What is the Meaning of Hamsa?
Hamsa is one of the most protective symbols that can be found. This ancient talisman that stems from the Middle East holds deep spiritual symbolism. Representing the hand of God, hamsa is a symbol that is revered worldwide and is said to bring good fortune, health, happiness, and luck to those that wear it.
The hamsa hand is a symbol known throughout the world and is well-regarded by several different cultures. It’s been used for some 1,800 years and holds significant meaning for those that make it a part of their life. The hamsa is most often seen worn as jewelry, but can also be found displayed as art or on a wall hanging. Many hamsa hands also contain an eye, which is a powerful amulet to protect against the “evil eye”.
What Does the Word “Hamsa” Mean?
The hamsa hand has numerous different spellings including: hamesh, chamsa, hamsa, and khamsa. The word “hamsa” is stems from the five fingers that are found on the hand. In Hebrew, the number five is “hamesh” and the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is “Hey”, which is also one of God’s holy names.
The Influence of Hamsa in Different Cultures
Throughout the world, the hamsa hand is known by several different names, depending on where it’s used. It’s believed that the origin of hamsa is from modern-day Tunisia, where it was associated with the goddess Tanit. Early use of the hamsa goes back to ancient Mesopotamia, where it was used as protection against the evil eye.
Like many other auspicious symbols, the hamsa has made its way into many additional cultures and belief systems around the world. Perhaps one of the most universally recognized symbols, the hamsa is popular amongst many different cultures and has been used by various religions throughout time.
In Judaism, the hamsa is referred to as The Hand of Miriam. This is in honor of the sister of Moses. Many people of Jewish faith believe that the five fingers of the hamsa hand are a reminder to use each of the five senses to honor God.
Cultures based around Christianity refer to hamsa as The Hand of Mother Mary. This is in honor of Jesus’ mother. Here it was used to help with fertility, boost lactation, and promote healthy pregnancies.
In Islamic cultures, hamsa is known as The Hand of Fatima. This is in honor of Muhammed’s daughter. It is believed to offer protection and is also considered amongst Sunni Muslims to be a representation of the five pillars of Islam. To Shi’ite Muslims, it is symbolic of the Five People of the Cloak.
The hamsa hand has also become popular amongst those who follow Buddhist faith. Here the hamsa symbolizes the different mudras used in Buddhist tradition. It is also seen here as a symbol of deep protection.
Wearing the Hamsa Hand
The hamsa hand is worn by many people throughout the world, regardless of religious faith. The hamsa hand can be found adorning necklaces, bracelets, and earrings and is commonly worn by those who believe in some kind of “divine power” outside themselves. Hamsa is worn by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists…as well as those that don’t associate themselves into any one kind of belief system. Anyone can wear the hamsa and still benefit from the protection it provides, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs.
The hamsa hand can be worn either facing up or down. When worn facing down, the hamsa is thought to mean that evil spirits will be defeated and sent down into the depths of the earth. No matter which way it is worn, the hamsa hand offers great protection and is said to bring one harmony and success.
The Hamsa Hand as a Symbol of Peace in the Middle East
With the widespread conflict in the Middle East, many activists for peace have adopted the hamsa hand as a symbol representing a peaceful declaration of hope to end the Israeli conflict.
In this regard, it’s believed that the hamsa hand emphasizes the likenesses of Judaism and Islam, as well as the similarities of their origin.
Many Muslims and Jews now wear the hamsa hand as a sign of peace, prosperity, and hope in Israel and other parts of the Middle East.
The Hamsa Prayer
Many pieces of hamsa jewelry are adorned with a prayer on the back of the hand. Translated from Arabic, the poem is as follows:
Let no sadness come to this heart,
Let no trouble come to these arms,
Let no conflict come to these eyes,
Let my soul be filled with the blessing
Of joy and peace.
Protection and Blessings from the Hamsa Hand
The hamsa hand is thought to pull the forces of good from the universe in order to protect those who wear it. Those that choose to wear the hamsa receive the positive energy of the universe so they may be protected from harm, unseen dangers, and disease. The hamsa is a symbol of miracles, and is one who's protective spirit is celebrated worldwide.