Skip to Content

What Does the Evil Eye Mean? Discover All You Need To Know

When the force of malevolent gazes becomes too strong to overcome, there’s only one thing you can resort to—an evil eye charm.

But what does the evil eye mean?

Well, it’s an evil force that can transmit through the hostile glances of human beings.

And an evil eye amulet, charm or other jewelry piece is the only thing that can ward off that kind of bad luck or misfortune.

Seamless pattern with evil eyes
Image by Arina Ulyasheva via Shutterstock

Seamless pattern with evil eyes

I know what you are thinking. Is it a trick or some magic? No.

Many cultures believe it to be a powerful tool that protects you from other people’s vicious glares and envy.

The symbol and its practice date back thousands of years. Its primary use is protection against sinister forces and bad luck, and can be worn in jewelry or amulets. And the fashion world has also embraced it in the last decade or so.

But what is it, exactly? How does it work? What’s the evil eye meaning? And how old is the history behind this concept?

Blue evil eye

Blue evil eye

What Does the Evil Eye Mean?

The evil eye (or “mati” in Greek) is a curse meant to cause harm to another person by using a look or stare.

The secret about the evil eye is that anyone can use it. It’s not exclusive to witches, wizards or people in touch with their animal spirit guides. In fact, you’ve probably used it yourself without even knowing!

Evil eye jewelry, charms and amulets are used to evade the effect of evil glances. It sounds like neutralizing poison with poison. Wearing this symbol will protect you from the ill intentions of others and your own negative thoughts.

Egyptian horus eye
Image by Ivan Soto Cobos Via Shutterstock

Egyptian Horus eye

History of the Evil Eye

The evil eye’s origin dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, around 3,000 years ago.

The concept is similar to the Eye of Horus from Egyptian culture. However, the Egyptian symbol is used for protection and good health, whereas the Greek notion of the evil eye is related to malevolent gazes and protection against such wicked intentions.

Despite having pagan connections, the idea of the evil eye made its way into the religious scriptures of Christians and Muslims. Its references are also abundant in Hinduism, which warns against admirable looks and undue praises.

Belief in the evil eye has spread through all continents, including the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central America. According to Islamic and Jewish cultures, excessive praise opens the door for the malicious evil eye effect.

Wrathful deity
Image by Ai Geba via Shutterstock

Wrathful deity

However, the Hindus believe that jealousy gives birth to this wicked phenomenon. The Brazilians consider phony compliments its root, while the Europeans pin down malicious looks behind all bad luck.

The evil eye’s power comes from the belief that if someone looks at you with envy or resentment—even just by accident—they can cause harm to you or those you love. It happens when these negative feelings are directed toward you without your knowledge.

An “evil eye” appears in your aura when this happens, which leaves you vulnerable to illness, financial difficulties and other challenges.

Other Symbols Used for Curse Protection

The evil eye is not the only symbol that people use to thwart the effects of malicious looks. The two other widely-used tokens are the tiger’s eye and hamsa hand.

Small bone cuff with tiger eye
Image by Elsa Peretti via Tiffany

Small bone cuff with tiger eye

Tiger’s Eye

With a lustrous texture and golden to reddish-brown color, the tiger’s eye is used as a protective amulet in some parts of the world. It’s a chatoyant gemstone cherished even by the Roman soldiers for its perceived ability to counteract curses.

However, you should not wear this stone if you belong to specific zodiac signs. It will do more harm than good to people whose signs are enemies of Mars and the Sun.

Hamsa necklace in silver and turquoise
Image by Henrykajewellery via Etsy

Hamsa necklace in silver and turquoise

Hamsa Hand

Prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa, the Hamsa hand is another symbol that is believed to have the power to protect from evil. The emblem depicts an eye within a hand, but the design could slightly vary from one culture to another.

Apart from its cultural significance and status as a fashion statement, the hand also carries some religious values. Muslims believe that it’s a symbol of Fatima’s hand, the daughter of Prophet Mohammed. Jewish people believe it to be Miriam’s hand, (the sister of Aaron and Moses), while the Christians refer to it as the hand of Mother Mary.

Despite its connection to different allegories, the hand is a universal protective symbol. It protects people from evil forces and negative energy, and improves health and fortune.

