While the embellishment is, of course, personal and unique, we chose to use a hamsa for our logo. Because it is a widely recognized symbol, we are frequently asked about the meaning it holds in relation to Mindful SWFL. The simple answer is that we believe it best represents the values we espouse. However, to better answer the question we hear so often, we thought, perhaps, some additional background information about the symbol might be in order to better clarify our own purpose!
The hamsa (chamsa) is an ancient symbol. The word ‘hamsa’ is a derivative of the Arabic word; ‘Khamsah’ meaning ‘five’ or ‘the five fingers of the hand’. As a symbol and an amulet, the hamsa is widely known in Jewish and Arabic cultures as having become popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the notion of a protective hand has been present in Judaism dating all the way back to Biblical times! *1.
Throughout history, myriad references are made to this image. The hamsa is also variously known as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Miriam, and the Hand of the Goddess.
Although, it is one of the most widely recognized symbols of protection, very few persons know anything about the history of the symbol.
Because references to the ‘open hand’ have been traced back to Mesopotamia (Iraq), as well as ancient Carthage, it is a popular belief that the hamsa was originally a pagan symbol, most likely associated with fertility and the Mesopotamian goddess; Tanit.
Buddhist culture seems to align with the amulet, believing the hamsa represents the flow of energy of the chakras in your body as well as the five senses and mudras. Each finger of the hamsa is representative of a chakra and an element. *3
However, it is also widely believed that Jews were the first religion to use this amulet due to their beliefs about the evil eye. The hamsa was also found among Kabbalistic manuscripts and amulets.
Christian culture seems to also have an affiliation with the symbol. The hamsa holds recognition as a bearer of good fortune among the earliest Christians. Archaeological research has shown the hamsa as a symbol or amulet of protection among Berber, Arabic, Jewish, and Christian cultures, alike. *2.
With the fingers of the hand facing downward is how the hamsa is most commonly displayed. It can be interpreted as a gesture of welcome. Similarly, it can represent being open to abundance or goodness. Often, the fingers are also fused together, to better deliver luck.The hand facing down is also believed to bless the wearer with answers to prayers and manifestations.
When the Hamsa hand is facing up, it is recognized as a universal symbol against evil. As a powerful amulet of protection, it is believed to shield us from our inner thoughts of hatred, jealousy, and insecurity.
Mindful SWFL’s slogan is ‘Building Community, Developing Self’. Given the multi-cultural and, yet, universally recognized meaning associated with the hamsa, we believe that a better, more symbolic representation of our values and mission probably doesn’t exist, as unity is key in any community!
As you read this post, know that we wish you peace, prosperity, and protection, too! Thank you for choosing to be a part of Mindful SWFL! ~ Namasté!
Footnotes / Endnotes:
1.) Wikipedia – Hamsa – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamsa
2.) “The Hamsa Hand and What It Represents” – https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-a-hamsa-2076780
3.) “Hamsa Hand Meaning and Origin” – https://theyogamandala.com/hamsa-hand-meaning-and-origin/
4.) The Hamsa – Up or Down? – by Alissa – https://www.alefbet.com/blogs/blog/the-hamsa-up-or-down-which-is-the-right-way-to-wear-it
Photo Attribution –
Bluewind [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]