The peacock angel in the spring
Ethel Stefana Drower
Royal Central Asian Society
I MUST confess at the start that I have not penetrated deeply into the Yezidi religion. Their secrets are still inviolate, and I feel tempted to think that a good many of them, even their priests, arc not clear as to these secrets themselves. Indeed, one of the charms of the Yezidis is that they are very vague about theology. Lescot, in his book on the Yezidis, complains that each time he asked for a list of the seven angels he was given different names, and I could add fresh variants. However, they are all positive about one thing, and that is that the Peacock Angel, Taw'us Melke, is chief of them all, and, as you know, this Angel is supposed by outsiders to be none other than Lucifer himself, or more plainly, Satan. The Yezidis lend colour to this by forbidding the word Shaitan to be spoken, but when I talked with a qawwal he was emphatic that the Peacock Angel was not the Prince of Evil. " We say," he said, " that evil comes from men's hearts," and went on to add that men who do evil are punished in their next ...