i believe in the evil eye and want to wear a talisman for protection but im afraid it will seem like cultural appropriation bc I'm white.... any advice?
Here’s a quick Wikipedia explanation, take with a grain of salt:
Classical authors attempted to offer explanations for the evil eye. Plutarch’s scientific explanation stated that the eyes were the chief, if not sole, source of the deadly rays that were supposed to spring up like poisoned darts from the inner recesses of a person possessing the evil eye (Quaest. Conv. 5.7.2–3=Mor.80F-81f). Plutarch treated the phenomenon of the evil eye as something seemingly inexplicable that is a source of wonder and cause of incredulity.
The belief in the evil eye during antiquity varied across different regions and periods. The evil eye was not feared with equal intensity in every corner of the Roman Empire. There were places in which people felt more conscious of the danger of the evil eye. In Roman times, not only were individuals considered to possess the power of the evil eye but whole tribes, especially those of Pontus and Scythia, were believed to be transmitters of the evil eye. The phallic charm called fascinum in Latin, from the verb fascinare, “to cast a spell” (the origin of the English word “fascinate”), was used against the evil eye.
The spreading in the belief of the evil eye across the Near East is believed by some to have been propagated by the Empire of Alexander the Great, which spread this and other Greek ideas across his empire.
So, we can assume that the earliest beliefs in the “Evil Eye” as we know it in modern times probably came about with Roman and Greek culture. These were open cultures, and so the belief in such would probably not be considered appropriation.
As far as talismans that could be considered cultural appropriation - what comes to mind is the Hamsa from West Asia.
The Hamsa (Arabic: خمسة Khamsah, Hebrew: חַמְסָה, also romanized khamsa, Berber: ⵜⴰⴼⵓⵙⵜ Tafust), is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the hamsa is believed by Jews and Muslims and others to provide defense against the evil eye. It has been theorized that its origins lie in Ancient Egypt or Carthage (modern-day Tunisia) and may have been associated with the goddess Tanit.
I would say that unless you are of these particular religions or belief systems, that it would be unfair to use the Hamsa as your talisman. You often see it in stores as a positivity aesthetic, which is not what it’s purpose is at all.
My advice is that since the Evil Eye as a concept is used in many cultures, that it in itself is okay to use in your practice. As far as talismans, just use eye imagery. I myself have a leather ring with a plastic eye piece in the middle. It acts upon the same accord, to keep negativity at bay, but does not use specific imagery from other cultures.
*These are my opinions based on quick research. If someone would like to correct me otherwise with reasonable sources, please do so respectfully and I will amend the post.