Evil eyes rings
Image by Suzanne Kalan

Evil eyes rings

How to Annul the Evil Eyes Bad Aura

Evil spirits are cast when someone looks at you with envy. It can affect children, adults, and even animals and plants. It can affect your body, mind and spirit, and cause anything from a bad headache to poverty and depression.

Some popular ways to protect yourself from the curse are:

1. Pray

Praying is a great way to protect yourself from the evil eye. When praying, you tell God (or whoever you pray to) that you want their protection and seek help to safeguard yourself against the evil eye.

Muslims apply various ways to ward off this spirit. One method is saying religious phrases like “God willing” or “Insha’Allah” to counter someone’s excessive praise. Ashkenazi Jews chant a Yiddish expression, “Keyn aynhoreh!” (meaning: no evil eye).

2. Offer Gifts

The Hindus believe that even admiring looks from someone can bring misfortune. So, they often offer the looker something to thwart the wicked effects. For example, if someone praises or looks admiringly at your fruit-bearing trees or dairy cattle, you should offer them fruits or a bowl of milk to foil the threat of the evil eye.

Evil eye bracelet
Image by Iirliinnaa via Pixabay

Evil eye bracelet

3. Wear an Evil Eye Symbol

Everyone knows the evil eye as a symbol that protects against negative energy. Wearing an amulet, charm or jewelry item, or carrying it in your pocket, can help you protect yourself from the harmful aura transmitted through vile glances.

Remember to keep your thoughts positive and focus on the good in life. Never let yourself swell with pride. By following these simple rules, you will be well on your way to avoiding the negative energy associated with the evil eye.

The Meaning of Different Evil Eye Colors

A deep blue, ideally the color of cobalt or sapphire, is the standard evil eye amulet color. However, there are a handful of other colors with different symbolic meanings. Let’s see what those colors are and what they mean.

Glass evil drop earrings
Image via Macys

Glass evil drop earrings

1. Dark Blue

People believe that wearing or carrying a dark blue evil eye will protect them from bad luck and misfortune. Since it also calms your mind and makes you feel relaxed, wearing it will make you more communicative and open to conversations.

2. Light Blue

When an evil eye amulet is light blue, you can stay worry-free about your overall physical and mental health protection. It helps you see things from a different perspective, opening up new avenues for success. This color also brings seclusion and peace to your life, which is essential for any individual to thrive.

Evil eye ruby and diamond red
Image via Macys

Evil eye ruby and diamond red

3. Red

If you want to achieve your goals, no other evil eye symbol would be more valuable than a red one. It boosts your energy and enthusiasm, so you can work to achieve your ambition. The amulet also protects you from unreasonable anxieties and makes you courageous to explore new ventures.

4. Pink

A pink evil eye symbolizes protection, love and contentment. Because of its calming effect, it’s often used in artwork and posters to represent positive energy and protection. Since it also protects friendships, it’s a famous color for friendship bands and bracelets.

5. Orange

Apart from protecting you from evil glances, wearing an orange evil eye ornament can treat your physical and mental illness to make you happier and jollier. People in creative professions will get a fresh dose of innovation and inspiration by wearing this color.

Green evil eye pendant
Image via Macys

Green evil eye pendant

6. Dark Green

A dark green evil eye amulet is a harbinger of happiness and stability in your life. It gives you the boost to pursue new ideas and ventures.

7. Light Green

To fill your life with gratification and merriment, you should wear light green evil eye jewelry. It will ward off negative influences and bring you good health.

8. White

White represents purity, and paves the way for starting afresh in your life. A white evil eye can clear away all your clutter and obstacles when you have a bad day. So, wearing the white evil eye can be very beneficial whether you’re using it for protection or just looking for a bit of luck.

Black evil eye ring
Image via Macys

Black evil eye ring

9. Brown Or Black

When people wear a brown evil eye symbol, they connect themselves with nature, bringing Zen and balance to their lives. The amulet can protect from the elements and attract good luck.

10. Gray

If you feel depressed and miserable, you may need to wear a gray evil eye amulet. It helps you with accepting new outlooks with an open mind.

11. Purple

If your life is not on track, bring order and balance to it by wearing a purple evil eye ornament. It helps with removing obstacles on your way. When you wear a purple evil eye, you send out a message that you are ready to take on whatever comes your way.

12. Yellow Or Gold

A yellow or gold evil eye effectively protects you from all sorts of illnesses and infections. It is believed that by wearing this color around your neck or on jewelry, you will be less likely to become sick. It also helps with reducing stress levels and improving overall mental clarity.

