Hamsa - What does it mean?

What is the Hamsa? It is the hand that you see in jewelry, charms, wall art, clothing amulets & mezuzot. Sometimes it has an eye in the center, a fish, or a Star of David, sometimes the hand is facing upwards, sometimes downwards. For centuries the Hamsa has been a symbol of happiness, health, good luck and fortune as well as a protective power from evil.

The word “Hamsa” comes from the root word for the number five in Hebrew and means five referring to the human hand’s five fingers. The number five is considered to possess special magic powers that bring good luck, and five fingers represent an open human hand in a natural motion to protect yourself from an enemy. That’s why a Hamsa amulet serves as a way of averting and getting protection from the evil eye or providing a so called “protective hand”, which symbolizes a “stop sign” to the evil.

The alternative Jewish name for Hamsa is the Hand of Miriam, in reference to Miriam, the sister of Moses. The Muslim community interprets it as the hand of Fatima, the youngest daughter and, according to Shia Muslims, the only child of the Islamic prophet Muhammad . For Hindus and Buddhists, it symbolizes chakras, energy flow in the body, the five senses and the mudras that effect them. And archeological digs in the Middle East provide evidence that the Hamsa pre-dates these religions and originated with the Phoenicians. It was used as a protective symbol for an ancient Middle Eastern goddess. The Hamsa hand has always been associated with a female entity offering protection from evil and misfortune.

Perhaps because if its universal ties, the symbol’s mysterious origins and the superstitions surrounding it, the hamsas appeal endures as an adornment to our lives.

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  • prof, ashipa ogundipe on

    l was impressed when l come across this article, more grace to your,l am now suggesting that hand of hamsa can also serve as a protection against corona virus,being an amule or symbol that come directly from God as its just appear no one created hand of hamsa,with the open hand of hand of hamsa can show signal to corona virus not to enter our body,our house and office,kindly response to my suggestion please

  • prof, ashipa ogundipe on

    it is a pleasure to come across this article, more grace to your elbow,please l may suggesting that hand of hamsa can also serve as a protection against corona virus, because of the open hand who can asked corona virus to sto not to ener our body or our office and house,being the natural symbol from GOD,the hand of hamsa just appear,no one created it only God,kindly respond to my suggestion please

  • Cindy Bell on

    Thanks for this- Now I have an even better reason to wear my beautiful Beames Designs necklace!

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