The Evil Eye and the All Seeing Eye
The Evil Eye has been making people uncomfortable for generations. As well it might. It is said that that the Evil Eye is cast upon someone for reasons of envy or dislike. The history of the Evil eye goes all the way back to Ancient Greece, the Bible and beyond, throughout the Middle East. Many cultures have a version of the Evil Eye, and it has been studied a great deal by scholars and historians alike. There are many different ideas as to where it came from and why it still is here today. The thing that remains the same in every culture is that the person whom the Evil Eye is cast upon has something bad happen to them. Sometimes it’s general bad luck, sometimes it’s something to do with their health and other times something might happen to their crops or animals. In some versions the mechanism employed is “drying up” the life inside the cursed item, be it a baby, a man’s virility or a fruit tree.
It has been said that the Evil Eye is not necessarily given to someone intentionally. That sometimes, just being envious of something that another person has, may cause the effects of the Evil Eye. However, it is also possible that only certain people have the ability to give another person the Evil Eye. In this case, the idea is that certain people give the person that they intend to intimated or scare a sharp glare that transmits the curse. This seems to be something that the older generation does really well (Hags and Warlocks?).
In order to protect against the Evil Eye, some cultures create charms to ward off its effects. They sell these charms in the market places. There are also other measures that can be taken to avert the bad spell of the Evil Eye including spitting, certain exclamations and special prayers. Once the Evil Eye is suspected of being in effect, then there are also certain measures to diagnose and cure (wax, holy water, more prayers, etc).
In many places, for example Turkey, Greece, or Italy, you might see someone wearing an amulet or else see one hanging in someone’s home. The nice geometric shape and symbolism of the eye has however been used in ancient art throughout the same region of the Middle East and Mediterranean. It is used to symbolize all sorts of things. The eye takes the outside world into the inner, and can also project the inner world onto the outer. Medusa had the power to transmit her intentions through her gaze. The ancient Eygptian “eye of Horus” or the “all seeing eye” is a symbol that is still with us today and is looking at us from the US 1 dollar bill. The Freemasons use this symbol liberally and this probably has its roots in the Egyptian iconography.
It is easy to see how these ideas about “The Eye” have been with us for so long, be it “All Seeing”, evil or both. The power, wisdom and wonder of life is seen through the eye. After all, the eye is a window to the soul. If we glance through an eye at the evil within, or absorb the emission of a wicked soul, what can that do to us? Or else we could ask if there is a great being always watching over us or perhaps a certain secret group watching over mankind? What might their intentions be?