“Il Malocchio Part 1” by Karyn Crisis

The Evil Eye.

In Italy it is called “il malocchio,” which literally means “bad eye.” What “il malocchio” is reveals a great deal about the Italian peoples’ relationship with the spirit world and their pervasive beliefs about personal responsibility towards health.

In these beliefs we see remnants of anciently rooted pre-pagan practices sharing commonalities with global shamanism. From these beliefs we find both secret and popular traditions revealing an acceptance of the natural order of the world of spirits, so much so that “regular” people outside of witchcraft or modern pagan or metaphysical practices live daily life with this awareness.

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When you say “guarda, sta facendo il malocchio” or “look, she is casting the evil eye,” this means someone is sending negative energy (such as envy, jealousy, and other desires to see another person fail in some way) to another person. Simply stated, the evil eye is a a outflow energy sent from one person to another. That energy has an intention, and in the case of “il malocchio,” it’s always negative.

Because this is an energetic transference, we can say it occurs “spirit to spirit.” After all, your spirit is the energetic embodiment of your: consciousness, emotion and thoughts. It is your  physical body which embodies those energies into “symptomatic” physical form. Physical matter is the end result of unseen energies in motion. Your physical body has physical senses which gather information from your physical world, and yet it your spirit body which gathers (and sends) all the unseen information such as “vibes, love, warnings, and other sensations that have emotional qualities and combinations of, which we can call premonitory qualities. There is a reason these are called “extrasensory” sensations: It’s not possible for your eyes to physically transfer something to someone else (other than visual information available to the “naked” eye)…this happens along energetic (psychic) unseen-to-the-physical-eye currents.

When you say “I think I have the evil eye,” or “someone put the eyes on me” which is how it’s often said in Italy,  this means “I feel some strange sensations that are coming from an outside source and they are affecting me in a disabling way.” Such sensations and symptoms common to the evil eye are: headaches that aren’t related to food allergy or any other stimulus with a physical stimulation origin, a sudden mental shift felt as an inability to think clearly, feeling like the mind is moving through mud, lethargy towards a creative project that is normally a source of positivity and expansion, little accidents and anxiety towards movements (such as travel) that would take you to do something you normally enjoy. It can also be experienced as an “emptying out” of your vitality, as an intangible “loss” of something.  Another important and telling symptom would be having repeated thoughts about the person who sent “il malocchio,” if you are able to perceive this.

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As a personal example, I’ll explain: Prior to releasing my book “Italy’s Witches and Medicine Women Vol 1” in print, 2 male authors began to behave in a territorial manner towards me through the internet. Right before the book was printed, I did a few book tours, and when I came to a physical location in a territory near where one of these authors makes appearances, I felt his negativity coming towards me: the day I was to drive to a wonderful shop, a beautiful day and a celebration of hard work done, I suddenly began to feel a pressing sense of anxiety that I knew was unfounded. I began to have little accidents (dropping things, clumsy feelings)  as I began to pack up things to put into the car, and my mind began to experience “fog-like confusion.” I immediately sensed this was “il malocchio” coming to thwart my workshop and travels, so I stopped and immediately performed some energy work to ensure safe travels. But as the evening wore on, other tell-tale symptoms arrived: that author kept popping into my mind, I felt “noisy chaos” around me and had to center myself several times before starting my lecture. My normally sold-out events had a large number of people cancel their reservations at the last minute, and I had an allergic reaction afterwords that almost landed me in the hospital. Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to me, some of my friends in Italy had dreamed of this same author and meant to warn me. This is the way negative energy can come together by a jealous person, for example, towards someone they don’t want to succeed. And, in the moment that I recognized who this was from, it’s interesting to note that the negative energy did in fact “speed up” to attempt to do all it can before my recognition calls me to action to clear it away. But, this is positive: mere recognition itself does loosen the effectiveness of “il malocchio.” Just as an shadowy spirit attachment loses its power once it’s recognized to be hiding itself behind a shadowed form.

