The God’s Eye, or Ojo de Dios, is a ritual tool, magical object and cultural symbol evoking the weaving motif and its spiritual associations. For the Huichol peoples of northwestern Mexico, The God’s Eye is symbolic of the power of seeing and understanding that which is unknown and unknowable. The four points represent the elemental processes earth, fire, air, and water.
It is a simple or complex weaving made across two or more sticks. When a child is born, the central eye is woven by the father, then one eye is added for every year of the child’s life until the child reaches the age of five. Original Huichol God’s Eyes are extremely rare. There are many that are being made for the tourist market, but they do not carry the same traditional and spiritual significance.
Hung in a child’s hair or on the walls of homes, the main purpose is to ensure children a long and healthy life. The Huichol believe the design of the eye has the power to heal and to protect. It is often used in ceremonies and prayer. The colors used have different meanings. Red symbolizes life itself. Yellow represents the sun, moon and stars. Blue denotes sky and water. Brown stands for soil. Green describes vegetation, and black characterizes death.
The God’s Eye may also be understood as a shield which we interpret as a metaphorical protective device shielding against temptations or distractions along the spiritual path. It is also referred to as a mirror with two faces. Often both sides are covered with yarn designs and the hole in the middle of some is considered a mirror or often a small glass mirror is evident. The center is the magical portal through which humanity and deity perceive each other.
An example of Christian acculturation is evidenced on a craft website for Christians and envisions the God’s Eye as devotional process art. The binding of the God’s Eye is the physical process of a spiritual binding or covenant, expressing a prayer that the eye of God will watch the binder and grant health, fortune, and longevity. The God’s Eye becomes a physical representation of the process of prayer. The craft instructions on the website close with Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
The Exciting Scout Craft Website is another example of how this spiritual ritual tool has been respectfully acculturated, given a life and attributed meaning as process art and a teaching tool for Scouts because they are easily and readily constructed.