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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Evil Eye

The belief that certain persons can, by their gaze, injure others is widespread and has been throughout history. It is mentioned in the Bible (Deut. xxviii, 54) and in ancient Rome laws were enacted to protect crops from the malevolent gaze. In the Middle East many cultures have retained a belief in the evil eye and some Arabs protect their horses and camels with amulets. In India, some shopkeepers will hang a coconut painted with a face to attract any evil eye, thus averting possible ill effect on the shop itself. In early times women were usually thought to possess the evil eye, but the emphasis seems to have shifted, in the present time, to men. This superstition has survived in many parts of western Europe, but is rare in America among people of European descent; a similar belief has been noticed among some American Indians.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY seems to have considered the evil eye to be a reality in a certain sense. “For what is the power of the ‘evil eye’? Simply a great plastic power of thought, so great as to produce a current impregnated with the potentiality of every kind of misfortune and accident, which inoculates, or attaches itself to any person who comes within it” (CW X:225).

P.S.H.

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