I’m a sucker for religious art. Might have something to do with turning the metaphysical into the physical. In any case, I’ve been itching to paint something… which says something because I don’t paint.

This is the Hand of Fatima. In Islam, the Hand of Fatima is named for Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima Zahra and Christians refer to it as the Hand of Mary, for the Virgin Mother, yet the symbol predates both Islam and Christianity, back to Mesopotamia. The Jews also subscribe to the symbol referring to it as the Hand of Miriam, referring to the biblical sister of Moses and Aaron. The symbol of the open right hand is also a mudra (or hand posture) of teaching and protection of the Buddha.

The symbol represents protection particularly against what is known as the ‘evil eye’. I happen to know something about the evil eye because my Italian grandmother would spit on us occasionally to remove such things.

Not sure what is drawing me to this image now. I first saw it when traveling in Turkey and Morocco about 20 years ago, but never really cared for it. Now, I’m trying not to paint it on my front door.

Mystical message or moving neurosis? You decide.