The act of JETTATURA is the term often used to describe the act of “throwing the evil eye” at someone…

…versus making a FATTURA. The word “fattura”  specifically translates to “invoice,” as in a “bill, amount due” and refers to a spell like a curse, meant to rebalance specific actions. For example, making a “fattura” against someone who has done you wrong, so as to take back the energy of the harm they caused you so you can use it for something that benefits you instead of having something taken away from you. It’s like a demand for a debt to be paid. But that’s a different story…

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HOW IT DOES ITS THING:  Influence. Vibration. Wherever your weaknesses are it will find its way in. So, if you are aware of your weaknesses, you already have an upper hand…and changing your vibration is also an antidote, as is being aware.  But technically…I’d like to illustrate the power of the eyes through the Tommaso Campanella quote I use in my book. I read it in a book called “Sud e magia” by Ernesto De Martino about the magic of poverty in Calabria:

“The eye manifests a lot of magic things. When a man meets with another man, pupil-to-pupil, the light most bright of one blinds and destroys the man who cannot bear with it…and often brings to the surface passion of the lover, anger of the irate person…They say the Basilisk kills with the eyes, because poisonous spirits come out from them. Whomever likes something opens his eyes to a point where it seems that he wants to put that thing in his own eyes…To know it more and appreciate it more. And while he’s opening them, often escaping out of his eyes are spirits that are eager to get that desired thing too.” -Tomasso Campanella

The reason this quote is important to note here is that it describes, in a rather poetic way that the Italian language can(after all Campanella was Sicilian), the belief that not only are the eyes the “windows to the soul,” but that through these doorways energy can be summoned and transferred. It also describes the dangerous hunger of desire when it turns to “wanting to own in some way,” rather than to just admire. But also, the end of this quote illustrates another important reflection of the Italian philosophy: that spirits abound, and that spirit attachments are a natural, although negative, occurrence. Why is this important? Because the “rimedi contro il malocchio,” the remedy against the evil eye is necessarily an exorcism. Without disabling the spirit who sent the evil eye, or without cutting off the spirit attachment who is sending the evil eye through a likely unaware human being, the evil eye cannot be remedied. This is where the effectiveness of the Lineage cures versus the popular traditions (or magically- tooled ones) differ dramatically. In the Lineage remedies, as mentioned before, there are spirit people (the higher conscious ones, the Divine Feminine ones) , severing the connection to negativity, and who better to exorcise or “chase away” negative spirits than  powerful spirits themselves?

WHY THE EYES? The windows of the soul, enchantments, summoning, glamouring, mimicry magic…with the

physical eyes we see, we covet, we adore, we grasp as we can what we see in the physical world…but we also have a spirit body and spirit body senses, such as our “psychic eye” which sees the unseen in “form”, or rather representations of form, since energy does not have the same form as physical matter. So our physical eyes are indeed connected with our spirit’s vision, and our eyes function as “senders of information” as they also “receive information.” Much can be conveyed through the eyes, much can be sent and received.

And, in fact, the Lineage cures for fighting the evil eye in Italy are called “occhi” or: eyes. The remedy is called “making eyes,” basically, which refers to the diagnostic quality of the method, because the curing method allows the Lineage healer performing it to not only discern if a person “has the eyes on them,” (which is a way to say a person has the evil eye), but the remedy often can discern how many people have sent the evil eye, and if they are male or female. The cure also breaks it, or releases the evil eye.

