Rebecca Elia's Blog

All about Feminine Health, Healing, and Greece

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Evil Eye

Each time I return to Greece I am acutely aware of the latest fashions--and not just because Greek shoes are small packages of amazing art, but because on my very first trip I immediately recognized that my American clothes made me stand out like a sore thumb. If you want to blend into any foreign culture, one of the first steps is to dress like the natives. Fortunately, it wasn't too long before my first Greek boyfriend was dressing me in his t-shirts.

Additionally, like the clothes, accessories change each year. Sunglasses are the first that you notice. The Greek sun is so extremely strong that the first time you get tricked into thinking those clouds are most certainly going to produce rain and you leave this essential accessory behind, you not only pay dearly with blinding eye pain, but future cataracts and racial wrinkles as well.

This year, I noticed that every one of my Greek girlfriends was wearing a evil eye pendant. Any of you who have traveled to Greece, or eastward, have undoubtedly noticed blue eyes everywhere. The eye is all over Greece, and where it's not, there's blue. Did you ever wonder about those brightly blue painted windows and doors? The blue provides protection. I forgot this fact when I purchased my first--I thought, rather cool--handmade silver eye pendant...until my Greek friend asked me if perhaps my pendant was from the Middle East. I, affronted, replied, "What do you mean: It was handmade by a jeweler from Thessaloniki!" He asked,"Where's the blue?" and I realized that in my haste to make the necklace match the rest of my apparel I had changed the colored cord from blue to brown. So I went out the next night and bought a real blue evil eye pendant and hastily hung it on the cord, too. (I wonder--are two eyes better than one? I hope that isn't bad luck...)

When I ran into my girlfriend in Athens (while shopping in Zara, of course), noticed her eye pendant, and commented that everyone was wearing them this year, she said, "Well, we certainly need it!"

So, I thought again about the evil eye, about the protective quality assigned to certain shades of blue. I had always teased my Dutch friend that I didn't need to wear an eye when I was with her, because her eyes are one of those extraordinary blues. It was a great form of entertainment--observing the Greeks' reaction to her--something between shock and reverence. Anyway, she didn't make the trip this year--so I was on my own. But there is something soothing about an entire country that recognizes the power of thought and intention, that recognizes the harm that we do to one another by our mere thoughts, that acknowledges the role of evil and ill will in our world--or the consequences of bad intent coupled with ignorance.

This is a culture that recognizes our energetic connection and our power to shift our focus from jealousy, anger, and cruelty to forgiveness, thanks and blessings. It is refreshing to not have to explain this connection; the Greeks already acknowledge its existence and its impact on their everyday lives. I often wonder how different our world would be if we, as individuals, acknowledged this tremendous power and responsibility we carry. We have an incredible capability to affect others for ill or for good.

And, yes, I have placed a blue eye just about everywhere...just in case.


  1. If the pendants are anything like the photo above, they are beautiful. The Universe will take care of things the way she intends, but you can never have too much protection!

  2. Andi,
    Agreed! I couldn't have said it better.