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Yedi Kapi Supruntusu - The Mixed Incense

I may be the last generation that grew up with their mother and grandmother walking around the house chanting and carrying a small cezve, which is a copper, brass, or iron coffee pot (or sometimes a small pan) that gives off smoke and smells like heaven. They would go through each room making sure the smoke filled the air and then finally, they would circle the smoke above the rest of the household’s heads to ward off the nazar from the house and protect the individuals from any negative energy that may be radiating from the eyes of others.

cezvecezve

Nazar, the evil eye, is believed to be caused by a person who may be envious of you or your life, or worse, they are straight up an enemy and they wish you harm. They sort of give you the “evil eye” and then suddenly, you break your favorite wine glass, you constantly yawn and feel drained, or you break a mirror, and bring even more bad luck to your life.

Cappadocia, Evil Eye Tree

I took the photo that displays several evil eyes hung in a tree in Cappadocia in Turkey.

There is also the belief that some people have the power of inflicting nazar and it is not always caused by bad intentions or jealousy; in fact, nazar can happen even when someone is praising the other, and despite their good intentions, they may inflict nazar on the other person. To avoid that, people usually say, "Masallah" when they praise someone. Nazar is acknowledged and believed in many cultures varying from Indian, Iranian, Arabic, Turkish to Jewish and Slavic and Mediterranean communities, even goes as far as Latin America. 

Another thing people do to prevent this negative energy getting into their aura is that they burn the mixed incense in their space to cleanse the air and wear an item that has an evil eye stone or bead on it, such as a key chain, necklace, bag, or even a tattoo. 

So how does this incense ward off all that kind of negativity? To understand that better, we need to have a look at an important ingredient of this herbal incense, among others, Uzerlik Otu, which is also known as Peganum Harmala. Peganum Harmala has been acknowledged and used as a healing herb in various ways by many different cultures and dates back to Central Asian Shamanism practices. It’s been especially popular among Anatolian cultures.

The most common usage of Peganum Harmala is by burning it to use its smoke to ward off negative energy. In the spring Peganum Harmala blooms white flowers, and gives yellow fruits in the fall. It’s known that some cultures in Anatolia collected these fruits, lined them up on ropes (probably dried) and hung them up in their houses for protection. These objects have mainly been observed in Yuruk culture (nomads in Anatolia) as both decorative and protective purposes. Due to Peganum Harmala’s indole type alkaloids, this herb has often been used in medicine in most Anatolian cultures and has been believed to heal many medical conditions naturally. Peganum Harmala doesn’t grow in the US and is not really included in most European or American pharmacology literature. On the other hand, archeologists apparently know a lot about Peganum Harmala – the reason for that is wherever it grows, there often is archeological artifacts that can be found in that region. Apparently, Peganum Harmala grows in regions where there is an abundance of phosphoric acid, and phosphoric acid is found where old settlements are often discovered. How cool is that?

Peganum Harmala is one of the main ingredients of this herbal mixed incense, Yedi Kapi Supruntusu. Other things that can be found in it are lavender, black pepper, and blue vitriol, sometimes even sage. 

Use a cezve (a Turkish coffee pot) or a small old pan for the cleansing. Put only one tablespoon of the mixture into the pot, and start cooking it at a low temperature. Once it starts popping lightly and it gives off its fragrant smoke, you can remove the pot and walk around the house with the pot in your hand. If you have an alter, you can place it there while you are meditating. Focus on your mind and heart and the negative energy that is about to disperse. It is also a tradition to circle the pot over someone’s head to give them protection and ward off the negativity that may have surrounded them.

Source (Summarized and Translated from): "Yoruk Kulturunde Uzerlik Otu Nazarliklarinin Incelenmesi" by Rasim Soylu