Black Spirituality Religion : Evil Eye

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Amnat77, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    by Hakim Bey
    The Evil Eye -- mal occhio -- truly exists, & modern western culture has so deeply repressed all knowledge of it that its effects overwhelm us -- & are mistaken for something else entirely. Thus it is free to operate unchecked, convulsing society in a paroxysm of Invidia. Invidious Envy -- the active manifestation of passive resentment -- projected outward thru the gaze (i.e. thru the whole language of gestures & physiognomy, to which most moderns are deaf, or rather which they are not aware of hearing).

    It's especially when we're unconscious of such magic that it works best -- moreover, it's known that the possessor of the Eye is nearly always unconscious -- not a true black magician, but almost a victim -- yes, but a victim who escapes malignity by passing it on, as if by reflex.

    In more traditional worlds (worlds of the "symbolic order" as Benjamin puts it, as opposed to worlds of "history"), I've noticed that people remain much more attuned to the languages of gesture; where there's no TV & "nothing ever happens", people watch people, people read people. Passersby in the street pick up your mood, & according to their temperament they clash with it or harmonize with it or manipulate it. I never knew this till I lived in Asia. Here in America, people react to you most often on the basis of the idea you project -- thru clothes, position (job), spoken language. In the East one is more often surprised to find the interlocutor reacting to an inner state; perhaps one was not even aware of this state, or perhaps the effect seems like "telepathy". Most often, it is an effect of body language.

    I've heard it said that the Mediterranean & Mideast worlds evolved a complex phenomenology of the mal occhio because they are more given to envy than we Notherners. But the Evil Eye is a universal concept, missing not in any space (such as the chill & rational North) but only in time -- to be exact, in historical time, the time of cold Reason. Reason's protection against magic is to disbelieve it, to believe it out of Reason's universe of discourse. "Asia's defense against magic is more magic -- in this case, the blue stone (common from Lebanon to India, maybe even farther East) or else, in the Mediterranean (our own "Asia"), the downpointed bull-sign of the fingers, or the phallic amulet.

    But Reason & Magic are both superstitions ("left-over beliefs"). I suggest that the mal occhio "works"; but my analysis is neither rational nor irrational. Who can explain the complex web of signs, symbols, forces & influences that flow & weave between such enigmatic monads as ourselves? We can't explain how we communicate, much less what. If the "symbolic order" was replaced by "history", & if History itself is somehow now in the process of "disappearing", perhaps we may at last breathe free of the fogs of magic & the smogs of reason. Perhaps we can simply admit that "mysteries" such as the Eye -- or even "telepathy" -- somehow appear in our world, or seem to appear, which means simply that they appear to appear, & thus that they appear.

    The proper organ for this kind of knowledge would be the body.

    Now Envy is universal. But some societies attempt to keep it under control, while in others it is unleashed by being turned into a social principle. We have no defense against the Evil Eye because our entire social ethic is rooted in Envy. At least the benighted Asians have their amulets & prophylactic gestures. It was not Reason which banned these frail defenses, however. It was Christianity. "Verb. sap.," as English schoolboys used to say.

    The two post-Xtian ideologies -- Capitalism & Communism -- are both fueled by Envy. In both systems it is a survival trait -- no, it is an economic trait. "Oeconomy" -- an old word for the totality of all social arrangements. The "Eighties" was not the decade of greed (which at least has the dignity of an active force) but of envy. The minorities envied the majority, the poor the rich, the "addicted" the healthy, women men, blacks whites... yes, but the rich envied the poor (for their idleness), the healthy envied the "addicted" (for their pleasures), men envied women (as always), whites envied blacks (for their living culture, & for their suffering) & so on.

    A crude anthropology (note the "anthro") claims that "primitive mind" experiences Envy as a female principle -- (hence the phallic defense against the Evil Eye). A very limited view. "Envy" may be yin when compared with the yang of "greed", but the Evil Eye, as a prolongation of Invidia, is pointy & penetrative, like a dagger -- a death-dealing phallus -- to which one opposes the phallus of life, the penis itself. An Italian savant once told me of the most horrendous example of the mal occhio he'd ever encountered, in a withered & hairy-faced old woman. A healer, a charismatic Catholic mystic, undertook the cure of this miserable witch -- & discovered that, unknown to her, she was in fact a man (the genitals had never descended).

