What is the Peacock Angel?


Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

Today's date  October 29, 2011



This topic came up because I listened to an interview of an Iraqiii man, now living in Canada.  He was interviewed by an American Temp[lar who has a radio show on   The whole interview was about the religion based on the Peacock angel and how they are bringing this religion to America starting in 2012.

There is a lot of detailed information about the history below:

Tawsi Melek, the “Peacock Angel” and “Peacock King,” is the most import deity of the Yezidis. But he is not just the possession of the Yezidis, he belongs to the entire world. The Yezidis believe that they possess the oldest religion on Earth, the primeval faith that features Tawsi Melek, and that all other traditions are related to them through the Peacock Angel. They contend that Tawsi Melek is the true creator and ruler of the universe, and therefore a part of all religious traditions. He does not, however, always manifest within these diverse traditions as a peacock. Tawsi Melek has taken on many other forms throughout time.

The Yezidis do not believe that the Peacock Angel is the Supreme God. The Supreme God created him as an emanation at the beginning of time. He was brought into manifestation in order to give the invisible, transcendental Supreme God a vehicle with which to create and administer the universe. Tawsi Melek is thus a tangible, denser form of the infinite Supreme God. In order to assist Tawsi Melek in this important role, the Supreme Creator also created six other Great Angels, who were, like the Peacock Angel, emanations of the Supreme God and not separate from him. When recounting the creation of all Seven Great Angels, the Yezidis often summarize the emanation process as follows:

Tawsi Melek was the first to emerge from the Light of God in the form of a seven-rayed rainbow, which is a form he still today continues to manifest within to them (usually as a rainbow around the Sun). But the Yezidis also claim that Tawsi Melek and the six Great Angels are collectively the seven colors of the rainbow. Therefore, the six Great Angels were originally part of Tawsi Melek, the primal rainbow emanation, who bifurcated to become the rainbow’s seven colors, which are collectively the Seven Great Angels. Of the seven colors produced from the primal rainbow, Tawsi Melek became associated with the color blue, because this is the color of the sky and the heavens, which is the source of all colors.

Tawsi Melek was, therefore, both the first form of the Supreme God and one of the Seven Great Angels, which is a cosmic heptad mentioned within many religious traditions. The Jews, Christians, Persian, Egyptians all have their seven angels and creators. In the Meshefê Re, the Yezidis “Black Book,” there is one passage that describes the Seven Great Angels and associates their creation with the seven days of Creation. The text first states that the Supreme God first created a pearl containing the substance or substratum of the soon-to-be physical universe, ostensibly referring to the molten mass preceding the “Big Bang” championed by modern physics. The Yezidi text then maintains that for forty thousand years this pearl sat upon a primal bird, which is quite possibly an incipient form of Tawsi Melek before he divided into the Seven Great Angels. This pearl then exploded (or became dismantled) to become the physical universe. Then, states the Meshefê Re, came the seven days of creation:

“The first day which He (the Supreme God) created was Sunday. On that day He created an angel whose name was 'Azra'il. This is Melekê Taus, who is the greatest of all.
On Monday He created the Angel Darda'il, who is Shaikh Hasan.
On Tuesday He created the Angel Israfil, who is Shaikh Shams.
On Wednesday He created the Angel Mika'il, who is Shaikh Abu Bakr.
On Thursday He created the Angel Gibra'il, who is Sagad ad-Din.
On Friday He created the Angel Shimna'il, who is Nasir ad-Din.
On Saturday He created the Angel Nura'il, who is Yadin [Fakhr ad-Din].
And God made Melekê Taus the greatest of them.”

Ever since their primal creation the Seven Great Angels have been associated with the day of the week they were created. Tawsi Melek’s day is Sunday, etc.

Once the Seven Great Angels were created the Earth was produced by them out of the substratum of the original pearl. It remained barren and then suddenly entered a phase of intense continual shaking, perhaps coinciding with the violent earthquake and volcanic activity that was ubiquitous around the young Earth. In order to calm the planetary quaking, the Supreme God sent the Peacock Angel to Earth with orders to both sedate the Earth and endow it with multi-colored flora and fauna. As Tawsi Melek descended into the physical dimension his seven-colored rainbow self became manifest as a magnificent bird of seven colors, the peacock. He then flew around the globe in order to bless every part of it, finally landing in the area of what is now Lalish, the Yezidis most sacred part of Earth located in northern Iraq. Here Tawsi Melek was able to calm the Earth while simultaneously covering it with his peacock colors.

With the Earth in a more placid phase of its evolution the Great Angels proceeded to their next creation, Adam. The first human was created by all the Seven Great Angels, each of whom endowed him with a physical sense to experience life. One gave him an ear, one a nose, one a mouth, etc. But the first human was a lifeless heap without a soul, so Tawsi Melek transmitted the breath of life into him. When Adam then rose to his feet, Tawsi Melek quickly swung him around so that he was facing the Sun while informing him that there was something much greater than he and that praying daily to the Sun as a form of the Supreme God would help him to remember this truth. Tawsi Melek then verbalized the prayers that Adam and his descendants around the globe were to repeat during their worship, and he spoke them in 72 languages since Adam and Eve were destined to have 72 sons and 72 daughters who would populate the 72 regions or countries of the Earth. The Peacock Angel then informed Adam that if he and his descendants remained steadfast in righteousness they would eventually see and know the Supreme God personally. In the meantime, Tawsi Melek would be their protector and teacher even while residing in another dimension.

Future Prophecy of the Peacock Angel

Yezidi prophecy maintains that Tawsi Melek will come back to Earth as a peacock or rainbow during a time of intense conflict, poverty, famine and distress on the Earth. He will then transmit some prayers to a holy man, probably a Faqir, who will then take them around the Earth and give them to representatives of all religions.

The Peacock Angel Today

The Yezidis believe that Tawsi Melek is every place in the universe at every moment. He is, therefore, always available for support and protection to anyone who sincerely calls upon him. His greatest worshippers, the Yezidis, call upon his assistance to help meet all their needs.