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HOW DO I KNOW? I’m a natural born Medium for whom the spirit world just as alive to me growing up as has been the physical world. I also trained as a platform medium under an NSAC certified minister at a chartered Spiritualist center. Why does this matter? I’ve had a lot of experience with the spirit world of guides, ghosts, spirit attachments, Goddesses and angels. After staying in Tuscany in 2009, and having the spirit of an Italian witch named Aradia train me daily for a few hours a day while my husband composed an album under the pomegranate tree outside our guest house,  she pushed me towards this Spiritualist training. I was surprised by that too. Not only because I didn’t know that “medium” was a name I could call myself, and not only because there is training to be had, but because I thought she’d just teach me spells and rituals. So, if you’re scratching your head after reading this, I can understand. It wasn’t until much later that Aradia would show me the Signora del Gioco and the Italian spirit circle tradition, which is another story for another article. However, I learned to clearly discern a lot more about the spirit world during my training, including learning the technical aspects of how it all works, in addition to practicing my skills with strangers, in public, often with no preparation. So, when Italy’s Goddesses began appearing to teach me in the way my Aradia  had begun in Italy, it was not confusing to me; things were clear. Also, I had been practicing the Spiritualist tradition, getting very accurate readings. I even received a signed affidavit from the Secretary of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches after delivering a message to her from her father that was filled with evidential information. So if that method worked with passed on relatives and friends…how could it then be accused of NOT working in the presence of Goddesses and historical Divine Feminine figures from Italy? It seemed it was Aradia’s plan… and often I can hear her chuckling about it, as if to say “she’s learned the proper method, and she still sees me…how can you prove her wrong?”…Because, of course, the Spiritualist community’s purpose of scientific exploration of the spirit world is to prove that conscious life continues on after it disconnects from the physical body during the transition of death. In order to prove this, it’s helpful to have surviving family members and friends on earth to declare, in the presence of a Mediumistic reading “yes, that was the year my grandma was born,” or “yes, that was her favorite dress/hobby/movie/song,” etc. Therefore this community does not prefer to talk of angels, goddesses, and other “guides” who tend to lean towards connections t myths, folk tales, and supernatural stories…because they ask, how can you prove they exist?

This does not mean I have all the answers; in fact, learning in partnership with the spirit world of guides and helpers requires a relationship of deep trust: often they teach one breadcrumb at a time on a longer trail, so the learning process unfolds itself at a pace where much knowledge (rather than just an answer’s endpoint is), unfolds itself through experience.

But more importantly, I took cures from women in different regions of different Lineages and practices in Italy.

Most significantly, with each cure of a Lineage healer, I felt not just the cure work but also the presence of the Divine Feminine, here we can call Grande Madre or Grande Dea at work around me, making palpable changes that would impact my life moving forward, not just in this moment. I have known many psychics, mediums, healers, magicians, sorcerers…

and the ones who are Lineage healers in Italy are working with the spirit world. They are practicing a from of shamanism rather than pagan magic. Most modern magic practitioners I’ve met or known are not working in partnership with the spirit world in the same way, on a daily basis outside of ritual.  That is not to say they don’t communicate with the spirit world, but there is a huge and undeniable difference in the “magic in plain sight” of the shaman Lineage healers who look unsuspectingly like old ladies detached from the modern world versus the modern witches. I love all of them dearly and deeply, but there is a difference. There has been a longstanding denigration of these Lineage healers by practitioners of magic and priestesses, telling me this is “family magic,” but that’s another article which will be written.

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I watched a friend’s “nonna” (grandmother)  make the “occhi” for him. While the actions she made for his procedure were exactly the same as the “occhi” made for me, his had completely different results than mine. I got to video tape both of these procedures. I also took these cures from other people, and I met other people who shared their prayers against the “malocchio” and their techniques (minus the secrets). I understood the procedures, and I learned the prayers in Italian, and I tried them out on myself but I didn’t feel any spirits working around me. I didn’t feel a result either. I tested these procedures on others, to the same no-result results. I hadn’t been passed down the secret prayers nor energy transmission, so while I didn’t think they likely would work, I wondered if my spirit guide team would activate them, but they didn’t.

This Christmas eve, I had resolved to clean the house and to just enjoy sweeping, dusting, mopping, imagining myself connected to the many spirits of the old ladies who were helping me write my book. But then a blessing came my way: I was passed down, on December 24th eve, a secret Sicilian Lineage whose procedure “contro il malocchio” is very focused on removing spirit attachments who send “il malocchio” through other humans…These humans, for example, are people with “victim complexes, bipolar people, narcissists and others with a defensive and negative mental rigidity often attract spirit attachments who, to preserve the parasitic relationship, will bully or try to scare away people who can see that something is not right. This method also works on evil eyes sent intentionally from one earthly person to another, and I use it not on myself.  The remedy I was passed is different from the oil and water method, and it  brings a physiological response form my body when the presence of “il malocchio” is being relieved through the procedure of making “occhi.” The physiological response is part of the diagnostic end of this method.

