I was reading the story The Magic Mirror (also known as Snow White) in the book Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know and I was reminded of what a powerful force emotions can be, particularly jealousy. And why not? Jealousy is actually a combination of the two most powerful base emotions humans have; love and fear. These two things can drive us to do amazing things, can drive us insane and can bring us back to sanity. These emotions even effect the health of our bodies, loving hormones lower blood pressure and can bring about a longer life, while hormones released under the influence of fear can raise cholesterol and bring about heart disease. You combine these and you have the fear of losing something you love (or value) and that is a recipe for insanity.

We've all felt jealousy. That little obsession in the back of our mind "what is he doing, what is she saying, why does he deserve that and I don't?" that fear the builds on itself "what if he is better, what if she is more deserving, what if she's prettier? Everyone will love her and no one will love me!" and it drives you to do crazy things -things you know are crazy "If I keep calling like this he's going think I'm a crazy stalker… I'll just call one more time. Driving past his house is nuts.. but it's not too far out of the way… It's not fair to be cruel to her, it's not her fault she's better at this than me… that bitch."

The color of jealousy is green. The color of poison. It is poison to the one afflicted and to the one the jealousy is directed toward.

As a student, I learned that our powerful emotions can shape the energy around us and that energy can then be sent out into the world to bring about some change. If you do this consciously, it's called a spell. If you do it unconsciously with harmful results, it is the evil eye.

Almost every culture has some form of evil eye belief and customs specifically designed to counteract the damaging effects of someone else's jealousy. The Greek tradition of spitting on a bride as she walks down the isle (As seen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is one of these - spitting being a demonstration of scorn, quite the opposite of jealousy, to counteract any jealousy the beauty or joy of the couple might invoke. This is mirrored in parts of Africa where it is traditional to spit on the ground after complimenting anyone.

In Muslim tradition it is traditional to invoke God saying "It is the will of God" or "the blessing of God" whenever someone gives a compliment, in order to turn away jealousy and invoke God's protection against the evil eye. Jewish tradition places a taboo on bragging about anything you have of value, particularly your children, for fear the evil eye might fall upon them. In Latin American tradition, admirers of children or valuable objects are invited to touch them to dispel any envy they might feel.

In almost all traditions the evil eye is an involuntary curse brought about by the emotion of jealousy although some traditions hold that there are ways to bring it about voluntarily.

There are a number of ways to protect against and cure the evil eye, some of which I have already related. Children in particular may be given amulets to protect against the evil eye, particularly in the shape of a hand, eye or horseshoe or any combination thereof. The eye in the hand, the hamsa, is a popular and beautiful symbol of Middle Eastern origin (shown above). But the only sure protection is to avoid having the eye of a jealous neighbor fall upon you! Humility, kindness and generosity toward others is the recipe for defense.

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