This article is a way to put your attention Yazdani culture, one of the many peoples and cultures in the world that are, or were, under siege and that are being forced into oblivion.
This is not a scientific article, the aim of this article is to bring the existence of Yazdani culture into your field of perception and spike your interest in a culture that is part of the human story on earth and that can help you gain understanding of what is going on today.
A term used to indicate a group of Pre-Islamic and pre-Christian native religions of the Kurds like Yezidism, Yarsadism and Alevism. This religious group is associated with the region of the ancient Persian empire. Some sources predate Yazdanism to 6000 BC, which would make it a powerful source of influence for all major existing religions. The recent finds at the Turkish site of Gobekle Tepe in South-Eastern Turkey where multiple bird, sun and snake engravings have been found in the temple and city walls, would support this thesis.
In Yazdani theology, the cult of the angels, an absolute transcendental God (or source) encompasses the whole universe. He binds together the cosmos with his essence, and manifests as the Seven Mysteries (the Heft Sirr or seven archangels), who sustain universal life and can incarnate in persons, Avatars (bâbâ). Telek Maus, the peacock angel is the first archangel and the highest in rank. He is seen as a supreme being, also represented as Mithra, the sun.
The peacock angel has brought the seven colours of the rainbow into existence, thereby creating the seven doors of perception (seven chakras) that a human being can use to perceive reality and the seven main influences that determine human experience.
He is also an allegory for the knowledge of the sublime, through knowing him a person can get an insight into the dynamics of existence and God itself. The peacock is at times an individual archangel, but can also be seen as the unifying principle of the seven doors of perception, combining all seven colours, or seven filters, into one unity.
Yazdânism teaches the cyclic nature of the world with reincarnation of the deity and of people being a common feature: this means that all human beings originate from the same source and that every person (or any part of existence) is a god particle projecting itself forward into the material world. There are seven cycles to the life of this universe. Six of these have already happened, while the seventh one is yet to unfold.
Yazidi are one of the ethnic/religious groups that fall under the broader umbrella of Yazdani religion. They are defined by their religion, as no-one can convert to Yezidism, any practitioner of Yezidi religion is a descendant of one the original worshippers.
The Yazidi are believed to be part of the ethnic group of the Kurds, their living area is in the South-east of Turkey, Eastern Iran and North-eastern Iraq.
They differ from the majority of the Kurds in regards to their religion. Yezidis believe that Xwede (the universal spirit who created himself) created the magic pearl and placed it on the back of a bird named Anfar. When Anfar took flight, the pearl fell off its back and broke. Xwede then created the seven archangels, with Malek Taus (peacock angel) as the supreme archangel, and put them in charge of the material world that was created from the remains of the cosmic pearl (cosmic egg).
They believe good and evil coexist, every polarity has its counterpart, conserving cosmic balance. The seven archangels or gateways to spiritual understanding all have an “evil” counterpart, which could defend the thesis that the seven principles relate to the chakra system, each being associated with a certain colour (peacock & rainbow) and each able to create harmony or chaos for a person (depending on the direction the chakra is turning or the way the energy is moving). The final decision between good and evil lies in the hands of every individual, as man has received the ability to think and make informed decisions.
The yazidi flag shows Mithra, the golden sun of 21 rays in the middle of a red and white background. The background suggests a connexion with Egyptian mysticism: red being associated with female and white with male energy. The Egyptian connexion is also visible in the presence of Snake symbolism in Yezidism.
Yezidis venerate fire, water, earth, sky and sun & moon. They respect the cycles of nature and they believe in living in symbiosis with nature. Their core values are honesty, tolerance and pacifism. They believe in doing good deeds, respecting others and living a respectable life as a way to obtaining divine knowledge.
Yezidism has many similarities with Zoroastrianism and it is believed that it has directly influenced the teachings of Zoroaster. There are also striking similarities between Hinduism and Yezidism, in the rites, the symbolism, the beliefs and even the architecture, which suggests a common source of knowledge and wisdom of many existing religions and cultures.
It’s interesting to see the parallels between Zoroastrianism and Yezidism and when you put the two next to each other, it’s not surprising that these religions are often confused with each other. Zoroastrianism is an ancient Iranian monotheistic religion and a religious philosophy. It was once the state religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires and clearly shares the same origins as yezidism.
The religious philosopher Zoroaster simplified the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces, or two different energies that move in opposite directions: Spenta Mainyu (“expanding consciousness”) which results in Asha (truth and order) or and Angra Mainyu (“contracting consciousness”) which results in Asdruj (falsehood and chaos), who both originate from the same source, that separated in two principles: Ahura Mazda (“Illuminating Wisdom”) and Angra Mainyu (“Darkness”). The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict. Zoroaster emphasised the dual nature of our existence and insisted on gaining balance and harmony between the different polarities (male-female, light-dark, good-evil).
Zoroastrians believe that life is a temporary state in which a mortal is expected to actively participate in the continuing battle between truth and falsehood (this subscribes Zoroaster’s emphasis on the principle of free will) through the doing of good deeds and being an honourable person. Prior to being born, the soul (urvan) of an individual is still united with its higher consciousness (fravashi). During life, the fravashi acts as a guardian and protector and will offer guidance to the incarnated person. On the fourth day after death, the soul is reunited with its higher consciousness, in which the experiences of life in the material world are collected for the continuing experience in the spiritual world.
Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, transcendent, supreme God, Ahura Mazda, or the “Conscious being”, which relates to the Yazdani religion in bringing all of creation back to one source. Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail over the evil Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. In the final renovation, all of creation—even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to “darkness”—will be reunited in Ahura Mazda, returning to life in the undead form.
Ahura Mazda emanated 6 Amesha Spentas (“divine sparks”), that are each the essence and physical representation of one aspect of that Creation: Purpose, Truth, Mastery of Self, Devotion, Wholeness and Immortality. The idea of the great six is that through good thoughts, words, and deeds, each individual should endeavour to assimilate the qualities of an Amesha Spenta into oneself.
In Zoroastrianism, water (apo, aban) and fire (atar, adar) are agents of ritual purity, and the associated purification ceremonies are considered the basis of ritual life. In Zoroastrian cosmogony, water and fire are respectively the second and last primordial elements to have been created, and scripture considers fire to have its origin in the waters. Both water and fire are considered life-sustaining, and both water and fire are represented within the precinct of a fire temple. Fire is considered a medium through which spiritual insight and wisdom is gained, and water is considered the source of that wisdom.
Horus, Egyptian god and son of Isis and Osiris, the unity principle uniting male and female aspects, is often represented as a falcon with an Egyptian sun disk on his head.
Isis statue. Isis is often depicted with wings (the volatile element, or the spirit), with an Egyptian sun disk on her head (like Horus).
Different pictures of Lalish, the most sacred Yezidi site in northern Iraq.
Photo pearl: “The Pearl” – Le jeu du Phénix/ Cover photo: Reuters