For this week’s Witchy Challenge about knot magic I decided to share my findings on the red bracelet for protection against the evil eye.
This tradition is very old and comes from the Kabbalah or Hebrew mysticism. According to popular lore, a red string bracelet is said to protect from the Evil Eye.
What is the Evil Eye?
Traditionally, if a person were to stare at us with envy or with negative intent (a dirty look) they would be cutting our channels of blessing, so any energy of blessing that was coming to us was instead transferred to that person.
Where I’m from, in Buenos Aires , it’s very common for students to wear a red string bracelet to an important exam, as well as athletes during big competitions, or really anyone, for example during a job interview. It is a universal symbol of good luck.
A famous example was when Messi, the football player, was given a piece of red yarn by a journalist, whose mother had previously blessed. Messi, humble as always, wore it on his left ankle and went on to score a goal that same day in a World Cup match.
Most people in Argentina don’t even realize that this is a Jewish tradition as it was passed through Arab influence into Spain, and then to Latin America over the course of many centuries. After all, my country is a land of syncretic practices.
Red bracelets for good luck are now a custom in many parts of the world such as Mexico, where red bracelets are sometimes given to babies for good luck.
How does the red bracelet work?
The red bracelet for protection of Evil Eye is made of wool.
Wool in Kabbalah represents Left Column energy. This concept stems from the Tree of Life sefirot, a system of three columns. The left column is associated with the Water element and the Female aspect (protection).
The color red is said to attract negative force, in this case envy or judgment. An interpretation is that the wool inside is white so it attracts negative energy and when it reaches the thread, it transforms it into positive energy.
Red evil eye bracelets are usually worn on the left arm because the right hand gives and the left receives. We attract things on our left side.
Kabbalah Bracelet Traditions
The red string is associated to Rachel the Matriarch who represents protection in the physical world.
In the tradition of Kabbalah seven knots are made on the string and the Ana Becho’ach prayer is said during the whole process. One knot for each verse in the prayer.
In this tradition the prayer is said in Hebrew.
A red bracelet for protection is typically tied on your wrist by a person who has unconditional love for you such as a family member or a good friend. This is why some people consider it a friendship bracelet string.
After a while the bracelet will break and it will come off, as a sign that it has already done its job of protecting you.