The Evil Eye: Ancient Superstitions in Modern Times

Have you ever been told that you’re getting the “evil eye” from someone? This phrase actually stems from the ancient superstition that a malicious or envious glare can cast a curse on someone, bringing them bad luck and misfortune.  Essentially the belief is these evil glares hold enough power to bring harm to the person that it’s aimed at.

People who do well and achieve great success are bound to attract envy from those who surround them. Whether it’s from getting that promotion that you’ve been working towards, or simply walking down the street with a brand-new bag, everyone has experienced a time where people look at them with jealousy. There are many different cultures that share this superstition and have come up with ways of protecting against the evil eye curse, but wearing jewelry and amulets is one of the most common practices. These talismans are known as “evil eyes” themselves, even though they are worn to protect against the curse.

Traditionally, these pieces of jewelry have the power to reflect or avert evil influences. They are made with blue beads featuring concentric circles of white and blue, representing the eye. The cobalt blue was originally created from glazing Egyptian mud, representing the sky God, Tengri. In Greece it was also believed that gods and goddesses used the evil eye to punish those who had become too proud.  



Many cultures still believe in the power of the evil eye, and though they differ on some fronts, the general idea of the curse is typically the same.

Judaism: The meaning of the evil eye in Judaism follows the idea that is someone acts negatively and enviously instead of joyful when other people succeed, then that person is dangerous. This dangerous person does not truly care about the success of others and only wishes these for himself, making his stare malevolent and harmful.

Islam: In Islam, too much praise, especially ingenuine praise, is thought to bring harm from the evil eye. “Masha’Allah” is typically said after receiving praise, which means that god has willed this fortune. Attributing the complimented feature to the will of the gods, and thus protecting someone from the evil eye

Hinduism: The eye is seen as the strongest point of the body in India, making the evil eye a very powerful symbol. Due to this Hindu belief, the superstitions surrounding the evil eye are taken very seriously, and even so much as an “admirable glace” can bring harm and misfortune. Women are seen as the most frequent source of the evil eye, so they often paint black on their eyelids to prevent themselves from unknowingly being the source and bringing misfortune to others.

Turkey: In Turkey, babies and young children are viewed as the most vulnerable and susceptible individuals to the curse. Therefore, it is customary to gift an evil eye talisman to children.

Brazil: In Brazil, the evil eye actually translates to “olho gordo” or “fat eye”. Genuine and sincere compliments are not known to bring harm, but if the compliment is insincere it could put the receiver at risk of the curse.


These ancient superstitions are still alive today, and the evil eye remains a powerful symbol of protection from misfortune. All around the world, jewelry is worn for guard your safety and prevent these malicious glares from negatively impacting your life. Whether you’re a superstitious person, or just want to embrace the story behind this powerful symbol, try incorporating evil eye jewelry into your everyday look! You never know who could be looking on in envy, so you might as well have protection in a simple, and stylish way.


Check out our simple and elegant Judith Ripka Evil Eye necklace on, crafted with silver, sapphires, and topaz!