Blue evil eye on nail
Image Moniketesrosa

Blue evil eye on nail

The Evil Eyes Rise Into the Fashion World: Evil Eye Jewelry

The evil eye has been a popular motif in jewelry for centuries, and it’s now making a comeback in the fashion world and among celebrities. You might have seen A-listers like Ashley Olsen, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, etc.

I’m sure you’ve already spotted Kim Kardashian and Meghan Markle wearing evil eye jewelry on many occasions. And who can forget Gigi Hadid’s Eyelove shoes designed for Stuart Weitzman?

Kim kardashian wearing evil eye bracelet

Kim Kardashian wearing evil eye bracelet

Greek jewelry designer Ileana Makri gets the credit for introducing evil eye jewelry to the New York fashion world in late 1999. Those talismans in the Barneys were full of diamonds, but now you can find them in various designs and styles.

But why is this symbol so appealing? Well, people love it because of the comforting sense that someone is looking out for them. And when people are feeling vulnerable or insecure, they often turn to superstitions for comfort.

Celebrities could be emotionally vulnerable because of their demanding jobs and constant exposure to the public eye. So, symbols that promise protection might be more attractive to them.

Diamond clip evil eye earrings
Image by Ileanamakri via Saks

Diamond clip evil eye earrings

The Use of the Evil Eye in Jewelry Items

The use of the eye symbol in jewelry items is widespread and quite popular. Both celebrities and everyday people wear these ornaments believing that they will give them protection against evil forces and the power to overcome negative energy.

In fact, wearing evil eye jewelry has become a fashion statement. Even people who don’t believe in the myth wear these ornaments for decorative and aesthetic purposes.

Various jewelry shops have incorporated the evil eye symbol into bracelets, necklaces and rings. There is even evil eye jewelry for babies since it’s believed that children are the most vulnerable against this curse.

When used in ornaments, blue and white evil eyes are the most popular, but the other colors are not rare.

Hamsa hand with evil eye
Image by Ri Ya via Pixabay

Hamsa hand with evil eye

Is the Evil Eye Just a Myth?

Like many other superstitious beliefs prevalent in the world, the evil eye concept is a myth. There is no scientific evidence supporting that envious looks or excessive praise can damage a person’s physical and mental health.

Of course these activities can have some psychological effects, but that does not prove the existence of any such curse.

People in ancient times used to blame the evil eye for the misfortune of successful people and illnesses that have no apparent reason. The fascinating thing about this myth is that its meanings and applications have not changed much across cultures, countries and religions.

It’s also notable that many people worldwide believe in this myth. Folklorist John Roberts estimated that around 40% of the world’s culture has a version of this myth. It’s pretty incredible for lore or symbols to survive so long in so many cultures.

Evil eyes decoration
Image by Vik Walker via Wikimedia

Evil eyes decoration

FAQs About the Evil Eye

Q. Is It Bad to Wear an Evil Eye?

A. No, not at all. For believers in the myth, it will save you from the harmful effects of envious glares and ill will. Different colors of evil eye amulets have the power to improve your life in various ways.

Q. What Leg Does an Evil Eye Anklet Go On?

A. Wearing an evil eye anklet on the left leg will supposedly give you the best protection. Left is the emotional side of your body, so wearing it on that side to ward off an abstract curse makes perfect sense.

Evil eye anklet

Evil eye anklet

Q. Do Evil Eyes Have to Be Blue?

A. Sapphire or cobalt blue was the most prevalent evil eye color in ancient Greece. However, there are all kinds of colors these days, and each one has different symbolic meanings.

Q. How Does an Evil Eye Protect You?

A. An evil eye ornament protects you from the malicious looks of others and the evilness stemming out of your own swollen pride. It creates a positive aura that negates the bad vibes and malicious effects of ill intentions.

Q. What Does an Orange Evil Eye Mean?

A. An orange evil eye ornament offers protection and boosts the happy quotient in your life. It’s good for expressing your artistic side better and inspiring you to be more serious with commitments.

Q. What Is a Red Ojo Bracelet?

A. “Mal de Ojo” is the Spanish term for the evil eye. A red Ojo bracelet means it features one or multiple red evil eye symbols. Wearing such a bracelet will counteract negative emotions like fear and give you a high dose of enthusiasm.