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Evil Eye Xematiasma

Xematiasma: 60% of Greeks believe prayers against Evil Eye cure headaches

Got a headache? Why bother with a painkiller? Get a ‘healer’ and get rid of the Evil Eye right away. If the headaches persist you can consult a doctor, but according to 60 percent of Greeks they will first get a ‘xematiasma’ and then seek other solutions to cure themselves.

Six out of ten Greeks believe that spells against Evil Eye (xematiasma) cure headaches. This was the result by a nationwide survey conducted by the Greek Headache Society.

The survey conducted among 10,000 people has shown that 60% believe the solution to deal with a headache is a spell against evil eye. 40% of Greeks believe in Evil Eye anyway. As there are no more details about the survey other than these two figures, I feel obliged to explain  what xematiasma is and what procedures are used to help the victim relieved.

Headaches? Dizziness? Feeling of sudden physical and mental collapse? Greeks first check if they have cast the Evil Eye and then consult a doctor.

The belief is deep-rotted in the Greek society since the Antiquity.

There are several procedures how to cast away the Evil Eye. They all require the physical presence of the healer and the Evil Eye victim. However, in the last 20 years, “xematiasma” is also compatible over the phone.

All procedures of “xematisma” – cast away Evil Eye – require a secret prayer. This prayer is passed over from an older relative of the opposite sex. The prayers are revealed only under specific circumstances. There is a myth that according to the customs those who reveal the prayers indiscriminately lose their ability to cast off the evil eye. But this is just a myth.

The “healer” would normally sit in front of the person affected by the Evil Eye – or by a simple headache! – and silently recites a secret prayer.

The recitation is repeated three times and every time the prayer concludes, the “healer” makes the sign of cross in front of the victim’s face.

If one is indeed afflicted with the evil eye, the “healer”  who takes over the curse starts yawning. The strongest the yawning, the more malicious was the Evil Eye curse.

Depending on the strength of the curse, tears are coming from the the “healer’s” eyes and  the healer can even  the feeling that is about to collapse.

At the end of the procedure, the “healer” performs the sign of the cross three times, and emits spitting-like sounds in the air three times.

In times of internet, many websites have posted the secret prayers and I must say I am not sure that these prayers work if read on internet and not passed over from mouth to ear.

One of the secret prayers, the shortest one is translated in English:

“Holy Virgin, Our Lady, if [victim’s name] is suffering of the evil eye, release him or her of it.”

Another procedure healers use to check if the evil eye was cast is that of olive oil.

xematiasma with oil

Normally the oil floats in water, as it is less dense than water.

The test of the oil is performed by placing one drop of olive oil in a small Greek coffee cup with filled iwht water of water every time the healer has  concluded one prayer out of three in total.

Three prayers mean three drops of oil. If the oil drops remain separated and float in the water there was no evil eye involved but most likely physical reasons. The victim can cure the headache with a simple painkiller.

However, if the oil drops merge and sink into the water, there was an Evil Eye cast and the headache must have been gone by the end of the procedure.

In both case, the healer touches the forehead of the victim with the finger and applies some water with oil, or just the water-oil-mix.

There is also a test with gloves pierced by a pin and a burning candle. This procedure  normally reveals if someone foul-mouths the victim.

Xematiasma 1958

In this short episode, a toddler’s mother believes that her child has cast the Evil Eye. The healer refuses to perform the xematiasma procedure on the street, they move to the healer’s house. Actor Georgia Vassiliadou says the prayers, making the sign of cross and spits in the air. This is not an Evil Eye, this is a nail” she says to show how strong the curse on the child was.

Another procedure that simply casts the Evil Eye away is with salt. One throws a handful of salt into a glass with water, stirs well while saying the prayer. In the end says the magic phrase “Let the evil eye dissolve as salt dissolves in the water.”  The salty water is thrown in the toilet and the glass has to be well washed afterwards.

The latest test I hear of it exists is with coal.

But the gloves and the coal are complicated, while the salty water does not confirm the Evil Eye. It is more likely a preventive procedure …just in case.

The quick solution is with just three prayers;  the strongest one is three prayers and olive oil.

The Evil Eye is not necessarily given by someone wishing you ill out of pure maliciousness, envy, due to some dispute in heritage issues or your tree disturbing the neighbor’s year.

Evil Eye can also stem from admiration.

And if you are not humble you can also cast the Evil Eye on yourself.

Fact is that also the Greek Orthodox Church has accepted the belief  in the evil eye and there is a specific prayer against the vaskania, that is the Evil Eye

If one has success on something, Greeks normally spit in the air saying three times “Ftou! Ftou! Ftou!” which is the sound of spitting in Greek. The whole sentence for the Evil Eye prevention is then “Ftou! Ftou! Ftou! That you won’t get the Evil Eye.”

There is a Ftou! Ftou! Ftou! scene on my Big Greek Fat Wedding but I can’t find it on youtube.

Note:The pictures posted here are not indicative for a cup with oil and water after a xematiasma. KTG needed to pour one teaspoon of oil into the water just for the purpose of photography.

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