The All-Seeing Eye

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The All-Seeing Eye -- a single human eye surrounded by radiating beams of light -- is found in many eras and cultures. It is generally a symbol of the watchful and protective power of the Supreme Being, especially when that entity is considered in a solar or heavenly context. It appears on the Great Seal of the United States, and is among the many beautiful symbols of Freemasonry, where it represents the Great Architect of the Universe.

In regions where the evil eye belief occurs, the All-Seeing Eye is one of many forms of reflective eye-charm used as apotropaic talismans against the this danger. In its specifically protective role, the All-Seeing Eye appears on at least one North American Good Luck Coin to "guard" the bearer "from evil." A similar talismanic function was assigned to the protective Wadjet Eye or "Eye of Horus" of Ancient Egypt and the Third Eye of Buddha in India. Even the Mexican ojo de venado charm, an ancient shamanic amulet made from a psychedelic legume seed is given an eye-related name: ojo de venado means "Deer Eye."

The apotropaic all-seeing eye charm shown at above right is from Turkey. Just 1 1/4" x 2" in size, it is hand-made of blue glass and fitted with a blue ribbon and brass chain, so that it can be hung in a window, on a wall, near the door, or over a baby's bed, where it will ward off the evil eye. Related symbolism assigns protective power to the eye-in-hand and other blue eye amulets of Turkey. Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, and India. Similar blue glass eye charms from Turkey include the horseshoe and eyes; the eye, horseshoe, and grapes; and one i call the "eyes-all-over" sphere.

The protective all-seeing eye wall hanger is from Egypt. About 2" x 4" in size, it is made of stamped silvery-coloured metal covered with a transparent wash of bright blue enamel paint that gives it a lovely "dimensional" effect. It is fitted with a silvery-coloured metal chain and a bunch of little "danglers" for added protection. It can be hung in a car from the rear-view mirror or on a wall at home, either near the door or over a baby's bed, where it will ward off the evil eye. The back is unpainted; if it is to be hung where it can be seen from both sides, glue two together back-to-back; they fit together perfectly. The maker of these all-seeing eyes also makes a similar stamped metal hamsa hand wall hanger.

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