El Mal de Ojo

14 05 2008

Useful tips on how to spot and get rid of the “Evil Eye”

(Okay, so you guys are going to think I’ve gone off the deep end on this one, but oh well, that’s what this page is for…)

Recently, I read this informative post on the Curanderismo mailing list that I belong to. I will post it in its entirety and then comment a bit at the end:

From E Bryant Holman, the moderator of the list:

However, the normal method for dealing with it is to perform a limpia with an egg. The person doing the limpia passes the egg all over the body of the patient, usually by making the sign of the cross with each pass (one vertical sweep followed by a horizontal sweep in the same spot, as if one were drawing a picture of a cross) while praying the credo (the Apostle’s Creed). One does this for several minutes, repeating the prayer three or four times (there is no specific number of times, normally). When one is finished, the egg has to be disposed of properly. The favorite method is by burial. The egg is buried in moist soil, where it will be sure to rot away, and it is common that the person who buries it tries to do so secretly – with no one watching or knowing where the egg is to be buried. Another method is to burn it in a fire, like throwing into a campfire, a wood burning stove, or some other source of flame that will completely consume it. In many cases, the egg is broken open and poured into a glass with water in it (don’t fill the glass too full) and then it is examined to see signs of the evil eye. Afterwards it is disposed of either my burial, or simply by flushing it down the toilet.

“Ojo”, as it is most commonly called, is normally something that occurs with a child by accident and not by design. It is believed that if someone either admires a child, or, especially, if the person is actually jealous of the parents for having such a beautiful child, that they will inadvertently give the child ojo. This is especially true if the child has beautiful, thick, long hair, and if the mother does also. In order to prevent ojo, a person who expresses admiration for a child or even who does not express it but who stares at the child for any length of time is expected to touch the child’s hair, and this supposedly breaks the spell, so to speak

Many Mexicans think that only another Catholic, or only another Mexican, can cause ojo. For instance, in a place like the supermarket, one will see that they are nervous about another Mexican looking at their baby and they are relieved when that person touches the baby’s hair, but if a white person is staring at their baby they are unconcerned.

It should be pointed out that such “limpias” did not require a curandero to do them (like my cuate Don Martin pictured above). This was commonly done in families. My grandmothers used to do this over their children when they were infected by the “mal ojo” or evil eye. And my mother says that it works. The only variation that my mother gives is that you can also give the evil eye to a child if you have a dream about him and don’t go to visit and touch the child yourself.

And as for the last paragraph, I guess you Protestant white people just don’t have our Mexican superpowers. Sorry.




10 responses

27 07 2015

This is true happened to me my aunt was jealous of how tall I was and I began to be sick them my grandmother had to do the look at the glass and I saw the eye

13 06 2014

That is no Bueno… Are you still experiencing anything

16 10 2012

This isn’t just a Mexican thing my family is Brazilian and Acorean n my grandmother does this n we believe in the evil eye n wear charms like figa fist n others to protect n as does my fiancee family there Cape Verdeans

15 04 2011
Arturo Vasquez

Maybe an animal got to it.

15 04 2011

i have a question.
i did these cleanse and buried it,
today when i looked at the spot i buried it
the hole was dug up and the egg is missing.

18 02 2011

i put a red braceleton my son but no brown nut thing.. Is that fine?.

29 11 2010

I believe this, when a baby is born u can get that red bracelet with a brown nut looking thing suppose to prevent evil eye

12 08 2010

yea i just had a little girl about a month ago and she got El Mal de Ojo, her great grandma had to come take it away. eggs saved my sanity lol.

18 05 2008

OK, so what’s the deal with my Sicilian relatives putting red ribbons on the doorposts to keep away the Evil Eye? Is the red ribbon perhaps supposed to represent Christ’s Blood–like the blood of the Paschal lamb in the Book of Exodus?

I never heard of the egg thing.

And Jonathan…we lived in Loozyana for three years, and I do vaguely remember gris-gris. But what do you do to keep away the loup garoux? (sp)

14 05 2008
Jonathan Prejean

Ah, but Cajuns and Creoles have been known to put the gris-gris on people, so only *some* white people lack this ability. And the Flemish mystic Blessed John Ruysbroeck was emphatic about the sign of the Cross being able to block the evil eye, so I’m going with the “any Catholic” theory, rather than limiting it to our brethren from the Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

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