If Looks Could Kill…..

The evil eye.  Just the mention of it sends shivers to a great majority of people.  Although the old adage says “If looks could kill…”, many people, Pagans and non-Pagans, know that looks can kill–in a way.  If a look is directed at a person with enough malice behind it and with enough frequency, the universe often responds.  How can one protect themselves from these baneful glances?  Evil Eye Magic!

The evil eye motif has become rather fashionable of late as celebrities have embraced this ancient custom by making it chic to wear evil eye jewelry and nail designs.  The design works not only for those afflicted, but for those not yet afflicted as well (and let’s face it, everyone at one point or another has felt the evil eye radiating out from another person’s eye sockets).

How can you tell if you’re under the influence of the evil eye?  According to the Stregas, take a cup of water and some olive oil.  Put the cup on your head (you might need another person to help with this) and drop a little of the olive oil into the water.  If the oil stays in droplets, then you’re clear.  If the oil spreads out in a rainbow hued sheen, then you’re afflicted.  What to do?  Smudging yourself with sage may work, but clearing yourself with a selenite wand or an egg works better.  To do this, take the selenite or egg, and starting with your head, move the object slightly above your skin, in the aura area, letting all the negativity that was aimed at you flow out of you and into the egg/selenite.  Then work your way down, not forgetting to do both front and back.  If after one cleansing you don’t feel clean, then do it a couple more times.  The selenite trick is fairly well known in the main stream Pagan world.  The egg cleansing comes from the Hoodoo and brujeria traditions.

How can you protect yourself?  Use an evil eye!  There are so many variations on this symbol, that the ways you can create one for you is absolutely endless.  Almost every culture in the world has their own version of the evil eye, and volumes could be written on the subject.  Just look on an American one dollar bill.  The “all seeing eye” of Masonic fame?  An evil eye!  The version of the evil eye that most Westerners are familiar with is of Middle Eastern/North African ancestry.  This version, along with the Hamsa hand/Hand of Fatima, spread east some into Iraq and Iran, and very far into the West with the Moorish Invasion.  The Moors took this tradition to Spain where it was brought to the New World and added to the indigenous symbols against the evil eye.  Ever wonder about the God’s eye/Sun’s eye motifs or the crescent symbol often seen in South Western jewelry?  Evil Eyes!

So, now that you have the facts, there are many ways that you can integrate evil eyes into your life.  In today’s world, eyes are always on you, so it pays to have evil eyes everywhere.  If you are crafty and like to stitch, here is an evil eye cross stitch pattern:

http://crossstitch.about.com/od/freecrossstitchpattern1/ig/Evil-Eye-Cross-Stitch-Pattern/

If you like to crochet, here are instructions put together by our very own Ms. Finch:

Terms:  Ch- Chain Stitch; Ch sp- Chain Space; Dc- Double Crochet; Sc- Single Crochet; Sl St- Slip Stitch

This pattern uses the magic circle and tapestry techniques.

You can learn about these here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGsqonuccc

Colors used:  A-Black, B- Multi blue, C- Bone, D Leaf Green

 Pattern:

Using ‘A’, Magic circle, Row 1: Ch3( counts as dc here and throughout.) , 11 dc in magic circle, join with sl st in top of ch3. (12 dc)

Row 2:  Ch3,1dc,ch1 in 1st dc, 2dc,ch1 in each dc around. (12 2dc) Join w/ sl st in top of ch3. Fasten off.

Row 3:  Join B in any ch1 sp. Ch3 2dc (3dc made) 3dc in ea ch1 sp around. Join with sl st in top of ch3. (12 ch1 sp)

Row 4:  Ch3, dc in each dc and ch1 sp around (48 dc) join w/ sl st in top of ch 3.

Row 5:  Ch2, sc in each dc around. (48 dc) join w/ sl st in top of ch2. Fasten off.

