Evil Eye and Envy

Evil Eye

According to Fr. George R.A. Aquaro’s book “Death by Envy”, nearly 75% of the world’s population has some kind of belief in the Evil Eye. Aquaro also states that even though some might argue against this figure, everyone will agree that the belief in the Evil Eye is both wide-spread and ancient.


Evil Eye is a belief that a person’s eye can cause harm when he or she looks at an object/person and the cause of the damage is usually because of the envy that is felt. The impact of the harm can vary from minor illness to destruction even including death. Most of the damage is caused in involuntary just like the feeling of envy itself. We feel jealous of certain people or their belongings through a feeling that is beyond our control. The Evil Eye belief is that this uncontrollable feeling of jealousy is the cause of the impact of evil eye. Different cultures have varying opinions on the type of person who can possess the evil eye. These can be physical features such as having blue eyes or simply being an outsider due to other reasons.


The Webster dictionary describes envy as “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”. The “advantage” that the description refers to can be anything from a simple possession such as a nice house to a feeling the other person has such as love or admiration. The feeling of envy usually is accompanied with resentment and being discontent.


The word ‘envy’ itself is indeed linked to the Evil Eye. The Latin word invidia, from which envy derives, consists of the verb videre, “to see” and the prefix in, meaning “against” as well as negation. Even in German, the casting of the evil eye is usually called verneiden, which is an emphatic dialect from the verb neiden which means  “to envy”.


The believers in the power of the Evil Eye also acknowledge that the bearer of the Evil Eye might not even be aware of the power they have and its consequences. As we all try to protect ourselves from the ill effects of the evil eye, it is important to see the relation of the evil eye and the feelings of envy others can experience as we all do want and work after belongings or prizes that can cause feelings of envy and jealousy by others. In fact, some of us go after these prizes in search of the impact it will have on others more than the rewards that we will get on a personal level. As we try to earn the admiration of others, it is crucial to know and understand that with admiration, there are always feelings of envy as they are a very important part of human nature, just like the Evil Eye and its power.

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