According to archaeologists, the Hamsa hand is believed to have originated thousands of years ago with its first appearances in relation to the Moon goddess Tanit, one of the patron goddesses of Carthage. More recently, the Hamsa hand symbol and name has been assumed by Judaism and Islam, though the Hamsa is not a religious symbol. It is used for its original purpose, which is to protect the owner from any negative energy against them.
So What's the Meaning of Hamsa?
The Semitic name Hamsa means “five” in Arabic. The five most likely refers to the five stretched fingers of the symmetrical five-finger hand that has two thumbs.
Hamsas are known as the Hand of Miriam. Miriam is known in the book of Exodus as the older sister of Moses and Aaron. She watched over Moses as a baby in a basket and played an important role in the Israelite’s escape from Egypt. It was her extraordinary well that spared the Israelites from dehydration in the desert.
Hamsa is also referred to as the Hand of God, or the Protective Hand of God. The number five is also significant in Jewish tradition as the five fingers of the Hamsa may also symbolize the five books of the Torah.
In Islam, on the other hand, the Hamsa hand is known as the Hand of Fatima or Eye of Fatima. The name Fatima comes from the daughter of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. The hand of Fatima symbolizes faith and tolerance based on folklore. According to the story, Fatima was stirring hot milk when her husband unexpectedly entered the room with another woman. She was so caught off guard by the incident that the spoon dropped into the boiling liquid. Fatima did not notice as she continued stirring the milk with her own hand instead of the spoon.
Which Way is the Hamsa Hand Suppose to Face?
The direction the Hamsa points will draw the type of energy you seek. For example, it is believed that the downward-facing Hamsa draws positive female energies as well as good luck and blessing. The upward-facing Hamsa draws the male energies and is believed to bring safety and keep out the evil eye. Whether it is as a personal accessory or a gift for the house of a newlywed or new neighbor, the Hamsa will look good and bring an energy to the owner.