Row 6:  Join C in any sc. Ch3, 3dc, ch2 in same sc as join * sk nxt 3 sc- 4dc,ch2 in nxt sc* repeat from * to* around. Join w/ sl st in top of ch 3 sp. (12 ch2sp)

Rows 7 & 8 are done in tapestry stitch.

Row 7:  Sl st to next ch2sp- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2 sp- drop ‘C’. (do not fasten off carry strand along work until needed.) Join ‘D’- ch1- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 1 made) in nxt ch2sp- ch2-4dc,ch2 in nxt 2 ch2sp- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 2 made)- ch1- drop ‘D’- pick up ‘C’- Ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp- drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- ch1-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 3 made)- 4dc,ch2 in nxt 2 ch2sp-dc4,ch2,dc4 (corner 4 made)-ch2- join w/ sl st in top of ch3. (4 4dc with ‘C’, 8 4dc with ‘D’.)

Row 8:  Sl st to next ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-ch1-drop ‘D’ pick up ‘C’-ch1- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2 sp- Drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 1 made) in nxt ch2sp- ch2-4dc,ch2 in nxt 3 ch2sp- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 2 made)- ch2- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-drop ‘D’- pick up ‘C’- Ch1-4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-Drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- Ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 3 made)- 4dc,ch2 in nxt 3 ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 4 made)-ch2- join w/ sl st in top of ch3. ( 4dc with ‘C’, 4dc with ‘D’.)

Row 9:  ch3-*dc in each dc and ch sp to 1st corner ch2sp-dc4,ch2dc4 in corner* repeat from * to * around. Join with sl st in top of ch3 sp. Fasten off.

If you’re not into stichin’ and bitchin’, you can still make cool evil eye items for your home or to wear as jewelry.   The easiest way to do this is with flat blue marbles or blue glass beads and acrylic craft paint.  The marble/bead will be your base.  Then paint a circle of white on your base, making sure not to cover the entire surface.  When the paint dries, paint a smaller circle of blue on the white.  When that dries, paint a small circle of black in the center.  This is the pupil of the evil eye.

 Using blue comes from the Middle Eastern tradition, but blue can be substituted with red or orange, which comes from Hoodoo.  This website has tons of wonderful evil eye items that can be used for craft ideas:  http://www.evileyestore.com/

Nails

I think polished nails are absolutely sexy, and if done correctly, can be quite magical.  There are tons and tons of evil eye design tutorials out there on the Web, but these are my favorite:

http://www.lifestylemirror.com/beauty/nails/ten-best-evil-eye-nail-art-designs/

http://holymanicures.blogspot.com/2012/05/evil-eye-nails.html

http://www.10blankcanvases.com/2012/09/israel-evil-eye-nails.html

http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/how-to-evil-eye-nails

What better way to ward off the evil eye than to be able to flip off the person looking at you with malevolence with a middle finger painted with an evil eye?  To further enhance that magic, henna can be applied to your hands (and other parts of your body), so that you create a living Hamsa hand/ hand of Fatima.

Henna can be purchased loose and then mixed or as a paste.  In a future post I’ll cover all the different magical uses of Henna and my super special Henna recipe.  But for now, if you want to explore Henna on your own, check out http://www.mehandi.com/ and http://www.tapdancinglizard.com/.  These are the most historically accurate sites on henna out there.  Get out your e-reader and have fun browsing around the free books and patterns.  There are evil eye patterns on those sites from all over the historic henna-using world.  I like and respect Catherine Cartwright-Jones’ scholarship enough that I have one of her researched henna patterns tattooed on my body (just a little something to honor a past life spent in an Ottoman harem).

Don’t want any outward symbols but still want evil eye protection?  There’s are options for you, just not at this time of year.  During the Halloween season in the U.S. stores abound with wonderful evil eye options for those who either want to ingest their evil eye or have it disappear into thin air.  Any kind of eye ball candy makes the perfect ingestible evil eye. Before you eat, you can say, “Evil eye inside of me, watch, protect, and discourage for me!”  There’s even evil eye beer!  Bubbles are also a great, invisible evil eye option. Bubbles in eye ball containers can be charmed and blown around the house, person, or car for protection.  In addition to yourself and your home and car, don’t forget to protect your computer.  If you type “evil eye screen savers” into your favorite search engine, a plethora of images will come up that you can use to protect your computer, or you can just steal the image below.

