ATHENS, Greece (RNS) — Stroll down Ifestou Street in the bustling Monastiraki market, and you’ll spy ropes of necklaces, bracelets and keychains bedecked with the mati, or “eye,” the distinctive talisman with concentric blue and white circles.

For years, tourists to Greece have snapped up the charms, these “all-seeing eyeballs,” which are supposed to help ward off the “evil eye.” The term refers to negative energy caused by another’s jealousy, which Greeks believe can cause minor troubles and even physical symptoms for the victim.

These days the symbol is popping up everywhere, from handmade soap to chic hotel lobbies. A Greek-language

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