Evil eye, an Ancient superstition of Greece

evil eye

The concept of the “Evil Eye,” known as “mati” in Greek, is a widely held belief in Greece, as well as in many cultures around the world. It is thought to be a kind of supernatural force that casts or reflects a malevolent gaze, which can bring misfortune, illness, or even death to those it is directed towards. This belief is deeply embedded in Greek culture, with roots stretching back to ancient times.
Historical Background

The belief in the Evil Eye is ancient and can be traced back to classical antiquity. It was mentioned in Greek and Roman texts, suggesting that the ancients believed in the power of envy and malevolent glares to bring about harm to individuals or their possessions. The concept was not unique to Greece, as it was prevalent in many cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Cultural Significance

In Greek culture, the Evil Eye is often associated with jealousy and envy. It is believed that praising or receiving admiration without knocking on wood or offering a blessing can inadvertently cast the Evil Eye. This has led to various protective measures and rituals designed to ward off its effects.

Protective Measures

Wearing Amulets: The most common form of protection against the Evil Eye in Greece is the wearing of a blue and white charm that resembles an eye. These amulets are known as “matiasma” or “mati” and can be found on jewelry, keychains, or hung in homes and cars. They are believed to reflect the evil gaze back to the sender.

Use of Garlic: Garlic is another traditional protective measure against the Evil Eye, used for its strong scent and believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits.

Sign of the Cross: Making the sign of the cross or spitting lightly three times (symbolically) are common practices among Greek Orthodox Christians to protect against the Evil Eye.


Xematiasma: This is a form of healing or protection from the Evil Eye, typically performed by an older woman who knows the prayers or incantations specific to this ritual. The person believed to be afflicted may undergo a series of prayers and gestures, often involving olive oil and water, to diagnose and cure the effects of the Evil Eye.

Protective Prayers: Specific prayers are recited for protection from the Evil Eye, often incorporating religious symbols and artifacts.

Modern Perspective

While the belief in the Evil Eye is rooted in superstition, it continues to hold cultural significance in Greece, transcending religious and societal changes. It serves as a reminder of the power of envy and the importance of humility in social interactions. Whether or not one believes in the supernatural aspect of the Evil Eye, the practices and amulets associated with it remain popular for their cultural and aesthetic value.

The belief in the Evil Eye is a fascinating example of how ancient superstitions can persist in modern culture, adapting to changing times while retaining their core significance. It underscores the human desire for protection against unseen forces and the complexity of cultural practices that evolve over millennia.

The belief in the Evil Eye is an ancient superstition that you will meet in many cultures: the countries around the Mediterranean sea, Greece, 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 it isn’t!!!

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 to daughter.

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 some Greek 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.

Those who believe in that superstition the evil eye it can get sick or even kill a person. It is located far from the Orthodox Christian Church. Some suffer when they learn something good about another person. The same is true with the devil. The devil and the envious envy the good of another. They have this point in common. And the devil “takes advantage” of it. He passes through it, (s.s. envy) his malice towards people…

Evil eye: Envy

The envy, i.e. of the envious person, is the channel, from where the devil’s poison is channeled into human souls. “Envy is a demonic action, which is done through envious people” “repel every diabolical energy, every satanic attack”.

And this means: Vaskania is not aan ordinary headache, or an ordinary dizziness, etc., but this is something unusual!! Something terrible, unbearable, ..satanic!! Someone had (eyewitnesses say) a nice horse. Someone (envious) saw it and said: “What a beautiful horse.” And the horse couldn’t stand the “eye”. Popped, died instantly!

Answers to critical questions

But who has an “evel eye”?
He who has malice in him has an evil “eye”! “drive away all the pharmacies of corrupt and envious people” (wish in Basque). That’s why, in the past, the illiterate ghouls, when they saw a beautiful child, or something else beautiful, spat on him and said: “Don’t let him get drunk.” They let out (spit) any hidden envy.

Who catches the “evil eye”?

Since tribulation is a blow of Satan to man, it is logical that those who are not equipped with weapons, who fight and crush the devil, are “struck” by tribulation (“fasting” prayer confession, Th. Communion).

The saints are not caught by the “eye”.
The priests (because of their priesthood). And every Christian who lives the sacramental life of the Church.

The “disentanglement”.

Again, since vaskania is a blow of Satan, a special prayer is required, which knocks, exorcises the devil. For this case, our Church has established the wish “Eis Vascanian”, which is read by a priest. Which means, that when you “catch” the eye, you should go to the priest, and only the priest.

Evil eye: The sinful untangling

You caught by the evil eye. So, instead of going to the priest, you go to your neighbor, your maid of honor, etc., and they cast spells on you! But that’s how you sin, and those who look down on you. You, because you despised the minister of Christ (the priest), and knocked on foreign doors, because they took the place of the priest. Learn, then, that the layman, because he lacks priesthood, has no right to “crucify” you.

The father or mother, because they are sacred persons, and because they have authority over their children, can “crucify” their children and only their children. (The same applies to the grandfather or grandmother in relation to their grandchildren ). But again, be careful! They should say prayers of our Church and only of our Church, (eg “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit or the “absolution” of a saint, etc.).