Contrary to some people's initial reaction, this image is not the evil eye. It is a protection from the evil eye. Many cultures throughout the world have long-standing legends about the evil eye and amulets, spells, talismans and other traditions to protect oneself from it.
The evil eye is also called the wandering eye. Usually the bearer of the evil eye does not give someone else the "evil eye" consciously or maliciously. They usually do so out of envy or jealousy. The Hand of Fatima is one of many traditional symbols throughout most of the world to protect oneself from this phenomena. Eyes are often used for protection because they are supposed to deter the person giving the evil eye from focusing on the real object. This eye in the hand is a distraction from the real object. Some animals use something similar as a protection from predators. The "eye" in the feathers of a peacock's plume, for instance, is both a mesmerizing object for the female peacock, as well as a distraction for the predator. Many moths and butterflies have fake "eyes" on their wings to confuse birds and other predators into thinking that they are bigger animals than they are.
Fatima was, according to legend, the Muslim prophet Mohammed's daughter, and was often called upon for protection and compassion. The hand is a healing symbol and healing truth, as many people heal through their hands. The snakes along the fingers and moon and spiral have long been symbols of the Goddess.
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