    A gender-analysis of the Eye will get us nowhere. The association of the Eye with women may arise from the tendency of women to be more sensitive to body language than men, & thus to hold on to certain "magics" even as they begin to vanish form those worlds which discover history (which, as everyone knows, is not, by-&-large, her story).

    http://hermetic.com/bey/evil_eye.html
     
  2. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hamsa(Hand of Fatima)

    The khamsa (Arabic: خمسة ‎, Hebrew: חמסה‎, khamsa lit. five, also romanized hamsa and chamsa) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa.[1] The khamsa is often incorporated in jewelry and wall hangings, as a superstitious defense against the evil eye.[2] It is believed to originate in ancient practices associated with the Sabaeans and Nabataeans.

    Another Arabic name for the hamsa (or khamsa) is the hand of Fatima, commemorating Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.[3][4] Today specimens demonstrate that the hand symbolism originates in the world of sexuality.[5] Hamsa hands often contain an eye symbol. Depictions of the hand, the eye, or the number five in Arabic (and Berber) tradition is related to warding off the evil eye, as exemplified in the saying khamsa fi ainek ("five [fingers] in your eye").[6] Another formula uttered against the evil eye in Arabic is khamsa wa-khamis.[7] Due to its significance in both Arabic and Berber culture, it is one of the national symbols of Algeria, and appears in its emblem.

    The khamsa is the most popular of the different amulets to ward off the evil eye in Egypt — others being the Eye, and the Hirz (a silver box containing verses of the Koran).[3] The Hand (Khamsa) has long represented blessings, power and strength and is thus seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye.[8] It's one of the most common components of jewellery in the region.[3]

    Archaeological evidence indicates that a downward pointing hamsa used as a protective amulet in the region predates its use by members of the monotheistic faiths.[9][10] It is thought to have been associated with Tanit, the supreme deity of Carthage (Phoenicia) whose hand (or in some cases vulva) was used to ward off the evil eye.[9]

    The hamsa's path into Jewish culture, and its popularity particularly among the Sephardic Jewish community, can be traced through its use in Phoenicia.[9] Jews sometimes call it the hand of Miriam, referencing the sister of the biblical Moses and Aaron.[9] Five (hamesh in Hebrew) represents the five books of the Torah for Jews. It also symbolizes the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, "Het", which represents one of God's holy names. Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Fatima
     
  3. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What Is a Hamsa?


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    A hamsa is a charm, symbol or talisman used by both people of Islamic and Jewish faiths. It is thought to ward off the evil eye and offer protection from the hand of God. The hamsa, also called the hamesh hand, looks like a hand with three fingers pointing upward and the thumb and pinky pointing outward. The palm of the hand is commonly covered with an eye.

    Earliest use of the hamsa predates Islam, though the name hamsa is Arabic. Some connect the hamsa to its use by the Phoenicians or Punic people in honor of the goddess Tanit. She was considered the patron of Carthage, and a goddess who controlled the lunar cycle. Many identify Tanit as an early possible origin for Greek goddesses such as Hera and Athena.

    Jews also use the hamsa symbol to ward off the evil eye. The symbol is connected to the five books of the Torah, and is used for many things. Wall plaques, keychains, and amulets often feature the hamsa symbol. Representations of the hamsa symbol may

    include copies of certain Hebrew prayers, as well.

    Though theoretically, wearing of charms or amulets is against Qu’ran law, one often sees plaques in Islamic countries depicting the hamsa symbol. Further, some connect the five fingers of the hand to the Five Pillars of Islam. The Hamsa may be called the Hand or Eye of Fatima, a reference to Muhammad’s daughter. Jewish people may refer to the hamsa symbol as the Hand of Miriam.

    Though evidence suggests the hamsa symbol does not arise from either Judaism or Islamic beliefs, recently, some people who advocate for peace in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs, have begun wearing the hamsa symbol. When worn in this fashion it stands for the common ground shared by Jews and Arabs and the common source from which both religions spring. It becomes not a talisman with protective qualities, but instead a gesture of hope for peace in the war-torn regions of the Middle East.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-hamsa.htm
     
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