Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beware of the Evil Eye!

The evil eye is real.

And this blue and white glass, called a mati, is the surest protection against it. The evil eye's harmful powers are brought upon you by jealousy when an envious person unwittingly sends the curse your way, resulting in some very uncomfortable ailments.

So -- if you have any aches or pains. Maybe you're just feeling blue, a little under the weather, or sluggish. It's not that heavy meal you ate, or that overenthusiastic workout.   It's the curse of the evil eye. And it's because you are so awesome that those around you cannot help but be jealous. You should have worn your mati.

No need to worry, though. There is a cure. First, we need a glass of water with three drops of olive oil. Then we will cut a small piece of your hair and put it in the water. An old Greek woman needs to whisper into the glass -- some prayers -- or an incantation, I've never been sure of which.

It was done for me when I had food poisoning back in 1983, during my first visit to Greece, after returning from a visit to a bouzouki club there on the countryside of Epirus. The bottle of portokalatha that I drank had tasted a bit odd, but I was too shy to tell anyone and so the results--a few hours later--were quite ugly. Especially without modern plumbing or running water.

My two small children also experience the evil-eye-cure when I returned a few years later. Their whiny complaints and embarrassing tantrums in a language that no one understood, (no one but me, that is) prompted several incantations over olive oil laden with their hair. That's actually the time I decided to embrace the evil eye theory, as it got me off the hook for my parenting skills.

So anyway, once the elixir is stirred and the words are whispered over the glass, you need to drink it. Yes, that's right. It's not very tasty, but you'll be cured and that's the most important part of the ritual.

Bottoms up.

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