It’s Tuesday………………

………….and what should happen on a Tuesday? I should be daydreaming about Turkey, even though it is still 2 months away!

While trawling through thousands of wonderful mouth watering images of Turkey I came across the Nazar Boncuğu – an evil eye amulet in bead form. The literal translation for nazar is “look or glance, generally understood to be in an evil intentioned way” and boncuk is “bead”, thus Evil Eye Bead. And, as usual I got totally sidetracked.

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This ‘evil eye’ superstition, centuries old, is rooted in envy, the ability of someone who is envious or covetous to curse you by either saying something or just putting the ‘evil eye’ upon you

“But what is behind this Turkish superstition? Once upon a time … there was a rock by the sea that even with the force of a hundred men and a lot of dynamite couldn’t be moved or cracked. There was also a man in this town by the sea, who was known to carry the evil eye (Nazar). After much effort and endeavor, the town people brought the man to the rock, and the man, upon looking at the rock said, “My God ! What a big rock !” The instant he said it, there was a rip, roar and crack, and instantly the immense and impossible rock was found to be cracked in two.”  

Istanbul Guide

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The Evil Eye amulet is usually made of glass and can take the form of  a disk or ball, consisting of concentric blue and white circles (usually, from inside to outside, dark blue, light blue, white, dark blue) representing an evil eye is a common apotropaic, meaning that they turn away or turn back harm, talismans in the Middle East.

It is a common sight in Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Armenia, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Azerbaijan,where the nazar is often hung in homes, offices, cars, children’s clothing, or incorporated in jewellery and ornaments and found on the prows of Mediterranean boats.

 In some forms of the folklore, the staring eyes are supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the ” sorcerer”.

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Sometimes it is combined with the hamsa or hamas, a sort of double amulet.

The Hand (Khamsa), particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye

This in turn lead me on to thinking about all the things I do to ward off bad luck.

I never say anything which could be turned around with out “touching wood”, not once but twice.

I always make sure I never sneeze just once.

One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl,

Four for a boy,

Five for silver,

Six for gold,

Seven for a secret,

Never to be told

This little rhyme which I had always thought, got it from my Grandmother, was to do with sneezing. I have since found out was to do with seeing Ravens, Magpies or Crows, According to an old superstition, the number of magpies, ravens or crows one sees determines if one will have bad luck or not.

I am sure we all have our superstitions rooted in who knows what or why, I hope you are not busy touching heads and toes, throwing salt over you shoulder or a thousand other rituals to keep you safe from the nasty little gremlins that beset us now and again.

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