WHAT ARE THE METHODS? One of the most widespread methods to fight the malocchio is using:

1.) a bowl of water or a plate with a wide rim and a shallow bowl area

2.) olive oil

3.) secret prayers/invocations and hand positions

4.) Divine Feminine assistance

Commonly, a Lineage healer will hold her hand over the plate while saying a secret prayer or invocation.

The “patient” must also watch their own plate of water.  The Lineage healer will then, using her finger (different regions use different fingers according to correspondences of finger meanings) to drop 7 drops of oil into the water. The Lineage healer will repeat this 3 times; the hand held over the water saying a secret prayer, 7 drops of oil into the water, paying close attention to how the drops form and move, then throw it away. She will do this 2 more times.

Some regions use a spoon to drop oil into the water. Some regions pour in larger amounts of oil and watch for serpent-like formations. Some regions use oil in a pot of boiling water. Even older lineages, mostly male ones, use the liver of a lamb with pins in hot water, other regions use handmade equilateral crosses entwined a very specific and symbolic way in water. Some regions put the plate of water on top of the patient’s head while they put in the oil Some regions use a gold ring in a bowl of oil to then trace crosses over specific areas of the body while saying secret prayers. Some regions put charcoal into the bowl of water and oil at the end; others stab the water with scissors to cut the energy. Some regions say prayers over parts of the body while using a butter knife to cut the energy. Some regions use grains of wheat instead of oil and read the bubbles that may or may not form.

There are many expressions of this method, but one thing remains constant: the channeled Divine Feminine energy who  is really doing all the curative work.

These are different from the popular traditions that can be found online or in books. The popular traditions, like magical spells, involve recipes of candles, salt, herbs, rhymes, long prayers, and many combinations of “craft-like” remedies for which every object has a symbolism according to modern pagan magic.  The Lineage healers use deceptively simple tools, fragments of charged prayers or invocations which may sound non-sensical to anyone, and that helps to keep them secret…unless you know the hidden ancient Divine Feminine history from which they come.


For some of the “Oil drops and water” method:

+When oil is dropped into the water using the finger method, if the oil spreads (the drops widen their circumference), this    is an indicator that “il malocchio” is present.

+When the oil drops join together, this indicates more than one person has sent “il malocchio” to the recipient.

+The rate of speed at which they might spread (spreading alone is an indication, in some Lineage methods, that the evil     eye is present) indicates the age of “il malocchio.” For example, if they spread very slowly, this means “il malocchio”   was sent a long time ago, which even includes past lives.

+When the drops spread, they can indicate a time period, but they can also indicate whether “il malocchio” came from a    man, from a woman, or from multiple people. For example: when the drops spread but little ones break off and join with   other ones, perhaps making a chain of 3 oil drops which are of smaller and smaller size, this indicates that a woman is   the sender of “il malocchio.” A way to remember this is how the drops look similar to earrings and are in fact called   “orecchini.”

+Additionally, the drops spreading, at a certain point in the procedure, indicates that “il malocchio” is being released.

+BUT, for some methods, the drops have different diagnostic meanings: a singular circle can indicate a woman   sent the negative energy, but a stick formation (drops coming together) indicates a man. Some methods say that if a drop   of oil breaks and then dissolves on impact against the water then this is the sign “il malocchio” is present. And yet, other methods watch for the oil drops taking the shape of the internal organ(s) affected by the negative energy. Or, if drops congregate around the edge of the bowl, this can indicate several people have been speaking negatively about the patient.

+Some Lineage healers place the plate in front of the patient, while others hold it above the patient’s head.

