The Greek word “mati”, short for “matiasma” is defined as the evil eye.
The “mati” (evil eye) is known to be a source of negative energy or a strong emotional effect that is directed at another person by an indignant look, or a gaze.
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The person who passes on the evil eye displays, jealousy, admiration, or hostility towards the other person, however, it is not intentional. The word “vaskania” was also used in ancient Greece to signify envy, jealousy, or admiration. Symptoms of receiving the evil eye are, headaches weakness, dizziness, or the inability to think clearly, and in some circumstances, a twist of fate may occur.
In the 1 st century AD, Greek philosopher Plutarch attempted to give a scientific explanation to this phenomenon. He believed that blue eyed people from various regions of the world were better at transmitting this evil spell.
This phenomenon spread as Alexander the Great brought the Greek culture to the East.
The belief in the power of the evil eye is not only known in Greek culture but is spread across various cultures and religions around the world, such as the Middle East, West Asia, East and West Africa, and Latin America just to mention a few.
The “mati” dates back to Greek classical antiquity in the 6 th century BC when it first emerged on drinking vessels. Eyes were painted on boats and ships sailing the Aegean seas and Greek Islands. This symbolized protection against harmful powers, and also guided ships from hazards.
HOW CAN ONE DRIVE AWAY THE EVIL EYE?
Greek and other cultures believing in the evil eye wear jewelry such as blue eye-shaped pendants bracelets or rings as they are symbolic to chasing away the mysterious spell. In Greek religion, a ritual can also be performed by reciting a special prayer by a person (healer) who has the gift of knowing the special prayer. The name of the person affected by the mati is mentioned in the prayer and is recited three times. Both the affected person and the healer will yawn and tears will appear during the “xematiasma” process.
“Xematiasma” is a Greek word meaning to remove the evil eye.
Another method is using water and oil. The healer will add some water to a cup with three drops of olive oil one at a time for each time the prayer is recited. The healer will be certain that the affected person is suffering from the evil eye if the oil dissolves into the water. Scientifically there is no explanation to how this is possible as it is known that water and oil do not mix but in the case of a person being affected by this spell it is possible. I can attest to this as my mom was a faithful believer, and I became a believer when I saw her conducting this ritual with the oil and water as it was blending. Since then, I researched to find the answer to this scientific mystery, but I had no luck in doing so. If anyone has the answer, please let me know as well.
CAN THE PRAYER BE PASSED ON?
Yes, it can be passed on from an older person to a younger person of the opposite gender. This can be done only on the Good Friday of Easter. The prayer can be revealed only three times in the life of the healer, otherwise, it will lose its power.
Most Greek Families add a blue-eyed bead hanging from the baby’s crib to protect them from harmful bad eyes. How do you know a baby has been affected by this mysterious spell?
The baby will overwhelmingly cry or be irritated without any obvious explanation. It is said, that wearing an evil eye bracelet on the left wrist will protect overall emotions, such as fear, and love, and this sounds reasonable as the heart is on the left side of the chest.
Anything that is related to career, projects, or money, the bracelet is worn on the right wrist.
Older generations of Greek culture often used spitting as a form of chasing away negative energy. For example, if a baby was admired, they would spit three times over the baby’s shoulder and say the phrase, “ftou, ftou, ftou”, meaning the sound of a spit, therefore it wasn’t the actual act of spitting or it is believed to of not been the actual spit.
*Anna Maria Treasures can be found in Ontario at
Serano bakery, Greek table , Greek Farma Locations.
OTHER INTERESTING DISCOVERIES
The word “Nazar” (evil eye) derives from the Arabic language and in definition means a “look” “Boncuk” which means “pearl”, in other words, “pearl of the look”. The “Nazar Boncuk” is an ancient talisman seen throughout the Middle East, but is most widespread in Turkey. Nazar trees filled with amulets, and wind chimes just to mention a few are popular throughout some regions.
In the world of fashion, the evil eye has become very popular. It is evident and it seems more celebrities are intrigued by the symbol of the evil eye.
In 2017, American fashion model Gigi Hadid announced that she would be launching an “eye love” shoe line. It is a big trend among celebrities, too many to mention In conclusion, whether a person is a believer or not; it is safe to say, the blue-eyed jewelry is mystical but yet stylish.
About the Author:
Bessie’s hard work and dedication through her work with children have inspired her in so many ways. Besides her fulltime career as a teacher, Bessie volunteers in her Community with various associations supporting youth programs. Life’s experiences have led her to combine her passion for writing alongside with one of her favourite charities.
Thank Natalie for taking the time to read my post, I’m glad you loved it!!
I have always been fascinated about the evil eye and the cultures surrounding it.
What a great read and very informative, learned a lot of things that I didn’t even know myself and I am Greek , well done!!!!
Thank you Kosta for taking the time to read my post, I am happy you found it to be a great read!!
So informative, love it!