What-You-Need-to-Know-About-the-Hamsa-Symbol Rosery Poetry
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What You Need to Know About the Hamsa Symbol

Mar 20, 2024

You might have seen the Hamsa symbol before. The symbol typically depicts a hand with an eye in the center of the palm. The number five is significant, representing the five fingers, and has been seen on everything from slogan tees to jewelry. Its popularity has greatly surpassed its appreciation as an ancient Middle Eastern symbol. If you’re interested in incorporating the Hamsa hand, otherwise known as the hand of Fatima, or you are just interested in where it comes from, take a look at our guide.

It’s origins

The Hamsa hand has lots of different names due to its wide use across regions and religions. Some include, hamsa, and chamág in Hebrew, Arabic, and North African dialects. All of these linguistic roots trace back to the number five. Due to this, there are lots of origin stories to the concept.

One of the most prevalent theories is that the hamsa originated as a symbol to worship the Phoenician goddess Tanit. Tanit was a maternal goddess of fertility and protection, and her symbol was thought to have a connection to the number 5, represented in the five fingers.

Another is the hamesh hand, with “hamesh” meaning “five”. It references the fifth chapter of Psalms, describing God protecting people under the shadow of His hand. You can find this motif on a lot of different items today, such as hamsa artworks or a hamsa necklace.

In Islamic states, the hamsa represents the hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. When Fatima's husband Ali was going to war, she asked him for a keepsake. He gave her his shield, and she put her hand on it, leaving its imprint. This handprint was the first hamsa symbol.

It’s meaning

Something that might explain its popularity is the Hamsa’s many meanings. As an amulet, the hamsa provides spiritual protection. It deflects negativity and danger from the wearer. Placing it in homes secures blessings and luck. There is a strong belief that the hamsa provides protection, luck, fertility, and good fortune.

The hamsa is considered a defensive talisman against the evil eye and misfortune. The blue color commonly used represents warding off evil. However, the hamsa also evokes divine power and blessing. Its open right hand recalls an extended hand of God watching over people. The hand also represents strength and authority.

For some, the hamsa is associated with fertility, abundance, sexuality, and womanhood. This connects to ancient origins in goddess worship.

It’s impact

Nowadays, the hand of hamsa sits in a nice place between worship and fashion. You can find hamsas on jewelry, wall hangings, tattoos, amulets, bumper stickers and greeting cards. The most predominant use in the modern day is hand-in-hand, so to speak, with henna tattoos. It is a common symbol in weddings, where it can bring good luck to the couple.

Conclusion

The hamsa has varying interpretations as good and bad luck, shadow and light, the Hand of God, the Hand of Fatima and the Hand of Miriam. Its universal nature allows personalized meaning.

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