| Tidbit for the myth arc-concerned
||[May. 9th, 2008|01:08 pm]
In the Yazidi belief system, the world was created by a god, and the world is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr (the Seven Mysteries). Preeminent among these is Melek Taus (Tawûsê Melek in Kurdish), the Peacock Angel. According to the Encyclopedia of the Orient, "The reason for the Yazidis reputation of being devil worshipers, is connected to the other name of Melek Taus, Shaytan, the same name the Koran has for Satan". Furthermore, the Yazidi story regarding Malek Taus' rise to favor with God is almost identical to the story of the Islamic angel Iblis, except that Yazidis revere Malek Taus for refusing to submit to Adam, while Muslims believe that Iblis' refusal to submit caused him to fall out of Grace with God, and to later become Satan himself. However, according to the Kurdish linguist Jamal Nebez, the word Taus is most probably derived from the Greek and is related to the words Zeus and Theos, alluding to the meaning of God. Accordingly, Malek Taus is God's Angel, and this is how Yazidis themselves see Melek Taus or Taus-e-Malak
Yazidis believe that Melek Taus is not a source of evil or wickedness. They consider him to be the leader of the archangels, not a fallen angel, and therefore comparable to the Christians' Lucifer, who is likewise considered the leader of the "seven who stand before the Lord" and of all other good angels. Also, they hold that the source of evil is in the heart and spirit of humans themselves, not in Melek Taus. The active forces in their religion are Melek Taus and Sheik Adî. The Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Illumination) which claims to be the words of Melek Taus, and which presumably represents Yazidi belief, states that he allocates responsibilities, blessings and misfortunes as he sees fit and that it is not for the race of Adam to question him. Sheikh Adî believed that the spirit of Melek Taus is the same as his own, perhaps as a reincarnation. He is believed to have said: "I was present when Adam was living in Paradise, and also when Nemrud threw Abraham in fire. I was present when God said to me: 'You are the ruler and Lord on the Earth'. God, the compassionate, gave me seven earths and throne of the heaven."
Yazidi accounts of creation differ from that of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They believe that God first created Melek Taus from his own illumination (Ronahî in Kurdish) and the other six archangels were created later. God ordered Melek Taus not to bow to other beings. Then God created the other archangels and ordered them to bring him dust (Ax) from the Earth (Erd) and build the body of Adam. Then God gave life to Adam from his own breath and instructed all archangels to bow to Adam. The archangels obeyed except for Melek Taus. In answer to God, Malek Taus replied, "How can I submit to another being! I am from your illumination while Adam is made of dust." Then God praised him and made him the leader of all angels and his deputy on the Earth. (This likely furthers what some see as a connection to the Islamic Shaytan, as according to legend he too refused to bow to Adam at God's command, though in this case it is seen as being a sign of Shaytan's sinful pride.) Hence the Yazidis believe that Melek Taus is the representative of God on the face of the Earth, and comes down to the Earth on the first Wednesday of Nisan (March/April). Yazidis hold that God created Malek Taus on this day, and celebrate it as New Year's day. Yazidis argue that the order to bow to Adam was only a test for Melek Taus, since if God commands anything then it must happen. (Bibe, dibe). In other words, God could have made him submit to Adam, but gave Taus the choice as a test. They believe that their respect and praise for Melek Taus is a way to acknowledge his majestic and sublime nature. This idea is called "Knowledge of the Sublime" (Zanista Ciwaniyê). Sheikh Adî has observed the story of Melek Taus and believed in him.
One of the key creation beliefs of Yazidism is that all Yazidis are descendants of Adam rather than Eve. Yazidis believe that good and evil both exist in the mind and spirit of human beings. It depends on the humans, themselves, as to which they choose. In this process, their devotion to Melek Taus is essential, since it was he who was given the same choice between good and evil by God, and chose the good.
Yazidis, who have much in common with the followers of Ahl-e Haqq (in western Iran), state that the world created by God was at first a pearl. It remained in this very small and enclosed state for some time (often a magic number such as forty or forty thousand years) before being remade in its current state. During this period the Heptad were called into existence, God made a covenant with them and entrusted the world to them. Besides Melek Taus, members of the Heptad (the Seven), who were called into existence by God at the beginning of all things, include Sheikh Adî, his companion Shaikh Hasan, and a group known as the four Mysteries, Shamsadin, Fakhradin, Sajadin and Naserdin. The Yazidi holy books are the Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Revelation) and the Mishefa Reş (Black Book).
Two key and interrelated features of Yazidism are: a) a preoccupation with religious purity and b) a belief in metempsychosis. The first of these is expressed in the system of caste, the food laws, the traditional preferences for living in Yazidi communities, and the variety of taboos governing many aspects of life. The second is crucial; Yazidis traditionally believe that the Seven Holy Beings are periodically reincarnated in human form, called a koasasa.
A belief in the reincarnation of lesser Yazidi souls also exists. Like the Ahl-e Haqq, the Yazidis use the metaphor of a change of garment to describe the process, which they call kiras guhorîn in Kurdish (changing the garment). Alongside this, Yazidi mythology also includes descriptions of heaven and hell, with hell extinguished, and other traditions incorporating these ideas into a belief system that includes reincarnation.
I studied this briefly in my Islam class. It ties in with my theories on who Dean and Sam really represent, and why they've been targeted.
btw, my brain is foggy right now, but I think this poem about the "Great Prophesy of Britain" is relevant to the myth-arc. How did I get this? Caer Wynt translates to Winchester. Caer: fort, camp. Wynt: second wind.
Or as this site says:
Winchester Surname Origin
(Locality). A city of Hampshire, England, called Caerwynt by the Britons, from Caer, a city, town, or fortified place, and gwint, wind, from its being a windy place. The Welsh gwin signifies wine, as if called the 'Wine City.'
The Winchesters are repelling the demons (or trying to); the Celtic peoples tried to repel the Saxons. See? It's all related!
I need a nap. *yawns*