Relieving Malochia

Malochia, or the "Evil Eye," can manifest as an unexplainable backache, neckache or headache.

The following words should be repeated three times over a small dish of approximately one teaspoon of pure olive oil.

Aradia, Mistress of the Worlds, visible and invisible, be my physician and comfort me in my distress. Heal me, Queen of Spirits. Thou take away from me this malochia which has been placed on me to aggrieve my head and my back. Thou art my help. Thou art my counsel. Thou art my source of action. I pray to thee to give me healing.
Massage the top of your head, temples, back of your head with the charmed olive oil.

Repeat this procedure every half hour. For example, recite the words three times at 1 p.m. before annointing to massage oneself. At 1:30 p.m., again recite the words three times before annointing. At 2 p.m., repeat the whole process. Thus the charm will be recited a total of nine times and the afflicted areas each massaged with healing touch three times.

Myth's notes:

I have not used the above spell in healing, though it seems as though it would be useful for treating a tension headache.

The concept of the "Evil Eye" was widespread. Reginald Scott, in the 14th century British Isles, wrote about belief in this form of baleful magic in his Discoverie of Witchcraft.

Manie writers agree with Virgil and Theocritus in the effect of witching eies, affirming that in Scythia there are women called Bithae, having two balles, or rather blacks, in the apple of their eies. And Didymus reporteth, some have in one eie two such balles, and in the other the image of a horsse. These (forsooth) with their angrie lookes doo bewitch and hurt not onelie yoong lambs, but yoong children. There be other that reteine such venome in their eies, and send it foorth by beames and streames so violentlie, that therewith they annoie not onlie them with whom they are conversant continuallie; but also all other, whose companie they frequent, of what age, strength, or complexion soever they be: as Cicero, Plutarch, Philarchus, and manie others give out in their writings. (p. 281)
Among the ancient Italians, the root of the Evil Eye was envy. People who looked with envy upon another person's material wealth or physical beauty could emit a harmful energy as particles flowing from their eyes. These emissions could cause that person to sicken or die.

The ancient Italians had several methods to protect one from the Evil Eye.

The use of the term, "malochia," which should more correctly be spelled malocchia, would seem to indicate this is an Italian spell. The use of olive oil to massage the afflicted areas would also indicate an Italian origin. Yet, other elements of this spell remind me more of a Pennsylvania Dutch Pow Wow healing charm rather than an Italian folk spell. In particular, the directions about reciting the charm thrice each time before annointing, and then repeating the whole procedure again three times, are classic features in using Pow Wow spoken charms.

In many Pow Wow spoken charms, the higher power invoked was often the "Lord God," "Jesus," "Mary," or one of the saints. Sometimes old Pow Wow charms preserved the names of pre-Christian Teutonic deities, however, "Aradia" is not Teutonic.

If this spell is connected to Pennsylvania Dutch Pow Wow practice, it was unlikely that the Italian name, "Aradia," was the original higher power invoked in this healing charm.

Nevertheless, there can be found a reference to malocchia in Leland's Aradia, which involved removing the malocchia with oil.

357. Il malocchio mi levero
358. Con tre gocciole d' olio (164-165)
Leland translates it thus:
...with three drops of oil I do remove
all evil influence. (166)
Leland provided the following footnote:
This refers to a small ceremony which I have seen performed scores of times, and have indeed had it performed over me almost as often, as an act of courtesy among wizards and witches. It consists of making certain signs and crosses over a few drops of oil and the head of one blessed, accompanied by a short incantation. I have had the ceremony seriously commended or prescribed to me as a mean of keeping in good health and prosperity. (165)
However, the Pazzaglinis translated those lines as:
357. I will remove the evil eye from myself
358. With three drops of oil (288)
Interestingly, Leland's footnote referred to "...making certain signs and crosses..." over both "...the head of one blessed..." and the oil. This Relieving Malochia spell referred to a "healing touch" on the top of the head, the temples, and back of the neck. I wonder if the "healing touch" also involved "signs and crosses"?

It is difficult to say if this item is an Italian spell with an American Pennsylvania Dutch influence, or an American Pennsylvania Dutch healing spell with an Italian influence.

Return to index page