Have you ever seen a Hand of Hamsa on a piece of home decor, jewelry, or even a yoga mat or a t-shirt? It’s almost guaranteed you’ll come across one if you visit a spiritual goods store; these decorative hands, usually designed with intricate, artistic designs inside its lines, are actually an ancient spiritual symbol.
The Hand of Hamsa, however, does not belong to one singular religion; it’s actually found in countless world religions! Below, we’ll get into: what is the Hand of Hamsa? What does it mean? and how can use it for Good Luck and Protection.
What is the Hand of Hamsa?
The Hamsa is a palm shaped amulet that has an open eye in the middle of the palm. The word Hamsa comes from the Hebrew word ‘Hamesh‘ which means five.
Also known as Hmansa, Jamsa, Khamsa, the Hand of Miriam, and the Hand of Fatima, this multi-named cultural symbol dates back to ancient Mesopotamian times and has been used by many societies throughout history as an amulet for protection against the evil eye, as a charm of fertility and luck, and as a bearer of good fortune.
Since its origin, there have been many variants in the designs and usage of this symbol. Early depictions of the Hamsa hand were minimal, and not all symbols showed an open eye in the middle. At times it was made out of clay without any detailed design, and other times it was carved in Jet, a gemstone, and made from silver, a metal known for its purity and metaphysical properties.
There are also variations in the fingers, with some depictions showing a natural hand and others, two symmetrical thumbs on either side, forming a crest. You may have also seen this symbol with the fingers spread apart and facing upwards, and some closed together, facing downwards.
Meaning of the Hand of Hamsa
The Hamsa has wide variety of names and meanings across different religions, but it also has a universal meaning, that of the resilient Hand of God. The hand stands for Power, Protection, Good Health and Good Fortune.
The Hand has been a part of many pagan religious and mainstream ones including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. Let’s see what the hand represents in these cultures.
Ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq)
In Middle Eastern/ancient Mesopotamian cultures, the Hand represented the goddess Inanna (or Ishtar) and was said to protect the wearer from ill intent.
The Hand also appears in Judaism, where, once again, it is known for its protective powers. Judaism calls this symbol the Hand of Miriam; Miriam was the sister of the prophet Moses.
In Judaism, the five fingers of the hand also represent the five books of the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
In Islam, this symbol is known as the Hand of Fatima. Fatima was the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. In addition, the Hand of Fatima is said to represent the five pillars of Islam (with each of the hand’s five fingers). In the Islamic faith, five is a sacred number which is also identified with fighting the evil eye.
Counter to this, the Hand carries a different meaning in Buddhism and Hinduism. In these belief systems, each finger on the hand represents a chakra and an element, as follows:
- Thumb: fire/solar plexus chakra
- Index finger: air/heart chakra
- Middle finger: ether/throat chakra
- Ring finger: earth/root chakra
- Pinky finger: water/sacral chakra
Other symbols similar to Hamsa
There are various spiritual symbols that draw a close resemblance to the Hamsa Hand. Some of them are as follows:
The Abhya Mudra
The Abhya Mudra is a hand position where the right hand is held upright with the palm facing outwards. The word ‘Bhay’ means fear in Sanskrit and A-bhay is the opposite of fear or ‘being fearless’. Hence, this mudra is seen as a gesture of fearlessness, safety, reassurance and divine protection in Indian and Buddhist cultures.
The above is a picture of Buddha with the Abhya Mudra.
Another symbol that closely resembles the Hansa is the Hopi Hand (also known as Shaman’s Hand or Healer’s Hand). This is a Native American symbol that represents creativity, healing, good luck, happiness and wealth.
The Hopi Hand features a spiral in the center of the palm that is said to represent the infinite or eternal nature of the universe. It also symbolizes consciousness or spirit.
Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus, is an Egyptian symbol that represents protection, consciousness, power, and good health. This is very similar to what the eye in the Hansa Hand represents.
Other resemblances to the Eye include the concept of ‘Third Eye’ in Hinduism and the ‘All Seeing Eye’ both of which represent intuition, inner power/wisdom and higher thinking.
Blue eyed nazar beads are also very similar to Hamsa. These beads are used to offer the wearer protection against nazar or evil eye from someone who is either jealous or hateful of you.
Here’s a list of 17 powerful spiritual hand symbols similar to Hamsa and how you can use them in your life.
How to Use the Hamsa Hand for Good Luck & Protection?