To those who call upon him with great devotion, Tawsi Melek may manifest in a variety forms, including a bright light, a rainbow, a boy, a young man, a snake, and, of course, a peacock. He also will appear on occasion so his worshippers can remain secure regarding his existence. One of his most recent appearances of this sort occurred following a skirmish between the Yezidis and Turkish Moslems, when Tawsi Melek decided to appear to not to a Yezidi, but to one of the Moslem Turks so that all people would believe in his existence. During his appearance, Tawsi Melek “bid the bewildered man to go and tell the people that a big war was brewing, but that no harm would come on the heads of his people, the Yezidis, who would emerge from the conflagration unscathed.”

Although he is the eternal ruler of Earth, during the Yezidis New Year Tawsi Melek designates one of the six Great Angels to represent him as ruler for the coming year, so there is always guidance and protection coming from all the Seven Great Angels.

Is the Peacock Angel the Devil?

The Peacock Angel has been falsely accused of being Satan or the Devil for hundreds of years by censuring Moslems. But their distortion of his true nature was not made popular until the 18th century, so it appears that during earlier times Moslems may have had an entirely different view of the Peacock Angel. Unfortunately, Tawsi Melek is currently stuck in today’s world with the Devil banner.

It appears that the initial distortion regarding Tawsi Melek may have been generated by an Islamic defamation crusade against the Yezidis, initiated by the Moslem view that the Yezidis are not “People of the Book,” meaning that there is no revealed scripture at the center of their religion. In truth, Meshefê Re, the Yezidis “Black Book,” was written when Tawsi Melek first came to Earth and existed down to the time of a series of wars with the Turkish Moslems, when most of it was lost. The book was very thick with a black color, and embossed with red and gold.

The Moslems’ slanderous misunderstanding of Tawsi Melek appears to have gained momentum when certain Moslem leaders took some small aspect or characteristic of the Peacock Angel and related it to their conception of Satan. For example, Tawsi Melek is recognized by the Yesidis to be king of the entire universe, including Earth, but over the centuries both Moslems and Christians have ascribed Luciferian connotations to the “King of the World.” Moreover, the Yezidis belief that Tawsi Melek was the co-creator of the universe with the Supreme God could have inspired a dualistic Islamic philosopher to misconstrue him as an eternally separate and opposite spirit from God. Since God is eternally good, according to Islamic philosophy, this would automatically make Tawsi Melek the Evil One.

Here is a list of allegations against Tawsi Melek that have been part of the Moslems’ attempt to convince the world of his Satanic nature:

Truth: The alternate name for Tawsi Melek they refer to is not Azazel, but Aziz, a name meaning “something precious.”

Truth: The Yezidis honor the goat because, like the Hindus’ cow, it sacrifices itself and supplies many of their needs. It gives them milk, wool, etc.

Truth: In the Yezidi tradition it is indeed stated that the Peacock Angel was present in the Garden of Eden. He failed to bow down to Adam because he was obeying God. The Yezidis claim that previous to the creation of Adam the Supreme God had informed all Seven Great Angels never bow down to any other entity other than Him.

Truth: In the East the peacock is the symbol of the Son of God, the savior of humanity. The peacock reflects the beneficent, immortal nature of the Son of God by devouring snakes, the enemies of humanity. Through its innumerable “eyes,” the peacock also symbolizes the omniscient nature of the Son of God. Apparently the misunderstanding of the bird’s evil nature arose because it naturally reflects the androgyny of the Son of God, who was born from the universal male/female polarity, i.e., Spirit and matter, dark and light, etc. It is for this reason that the “androgynous” peacock is said to possess the beauty of an angel but the demonic cry of the Devil.

Truth: The Caliph Yezid was a Moslem who later became disenchanted with the Islamic teachings and converted to Yezidism. The name Yezidi has existed since the Yezidi people were first created.

In addition to the above, Moslems could have easily been mislead by the inaccurate anecdotes and propaganda regarding the Peacock Angel, some of which have been fabricated by other Moslems. A rumored Yezidi “Origin Myth,” for example, that alludes to a Yezidi shepherd finding an injured Peacock Angel in the form of a physical peacock and calling itself “the Spirit of Evil thrown out of heaven” is completely spurious and not associated with any authentic Yezidi texts or teachings.

The Peacock Angel in other Religions

The Yezidis maintain that Tawsi Melek is manifest in all religions, although not always in the form of a peacock. It is because of this that the various manifestations of Tawsi Melek are not grouped together as being his various masks. The following are just a few of the various manifestations of Tawsi Melek in religions worldwide:

  • Murugan/Skanda/Sanat Kumara of the Hindus
  • Al-Khadir, the “Green Man,” of the Moslems
  • King Melchizedek of the Jews
  • St. George of the Knights Templar
  • Enki of the Sumerians
  • Dionysus of the Greeks
  • Osiris of the Egyptians
  • Quetzlcoatl of the Mexicans
  • Masaw of the Hopi Indians
  • The Planetary Logos of Theosophy

The Peacock Angel and Gnosticism

In the Gnostic tradition (which the Yezidi religion is closely aligned with), Tawsi Melek is analogous to the first son of the Goddess Sophia, who in the process of creating and governing the universe divided herself into seven rays or “sons.” Her seven sons were coeval with and governed one of the seven colors, tones, planets, etc. The first ray or son, who for the Yezidis was Tawsi Melek (the Ildabaoth of the Gnostics), became the leader of the other sons and the eventual ruler of the universe.

Through his manifestation as a snake, the Peacock Angel is also analogous with the Gnostics’ understanding of the Serpent on the Tree in the Garden of Eden. As opposed to the Christian viewpoint, the Gnostics recognize the Serpent of Eden to be their primal instructor and savior. They claim that the Serpent was specially sent down from Heaven to the Garden of Eden by Sophia in order to help awaken Adam and Eve to their divine nature. According to the perspective of the gnostic yogis of India, the Serpent on the Tree is a metaphor for the inner serpent (known in the East as Kundalini) that coils around the Tree of Life, the human spine, and brings a seeker knowledge of his or her divine nature as it climbs up the tree and awakens the inner centers of gnostic wisdom, the chakras.

