“So what does nama-whatever mean, anyway?”

It’s time for a vocabulary lesson, folks! Since starting this blog, I have gotten the above question many times. I’ve also gotten some questions about om and the hamsa. I notice these sacred symbols becoming trendy, and I worry that their meaning is being lost.

Don’t get me wrong; I would love to see more and more people get in tune with the culture behind these symbols. I hope it happens. I just don’t want their meanings to get lost, since they are so important to me and to many others. So, here we go!

Namasté: Literally, namasté means “I bow to you” but it’s so much more than that. This is a term of great respect. It recognizes that we are all one in the universe, and it recognizes our shared divinity. Basically, it is the acknowledgement of one soul to another.”The divine lives in all of us; I am acknowledging this piece of you that is the same in me.”

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Om: Every natural entity has a vibration, and om is the sound it makes. Chanting om in meditation brings you to a naturally high vibration; ideal for meditation. It also forces you to breathe deeply when you draw out the mmmmm. The symbol of om is an acknowledgement of that shared vibration and the totality of existence. 

Hamsa: Widely seen across the Middle East and north Africa, the hamsa is an amulet used to ward off the evil eye and is often worn in times of trouble.

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Evil eye: The evil eye is a glare given to someone by another person, often when the person is unaware, that is supposed to cause injury or misfortune. It definitely brings negative vibes, so wearing a hamsa will help protect you! Also, side note- don’t do this to people. It’s my theory that it’ll cause more harm to the person who puts that out there than it will to the person receiving it unaware.

So there you have it! A quick summary of some noteworthy terms and ideas. Until next time, namasté…

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