The hamsa, meaning five fingers (or digits) of the hand, symbolizes luck and prosperity. This hand-shaped amulet is generally depicted with three fingers and two thumbs, with the thumbs pointing or sticking out from the sides. However, you can find many different variations of this popular amulet. Hamsa hand charm or pendant guard the wearer from the evil eye. Larger hamsa are hung in dwellings (homes, temples, etc.) to give protection. It may have an eye, spiral, Star of David
, or gemstone located in the center of the palm. An eye in the palm gives additional protection from the Evil Eye (see Evil Eye charms
). Sometimes protectives writings are depicted on the hand.
Multicultural Symbol Used for Protection
The hamsa, sometimes spelled chamsa or khamsa, has roots in the Kabbalah. The hamsa is also sometimes referred to as the Hand of God. The Asian Hand of Fatima, offers good fortune and virtue to its owner, it is correctly depicted with the fingers pointing downwards. Whereas, the Jewish version is sometimes displayed inverted(fingers pointing upwards to the skies).
Other Names for the Hamsa Hand
Learn about more healing amulets
- Hamesh Hand, Hand of Miriam (Hebrew, Jewish)
- Humsa Hand (Hindu)
- Hand of Fatima (Middle East) is depicted with the fingers pointing to the ground.
- Hand of God
Reference: Body Guards: Protective Amulets and Charms, Desmond Morris
Hamsa image © Phylameana lila Desy