+Often Lineage healers can cure “at a distance,” not needing to be near the patient in physical proximity at all (another   indication of Mediumistic healing): this can be over the phone, or a Lineage healer can hold an object belonging to the   affected person (healing through psychometry).

For some of the charcoal and “croci” {crosses}  methods:

+While some Lineage healers who use oil and water also use hot charcoal at the end of the “occhi” procedure to definitively kill the connection to the malignant spirits, some Lineages use charcoal during the entire procedure in water: to diagnose from how they float or sink: often sinking means “il malocchio” is present, and all 3 pieces of   charcoal sinking indicate a very serious negative presence. Then, signs of the cross are made on specific areas of the body affected by the negative energy, and the client can even be asked to drink a sip of the water before the water is   disposed of.  Sometimes this method also uses heat (heated charcoals and/or heated water).

+The “croci” or crosses are handmade ones from local grasses or even matchsticks. They are equilateral crosses and they are tied with string across the right node, a symbolic gesture having an ancient meaning. The crosses are used both to diagnose and then as part of the cure (cross signs are traced on the body using the water form the diagnosis). These “croci” are sometimes, but not always, used in hot bubbling water.

+There is also a method using candle wax dropped into the oil and water.

These methods deserve their own article.

+The method I was passed down involves the numbers 3, 7 and 9, a gold ring, olive oil, markings on the body, and a secret prayer whose syncretism is connected to the hidden pre-pagan Divine Feminine history. I will reveal more about this in an article on Lineage healing methods. Additionally, this method creates responses in my body indicating both the presence of “il malocchio” and the “throwing out” of the negative spirit energy.

However, the Lineage methods can all be summed up in short as: methods which discern through observations of movements of natural elements guided by Divine Intelligence, the source and conditions of “il malocchio.”

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NUMERICAL MEANINGS: This is another subject matter that deserves much more effort to explain the ancient roots that have been syncretized with Christian religion. So just to stay here simply: The hidden meanings of these numbers have to do with the pre-pagan Goddess and her handed-down wisdom…and they are so important that even the church decided not to discard them but to subsume them instead: The numbers 3,7, and repetitions of 3 equalling 9. They are used, for example, as  3 marks made on the body, 3 repetitions of the secret prayer,  7 repetitions of secret prayer, 7 drops of oil put into water 3 times, 3 treatments, 9 repetitions…

FRUSTRATED YET? It can seem like trying to find the tangible center of these curative gems is impossible: and that’s because they are in fact shamanistic healing methods, where the Spirit World is assisting the actual cure. So it is literally impossible to explicitly describe the exact curative technicalities. In these cases, the Divine Feminine is doing the curing through head-scratchingly simple-looking methods that don’t seem to correspond to any magical knowledge we have from paganism as far as symbols and tools and colors…and that’s because they don’t correspond to paganism or any other masculine-created magical protocols. They are living Lineages from something much more ancient. And THIS is an exciting story for another article…and for another book for that matter (I’m working on it) !


I describe two of my experiences receiving cures in my book. During both of them, the most distinct sensation was of “someone” I call the Grande Dea, Grande Madre (Great Goddess, Great Mother), who feels like a literal giant figure of immense light. She refuses to take a human-like form beyond what can distantly be described as a feminine figure robed in white, so when She moves her energy She makes the form of a glowing white equilateral cross.

During one of the cures I felt the Grande Dea, Grande Madre moving around me, quickly, pulling off what felt like very heavy blankets from me while my shoulders literally changed position due to the weight being lifted. Simultaneously I was watching a clairvoyant “playback” of a past life where men were jealous of my power and they burned me at the stake for it (all while the Lineage healer was describing “il malocchio” being put on me a long, long, long time ago by more than one man). The effects of this procedure were not only immediate: they continue to change the dynamic of my male/female relationships in my life.

During another cure I felt internal physical changes (my digestion pains immediately disappeared, while the rest of my body felt warmed-not heated, as with a fever, but gently warmed, as if all the cells of my body were opening…a lighter version of how it feels when we say we “fall in love:” that magnetic tingling sensation. Simultaneously I felt the Grande Dea, Grande Madre, appearing in the same glowing form but refusing to define herself more or give me a modern name to call Her, working around my body. I began to cry from all the love I felt while She was curing me.

