently administered through meals. Emulate the old Romans and add rue to the diet to protect against the Evil Eye. (But remember, rue is unsafe for pregnant women.)
Rue Spell (4) Discreet Version
Hide sprigs of rue in your clothing or carry it in a charm bag to foil the Eye.
Rue Spell (5) Incense
Grind and powder dried rue. Sprinkle onto powdered charcoal and burn as incense to cleanse an area of the Eye’s influence.
Saint John’s Wort Infused Oil
An infusion of Saint John’s Wort blossoms and/or leaves in olive oil protects against the Evil Eye. Rub on the body, concentrating on the soles of the feet and the back of the neck.
Secret Red Ribbon
Tie a red ribbon to your underwear. (Just wearing red underwear may be effective, too.) For maximum effectiveness, magically charge all items prior to use.
Send it Back! (1)
This ritual either neutralizes the Eye or sends it back from whence it came.
If you know or suspect who cast the Eye, secretly cut a small bit of the suspect’s clothing.
Burn it together with frankincense resin.
Brandish either the burning incense or the dish with the cold leftover ashes in front of the suspect with an aggressive gesture.
There’s no need to explicitly inform the other person of the intent of the ritual: the effect is subliminal.
Send it Back! (2)
Caught them at it? Sometimes you can feel the Evil Eye right away. It can be neutralized immediately, too, with a simple ritual from modern Egypt: toss a handful of Earth in the suspect’s wake as they walk away from you.
Shark’s Tooth Spell
Wear a fossilized shark’s tooth to repel the Evil Eye. Cleanse periodically by passing through protective incense smoke.
Three-fork Stick Spell
This Romany spell requires a three-forked stick. Finding one quickly when you need it is very auspicious. If you can’t find one, you may carve one. The ritual is ultimately dedicated to a protective deity. Choose one who gives you confidence. If in doubt, Michael the Archangel is divinely charged with the role of humanity’s protector and may always be petitioned in time of need.
Fill a pot or cauldron with water from a stream. The water must be taken with the current, not against it.
Add the following items to the pot: seven glowing coals, seven handfuls of cornmeal, seven cloves of garlic.
Place the pot over a fire to boil.
When the water begins to boil, stir it with a three-forked stick, chanting:
Hey! Evil eyes look here!
Your power is gone
Seven ravens come.
Seven ravens pierce all evil eyes, every one.
Evil eyes look here!
Your power is now gone!!
Dust in your eyes!
Five fingers stab your eyes!
You are blind!
Hey! Evil eyes look here
You are extinguished now
Burn, burn, burn in the fire of [Deity’s name]
A Tuscan anti-Evil Eye remedy benefits from the synergistic magic power of specific plants: mugwort, rue, vervain, and wormwood.
Tuscan Formula (1) Bath
Create an infusion by pouring boiling water over the combined herbs. Add this infusion to the bath.
This spell is absolutely not for pregnant women or those actively trying to conceive.
Tuscan Formula (2) Emergency Spray
Create an infusion by pouring boiling water over the combined herbs.
Once it cools, strain out the botanical material and add the liquid to a spray bottle; apply as needed.
Tuscan Formula (3) Incense
Grind and powder the dried botanicals. Sprinkle onto lit charcoals and burn.
Tuscan Formula (4) House Charm
Tie a bunch of the fresh herbs together with scarlet ribbons.
Enhance by adding anti-Evil Eye charms, like blue eye beads, fig hands, cormutos or the cimaruta.
Hang over the door or any spot perceived as vulnerable.
Tuscan Formula (5) Personal Charm
Tie a few sprigs of the fresh herbs (at least one of each) with red ribbon.
Add anti-Evil Eye charms (blue eye beads, cimaruta, etc.) as desired.
Wear in your hair.
Peganum harmala is known in English as Syrian rue. While there is no botanical relationship to true rue, what the two plants share in common is their aura of sacredness and their traditional use as an extra-potent weapon against the Evil Eye. Known as “harmel” in Arabic, Syrian rue is one of the most frequently used North African and Middle Eastern magical and shamanic herbs. In Azerbaijani, it’s called “uzarlik.”
Not only will the ambient smoke and aroma of burning uzarlik remove the Evil Eye, it also prevents those in its vicinity from casting it. Where uzarlik is present, the Evil Eye is immobilized. As you can imagine, amuletic use of uzarlik is ubiquitous. Uzarlik provides protection wherever and whenever vulnerability is perceived, at weddings and births, for instance, or in the presence of a new car or home.
Uzarlik Evil Eye Spell
Throw handfuls of uzarlik into an open flame or sprinkle the herb onto lit charcoals. The goal is to produce smoke. Sufficient quantities will permeate an area; otherwise direct the smoke in the direction of whatever needs to be protected.
Uzarlik Evil Eye Added Enhancement Spell
Burn uzarlik and benzoin together as above.