There are tons of options out there for mal de ojo protection.  Don’t get caught unprotected!

These folks will give you the evil eye!

untitled by Conroy Maddox

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/442022209256634/

Quadrivium Supplies:  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/  

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Blessed Be Thy Feet, Supplement B: Pedicure for the Sole

Our dead cells not only contain the physical memories of the time they were a part of our bodies via the DNA of which they are made, but they also contain a psychic memory.  Both positive and negative emotions, memories, and energy are stored in dead cells, particularly dead skin and nail cells.  The dead skin on the soles of our feet probably store the most psychic build up.  To combat this, treat your feet to a magical pedicure.  If possible, do this with a partner so that you can fully relax (and then return the favor).  However, this is also a good solitary ritual.
Set up a relaxing ritual space in an area where you will be able to soak your feet.  Call in your deities and elementals as you would for any other ritual.  Breathe deeply, and at each step of the ritual make sure to think about your intent.
If you do not already have pedicure items, visit your local pharmacy or dollar store.  Ritual tools, in this case pedicure items, should not be expensive.   If your budget is super limited, only get nail clippers, a nail file, and clear fingernail polish.  If you have a little bit more money, invest in a foot file, pumice stone, or a Pediegg.
Step 1–Removing negativity
Start by clipping your toe nails.  As you clip, say one thing for each nail that you are letting go of.  After you’re done, collect the pairings and save them to bury after the ritual.  There are many traditions about what to do with nail pairings, but giving them back to the Earth keeps them out of the wrong hands and is easy.  Plus, the earth is a good neutralizing element for the negativity you are removing from your life.  Then file your toe nails.  As you do this, focus on how you can file away any rough edges in yourself that may be getting snagged on the fabric of your life.  Finally, take your Pediegg (or you can use your nail file in a pinch), and file away the dead skin on your soles in counterclockwise circles.  In most traditions, widdershins or counterclockwise is the direction for banishing.  Think about removing all the negativity that your feet may have accumulated as the dead cells are filed away.  If you wish, you can chant. 
Step 2–Healing
In a large basin or other foot soaking vessel, prepare a foot soak.  The easiest foot soak is warm water with Epsom salts.  However, any salt will do.  Don’t spend money on this step.  Just use what you have in your kitchen.  Salt and mint is a good revitalizing foot soak.  Salt and rosemary or tea tree oil is an excellent anti fungal soak.  Salt and oatmeal is good for soothing itchy skin.   Be creative and experiment. Don’t be afraid to use aromatherapy.  As you soak your feet, meditate on healing any ailments you are experiencing physically as well as emotionally/spiritually.  Envision the warmth from the soak moving up your body to heal and strengthen you.  Finish this step by rubbing lotion on your feet.  Any lotion that you want to use will work (if you don’t have lotion, you can use cooking oil, butter, or Crisco).  Rub the lotion on the top and bottom of your feet in a clockwise or deosil motion since you are attracting healing into your life.
Step 3–Attracting Magic
Now comes the fun part.  Using color magic, choose the color of nail polish that will help you attract the good things you want/need in your life.  If you need money, choose green.  If you are a student, choose yellow.  If you are not really into nail polish or you can only afford to buy one shade, go with clear.  Just like a white candle or a quartz crystal, clear nail polish can be used to represent any color.  As you paint each toe, envision yourself walking towards what you want to attract to your life.  If you are looking for money, see yourself walking into work and later walking into a bank to deposit the money.  
To end the ritual, give thanks to your Deities and close up your circle.  Once your nails dry, don’t forget to bury your nail pairings.