The Peacock Angel and the Sumerians

In the religion of Sumeria the Peacock Angel was manifest as Enki, the Lord of the Earth, who was also the Lord of Wisdom and the Serpent on the Tree of Dilman, the Sumerian Eden. The Sumerians may have adopted Enki from Yezidi emissaries from India who played a role in the fledgling Sumerian civilization. Or they may have received him from the gnostic sect of Mandeans who were also assimilated into Sumerian civilization after migrating from the East, specifically Sri Lanka, the island patronized by the Peacock Angel as the Hindu Murugan or Sanat Kumara.

The Peacock Angel in Hinduism

Since the Yezidis originated in India, the Hindus’ manifestation of Tawsi Melek is naturally very close to the Peacock Angel of the Yezidis.

The Hindus know Tawsi Melek as Murugan, the legendary son of Shiva and Shakti. Among his numerous alternate titles are Skanda, Sanat Kumara, Karttikeya, and Subramaniya Swami. Like the Yezidis Tawsi Melek, the Hindu Murugan is the king of the universe and moves through his domain as a young boy astride a peacock, or simply as a peacock. Similar to the Peacock Angel, Murugan’s sacred animals include not only the peacock but also the snake and the cock. The snake denotes that the essence of Murugan is pure energy (energy moves as a serpent spiral) and the cock denotes his affiliation as a solar deity. Murugan or Tawsi Melek are names for the cosmic energy that created the universe out of itself, as well as the savior who, like the cock, heralds the end of humanity’s darkness.

Murugan’s identity as one of seven angelic beings is manifest within some Hindu scriptures that refer to him as Sanat Kumara, the leader of the Seven Kumaras. These Kumaras are portrayed as brothers who assisted Sanat Kumara in the creation of the Earth and the enlightenment of humankind. According to the Puranas, the ancient legends of India, the Kumaras were the first to teach humanity the path to enlightenment.




The Hindu Murugan

Another heptad association with Murugan is the asterism of the Pleiades. One of Murugan’s names is Karttikeya, which is derived from Krittika, a Hindu name for the Pleiades. According to legend, when Karttikeya was first born on Earth he possessed seven heads, one for each star of the Pleiades, but he lost one of them and so now he has six. Thus, more than simply reflecting the Pleiades, Murugan is the Pleiades.

In metaphysics it is believed that our Solar System rotates around the Pleiades, and that the asterism is a special point of creation for our local galaxy. High frequency energy from a more refined universe is channeled through the Pleiades, specifically the star Alcyone, which then encodes it with a specific shape and destiny it will assume in our three dimensional universe. Because of its unique function of feeding and nurturing our galaxy, the Maya referred to the Pleiades as the “teats of the rattlesnake.” In agreement with many ancient cultures, the Maya maintained that the creator of the universe was a serpent, snake, or dragon which possessed a septenary nature. They therefore portrayed it with seven heads, tails, twists to its body, or teats (or all of the above). It was also represented as a rainbow (as it is among the Yezidis) or as a rainbow serpent (as it is among the Australian Aborigines) that encoded all energy with the seven colors, tones, etc. The Maya and others often referred to this septenary serpent as the Son of God who was born at the beginning of time from the union of the primal male/female principles manifesting as spiraling energy. From a geometrical perspective, this primal union created not only a spiral but a vesica pisces, the “eye” and “seed of life,” which became the “flower of life” and then kept multiplying to become eyes manifest all throughout the universe. These vesica pisces eyes represent the omniscience of the primal creator, such as Tawsi Melek. They were colored either green, or blue-green, the middle color that reflected the union of the male/female principles. Thus, the combination of the blue-green color produced a Son of God in the form of an all-seeing blue-green dragon (the word dragon is derived from all-seeing), a dragon-peacock, or simply a many-eyed peacock. He was the blue-green dragon creator of the Chinese and Quiche Maya, or he was the blue-green peacock of the Yezidis. But whatever his form, one of his principle homes was the seven stars Pleiades.


The Peacock Angel in Islam

The Peacock Angel is perceived differently by many different factions within Islam. Amongst the enlightened sects of Islamic Sufis, Tawsi Melek has been known as Al-Kadir, the “Green Man.” The Sufis’ Al-Khadir, who is currently worshipped in many corners of the world, has one of his premier temple sites at Kataragama in Sri Lanka right next to a temple of his Hindu counterpart, Murugan.

Like Tawsi Melek, Al-Kadir assisted in making the world green, and he can also lead a seeker to both enlightenment and immortality. The Sufis, who refer to him as “The Initiator,” are visited by Al-Kadir when they are ready to commit themselves completely to an intensive spiritual life. Al-Kadir then manifests as energy, a human figure, a ball of light, or another form in order to awaken that person’s inner spiritual flame.

Other factions of orthodox Moslems often recognize Tawsi Melek as their Satan (see above).


The Peacock Angel in Christianity

Since its inception, the Peacock Angel has been manifest in the Christian religion as the leader of the Seven Archangels, St. Michael, whose earthly reflection is St. George, which is a name for Al-Khadir (which is a Sufi for Tawsi Melek) The color ray associated with both Michael and Tawsi Melek is blue, and like Tawsi Melek’s Hindu manifestation of Karttikeya, the Commander of the Angelic Host, St. Michael serves a similar function in Christianity.

The symbol of the peacock has long been embraced within Christianity. The bird was the original symbol of the Catholic Church (the peacock denoted the many-eyed church) and it was an early symbol of Jesus, denoting the Christ’s resurrection and immortality. Because of these associations to the Christ peacocks were commonly portrayed in medieval paintings hovering around the baby Jesus’s crib. During the time Jesus walked the Earth, and also afterwards, the peacock alternated with the phoenix as the symbol of immortality in both Egypt and the Middle East. It is for this reason that the peacock was associated with the Christian St. Barbara even though she was the patron saint of Heliopolis, the ancient home of the phoenix.