Uzarlik Evil Eye Protection Spell
Uzarlik doesn’t stop being effective after it’s been burned but may also be used as an amulet to protect against the Evil Eye.
Once uzarlik has burned, allow the ashes to cool and then collect them.
To protect a specific person, spread the ashes on the forehead and the back of the neck.
You are air
You are against every grief
Keep me young and powerful
Ashes may also be preserved as a permanent amulet in a charm bag. Include the chant anyway.
Although some traditions believe that the Evil Eye is cast unwittingly and uncontrollably, others disagree. Some perceive that the Eye is cast deliberately, making it similar to casting a malevolent spell. Various methods exist to determine the identity of the spell-caster. This Hungarian sieve divination spell below is used to identify who cast the Eye or any other malevolent spell.
Who Cast the Eye? (1)
Place nine different power objects of your choice inside a sieve.
Rest a dish with ice-cold water on top.
Pour liquid molten tin or wax into the water.
As the wax or tin solidifies, it forms shapes identifying who or what has caused the bewitchment, and why.
Who Cast the Eye? (2)
A Turkish spell seeks to identify the exact perpetrator.
Light a candle.
Stick a needle through a clove and pass it into or just over a fire.
As the clove roasts, recite the names of individuals suspected of casting the Eye.
If the clove should explode as a name is said, this indicates that the culprit has been identified.
Who Cast the Eye? (3)
This Greek spell uses cloves to perform a diagnosis as well as to receive information regarding treatment:
Light a candle.
Stick a needle through a clove and pass it into or just over a fire.
Ask questions regarding the affliction, the cure and/or the possible Eye-caster. For instance, questions could include: “Is it a man?” “Is this his occupation?” “Should we call this curer?” “Should we cast this spell?”
Should a clove pop immediately following or during a question, this is an affirmative reply.
Witch balls are more than an evocative name. Hang these iridescent glass balls in the window to ward off the Evil Eye.
Children’s Evil Eye Cures
Infants and children are considered especially vulnerable to the Evil Eye. Precautions for babies are somewhat simpler, if only because they’re smaller, less mobile, and thus less easily targeted. Infants in societies that fear the Evil Eye are kept sequestered at home as much as possible. They are swaddled when outside. Baby, crib, or carrier is guarded with powerful amulets. Children, on the other hand, are out and about in the world. Who knows what they’ll come home with? Spells to protect children from all sorts of dangers, especially the Evil Eye, are legion. Some are for prevention, others for diagnosis and removal of the Eye.
Because of their inherent vulnerability children cannot remove the Eye for themselves. An adult must perform the spell on their behalf.
Child’s Diagnosis Spell
This spell performs a diagnosis but does not remove the Eye.
To determine whether a child is under malign influence, fill a washbasin with water.
Gently place three glowing embers of wood and two broom straws on the surface of the water.
If at least one straw sinks to the bottom, malign influence is indicated. Take appropriate further action.
Magic spell baths remove and repel the Evil Eye:
Evil Eye Bath (1) Glowing Coals
Fill a tub with spring water. (A metal washtub is suggested, rather than a conventional bathtub, although that can be used, too.)
Don’t put the child in the water but let him or her watch.
Toss glowing charcoals into the tub.
Dip a fresh, clean white cloth into the water and bathe the child with it.
Dump the water out in an isolated place where no one is likely to step over it.
Evil Eye Bath (2) Silver
Borrow silver from a neighbor. Because the Evil Eye lurks everywhere and probably for a variety of other reasons, it’s considered wiser not to explain exactly why you need the loan. (Traditionally a coin was borrowed, which was very discreet. However modern coins are invariably silver-colored metal, not true silver. Borrow an antique coin, a piece of jewelry, or a piece of silverware: it will be returned.)
Place the silver inside a tub filled with pure spring water.
Intensify the action by adding some quartz crystals.
Bathe the child in the tub. Return the silver, with a small gift.
Evil Eye Bath (3) What’s Cooking in the Kitchen?
Removing the Evil Eye can be fun. This Hungarian spell, effectively a game of charades played to foil the Eye, demands participation from at least two people besides the afflicted child. Time the spell so that it’s in full swing at midnight.
Bring a big tub into the kitchen as if you were preparing an old-fashioned bath.
Put wood under the tub. Pretend it’s the olden days when you actually had to heat the water. (But don’t light it; it’s never actually lit. Go through the motions as if you were. It’s a game.)
Make the child sit in the tub. There’s no water in the tub, but you can go through the motions of washing, stirring, and basting. (Basting? Think of fairy tales where the witch tricks the child into a big pot in the guise of bathing, when she’s really about to be cooked.)
Someone else must then enter the room and ask, “What are you cooking?”
You reply something like, “Mmm, mmm … delicious meat on the bone!”
