Jul 16, 2012

Zazor or Evil Eye

The evil eye is a belief that Bosniaks share with  Turks and other people of the Balkans, and the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

Modern man, though having a higher level of consciousness and living in a society much more developed than his ancestors, is still afraid of “evil eyes” (or urok, zazor, urokljivo oko) more than all other diseases combined. The best evidenced for this is a belief in the nation that more people have died as a result of “evil eyes” than all diseases combined. 

Belief in the power of “evil eyes”  was found even in ancient Persia (Iran), the culture for which it is assumed, based on the discovered historical sites, that is older than 7.ooo years, where she was embodied in the form of the female demon named Agas. 

Now days, there is no nation in the world where there is more or less expressed belief in the power of the human negative view, whether we talk about Hindu, Muslim, Christian or other religion. With the arrival of Turks and Islam in Bosnia, belief in the “evil eye” suddenly escalated, therefore in line with this whole series of rituals and beliefs about the protection and eliminating the negative effects of the “evil eyes” were developed. 

“Evil eyes”, is a reflection of the negative energies of one's soul (psyche) triggered by uncontrolled emotions such as jealousy or a great admiration. It is believed that every man has this power even those blind, because the spell is created with the help of views and words. It is believed that the green eyes are evil eyes, especially if that person is born under the sign of Scorpio. This category includes persons who cut their nails with scissors, etc. 

While the evil eyes are considered primarily children's disease, since they are most affected, also adults are not immune to them especially the young, beautiful and successful ones. Spells are subject to pregnant women, patients, animals and etc. At least resistant to the spell are children especially in the first 40 days of their lives, therefore caring mother stick to the various prophylactic rituals of placing amulets, garlic, or leaf of rue (Rute graveoles) under the pillow or a piece of wood tisovina (Taxus baccata),or around his hands she ties the red thread on which is tied 40 knots and etc. 

For the purpose of prevention in Bosnia we usually can hear the word universal “Mashallah” which is believed to be the strongest protection from all forms of evil eyes. 

When a child cries for no apparent reason and is restless, mother immediately suspects on the effect of the evil eye, especially if this happens after departure of guests from the house. In order to neutralize the effect of the evil eye mother pours some water into hers mouth but does not swallow the water and stands behind the door and looks into the angle between the door and the wall. While standing in that position she recites the prayer “Ikhlas” and then water from her mouth spills into her right hand and throw it over her left shoulder and with her wet right hand wipes the child's face.
Once the power of evil eye has been neutralized, she ties around his hand red or silky thread for his "health”. 

Your courteous Bosniak or Iranian will not take a compliment without "Mashallah;" the Italians will not receive one without "Grazio a Dio!“ while the Irishman almost always says „Glory be to God“, and the English peasant „Lord be wi' us“, the idea in every instance being to avert the danger of fascination by these acknowledgments of a higher power.