The Pope's Peacock Standard on display at Charlemagne's Coronation

One of the great mysteries of Jesus and his Apostles is the story of St. Thomas and how he became transformed into a peacock in India. According to legend, after embarking upon his proselytizing mission in Chennai, the southern India headquarters of the Peacock Angel as the Hindu Murugan, St. Thomas quickly attracted the censure of the local priesthood who resolved to kill him. But when they went to locate St. Thomas the apostle had transformed himself into a peacock and was thus very hard to track down. When they did finally capture St. Thomas the apostle died as a peacock rather than a man. Speculation suggests that St. Thomas may have associated the peacock with his master Jesus and united with him at the completion of his life.

The Peacock Angel in Judaism

The Peacock Angel has manifested in Judaism as both the Prophet Elijah and as King Melchizedek. Each figure reflects some important aspect or function of Tawsi Melek. Many Moslems in the Middle East currently acknowledge Elijah to be a Jewish name for their Al-Kadir, the Green Man, which, as mentioned, is an epithet for the Yezidis’ Tawsi Melek. Melchizedek, the “King of Righteousness,” is also a common Islamic name for Al-Khadir, thus making it also a name for the Peacock Angel in his role as the King of the World. This link also extends into the name “Order of Melchizedek” which is a title for the spiritual tradition founded by Sanat Kumara, the Hindu manifestation of Tawsi Melek. Another name for the Order of Melchizedek is the “Great White Brotherhood,” which Sanat Kumara is currently recognized to have been the founder of.


The Peacock Angel among the Maya

In the Maya tradition the Peacock Angel is known as the spirit of Quetzlcoatl, the “Plumed Serpent.” In the Quiche Maya cosmology found in the Popul Vuh there is a passage very similar to that found in Genesis (and no doubt has the same origin) which states that the Creator moved upon the face of the waters. In Genesis this creator is recognized to be the synthesis of a group of creator spirits (usually counted as seven) known as the Elohim. Similarly, in the Popul Voh the creator is a blue-green plumed serpent, or “Quetzlcoatl,” comprised of seven creator spirits. The plumed or feathered serpent of the Quiche Maya denotes the Son of God who was the union of the primal male (feathers) and female (serpent body) principles which united to produce the middle color of blue-green. This blue-green dragon is, in other cultures, a peacock rather than a dragon. Thus, the blue-green plumed serpent is the Quiche Maya representation of the Yezidis Peacock Angel.

In Maya tradition many enlightened teachers were historically known as Quetzlcoatl because they had evolved themselves to such an extent spiritually that they had become one with the Divine Mind, which the primal serpent was an embodiment of. In fact, the primal serpent was the first form assumed by Spirit during the process of creating the universe and embodied not only his Divine Mind but his infinite power. Then as he precipitated the universe from out of his own power he encoded it with the blueprints contained within his Divine Mind. Today, those enlightened masters in the Quetzlcoatl tradition often reveal their office by wearing a headdress of peacock feathers.

A Quiche Maya Leader

Masters with the insight and power and called dragons or serpent were not just found among the Maya, they were universal. In fact, during what could be called Earth’s “Dragon Age” most great civilizations were governed both spiritually and temporally by priests and priest kings calling themselves dragons or serpents. Lung Dragons ruled China, Serpent Nagas ruled India, Quetzlcoatls ruled Central America, Druid Adders ruled the British Isles, etc. These rulers had awakened the evolutionary serpent force at the base of the spine, which then climbed the inner Tree of Life (the spine) and united their minds with the Divine Mind. When this occurred, these masters also inherited an abundance of supernatural “serpent” power with which to govern their kingdoms.

The Peacock Angel in Greece & Egypt

The Peacock Angel was known in Greece and Egypt as Dionysus and Osiris respectively. According to the early Greek historians like Diodorus these figures were manifestations of the same entity in different civilizations.

Osiris, meaning the “Many-eyed,” was a legendary Egyptian king who reflected many of the attributes of the Peacock Angel. After encircling the globe astride a bull he ostensibly became, like Tawsi Melek, King of the World. Like the Peacock Angel, Osiris was also omniscient, or “Many-eyed,” and his eyes multiplied throughout the universe. The symbol of both Tawsi Melek and Osiris is the many-eyed Flower of Life. Osiris was also known in Egypt as the “green man,” and his green image could often be found in the Egyptian temples. Because of this association, Osiris was annually prayed to for the renewal of Egypt’s green vegetation.

The association between Dionysus and Tawsi Melek became conclusive during the conquest of Alexander the Great, when members of the conquerors’ army visited the temples of Murugan in Sri Lanka while exclaiming “We know this deity, he’s our Dionysus.” So sure were they of this truth that when the Greek Ptolemy created the first world map he labeled Murugan’s region in Sri Lanka the “Place of Bacchus,” or “Place of Dionysus.” Like his Hindu counterpart Murugan, Dionysus was the union of the universal male/female polarity (Zeus and Semele) and the chosen King of the World. Also reflecting both Murugan and Tawsi Melek, Dionysus was in some cosmologies designated the creator of the universe, and wherever his cult flourished he was represented as a snake or serpent, symbol of the life force that condensed to become the physical cosmos. Every year it was believed by the Greeks that Green Man Dionysus as the primal serpent power or life force would awaken from his slumber and their lands would become abundant again.

Flower of Life

The Peacock Angel and Persia

The Persian Zoroastrian tradition is a close cousin to that of the Yezidis’ and it is probable that they have a common origin in the East. Links between the Yezidis and Persians are manifold. They share many rites, including daily Sun worship, and the premier savior-deity of both traditions (Mithra and Tawsi Melek) is a solar god possessing the cock as a sacred animal and Sunday as his sacred day of the week. There is no question Tawsi Melek and his Hindu counterpart, Murugan, are counterparts of the Persian Mithra, whose name denotes “middle” and “harmony,” thus denoting the balance and union of the universal polarity that brought both Murugan and the Peacock Angel into manifestation. Mithra’s common name in Persia was Mihr, a title currently assumed by Tawsi Melek’s premier representative on Earth, the Mir or Yezidi Prince, and an additional link between Mithra and Murugan can be gleened from the name of Mithra’s most sacred annual celebration, the Mihragan.

