The belief in the Evil Eye is an ancient superstition that you will meet in
many cultures: the countries around the Mediterranean sea, Arabia, Turkey and
all the way to India.
Whether the Evil Eye exists or not is a matter of belief, and arguing about it
will lead nowhere. Many Greeks are just as convinced that it exists as you are
The Evil Eye is a kind of negative power we all more or less carry within
ourselves. If we stare too long on a person, animal or even an object we may
inflict damage through this power. It is often totally unconsciously, but the
staring in itself often comes from admiration or envy, which are perfect
channels for the Evil Eye
The victim will suddenly get a headache, a dizzy spell, faint, fall ill or even
die, depending on the Evil Eye's strength and the victims' susceptibility.
To get rid of the spell, you will have to find a person that can break it.
Usually it is a woman, since this ability is traditionally passed on from mother
The first thing she will have to do is to check if you really have been struck
by the Evil Eye
or if you just have a hangover or haven't had enough sleep. To do this, she will
put a few drops of olive oil in a cup of holy water.
If the oil stays on the surface you are OK. Take an aspirin and go home.
If the oil dissolves then you have been EVIL EYED (yes, it is a verb in Greek).
Now the spell must be broken. The person who will break it will read prayers,
make crosses on your forehead and hands with the oil and water, do the
cross-sign several times and sometimes stand quiet for a short while. Then the
spell is broken and you feel fine.
The strength of the mind? Will power? Magic? Well, that's not up to me to say. I
can say, though, that I have witnessed this on several occasions and according
to my Greek friends it works.
Just in case, you can always take some measures to ward off the Evil Eye. Even
though the Orthodox church says that the only things that can really protect you
are crucifixes and icons from monasteries and churches (as opposed to souvenir
shops) and first and foremost true faith,
many Greeks hang little blue eyes around their necks and wrists. You can get
these in almost any jewelry or souvenir shop.
Blue stones are also good, since the colour blue is considered a protective
colour. You can also hang garlic on your car, boat or house.
If you want to pay someone a compliment you can ward off the Evil Eye you might
be sending by spitting three times at them. It won't give you a popularity
price, but many believe it works.