Repeat parts 1 through 5 for a total of twelve times.
Then the person doing the “cooking,” the cleanser, so to speak, runs around the entire house or the area twelve times sweeping with a broom. Make aggressive gestures with it, thrusting it away from the house.
Complete the ritual by placing an amulet on the child. Eat something and go to sleep.
Evil Eye Cure Spell
This spell originates from Denmark.
At midnight, gather up three scoops of Earth from a crossroads.
Wrap the dirt up in red fabric.
Wrap this around the child’s neck.
Evil Eye Illness Spell
The Evil Eye is blamed for children’s mysterious, lingering, wasting illnesses—those illnesses that defy medical diagnosis and medical treatment. This is particularly true for those patients whom logic and convention say should be improving but for some unknown reason they are not. This spell draws the illness out of the child and lets wild creatures destroy it.
Place seven flat breads underneath the child’s pillow.
Leave them there under the sleeping child overnight, or an equivalent amount of time.
When the child awakens, remove the bread from your house; leave it for birds or stray animals.
Evil Eye Potion
A modern Syrian custom suggests that an Evil Eye-afflicted ailing child drink water blended from seven distinct wells or cisterns. It can be difficult to locate one well or cistern. As if you didn’t have enough trouble, now you have to locate seven? Update the spell, itself an adaptation. There is a very ancient pan-Semitic belief in the magical healing power of water blended from seven springs. When the springs became unavailable, cisterns were substituted.
Blend seven different bottled spring waters, each from a distinct source.
Give the child a glass to drink and apply a compress soaked in the blended water, too.
Evil Eye Removal (1) Black Mustard Seeds
This spell from India removes all traces of the Evil Eye. It can be used as a precautionary method, just in case the Eye has been cast, by incorporating it into a child’s bedtime routine, like brushing teeth and telling a story.
Before children go to sleep at night, heat a cast-iron pan so that it is extremely hot.
Hold a handful of black mustard seeds over the child, while making a blessing or wish.
Then toss the seed into the pan and pop them over high heat.
Throw them away or burn the remnants.
Evil Eye Removal (2) Chili Pepper Fumigation
This smoke can be profoundly irritating, although I suspect that the tears induced were once considered part of the cure. If attempting, be sure to provide proper ventilation.
Gather dust from a crossroads.
Sprinkle this on lit charcoals.
Burn a chili pepper on top of the crossroads dirt.
Let the smoke pervade the room so as to envelope the afflicted child and the area.
Evil Eye Removal (3) Middle East
There are slight variations in this Middle Eastern spell depending upon the religion of the caster. Muslim tradition suggests adding a piece of tamarisk to the pan, while Christian tradition recommends palm blessed on Palm Sunday.
Place chunks of alum, salt, frankincense, and the wood into a hot pan on the fire
Lead the child around the pan seven times.
As soon as anything pops or cracks in the pan, the spell has been broken.
Evil Eye Removal (4) Protection Spell
If you feel the Evil Eye has been cast on a child, this spell removes the Eye and also wards off further attack.
Cut off a piece of the clothing the child was wearing at the time of attack. (If you’re not sure what he or she was wearing, cut a small piece of cloth from an undergarment.)
Burn this together with salt. (Optional ingredients that will intensify the spell are alum, coriander seeds or any botanical used to repel the Eye, such as rue or henna. However, only salt is necessary in order to be effective.)
Fumigate the child with the resulting smoke and/or sprinkle the child with the cooled ashes.
Evil Eye Removal (5) Red and Black Rice
Dye white rice red and black in order to cast this spell.
Pluck three straws out of a new, unused broom.
Pass the smoking broom-straws around the child’s head; then let the straws burn out.
Rub your fingers in the broom straw ashes and use them to mark the child’s forehead.
Mix the dyed rice with some white camphor, salt, and chili peppers. Add some of the victim’s hair and nail parings. (If you know for sure who inflicted the Eye, you may add their intimate articles, too.) Lastly add some Earth, either taken from beneath or near the front door or graveyard dirt from the grave of an advocate for the child.
Pass all the items around the child, and then throw them into a fire. The resulting aroma should be thick, pungent, and irritating. If it behaves as expected, this means the cure has been affected. If, however, there is no aroma or if it’s weak, you’re facing a tough case. Further action must be taken.
Evil Eye Removal (6) Salt
Take a handful of salt.
Pass it around the child’s head and body.
Throw a bit into each corner of the home and the rest over the threshold and out the door.
Evil Eye Removal (7) Seven Pebbles
Take seven pebbles from a three-way crossroads.
Heat them in a fire.
Have the ailing child sit before this fire.
Place a brass dish containing turmeric water between the child and the fire.
With tongs, remove each pebble from the fire and pass it around the child. Then place the pebble into the dish. When the water becomes red, the spell has been broken.
If the water doesn’t become red, further action is needed.