“The Higa”, pilgrims’ lucky charm

The Higa has always been a very popular luck charm through the history of mankind, and it has been traditionally linked to the Camino de Santiago and its pilgrims. “The Higa” is the representation of a fist, with the thumb sticking out between the index finger and the middle finger.

It is believed that the origins of “the Higa” come from the ancient cults of Africa and Asia. At the beginning it had sexual connotations; in fact, the symbol could be seen as the representation of the female sexual organs (the thumb represents the penis inserted between the vaginal lips).

Usually, when someone feels a threat by any type of misfortune or spell, the hand gesture is believed to distract the evil spirits, and the person is protected of any harm. Tradition gives it protecting properties against any kind of evil and misfortune.

“The Higas” (or Figas) can be made of different sorts of materials, however they must always be made of a breakable material: for if it breaks, it means that whatever misfortune is broken and the protection has been effective. The charm only breaks when it has trapped all of the negativity. When that happens, you must bury it and get a new one.

On account of its usage as a lucky charm on the Camino de Santiago, its use was widespread throughout Europe. “The Higas” were traditionally made out of Jet, that it is a material which is believed to have protecting properties. Therefore, the qualities of the jet combined with the symbolism of “the Higa”, would be even more effective and helpful against any kind of envy and negativity.

Buen Camino!

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