Greeks have passed through many civilisations during their
history and have, therefore, adopted foreign cultural elements
that have now mixed in with and survived within their own
culture. Among them are superstitions such as the Evil
Eye, which has its roots in ancient Rome and Greece and
shares elements of Paganism and Christianity. The Greek
Christian faith accepts the Evil Eye, known as 'Vaskania',
but strictly forbids the removal of the spell by anyone other
than a priest. That hasn't stopped a number of practitioners,
however, openly practicing the removal of the evil eye from
The Evil Eye refers to a type of negative energy transferred
from one person to another. The science of parasychology
describes the phenomenon as a type of hypnotism,
exercising some kind of mind power which is held by certain
individuals. Causes vary from staring at someone for a long
time, showing admiration or envy, gossiping on a person's
looks, which can have an effect whether it is negative or
positive. Compliments are usually believed to be the cause
of the Evil Eye.
Common symptoms of the Evil Eye are strong headache,
nausea, fatigue or simply a bad mood. According
to believers in this superstition, spells can only be broken
by people, usually women, who know the right prayers and have
been trained to deal with these cases. Practitioners who release
victims from the spells pass the prayers on to the next generation.
How to escape the evil eye:
Ways of releasing the evil eye from its victims vary according
to the location, but one of the most commonly used methods
is the following: The practitioner will take a glass of water,
into which they will pour some drops of olive oil.
If the oil stays on top then you are fine. If, however, the
oil reaches the bottom of the glass or dissolves then the
Evil Eye is on you, and the spell must be broken. By whispering
prayers, making cross signs and crossing your forehead with
the water and oil in the glass, the spell is slowly removed
while you yawn. The practitioner should stand quiet yawning
for a while, and as the spell is broken the ritual concludes.
It might seem like an odd ritual but unless you experience
it you can not really understand how intense it is.
Blue eyes are considered a protection against the evil eye,
and for that reason, to avoid catching the Evil Eye a lot
of people use a blue eye stone which can be seen hung
up in houses, cars, or even used as a necklace or bracelet.
Garlic is also used to ward off the Evil Eye. Another way
to avoid the spell when paying a compliment is to start by
spitting three times on the person to receive the compliment.