Friday, January 20, 2012

[January 20th, Culture of Bulgaria] How to Remove Hexes and the Evil Eye the Bulgarian Way

In the recent months, I’ve taken to Bulgarian folklore and old wives’ tales. One of the topics I adore deals with charms and ways to battle the ‘whammy’ otherwise known as the ‘evil eye’. If you don’t know, Bulgarians are extremely superstitious and living in a household, where all your dreams had to be looked into the dream dictionary, I’m a great deal superstitious myself and have never doubted the techniques my grandmother used, when my sister and I were still small and received a lot of attention.

The whammy or ‘evil eye’ is a hex, which is cast on newborns or small children, when family or friends cuddle, croon or devote too much attention. This whammy manifests as headaches, sudden crankiness or drowsiness. The child will grow uncomfortable and may even develop a mild fever. Sometimes adults are susceptible to whammies as well, especially, if they have been away from their loved ones. Naturally, I think that the whammy is the result of a child having to deal with too many people at a time, which can be exhausting even to an adult. Yet, I can’t deny that washing my face will get rid of the whammy. Perhaps it’s placebo, but even with placebo, it’s quite potent.

Water in one capacity or another always is incorporated in the rituals for removing whammies and their effects. My granny’s personal favorite is to fill a glass with cold tap water and bring to the front door’s handle. She would scoop a bit of water and pour it over the handle, making sure that the dribbles fall into the cup. This ‘washing’ of the handle would be done three times total so that the energy of the outsiders would be washed out of the handle and therefore our home. Then she would bring the glass to my forehead and wash my face three times.
The Turkish Eye or the Evil Eye Beads, whatever you prefer.
 Of course there are other ways to do this. Some people prefer to simple wash their child’s face at the sink, while others bring holy water from the church. Third, whisper words of power out of earshot to imbue the water with cleansing properties. There are literally hundred ways to do a proper hex removal, though we also have excellent preemptive techniques, which ensure no whammies will hit you in the first place. I remember vividly that my sister used to have a blue bead ties to her hand. Then, when she grew up a bit, she carried a bracelet with a Turkish eye for protection. Though I have not seen in it practice, I also know that a red string tied around your wrist will protect you from the evil eye.

And this has been a very short guide on how to remove and protect yourself from whammies?