Dragon Peacock symbol of the Persion Sasanian Dynasty

Thus, the connection between Tawsi Melek and Mithra is undeniable, however the Peacock Angel’s most salient Persian counterpart is the primal bird of paradise, the Simurgh, who possesses a dog or dragon head and a huge peacock tail. The Simurgh lives on Mount Elbourz, the primal sacred mountain at the center of the Earth that serves as an axis mundi uniting Heaven and Earth. Elbourz is, by the way, also said to be the worldly home of Mithra, so perhaps the Simurgh is one of his alternate forms.

The Simurgh was the patron of the lineage of Persian Kings, many of which lived in glorious castles in the Elbourz Mountains in northern Iran. This link was never more evident than during the early Sasanian Dynasty, when the Persian kings adopted the Simurgh as their royal symbol.

According to some Persian legends the Simurgh is, like Tawsi Melek, the Planetary Logos or collective consciousness of all creatures on Earth (see: The Peacock Angel and Theosophy). This truth is illustrated in an old Persian legend known as The Conference of the Birds, during which a flock of birds paid a visit to the Simurgh at his home on Mt. Elbourz. After having a private meeting with the Simurgh each of the birds spoke amongst themselves about their experience. Each shared that gazing at the Simurgh was like looking into a mirror. Each bird saw himself reflected back to him because the Simurgh is the union of them all.

Also reflecting the Peacock Angel, the Simurgh serves the function of the “Green Man,” albeit indirectly. The association can be deduced through the name Simurgh, which is a contraction Saena meregh, meaning the “Saena bird.” In Persian legend it was said that as the Saena bird the Simurgh lived upon the Saena Tree, the world tree, which flourished upon an island in the middle of a cosmic sea known as Lake Vourukasha. Occasionally the Saena bird would flap its wings and spread seeds all over the Earth. These seeds would sprout to become the green vegetation that covered the planet.

The Peacock Angel and Tibet

In Tibet the Peacock Angel appears to be manifest as Amitibha, the peacock-riding dhyani buddha who sits upon his Peacock Throne in the heaven of Sukhavati and occasionally takes a physical incarnation as the King of the World in legendary Shambhala, the land of immortals that flies the Peacock Flag. Shambhala, meaning the “Place of happiness,” is a place designed as eight territories or “petals” and recognized to be the heart chakra of planet Earth. In the center of the planetary heart chakra is the palace of the King of Shambhala, who thus functions as not only planetary monarch but soul of the world (just as the human soul resides within the human heart chakra). According to one legend, the Peacock Angel not only spread his colors around the globe but additionally merged his spirit with that of the Earth and became the world soul. Thus, his physical body is the Earth and his will is reflected in the actions of all creatures that live upon the face of the Earth.

Amitabha on his "Peacock Throne"

The Peacock Angel and Theosophy

The Theosophists acquired deep insight into the legends and characteristics of the Peacock Angel when they were headquartered in Chennai in southern India, a place where the cult of Tawsi Melek as his Hindu counterpart Murugan greatly flourished. The leaders of the organization, such as Madam Helena Blavatsky, also received an abundance of information regarding the Peacock Angel from “Ascended Masters” who sponsored the Theosophical Society while dwelling physically in Tibet at Shigatse, which was a seat of the Peacock Angel in the East and connected by tunnels to Shambhala. Thus, information derived from the Theosophical Society in regards to Sanat Kumara or Tawsi Melek must naturally merit a certain credence not found in other sources.

Within the information received by Blavatsky (as well as by her early student Alice Bailey) Sanat Kumara was referred to as the King of the World, the World Guru, and as the soul of Earth, the “Planetary Logos,” which is defined as the Earth’s collective mind and will manifesting through the actions of all Earth’s inhabitants, including all humans. It has been speculated that if there ever was an actual “fall” when the Peacock Angel or Sanat Kumara did indeed become Lucifer it must have occurred after he became the Planetary Logos. Following this union, Earth humans began to develop an intellect and ego, and development that in turn caused the collective consciousness of all humanity, Sanat Kumara, to also develop an ego. The result of this evolution was that both humans and the planetary soul “fell” from grace together. Since that time, the ego has been operating powerfully within all humans, and Sanat Kumara has been ruling the Earth as the egotistical and self-serving Lucifer.

Theosophist Nicholas Roerich's depiction of the King of the World

The Peacock Angel and the Hopis

The Hopis know the Peacock Angel as their Masaw, the King of the World during this era of the Fourth World. According to their tradition, Masaw, whom the Hopis address as the “Great Spirit,” was ruler of the Third World but then fell from grace because of his pride. He subsequently lost his position as planetary ruler but was then reinstated to that exalted office at the beginning of the Fourth World.

In the history of the Hopis it is said that they came from the East by “island hopping” across the Pacific. It appears that they may have acquired their knowledge of the Peacock Angel as Masaw during the earliest years of their existence in the East.

The Peacock Angel among the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar were initially introduced to the Peacock Angel as the Sufis’ Al-Kadir, the “Green One,” whom they came to know as St. George. The root of the name George is “geo,” denoting the Earth. Thus, George is the “Earth man.” Evidence of the connection between Al-Kadir and St. George is conspicuous in their mutual annual holiday, April 22nd. According to the Sufi Idries Shaw, the Order of St. Khadr was taken by knights to Great Britain where it evolved into the Order of St. George, also known as the Order of the Garter.

