Aunt Filippa opened the sideboard and took out a soup plate and a small cup. She put the plate on my head and asked my mother to hold it fast. Then, she poured some water into the plate and olive oil into the small cup. Finally, she dipped her finger into the small cup of olive oil and dripped some into the water.

I remained with that plate on my head for a few minutes. Aunt Filippa was not convinced, and from time to time she dripped more olive oil. Finally, she scrutinized the shape of the drops.

The drops could take different forms. They could remain as they were, become wider, or even disappear completely. If the drops maintained the same shape they had when they were dripped, it meant that there was no hex on me. If the drops became wider, there was a real hex. Sometimes the drops disappeared completely, and that meant that there was a lot of hex. In my case, the drops disappeared, and for that reason Aunt Filippa dripped olive oil several times.

“This cute little boy has a lot of hex,” she said, “but I’ll take it out of him. I swear!”

To do that she made special signs around the plate and said a special prayer, which she had learned from her mother one day on Christmas Eve. It was a secret prayer that had been handed down from generation to generation. Then she asked my mother to look at the plate carefully.

“Look, Rosa Maria! If the drops of oil combine to form one large drop, it means that the evil eye has been removed; otherwise, that is, if the drops remain separated, another treatment is needed, and Vincenzino will have to come back here next week,” said Aunt Filippa.

Fortunately, the drops of oil merged together as if attracted by a magnet. Aunt Filippa then concluded, saying that I was now hex free thanks to her prayer.

At the time, I barely understood her method of removing the hex, but with passing time I realized that what Aunt Filippa had done probably had a scientific basis. Words, thoughts, and feelings have vibrations. Everything vibrates in the universe. It means that each kind of vibration affects both organic and inorganic matter, including the shape of the drops that AuntFilippa used to diagnose the evil eye. In other words, if my body vibrations were good, the drops assumed a certain shape; otherwise, they got broad or sometimes disappeared.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

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