Hamsa (meaning five), is a hand-shaped amulet or talisman, believed to protect from “evil eye” (universal negative energy) while providing health, happiness, healing, and miracles to whoever wears it. Thought to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) under the Phoenicians between 1500-330 BCE, many consider it a universal sign of protection since various religions incorporate it.
Looking at the major religions
Glossy hand drawn illustration of Hamsa Hand with ethnic ornamental pattern, Creative Boho style element.
In Christianity, you can find it as the ‘Hand of Mary’ in reference to Jesus’s mother and is meant to help protect women, boost fertility and lead to healthy pregnancies. Islam refers to it as Hand of Fatima in reference to Muhammad’s daughter. It represents divine protection and ‘hamsa’ in Arabic means five which stands for the five pillars of Islam. Judaism refers to it as “Hamesh” ( in Hebrew it means five) and it represents Hand of Miriam who was Moses’s sister. Judaism indicates that the hand represents the five senses used to praise God while also representing “Het” which is the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and represents one of God’s holy names. Buddhism incorporates this amulet as well and considers it the Buddha’s Protective Mudra since it’s Buddha’s gesture of protection and teachings. The symbol interplays the chakras, senses, and mudras thus being part of Hinduism practices as well.
Each of the hamsa’s fingers represents a chakra and it’s element:
Thumb: solar plexus (fire).
Index finger: heart chakra (air).
Middle finger: throat chakra (ethereal).
Ring finger: root chakra (earth)
Pinky: sacral chakra (water)
The Hamsa is the right hand and is usually depicted in one of two main forms:
1. Stylized with symmetrical thumb and pinky;
2. Asymmetrical or clearly defined thumb and pinky.
The direction of the hand also varies since it may be worn or displayed up or down. When it’s displayed downward, it’s referred to as “varada mudra” and its fingers are close together. This direction helps open and welcome all the universe’s abundance through manifestations, goodness, fertility and answered prayers. When facing upward, the hamsa is referred to as “abhaya mudra” and its fingers are usually spread apart. Acting as a shield, this hamsa protects against evil, negativity, self-doubt and inner conflict. The center of the palm also varies in design with everything from a fish to a lotus flower, but most commonly an eye is used. The back of the amulet usually has a prayer inscribed to help with manifestations and meditations.
Though practitioners of different faiths use this symbol, it is not appropriate to generalize its use and assume all its congregation believes in it. Many people do not subscribe to the use of amulets or even acknowledge any symbols but rely on faith alone based on their interpretation of their holy books/scriptures, and rightfully so.
It is fair though, to appreciate the meaning behind it for many. The beauty of the hamsa is that it is full of positive energy and intent regardless and, if you wish, apply its use. If you gravitate towards it, hamsa products are easily accessible in many places and in many forms remembering that it always gives good without requiring anything in return. That’s the best part- hands down.
#Hamsa #amulets #religion #beliefs #chakras #hand #holistiklifestyle #holistic #Spirituality