You can use the Hansa Hand to protect yourself from the energy of hate, jealousy and negativity that some people might have toward you. The Hamsa Hand deflects negative energy and attracts positive energy which can be really useful especially if you are an Empath who gets easily effected by other people’s energy.
Let’s see how you can use the Hamsa for protection and good luck.
1. Buy a Hamsa Hand that resonates with you
When you shop for your Hamsa Hand, be it in the form of a wall hanging, decor, charm or jewelry, check with yourself to see how the symbol makes you feel. Trust your intuition and go for a Hand that you deeply resonate with. The one that generates positive feelings within you.
If you want you can also create your own Hamsa symbol by drawing or crafting it yourself.
2. Charge your Hamsa Hand with positive intention
The first thing you need to do after buying your Hamsa Hand is to charge it with your positive intention. Simply hold (or touch) the symbol in your hand, close your eyes and repeat a mantra (five times) which imagining your energy flowing into the amulet.
Here are a few examples of mantras you can recite:
- Be my protective shield.
- Fill my space with positive energy.
- Protect me, my house and my family.
- Bring me good luck, positive energy and good fortune.
- I transfer powerful energy into you.
Once your Hamsa is charged this way, it’s ready to be used. There is no need to charge it more than once, but you can do so if you feel like it as you continue to use it.
3. Carry it with you
Traditionally, the Hand of Hamsa was used as a talisman. Thus, carrying it around in the form of jewelry or a lucky charm (such as a keychain) is a discreet way to have this protective aid with you at all times; this is said to help keep negative vibes away from the wearer.
4. Place it in your home or workplace
Placing the Hand in your home, workplace or altar can help protect your space from bad vibes, especially if you entertain any energy vampires, or come across people in your personal or professional life whom you suspect wish harm upon you. (It happens!)
One way to display the Hand of Hamsa at home, is to find a decorative version of the Hand which also contains the “Evil Eye”. This is a blue and white eye, which appears either in the center of the hand, or sometimes above or below the hand. The “Evil Eye” is said to scan your environment for evil and banish it before it has a chance to reach you.
Just make sure that you keep it in a place where the Hand is visible to anyone who comes to your house. This way the Hamsa will be able to catch and neutralize their negative vibrations if they are carrying any.
5. Cleanse it
Since the Hamsa absorbs negative vibrations, it’s a good idea to cleanse it every once in a while – preferably once every month. To cleanse your Hamsa, simply wash it with salt water.
If you cannot wash your Hamsa, you can also smudge it with sage, or any other spiritual herb. Smudging is the practice of directing smoke over an object to clean it of negative energy.
Another way to cleanse your Hamsa is to expose it to direct sunlight for a few minutes.
You can also cleanse your Hamsa Hand the day you first buy it.
Should a Hamsa be up or down?
You’ll notice, as you search for objects which contain the Hand of Hamsa, that the Hand sometimes faces upwards, and sometimes downwards. Does it matter which way the Hand faces? Yes: it depends on what you’d like to use the Hand for.
If you want to use the Hand of Hamsa for protection against evil, as described above, you’ll want to find a Hand which points upwards. When the hand faces up, it also protects us from jealousy, hatred, and insecurities. Often, you’ll even find upward-facing hands with the fingers spread. This version of the Hand signifies the banishing of evil and ill intent.
On the other hand, when the Hand points downwards, it still carries good vibes! A downward-facing hand is said to call in abundance, fertility, and answered prayers.
Is the Hamsa similar to nazar beads?
A nazar bead is a small, blue bead which contains the “Evil Eye”. Some may confuse the Hamsa with the nazar bead– but this is only because the Hand often contains nazar beads within it, when crafted in the form of jewelry or decor.
The nazar bead is said to ward off evil intent, just like the Hand of Hamsa. This is why you so often see the two put together; again, they magnify each other’s protective forces, sending ill wishes and hatred back to its origin before it has a chance to hurt you. If you want protective forces guarding your home, you might also want to decorate with some nazar beads or wear them as jewelry!
In conclusion, if you feel that somebody in your life wishes harm upon you, it might help to display or wear a Hand of Hamsa (facing upwards, in this case). Similarly, if you wish to call in abundance or luck, find a piece of downward-facing Hamsa decor! Either way, this enchanted symbol is said to protect the wearer and help him or her manifest prosperity, so treat it with reverence and gratitude, whether it’s displayed on your yoga mat or hanging over your bed!