Removing Malocchio (Evil Eye)

 

Pulcinella eating Maccheroni

In the folk magic tradition of Southern Italy, people are very concerned with the risk of becoming a victim of Malocchio (Evil Eye). This is the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by a simple envious or ill-wishing look.

In Naples, we still have some specialists who neutralize the Malocchio (the so called Scartellati or hunchbacked). With the help of a fumigation of incense and the repetition of some magic formulas in Neapolitan dialect, they clean the places and people from the ill influence of the Evil Eye.

We tried those rites, and they are helpful, not only in eliminating the Malocchio, but also in removing all negativity and bad luck. They are the Italian equivalent of the spiritual cleansing rites in Hoodoo and of the Latin American limpias.

How to do it

First of all you will need a censer or thurible. Any incense burner swung on chains will do the job, but if you want to do it in the traditional way you will have to make it by yourself. You only need an empty tomato tin and a piece of wire. The final result will be this:

Neapolitan Folk Censer

The use is very simple. Light a charcoal disc. Place it in the censer and burn a pinch of frankincense on it. Swinging the tin from the wire you will produce more or less the same effect of a church thurible.

Before placing the charcoal disc, I fill the censer with a couple of inches of pebbles covered by a piece of aluminium foil. This will avoid an excess of heat at the bottom of the metal tin when burning the charcoal.

When you are ready and a generous amount of smoke is coming out of your censer, open the windows of your house and, swinging your home made thurible, fumigate both the place and people, trying to reach with your smoke the most hidden parts of the house.

While doing this, you will have to recite the Neapolitan conjuration. OK, if you are not from Naples you will have to practice a bit before, but it is worthwhile.

To help you in this task, I put here the original Neapolitan formula, the English translation (for your information) and a beautiful mp3 of a splendid young Neapolitan Witch reciting the original conjuration. The mp3 will help you in learning the proper pronunciation of the Neapolitan text.

You can transcribe this formula on a booklet or paper, hold it in one hand and read it while you are swinging the thurible with the other hand.

 

Sciò sciò ciucciuvè (the formula)

Faccio stu bello ‘ncienzo
primm ‘a sta Mamma e po ‘a sta Figlia,
e po’ a ‘sta bella casa, ca ‘o bene pe’ ccà trase,
e po ‘a sta bella porta, ca ‘o bene pe’ ccà se porta.

Venite, gente, da luntana via, arrechi’ ‘sta casa mia,
comm li Magge purtavano alla Capanna oro , ‘ncienzo e mirra.

Uocchie, maluocchie e frutticiell’ ‘e ll’uocchie:
ascite, maluocchie sicche, ca ve ne caccio
cu ‘o ‘ncienzo beneditto.

Sciò sciò ciucciuvè!

Uocchie, maluocchie e frutticiell’ ‘e ll’uocchie,
aglio, fravaglio, fattura ca nun quaglia,
corne e bicorne, cape’e alice e cape d’aglio.

Diavulillo diavulillo, jesce a dint’o pertusillo:
sciò sciò ciucciuvè… jatevenne, sciò sciò…

Sciò sciò ciucciuè, jesceten ra casa mia,
corn e bicorn, corn e stracorn,
uocchie sicche, code e’ vacche.

Sciò sciò ciucciuvè!

Uocchie, maluocchie e frutticiell’ ‘e ll’uocchie!
Ascite, maluocchie sicche, ca ve ne caccio
cu ‘o ‘ncienzo beneditto.

Sciò sciò ciucciuvè!

Translation:

I smoke with this beautiful incense
first this Mother, then this Daughter,
then this beautiful House, to make the Good come in
then this beautiful Door, so the Good will be brought here,

Come, people, from those distant paths, bring in this house of mine,
like the Magi brought in the hut, gold, incense and myrrh.

Eyes, Evil Eyes and iris round and colored as small fruits:
go away, dry Evil Eyes, because I chase you with the blessed incense.

Shoo Shoo, Bird of Ill Omen [burrowing owl]
Eyes, Evil Eyes and iris round and colored as small fruits:
garlic, small fishes, curse which can’t be worked out
horns and double horns, head of anchovy and clove of garlic.

Little devil, little devil, go out of this small hole.
Shoo Shoo, Bird of Ill Omen! Go away, Shoo Shoo…
Shoo Shoo, Bird of Ill Omen! Go out of my house,
horns and double horns, horns and extra horns
dry eyes and tails of cows
Shoo Shoo, Bird of Ill Omen!
Eyes, Evil Eyes and iris round and colored as small fruits!
Go away, dry Evil Eyes, because I chase you with the blessed incense.

Shoo Shoo, Bird of Ill Omen!

Ok folks, now you have all the tools to start your new
career of Neapolitan Scartellato.

GOOD LUCK 😉 !!!

 

The splendid Sophia Loren and the Scartellato (from the movie “Ieri, Oggi e Domani”, 1963) 

 

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