The Knights Templar may have also learned of the Peacock Angel directly from the Yezidis, some of whom were living in Syria near the Middle Eastern castles of the Templars. But there was one more plausible source of the Knights’ Peacock Angel wisdom. It is known that the Knights were initiated into a “Johannite” lineage of gnostic masters that had originated in the East, possibly with the Peacock Angel as Sanat Kumara, or one of his students. This lineage was taken west with the gnostic Mandeans, who merged with the Jewish Essenes to found the Nazarene sect, within which were born John the Baptist and Jesus. John the Baptist passed the succession of this lineage to Jesus, who in turn passed it to John the Apostle and Mary Magdalene. From there it moved down a lineage of masters all named John until it was passed to the Knights Templar following the First Crusade.

The Peacock Angel in the Holy Grail Tradition

The Peacock Angel figures prominently in the Holy Grail legends as the primal Fisher King. This is most evident in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, where the seeker of the Holy Grail, Parzival, encounters the Fisher King Anfortas wearing a hat or crown of peacock feathers. Anfortas was the latest of a long line of Fisher Kings, each of whom reflected the Peacock Angel, the first and archetypal Fisher King, the primal Guardian and Embodiment of the Holy Grail. The power of the Holy Grail is the life force, the power wielded by the Fisher King. Through his life force power the Fisher King, who is thus a manifestation of the Green Man, would annually make his kingdom green with prolific vegetation.

The soul of the Peacock Angel was apparently passed down along the lineage of Fisher Kings, all of whom had a propensity for falling from grace due to pride. Each became self-serving with their supernatural power and wisdom, thus leading to a battle where they are cut down and left crippled. They loose their life force power and their kingdoms become barren. There was only one cure of their ailment: a passer by must ask them the question “Who does the Grail serve?” This question apparently triggers an awakening within the paralyzed Fisher King and a subsequent healing of both himself and his kingdom. Such a healing is the direct result of the revelation that the king had been using the power of the Holy Grail for his own purposes when it was really meant for all people. 2009 - 2011 All rights reserved. - A Humanitarian Organization
Hosted by: International Order of Gnostic Templars - United States


The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئێزیدی‎ or Êzidî ) are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to Europe, especially to Germany.[12] Their religion, Yazidism, is a branch of Yazdânism, and is seen as a highly syncretic complex of local Kurdish beliefs and Islamic Sufi doctrine introduced to the area by Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir in the 12th century. The Yazidi believe in God as creator of the world, which he placed under the care of seven holy beings or angels, the chief of whom is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel.


menYazidis on the mountain of a Sinjar, Iraq/Syrian border, 1920s.
Total population

Historically, the Yazidi lived primarily in communities in what are now Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, and also had significant numbers in Armenia and Georgia. However, events since the 20th century have resulted in considerable demographic shift in these areas as well as mass emigration.[6] As a result population estimates are unclear in many regions, and estimates of the size of the total population vary.[1]

yad]zdiThe bulk of the Yazidi population lives in Iraq, where they make up an important Iraqi minority community.[1] Estimates of the size of these communities vary significantly, between 70,000 and 500,000. They are particularly concentrated in northern Iraq, in the area around Mosul. The two biggest communities are in Shekhan, northeast of Mosul, and in Sinjar, at the Syrian border 80 kilometers west of Mosul. In Shekhan is the shrine of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir at Lalish. During the 20th century the Shekhan community struggled for dominance with the more conservative Sinjar community.[1] The demographic profile is likely to have changed considerably since the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.[1]

Yazidi in Syria live primarily in two communities, one in the Al-Jazira area and the other in the Kurd-Dagh.[1] Population numbers for the Syrian Yazidi community are unclear. In 1963 the community was estimated at about 10,000, according to the national census, but numbers for 1987 were unavailable.[13] There may be between about 12,000 and 15,000 Yazidi in Syria today,[1][10] though more than half of the community may have emigrated from Syria since the 1980s.[6] Estimates are further complicated by the arrival of as many as 50,000 Yazidi refugees from Iraq during the Iraq War.[6]

The Turkish Yazidi community declined precipitously during the 20th century. By 1982 it had decreased to about 30,000, and in 2009 there were fewer than 500. Most Turkish Yazidi have emigrated to Europe, particularly Germany; those who remain reside primarily in their former heartland of Tur Abdin.[1] Population estimates for the communities in Georgia and Armenia vary, but they too have declined severely. In Georgia the community fell from around 30,000 people to fewer than 5,000 during the 1990s.[6] The numbers in Armenia may have been somewhat more stable; there may be around 40,000 Yazidi still in Armenia.[7] Most Georgian and Armenian Yazidi have relocated to Russia,[6] which recorded a population of 31,273 Yazidis in the 2002 census.[8]

This mass emigration has resulted in the establishment of large diaspora communities abroad. The most significant of these is in Germany, which now has a Yazidi community of over 40,000. Most are from Turkey and more recently Iraq, and live in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.[1] Since 2008 Sweden has seen sizable growth in its Yazidi emigrant community, which had grown to around 4,000 by 2010,[6] and a smaller community exists in the Netherlands.[1] Other diaspora groups live in Belgium, Denmark, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia; these have a total population of probably less than 5,000.[1]


] Origins

Yazidi men in Mardin, late 19th century

The Yazidi are a Kurdish-speaking people who adhere to a branch of Yazdanism that blends elements of Mithraism, pre-Islamic Mesopotamian religious traditions, Christianity and Islam. Their principal holy site is in Lalish, northeast of Mosul. The Yazidis' own name for themselves is Êzidî or Êzîdî or, in some areas, Dasinî (the latter, strictly speaking, is a tribal name). Some scholars have derived the name Yazidi from Old Iranic yazata (divine being), but most say it is a derivation from Umayyad Caliph Yazid I (Yazid bin Muawiyah), revered by the Yazidis as an incarnation of the divine figure Sultan Ezi[14]. Yazidis, themselves, believe that their name is derived from the word Yezdan or Êzid "God". The Yazidis' cultural practices are observably Kurdish, and almost all speak Kurmanjî (Northern Kurdish). Kurmanjî is the language of almost all the orally transmitted religious traditions of the Yazidis. Thus, religious origins are somewhat complex.

