The Hamsa or Hand of Fatima is an ancient talisman for protection against malocchio, commonly known as the Evil Eye. Since the dawn of time, humans have used symbols of protection against malocchio. Traditionally, it is believed that the curse of the Evil Eye may befall a person who is the target of willfully directed negativity in the form of envy, jealousy, or hatred. Some cultures adopted the eye as an amulet for protection while others favored the Hamsa (hand). Over time the two symbols were married and thus the Hand of Fatima was born.
This symbol is commonly seen hung at the threshold of homes where it is believed to guard the household and all who dwell there from the influence of negativity. The talisman is purported to offer special protection against fires making it a prominent fixture in many businesses.
Worn on the person as an amulet, the Hand of Fatima offers not only protection, but blessing. The wearer will be granted abundance, luck, vitality and will find the favor of benevolent forces. Many belly dancers have adopted the Hand of Fatima as a luck charm. It is considered most fortuitous to wear the talisman as a bracelet. This is especially potent when one finds themselves at a crossroads in life. The Hand of Fatima will shelter the bearer from obstacles, strife and adversity, helping the seeker transform fate into destiny.
The Hamsa is recognized as a sacred symbol in many cultures and religions including Judaism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism and Islamic belief. The Hamsa is a symbol of the “one hand that writes all” and has associations with Divinity. The Hand of Fatima can be seen both upright or upside down, depending on the culture. Additionally, the symbols featured within the hand are of significance and vary in different parts of the world. Despite variations, it is an archetypal motif that speaks across borders of language, cultural and religious belief.
By Shannon Elsom