Understanding the Mano Cornuto: horn gesture and magic

The Mano Cornuto is an intriguing lucky charm to say the least.

With two outstretched fingers, he makes our hand look like horns... but whose horns? Or what?

A traditional Italian symbol, it is said to ward off the evil eye, bring good luck and protect us from demons. Is this the truth?

But in fact, what are its origins? Are there other hand gestures like this?

We are going to answer all these questions (and much more) by looking together today at the subject of Manu Cornuto.

Contents :

What is mano cornuto?

What is Mano Cornuto used for?

Horned god, mother goddess and devil horns: origin of this lucky charm

Other hand gestures to repel the evil eye

Rocker who does the mano cornuto with both hands while sticking out her tongue.

What is mano cornuto?

The term "Manu Cornuto" simply refers to a hand gesture made by holding the middle and ring fingers closed on the hand with the thumb on top, while the index and little fingers are raised. By extension, we also call “Mano Cornuto” all the lucky charms (such as this pendant, very popular with our community ) which represent this movement.

In French, mano means hand, while cornuto translates to horns. We are therefore faced here with a “ horned hand ”. Logically nicknamed " gesture of the horns ", the Mano Cornuto has many meanings and interpretations which vary from one culture to another.

A harmless sign of luck for some and a mark of allegiance to the devil for others, if there is one lucky charm that divides, it's this one.

In all likelihood, the Mano Cornuto is of Italian origin and dates from the time of Rome. Some theories date it back to the Etruscans, or even the ancient Babylonians, but the majority opinion among historians is that of a Roman origin.

Today, however, the whole world knows this lucky gesture and uses it... but how many really know what it is for?

Several lucky pendants, including the Mano Cornuto.

carry power around your neck

by these mysterious lucky pendants

What is Mano Cornuto used for?

Describing what the Mano Cornuto is used for is no easy task.

In fact, there are several points of view depending on the culture which will tell you about it, points of view which we will now discover.

Repel the evil eye

The primary purpose of the mano cornuto is to repel bad luck, the evil eye. Just about everyone who uses it recognizes this.

According to some people, poltergeists and demons are a reality. We must therefore protect ourselves from it, and this is precisely the aim of Mano Cornuto. Superstition for some and reality for others, everyone is free to form their own opinion on the matter.

How many of us avoid going under a ladder, fear coming across a black cat or knock on wood for luck? Making the horns gesture is part of this tradition.

Designate a cuckold husband

In Latin America (especially Brazil and Cuba) as well as in Italy, Mano Cornuto can be used to designate a cuckolded husband.

When a woman is unfaithful, don't we say that horns will grow on her unfortunate spouse?

Well this hand gesture seems to be an extension of this idea, in other regions of the globe.

Increase power

It sometimes happens that the same gesture has seemingly opposite meanings. This is the case with the Mano Cornuto which, if it can designate a deceived husband, also serves to increase power (mainly male power).

Basically, this makes sense: someone betrayed will need all their energy to recover from this ordeal.

Magician in a fantasy forest with a horned deer.

Horned god, mother goddess and devil horns: origin of this lucky charm

We told you: it seems that Mano Cornuto has its origins in Roman culture.

But what about its primary meaning then?

Well here again, opinions differ. The main theory suggests a connection with an ancient European deity who is said to have worn horns. Cernunnos for the Celts or Pan for the Greeks: many civilizations of Antiquity knew such a horned god. If you are curious to learn more about this famous deity, this Wikipedia page might be a good place to start.

In short, some archaeologists also speak of a representation of the mother goddess, the primordial goddess of Prehistory who many folklores continued to venerate for her powers of fertility until very recently.

We cannot talk about the meaning of Manu Cornuto without mentioning its possible link with Satanism. In reality, although this idea is widespread, few experts think it is plausible.

If the horn gesture is so associated with the devil, it is largely because of heavy metal and hard rock, two styles of music that like to evoke themes of hell, damnation and demons. One day, the singer of the legendary group “Black Sabbath” made the Mano Cornuto gesture on stage and, since then, it has become a sign of recognition among metalheads. By dint of (sometimes dubious) shortcuts, the Mano Cornuto has thus been seen as a representation of the evil one.

This is undoubtedly why certain modern witchcraft traditions, such as the famous “Wiccans”, like to use this gesture during their rituals and ceremonies.

Man crossing his fingers, with a worried look.

Other hand gestures to repel the evil eye

This idea of ​​being able to ward off bad things with a simple gesture of the hand appeals. If we can easily make it a lucky charm, and always have it with us, it's the jackpot!

Humanity has thus found certain particular gestures supposed to repel bad luck. The Mano Cornuto is one, but there are others… which we will describe here.

The Mano froze

“Figa” is a Roman term that once described a woman’s private parts. Making the “Mano figa” gesture therefore amounts to mimicking such an organ. Concretely, this is done by filling the fist, leaving only the tip of the thumb between the other fingers.

Believe it or not, this gesture also has the ability to bring luck.

The Hand of Fatma, or Hamas

Hamsa, Khamsa, hand of Fatma, hand of Myriam: this lucky symbol has as many names as there are people who use it... and believe me, there are many!

With a symmetrical hand shape in the middle of which sits a strange eye, the Hamsa is widely recognized for dissipating negative energies, repelling evil spirits and conferring a certain energy to its wearer.

Cross fingers

We've all crossed our fingers for good luck.

There are several theories as to the origin of this lucky hand gesture, but it seems to be linked to the concept of crossroads.

In many pagan traditions, crossroads are considered magical places where special things happen. Crossing your fingers would create a sort of mini-crossroads.

Later, with the arrival of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion, it was also said that crossing one's fingers was a way of making a miniature cross, with all the positive things that could imply.

Lucky charm featured in this article

Pendant of the mano cornuto

Pendant of the mano cornuto

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.