The Evil Eye
I’ve sort of been at a loss of what to post about lately, so today I’ve decided we can reach a little into my Sicilian culture a little bit and talk about the evil eye, or “Malocchio.”
The evil eye is a an old curse believed to bring terrible fortune or even injury. The curse is generally thought to be cast when an envious or jealous person gives you a dirty look. The idea of this belief is very big in Sicily, many other Mediterranean cultures and the Middle East. And of course because nothing ever stays in one spot, today you may here about the evil eye from many other cultures as well. I’m sure over time you’ve seen dozens of the various protection amulets different cultures have to ward off the evil eye, some featuring the eye itself.
In Italy its most common to see the horn, perhaps on a necklace or a key chain. What is this magical little horn? Well its called a cornicello, you’ll usually see it in gold or silver, or like the one my father had hanging in the car, red with silver at the base, some will say its modeled after a chili pepper (which makes sense since chilli peppers can be used in hex breaking, and they have chilies in Italy) and some say that it is actually modeled after the horn of an African antelope. Then there’s the mano cornuta, which is literally a charm of a hand throwing up the horns (Italians are metal, and dont forget it). There are many hand symbols used to ward off the eye, I mean, we Italians are known for talking with our hands so why wouldn’t there be? Other than throwing up the horns there is one where you put your thumb between your index and middle finger in a fist and it is supposed to resemble coitus. Phallic imagery is supposed to distract the caster of the glare and prevent the curse. Then we have the less common Cimaruta, this is a big Strega one and my personal favorite.
There are many other talisman against the evil eye, at least several from each culture, so I’m not gonna go into any more or we’ll be here all damn day.
Wanna know if the curse of the Evil Eye is upon you?!?
Well heres a little ritual you can do to find out.
NOTE** This is also a ritual you can do just to see if anyone has used a curse or a hex against you. just fyi.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED!
- A bowl of water
- 1 small plate
- Olive Oil
- 2 Sewing Needles
- A Pair of Scissors
First thing you’re going to do is anoint yourself with the water, generally by making a cross on the forehead, then pour some olive oil on the plate next to the bowl. Dip your finger in the olive oil and let it drip off your finger into the bowl of water each drop on top of the last, if the drops stay together you’re fine, if they spread out, you have the curse.
Now if its the evil eye this is how we get rid of it.
Take the sewing needles and shove one through the eye of the other, as to stab the glare back in the eye. Drop them like this into the water bowl and add a pinch of salt, now with the scissors poke all the oil spots and say “Occhi e contro e perticelli agli occhi, crepa la invida e schiattono gli occhi” or if youre rusty on your italian! like myself… just say “Eyes against eyes and the holes of the eyes, envy cracks and eyes burst.”
Then you take the scissors and cut the air above the bowl 3 times and the curse is lifted.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Do the ritual with the water and olive oil again the next day, if the oil still spreads, then there is something more serious going on and you will have to perform a different ritual to remove what ever hex or curse may be upon you.
Blessed Be! and no dirty looks please.