The religion of the Yazidis is a highly syncretic one: Sufi influence and imagery can be seen in their religious vocabulary, especially in the terminology of their esoteric literature, but much of the mythology is non-Islamic. Their cosmogonies apparently have many points in common with those of ancient Persian religions. Early writers attempted to describe Yazidi origins, broadly speaking, in terms of Islam, or Persian, or sometimes even pagan religions; however, publications since the 1990s have shown such an approach to be overly simplistic.[1]

The origin of the Yazidi religion is now usually seen by scholars as a complex process of syncretism, whereby the belief system and practices of a local faith had a profound influence on the religiosity of adherents of the ʻAdawiyya Sufi order living in the Kurdish mountains, and caused it to deviate from Islamic norms relatively soon after the death of its founder, Shaykh ʻAdī ibn Musafir (Kurdish Şêx Adî), who is said to be of Umayyad descent. He settled in the valley of Laliş (some thirty-six miles north-east of Mosul) in the early 12th century. Şêx Adî himself, a figure of undoubted orthodoxy, enjoyed widespread influence. He died in 1162, and his tomb at Laliş is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.

During the fourteenth century, important Kurdish tribes whose sphere of influence stretched well into what is now Turkey (including, for a period, the rulers of the principality of Jazira) are cited in historical sources as Yazidi.

According to Moḥammed Aš-Šahrastani, “The Yezidis are the followers of Yezîd bn Unaisa, who [said that he] kept friendship with the first Muhakkama before the Azariḳa”[15] “It is clear, then, that Aš-Šahrastani finds the religious origin of this interesting people in the person of Yezîd bn Unaisa. ... We are to understand, therefore, that to the knowledge of the writer, bn Unaisa is the founder of the Yezidi sect, which took its name from him.” [16] “Now, the first Muhakkamah is an appellative applied to the Muslim schismatics called Al-Ḫawarij ... . ... According to this it might be inferred that the Yezidis were originally a Ḫarijite sub-sect.”[17] “Yezid moreover, is said to have been in sympathy with Al-Abaḍiyah, a sect founded by ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Ibaḍ.”;[17] and the Ibaḍi sect is another Ḫarijite sub-sect.

[Religious beliefs

In the Yazidi belief system, God created the world and it 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 Tawûsê Melek (frequently known as "Melek Taus" in English publications), 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.[18]

Furthermore, the Yazidi story regarding Tawûsê Melek's rise to favor with God is almost identical to the story of the jinn Iblis in Islam, except that Yazidis revere Tawûsê Melek 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.[19]

Tawûsê Melek is often identified by Muslims and Christians with Shaitan (Satan). Yazidis, however, believe Tawûsê Melek is not a source of evil or wickedness. They consider him to be the leader of the archangels, not a fallen angel. They are forbidden from speaking the name Shaitan. They also hold that the source of evil is in the heart and spirit of humans themselves, not in Tawûsê Melek. The active forces in their religion are Tawûsê Melek and Sheik Adî.

The Kitêba Cilwe "Book of Illumination", which claims to be the words of Tawûsê Melek, 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 Tawûsê Melek 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 Tawûsê Melek from his own illumination (Ronahî ) and the other six archangels were created later. God ordered Tawûsê Melek 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 Tawûsê Melek. In answer to God, Tawûsê Melek 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 the Quran 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 Tawûsê Melek is the representative of God on the face of the Earth, and comes down to the Earth on the first Wednesday of Nisan (April). Yazidis hold that God created Tawûsê Melek 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 Tawûsê Melek, since if God commands anything then it must happen. (Bibe, dibe). In other words, God could have made him submit to Adam, but gave Tawûsê Melek the choice as a test. They believe that their respect and praise for Tawûsê Melek is a way to acknowledge his majestic and sublime nature. This idea is called "Knowledge of the Sublime" (Zanista Ciwaniyê). Şêx Adî has observed the story of Tawûsê Melek and believed in him.[20]

One of the key creation beliefs of Yazidism is that all Yazidis are descendants of Adam rather than Eve.[18] 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 Tawûsê Melek 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 Tawûsê Melek, members of the Heptad (the Seven), who were called into existence by God at the beginning of all things, include Şêx Adî, his companion Şêx Hasan and a group known as the Four Mysteries: Shamsadin, Fakhradin, Sajadin and Naserdin.

The Yazidi holy books are claimed to be the Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Revelation) and the Mishefa Reş (Black Book). However, scholars generally agree that the manuscripts of both books published in 1911 and 1913 were forgeries written by non-Yazidis in response to Western travelers’ and scholars’ interest in the Yazidi religion; the material in them is consistent with authentic Yezidi traditions, however.[14] True texts of those names may have existed, but remain obscure. The real core texts of the religion that exist today are the hymns known as qawls; they have also been orally transmitted during most of their history, but are now being collected with the assent of the community, effectively transforming Yazidism into a scriptural religion.[14] The qawls are full of cryptic allusions and usually need to be accompanied by čirōks or ‘stories’ that explain their context.[14]

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.[18]


 ] Organization

Yazidi society is hierarchical. The secular leader is a hereditary emir or prince, whereas a chief sheikh heads the religious hierarchy. The Yazidi are strictly endogamous; members of the three Yazidi castes, the murids, sheikhs and pirs, married only within their group.

dit] Religious practices


Yazidis have five daily prayers:[21]

Nivêja berîspêdê (the Dawn Prayer), Nivêja rojhilatinê (the Sunrise Prayer), Nivêja nîvro (the Noon Prayer), Nivêja êvarî (the Afternoon Prayer), Nivêja rojavabûnê (the Sunset Prayer). However, most Yezidis observe only two of these, the sunrise and sunset prayers.

