The Story Behind the Greek Evil Eye

greek evil eye

You have to admit that some things in this world have not been proven or deemed explainable by science just yet, and maybe not ever. Like coincidences that are too much of an accident due to the frequency or timing of certain events. Every society begins this way to answer supernatural, seemingly unexplainable events. Some even go on to become an organized form of faith in order to keep good and bad in check; one such example is the Greek Evil Eye.

From the same civilization that gave us ancient gods and goddesses, the sciences and the arts, physical health and education, gives us the Evil Eye. The Greeks believed that Mati or the Evil Eye is related to the human soul. The Ancient philosopher, Plutarch saw the instances of the Evil Eye’s events to be that of wonder and surprise. The Grecian belief goes that the flesh is merely a container of the soul where it can leak out of the eyes. So, depending on the individual, the eyes could leak out his true intentions or sincere feelings that can be evil in nature. This leaking of bad energy or evil from the eyes can affect another person and possibly even injure them. Especially in situations of envy over someone’s good fortune or someone being praised more than what is necessary, the soul can be tainted and harm others. 

Matiasma is the traditional name given to the Evil Eye or the substance that brings bad luck to people and can be brought about by jealousy, hurt, or coveting. The Matiasma can either be directly attached to a thing or a person and wreaks havoc accordingly. Also, the Matiasma can be fed to others either intentionally or unintentionally, which made the need for protection more than necessary for the Greeks. It is also believed that people with blue eyes can cause the worst of Matiasma. Young children and babies are the most vulnerable to Matiasma but can be kept safe by putting an Evil Eye bracelet on them, and also by tying or pinning a Greek Eye Bead on their wrist or clothes. These Blue Evil Eye or Mataki charms, when worn, were said to bring safety from negative energy and bad luck.

When a person is afflicted with Matiasma, they are taken to a healer who offers a prayer to the gods while uttering his name. A few drops of olive oil is then mixed in a bowl of water and then prayed over. The healer makes the sign of the cross three times and then sprinkles the water in the air. This is done directly above the afflicted, who is seated in front of him.

In addition to ancient history, the present Greek Church recognizes the effects of the Evil Eye. It even has a prayer solely dedicated to the people who suffer from it. The Evil Eye symbol has also been added to a series of church ritual items and in relation with the Hand of Mother Mary.