HOW TO TELL IF THE CAUSE OF YOUR TROUBLES IS THE MALOCCHIO. Here is a post from the Married to Italy blog which describes a ritual to see whether a case of joint pain was caused by the Malocchio. (The Married to Italy blog has good posts about Italian and Italian American culture.)
This is the ritual:
“First she prepared a bowl of water and a small dish of olive oil.
She dipped her little finger into the olive oil and let a few drops fall into the bowl of water.
She then shook her head and muttered something…
Yes, yes. She had the Malocchio. ‘See how the oil drop broke into many small pieces in the water? This is a sure sign of the Malocchio.’”
The theory is that: “the natural, healthy way for water and oil to interact is when the oil maintains its form in one big bubble floating on the surface of the water….When the oil breaks up into many pieces, the necessary balance is off.”
Mary Jane was pleased that the ritual she remembers turns out to be intended to protect against the Malocchio rather than to curse somebody.