Friday is the 13th, and if you're not careful, an evil spirit could enter your body and steal your soul -- or, at the very least, cause you to drop a meatball on your crisp white shirt. To ward off bad luck, protect yourself with any of these five rituals or tokens employed by cultures around the world.
Muslims call it the Hand of Fatima,while Jews refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, hamsa hand or hamesh hand. Both faiths, however, agree on its powers. The hand with the colored eye -- found on necklaces, ornaments, stickers, etc. -- will shield you from the powers of the evil eye.
Layer on the eyeliner and smoky eye shadow.Ancient Egyptians believed that makeup prevented the evil one from entering your eyes. Unfortunately, it's powerless over creepy guys who find Tammy Faye Bakker hot.
Show the "horned hand."It looks like a secret greeting among Metallica-heads, but Italians do the mano cornuta for protection. To form the gesture, use your thumb to hold down your middle and ring fingers, then extend your pointer and pinkie like horns. Though this might ward off evil spirits, it could also attract heavy-metal rockers or University of Texas fans.
In Jewish tradition, you have a few options:Spit three times on your fingertips, then wave them in the air; throw salt; say in Yiddish, "kayn aynhoreh" ("no evil eye"); or eat lots of garlic. For Transylvanians, the garlic (worn, not ingested) also frightens off vampires and werewolves.
Grab a carrot, a replica of the Washington Monument or any other phallic object. According to Romans, such objects seduce the evil spirit away from you -- however, your carrot might then be possessed.
-- Andrea Sachs