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[Tidbits] Hamsa

Is there a soul out there, I wonder, that has not heard of the Hand
of God as it relates to jewelry? What does it mean… this popular
symbol that exists worldwide? And from whence does it stem?

Its beginnings started in ancient Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq). It was
the universal sign of protection. Its symbolism varied. It was the
hand of Venus or Aphrodite. It was the hand of Mary… . used to
protect women from the evil eye. It was and is part of the Buddha’s
gesture of teaching. In ancient Carthage it was at times considered
the vulva of a deity named Tani. I am somewhat puzzled by this
particular interpretation and if I try to interpret the source it
leads to me paths I dare not tread. In the Islamic world. it was the
most important sign of apotropaic magic. Still and again. it
continues to be shown in studies as an origin of sexual symbolism.
Ah. Color me baffled.

The Hamsa (spelled as well as Khamesh and Khamsa and Hamesh and
Chamsa and Khamsa) is also known as the Hand of Fatima (youngest
daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) representing femininity. It
is often referred to as the woman’s holy hand.

It is also a Jewish symbol. it’s source appears in the Kabbalah where
it protects from the Ayin Ha’ra (evil eye) … at times doubling for
the letter “Shin” which has three fingers instead of five but is
otherwise somewhat similar. It is also known as the Hand of Miriam,
Moses’s sister.

In the Sunni culture the Hamsa is identified with the Five Pillars of
Islam where one can worship God directly without the help of priests
or clergy. Can one not do that anyway, I wonder? Extrapolation would
be the order of the day here.

Which now brings me to a rather quaint observation. a tad
oxymoron-ish in flavor. Let us start with the world-wide premise that
the Hamsa is a universally accepted talisman of magical luck and an
aid in helping to ward off the evil eye. However. and here’s the rub
folks. it is said that if you hold up your right hand with palm out
and showing (a gesture of greeting and amity to most I think) it is
really meant as a curse used to blind the person to whom you make
this gesture. In other words. where you might see “Greetings old
friend and may there be peace upon your land” what is really being
said is “A pox upon you and may your eyeballs fall upon the earth and
scorch the ground and may you never again see the light of day.”

Which might bring some to the conclusion that one never knows who
one’s friends really are. and it might be safer to have only enemies
for when it comes to enemies. contrary to friends. you always know
where you stand. A tad cynical you say? I agree. But then again. has
an enemy ever disappointed you with his/her actions? Has a friend?

Well. enough of this tirade. Let us proceed with the Hamsa I have to
show you. Someone–clearly a person of great wealth–was
superstitious enough to have one made with diamonds. It’s an art deco
piece–made around 1925-- hanging from an attached necklace. all set
with round-cut and baguette-cut stones. In 1991 its value was
somewhere around $62,000. Today were talking over $108,000. That’s a
lot of smackeroonios to cater to superstition. As far as I’m
concerned. … the owner of the evil eye is going to take one look and
grab it and run.

So. have I piqued your curiosity? You want to take a look/see?
Affirm? Deny?

Okay. You are familiar with the rest. Yes? No? The visit to the
image. also known as the viewing experience. You know where. Home
page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits.
Click. And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see a
stunning Hamsa necklace stocked with enough diamond to either ward
off evil. or attract it. You figure it out.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark