Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“Eye of the Prophet”: Poles bring home from holidays and have no idea what they are bringing home

Stalls in tourist towns are filled with souvenirs that, when we return home, will remind us of the carefree moments of our holidays. However, among the seemingly innocent gadgets there are items that are believed to have evil powers – voodoo masks, sculptures depicting demons or amulets related to magic. These artifacts, although often beautifully made and tempting with their exotic appearance, can bring anxiety and fear.

, which supposedly bring misfortune, disease or even tragedy. Particular caution is recommended in the case of talismans, the true meaning and power of which may be incomprehensible to unaware tourists. One of them is the popular “prophet's eye”. It is worth knowing its symbolism and related superstitions.

The “Eye of the Prophet” is an eye-shaped amulet very popular in the Middle East, the Balkans and some parts of Central Asia. It is supposed to protect against the “evil eye”, but according to beliefs it can also bring bad luck or misfortune.

The amulet usually takes the form of concentric circles of various colors, most often blue, white, black and light yellow. The color blue is not accidental – in many cultures it is considered a symbol of protection. , where amulets in the shape of the eye of Horus were used, which was supposed to protect against evil forces and ensure health. It is also possible that this symbol is even older and comes from Mesopotamia, where drawings from thousands of years ago depicting an eye were discovered.

. In Turkey, considered the home of the “eye of the prophet”, the talisman is called “nazar boncuğu”, where “nazar” means evil eyesight and “boncuğu” means bead. They can be found in Turkish homes, cars, jewelry and even clothes. Turkish companies often use the eye motif in their advertising materials and logos, as one Turkish airline did. Tourists entering Turkey will receive an eyeball as a gift, usually in the form of a small safety pin to attach to their clothing.

According to Turkish beliefs, the “eye of the prophet” is effective when we give it to someone else. However, if we buy them for ourselves, it may bring us misfortune.

Other superstitions related to the “eye of the prophet” are quoted by Agnieszka Jasińska from Julia Wollner's Mediterranean Magazine and Podcast. First of all, the person giving us the talisman should have good intentions. Accepting an eye as a gift from an unfriendly person may bring bad luck.

— the “prophet's eye” must be blue, only this color has protective properties. If we already have a prophet's eye, but there has been no positive change in our lives, we should get a larger eye. A broken bead should be immediately discarded and replaced with a new one. The destruction of the eye is proof that the bad energy that was sent towards us has been effectively neutralized.

According to the author, all these rules should be treated with due caution, after all, it is just superstition, or maybe not?