Hamsa - Sacred Geometry
The sign of the Hamsa was first seen in ancient Mesopotamia, initially worn as an amulet to ward off evil. The upward hand protects from evil the downward gesture is simply for good luck. Throughout the ages this symbol has had a place in almost every prominent religion, symbolizing protection and blessing.
Although the Hamsa hand is known to bring fortune and fertility in some religions and cultures, its primary spiritual meaning is protection against the evil eye.
The Hamsa palm-shaped amulet is popular throughout the Middle East and often used in jewelry and wall hangings. Known as the Hand of Fatima after the daughter of Muhammad, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Miriam, and the Hand of the Goddess or Hand of God, the symbol is generally associated with a feminine presence that provides protection and strength.
The word "hamsa" in Arabic and "hamesh" in Hebrew means five. The five fingers of Hamsa represent the five holy books in the Torah, and they are a reminder to praise God with all five senses. Five is a significant number in Judaism and is considered the number of the protecting power. Dating all the way back to Biblical times, it is stated in the Ten Commandments that "Lord took Israel out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm".
The two sects of the Islamic faith view the Hamsa hand differently. For the Shi'ite Muslims, the hand represents the five People of the Cloak including the Prophet Mohammed. The Sunnis view it as representative of the five pillars of Islam.
For the Hindus, the hand itself, with its five digits, corresponds to the five elements -- earth, water, fire, air, and ether -- which also rule the five lower chakras. Thus the Hamsa hand serves to unify and integrate mind, heart, and body.
For the Christians, this talisman is the sacred and protecting hand of Mother Mary.
In Ancient Egypt, the Hamsa is a power of the sky god, the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-judging Eye of Horus.
Due to its significance in both Arabic and Berber cultures, the Hamsa is one of the national symbols of Algeria and appears in its emblem.
In recent times it has become a trendy talisman worldwide; a "good luck" charm appearing on necklaces, keychains, postcards, and in new-age iconography.