Cursed by the Evil Eye

evil eye

Around the world there are many cultures where people believe in the curse of the evil eye. Some live their lives in fear of having it placed upon them. Others are convinced that they have been cursed by the evil eye. Everything from bad luck, to sickness, from poverty to infamy, is blamed upon someone giving them the 'stare'.

What is the Evil Eye?

It's simply a look or glance by someone suffering from envy. In some people they are said to have the power of giving the evil eye even when they have no ill intent. For example, Pope Pius IX was accused of such power after his investiture in 1869. Driving through Rome, he glanced at an infant being held by his nurse at a window overlooking the parade. A few minutes later the nurse dropped the child to his death. From then on the Pope was bad news—everything and everyone he blessed or touched would suffer misfortune. 

evil eye beads

Malevolent Evil Eye

Known as ‘overlooking’, this is a form of witchcraft deliberately invoked to cause suffering to the recipient. In the western world, it was particularly feared all across Europe. If a farmer lost his flock of sheep to disease, suspicion fell on anyone who was a little ‘different’. The local wise woman, the new family in town, or anyone who might look odd, especially those with different color eyes. It was common to hide children from strangers, as just a glance might be their undoing. If the villagers thought that the evil eye had been cast upon them, immediate action was called for in order to ward off the curse.

Accidental Evil Eye

Like Pope Pius IX above, some people just couldn’t help it. Everything they had contact with seemed to be affected. There is a Polish folk tale of a man who cut out his own eyes rather than continue harming his people. The pain of bearing the ‘gift’ of the stare was too much to deal with. Those accused of such wickedness were often treated as criminals or witches and executed.

Protection Amulet

Confusingly, the amulets worn for protection against the curse are also called the evil eye or nazar. They are usually blue due to the fact that they originated in Egypt where the cobalt and copper in the clay turned blue after firing in a kiln.

Amulets are typically blue glass beads worn as charms on necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry. They are often set into a background of yellow or gold. 

Evil eye nazar Flyair
CC BY-SA 3.0

Fear of the Evil Eye

Today, fear of the evil eye is just as strong. The Turkish airline, FlyAir carried the nazar on its planes. Unfortunately it didn’t work for them as the company went out of business after five years in 2007. Again, in Turkey, it is customary to bring a gift of the nazar to a newborn baby.

More recently many celebrities have been spotted wearing the amulet including Kim Kardashian. And Gigi Hadid even launched her own line of shoes, called Eyelove and EyeLoveMore, with each pair sporting nazars to protect the wearer from deliberate, or accidental 'cursage'. Or as Gigi says, bad energy.

It’s important to know that the evil eye can only affect you if you believe it can. In many cultures belief is so strong that people live in fear of it. Inevitably, what they believe becomes the truth for them, so any misfortune from minor to major is attributed to a curse of the evil eye. Each culture has its own curse removal rituals, but preventing it in the first place is given priority. They are wary of anyone who gives praise or admiration because it might mean they are secretly envious and therefore likely to give the evil eye.

How to Remove the Evil Eye

Should you really believe you have had the evil eye cast upon you, then the main thing to do is to avoid charlatans who promise to remove it for you — for a price, of course. These people prey on the gullible and vulnerable. If you are a member of a church or other religious organization then go see your pastor and ask them to advise you.

If you are not religious, you can carry out a protection ritual. This ritual has the advantage of changing your belief. Simply by changing your belief you can negate and neutralize the effect of the curse because you simply won’t be in thrall to its power. Power that you have given it.

Removal and Protection Ritual

You’ll need a tealight candle and a small piece of paper and pen. Do this outside or in a safe place, such as placing your candle on the kitchen drainer. You’re going to be burning the paper, so do make sure that you aren’t going to set the house on fire.

  • Step 1. If you suspect a particular person of cursing you with the evil eye, then write their name on one side of the paper. If you don’t know just leave it blank.
  • Step 2. On the other side of the paper, write, “I am protected. I am free. I compel this curse to let me be.”
  • Step 3. Sit for a minute. Imagine the curse as a small black cloud, lifting away and disappearing into the blue sky above the clouds. Imagine yourself to be curse-free, going about your life making your own choices and decisions. 
  • Step 4. Light the candle, speaking the words you wrote out loud.
  • Step 5. Carefully hold the paper to the candle flame and allow it to burn. As it does so, visualize the evil eye curse floating upward in the smoke, becoming that small black cloud and dispersing harmlessly in the sky above.

And it’s done. Feel the relief filling your body and know that no-one can curse you again.


The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft by Rosemary Ellen Guilley.
BBC: The Strange Power of the Evil Eye
Fr. Ted Talks: The Evil Eye

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