What is the right way to wear a hamsa amulet? From “Om” to “Shalom”
The Hamsa hand, as featured below, is an amulet, and one of our most familiar and favorite symbols to wear as fine, precious, and even costume jewelry.
We’re constantly asked about the meaning of the hamsa hand and which way to wear it- up or down.
Is there a specific meaning if the fingers are facing up or if they’re down?
And what about the fingers-- open or closed?
Let's talk about the blue hamsa hand in the photo above. It's a very feminine, small, but a very fiery blue Hamsa pendant suspended from a sterling silver chain. And if you notice, the fingers are pointing down.
Don't worry, we will dive into the placement of the fingers. but first, let’s talk about this strangely shaped amulet with the fingers in the shape of a hand, fused together, and without a thumb.
Is it religious?
This is truly a cross-cultural moment, because the Chamsa, as we know it, is not a Hindu or Buddhist symbol.
It's not a Jewish symbol.
It's not a Christian symbol.
It’s not a Muslim symbol.
It’s actually a talisman, an amulet that is worn to protect against the evil eye and all negative energies.
A talisman that is 100% multi-cultural.
Now, come on--- you have to agree with me here that religion and protection shouldn’t belong exclusively to one religion. The protection against evil and negativity should be shared by all.
But, you may be asking (before we get into the history of the five-fingered hand) about the position of the good luck symbol?
Does the hand go up or down? Should the fingers point towards the sky or down to the floor?
Is there a meaning when it’s up or when it's down? Is there a right-side-up or an upside-down interpretation in other words?
Let’s break it down:
When the Hamsa hand faces down it is often interpreted as a gesture of welcoming into your life an abundance of goodness. Of kindness, friendship, and grace-- of all that the universe has to offer.
You will often see the fingers in the downward position as fused together, to further deliver luck. The hand facing down also blesses one with fertility and answers prayers and manifestations. This is the most common way you will see the hand, with the fingers pointing down.
But what about facing up?
When the Hamsa hand is facing up, it is a universal sign against evil. It is a powerful sign of protection and shields us from our inner thoughts of hatred, jealousy, and insecurities. Often, in this position, the fingers are spread apart to ward off evil.
On the other side of the “spectrum,” some people feel that, like with a horseshoe, the symbol seems “luckier” if the direction is up, not down. Thus, the luck won’t spill out.
We’re not here to choose for you, just to lay out the facts about the hand.
Here’s the thing: lots of our customers practice yoga, and the hamsa hand truly is one of their favorite pieces to wear while in the “Om” space—we have to say, the charm does look really sleek and modern on a spaghetti-strap tank top.
Or in your home.
The Indian Vedic scriptures have a beautiful tradition of powerful, symbolic hand postures called mudras, but that’s a whole different thing. A yoga-thing you can say. But, since it has to do with the hand, and we are writing about a hamsa hand, it does go hand-in-hand with this blog, no pun intended.
In any case, there’s always the Hamsa, at a yoga studio near you, doing the downward dog and sun salutation.
And, if you are a yogi- please feel free to correct on any of the yoga poses!
Back to the hand:
Jews call this hand-shaped amulet the Hand of Miriam.
In the Islamic world it is called the Hand of Fatima.
Most commonly, it is just known as a hamsa hand. But it can be spelled with a c or a k. Chamsa or Khamsa.
And it’s very artistic as well.
From elephants to flowers, birds, and fish, you’ll see all types of designs incorporating nature drawn within the hamsa.
You'll see it on clothing and in homes.
It's very popular to display a hamsa hand with an evil eye to watch over you in your home as well. Side note: fantastic house-warming gifts.
This hamsa, made for a man or a woman, highlights the tree of life inside of the pendant. We call it the best of both worlds.
You'll even find it for tableware.
Isn't this appetizer dish gorgeous?