The Evil Eye in Ancient Egypt: Supernatural Fears and Protective Measures

The belief in the evil eye, a malevolent look believed to cause harm or bad luck, is a concept that has permeated many cultures throughout history. In ancient Egypt, this belief was deeply rooted, affecting daily life, spiritual practices, and the various protective measures they developed against it.

The Concept of the Evil Eye

The evil eye in ancient Egypt was believed to be a form of harmful magic that could be cast by a malevolent glance, causing misfortune, illness, or even death. Anyone was thought capable of giving the evil eye, either intentionally or unintentionally, but it was often associated with feelings of envy or jealousy.

Amulets and Protection against the Evil Eye

To protect themselves from the evil eye, ancient Egyptians relied heavily on amulets, small charms often inscribed with protective symbols or gods. The Eye of Horus, also known as the “wedjat,” was a popular amulet, believed to have healing and protective powers against the evil eye. Amulets were commonly worn as jewelry or placed in homes and tombs to provide protection.

Role of Deities in Warding Off the Evil Eye

Certain deities were invoked for protection against the evil eye. Bes, the dwarf god, was considered a protector of households and particularly of children. Images of Bes were often placed in homes to ward off the evil eye. Similarly, Taweret, the hippopotamus goddess, was seen as a protective deity for women, particularly during childbirth.

Rituals and Magic

In addition to physical amulets, rituals and magic spells were used to combat the evil eye. Magic, both protective and destructive, was a critical part of ancient Egyptian religion. Spells and incantations, often written on papyrus or on the walls of tombs and temples, were used to invoke divine protection against the evil eye and other threats.


The belief in the evil eye in ancient Egypt was not only a superstition but a deeply ingrained aspect of daily life and religious practice. It influenced their use of amulets, invocation of certain deities, and performance of protective rituals. Understanding this belief gives us a glimpse into the fears and protective measures of the ancient Egyptians, adding another layer to our knowledge of this fascinating civilization. The evil eye concept, still prevalent in many cultures today, reminds us of the enduring human need to seek protection from unseen forces.

Wikipedia: Ancient Egypt
History Channel: Ancient Egypt
Live Science: Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt for Kids
British Museum: Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt