Peacock Angel: Esoteric Tradition of the Yezidis
By Peter Lamborn Wilson
Publisher: Inner Traditions
The Yezidis are an ancient people who live in the mountainous regions on the borders of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This secretive culture worships Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel, an enigmatic figure often identified as “the devil” or Satan, hence the sect is known as devil—worshippers and has long been persecuted.
Presenting a study of the interior, esoteric dimensions of Yezidism, Peter Lamborn Wilson examines the sect’s antinomian doctrines of opposition, its magical lore and taboos, and its relation to other occult traditions such as alchemy. He explains how the historical founder of this sect was a Sufi of Ummayad descent, Sheik Adi ibn Musafir, who settled in this remote region around 1111 AD and found a pre—Islamic sect already settled here. Sheik Adi was so influenced by the original sect that he departed from orthodox Islam, and by the 15th century the sect was known to worship the Peacock Angel, Melek Ta’us.
Revealing the spiritual flowering that occurs in an oral culture, the author examines Yezidi cosmogony, how they are descended from the androgynous Adam——before Eve was created——as well as the role of angels, ritual, alchemy, symbology, and color in Yezidi religion. He also presents the first English translation of the poetry of Caliph Yazid ibn Muawiya, venerated by the Yezidis as Sultan Ezi.