However, you won’t find these Lineage healers calling themselves “shaman” or “mediums.” There are male Lineage healers who admit they don’t know how their cures really work because the spirit world works through them and the spirits do the work. But women will not want to talk about this, other than to say “yes, I’m sensitive (they use a term that refers to the spirit world) and they will accept the term “Grande Madre, Grande Dea or Madonna della Grazie,” but any references to Greek or Roman Goddesses are laughed off or met with a confused look. For them, those are stories like ones found in modern movies. As with many Italian cures, the mysterious side of them is not locked into modern terms, phrases, nor pagan terminology…because their practices are much older.


Interesting things about “making occhi”:

+The identical procedure is used for each recipient, whether young or old, whatever gender.

+Not all “occhi”procedures cure all forms of “il malocchio.”

For example, the woman who released my “eyes” turned away another man, directing him to go see another women on a particular mountain top.

+There are many versions. They vary by region and even within regions due to family lines having inherited different traditions from, a very long long time ago, the spirit world.

+The “occhi” cures are generally passed down family lines, but there are exceptions: sometimes a mother-in-law will pass it to her daughter-in-law. In this modern age, where lineages are dying out women are passing their cures outside family lines.

+There are male Lineage healers who remove “il malocchio” from themselves: with pendulums, by going into the forest and embracing specific trees who then drain the energy off, taking salt baths and showers at night time.

+The Lineage healer both diagnoses and cures with the “occhi” procedure she has inherited.

+The “tools” used to “make occhi” are normal, daily-life objects: bowls/plates, spoons, tea cups, silver or gold rings, butter knives, oil and water.

+These methods are performed in exactly the same way they were passed down: there is no “DIY modernization of the methods.

+These methods are a form of exorcism.

+These methods are Mediumistic: The Divine Feminine channels curing energy through the Healer and Healer’s    objects.

This is just the tip of an incredible iceberg whose ice, sadly, has become even more hidden with the majority of the Lineage keepers passing into the spirit world without passing down their traditions. It seems the last holdouts can be found now in their mid 80s and upwards, although there is documentation about Lineages being passed to younger people outside of family lines.

My own belief is that the spirit world, whether by way of Goddess teachers or ancestors, will be coming back to us to reconnect us with these traditions. I document two stories of people being initiated by their ancestors in my book “Italy’s Witches and Medicine Women Vol 1” and I’m writing in-depth about how the spirit world has, in more modern days, created a huge movement of psychic phenomena and advanced learning when people were ready for it: perhaps ironically, this occurred in the United States during the repressive Victorian period.

Article contents copyright Karyn Crisis 2018, all rights reserved. http://www.karyncrisisheals.com

photo credits: Domenico Garofano

To see this procedure “live,” you can sign up to watch my Lecture video “Italy’s Witches and Medicine Women” at http://www.karyncrisisheals.com




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Adi says:

    Thank you for this amazing and highly detailed article. I’m strongly connected with the Italian side of my family, and my grandparents who immigrated to the US in the 1950’s. I’ve grown up going to Italy, and speaking my Nonna’s dialect. I’m so curious about Italy’s witches because I am psychic and feel that it’s come from both my mother’s side (Irish) and father’s side (Italian). However, the italian side is extremely catholic and so I’m unsure as to anything further and now want to try to ask my Nonna some questions ….treading lightly 😉


    1. Karyn Crisis says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Adi, I really appreciate it..and I’m happy the article was helpful. I’m finishing up a new book “Italian Magic: Secret Lives of Women that will talk a lot about your Nonna’s side of things and offer you a different perspective..along with traditions, amulets, and more. I’ve also started an online school of Italian traditions..you can read about it here and see if it resonates with you. Regardless, best wishes on your path ❤ http://www.karyncrisisheals.com (click Curriculum or Golden Bough School)


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