The name “Hamsa” (“Hansa” in Sanskrit, or “Al Khamsa” in Arabic) is from the Semitic root word for five, and is a very ancient symbol in the Middle East. Although it is an ancient symbol, the Hamsa is still popular today and is believed to possess magical powers of protection, happiness and prosperity.
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The HAMSA is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. In all faiths it is a protective sign. It brings it’s owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.The hamsa hand is known by many names—hamsa, hamsa hand, hamesh, hamesh hand, khamsa, and chamsa. It is also called the Hand of Miriam, named for Moses and Aaron’s sister. There are two main styles of a hamsa hand: the most popular is the stylized hamsa hand with two symmetrical thumbs, but there are also hamsa hands that are not symmetrical and shaped like actual hands.
In addition to being shaped like an oddly formed hand, many hamsas will have an eye displayed in the palm of the hand. The eye is thought to be a powerful talisman against the “evil eye.” The evil eye is a certain “look” that can cause bad luck for the person at whom it is directed. This “look” often originates with a person, though not always intentionally. Legends about the evil eye give both regular people and those with certain powers the ability to cast the evil eye. In the case of the average Joe, envy is most often cited as the unintentional source of the evil eye.
Popular ways to hear the hamsa include as part of a jewelry design or on a key chain. It can also be displayed in your home as a decorative element. However it is displayed, the amulet is thought to bring good luck and happiness.