Worshipers should turn their face toward the sun, and for the noon prayer, they should face toward Laliş. Such prayer should be accompanied by certain gestures, including kissing the rounded neck (gerîvan) of the sacred shirt (kiras). The daily prayer services must not be performed in the presence of outsiders, and are always performed in the direction of the sun. Wednesday is the holy day but Saturday is the day of rest.[21][22] There is also a three-day fast in December.[18][21]


The Yazidi New Year falls in Spring (somewhat later than the Equinox). There is some lamentation by women in the cemeteries, to the accompaniment of the music of the Qewals, but the festival is generally characterized by joyous events: the music of dehol (drum) and zorna (shawm), communal dancing and meals, the decorating of eggs.

Similarly, the village Tawaf, a festival held in the spring in honor of the patron of the local shrine, has secular music, dance and meals in addition to the performance of sacred music.

Another important festival is the Tawûsgeran (circulation of the peacock) where Qewals and other religious dignitaries visit Yazidi villages, bringing the senjaq, sacred images of a peacock made from brass symbolising Tawûsê Melek. These are venerated, taxes are collected from the pious, sermons are preached and holy water distributed.

The greatest festival of the year for ordinary Yazidis is the Cejna Cemaiya "Feast of the Assembly" at Lalish, a seven-day occasion. A focus of widespread pilgrimage, this is an important time for social contact and affirmation of identity. The religious center of the event is the belief in an annual gathering of the Heptad in the holy place at this time. Rituals practiced include the sacrifice of a bull at the shrine of Şêx Shams and the practice of sema.


] Pilgrimage

tomb of Latish Tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir (Şêx Adî) in Lalish

The most important ritual is the annual seven-day pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir (Şêx Adî) in Lalish, north of Mosul, Iraq.[21][23] A sacred microcosm of the world, as it were, it contains not only many shrines dedicated to the koasasa, but a number of other landmarks corresponding to other sites or symbols of significance in other faiths, including Pirra selat "Serat Bridge" and a mountain called Mt. Arafat. The two sacred springs are called Zamzam and Kaniya Sipî "The White Spring".

If possible, Yazidis make at least one pilgrimage to Laliş during their lifetime, and those living in the region try to attend at least once a year for the autumn Feast of the Assembly which is celebrated from 23 Aylūl (September) to 1 Tashrīn (October). During the celebration, Yazidi bathe in the river, wash figures of Tawûsê Melek and light hundreds of lamps in the tombs of Şêx Adî and other saints. They also sacrifice an ox, which is one reason they have been connected to Mithraism, in addition to the presence of the dog and serpent in their iconography. The sacrifice of the ox is meant to declare the arrival of fall and to ask for precipitation during winter in order to bring back life to the Earth in the next Spring. Moreover, in astrology, the ox is the symbol of Tashrīn.

] Purity and taboos

The Yazidis' concern with religious purity, and their reluctance to mix elements perceived to be incompatible, is shown not only in their caste system, but also in various taboos affecting everyday life. Some of these, such as those on exogamy or on insulting or offending men of religion, are widely respected. Others are often ignored when men of religion are not present. Others still are less widely known and may be localized.

The purity of the four elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water is protected by a number of taboos, e.g. against spitting on earth, water or fire. Some discourage spitting or pouring hot water on the ground because they believe that spirits or souls that may be present would be harmed or offended by such actions if they happen to be hit by the discarded liquid. These may also reflect ancient Iranian preoccupations, as apparently do taboos concerning bodily waste, hair, and menstrual blood.

Too much contact with non-Yazidis is also considered polluting. In the past, Yazidis avoided military service which would have led them to live among Muslims, and were forbidden to share such items as cups or razors with outsiders. A resemblance to the external ear may lie behind the taboo against eating head lettuce, whose name koas resembles Kurdish pronunciations of koasasa. Additionally, lettuce grown near Mosul is thought by some Yazidi to be fertilized with human waste, which may contribute to the idea that it is unsuitable for consumption. However, in a BBC interview in April 2010, a senior Yazidi authority stated that ordinary Yazidis may eat what they want, but holy men refrain from certain vegetables (including cabbage) because "they cause gases".[24]

Yazidis refrain from wearing the color blue (or possibly green as stated in Soldier Poet and Rebel by Miles Hudson). The origins of this prohibition are unknown, but may either be because blue represents Noah's flood, or it was possibly the color worn by a conquering king sometime in the past. Alternatively, the prohibition may arise from their veneration of the Peacock Angel and an unwillingness to usurp His color.

[ Customs

Children are baptized at birth and circumcision is common but not required. Dead are buried in conical tombs immediately after death and buried with hands crossed.

Yazidi are dominantly monogamous but chiefs may be polygamous, having more than one wife. Yazidi are exclusively endogamous; clans do not intermarry even with other Kurds and accept no converts. They claim they are descended only from Adam and not from Eve.

A severe punishment is expulsion, which is also effectively excommunication because the soul of the exiled is forfeit.

In 2007, an incidence of honour killing — the stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad — made world headlines.[25]


The belief

yezidze temple
The Chermera or "40 Men" Temple on the highest peak of the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq. The temple is so old that no one remembers how it came to have that name, but it is believed to derive from the burial of 40 men on the mountaintop site

The tale of the Yazidis' origin found in the Black Book gives them a distinctive ancestry and expresses their feeling of difference from other races. Before the roles of the sexes were determined, Adam and Eve quarreled about which of them provided the creative element in the begetting of children. Each stored their seed in a jar which was then sealed. When Eve's was opened it was full of insects and other unpleasant creatures, but inside Adam's jar was a beautiful boychild. This lovely child, known as son of Jar grew up to marry a houri and became the ancestor of the Yazidis. Therefore, the Yazidi are regarded as descending from Adam alone, while other humans are descendants of both Adam and Eve.[26]

[Muslim antipathy

As a demiurge figure, Tawûsê Melek is often identified by orthodox Muslims as a Shaitan (Satan), a Muslim term denoting a devil or demon who deceives true believers. The Islamic tradition regarding the fall of "Shaitan" from Grace is in fact very similar to the Yazidi story of Malek Taus — that is, the Jinn who refused to submit to Adam is celebrated as Tawûsê Melek by Yazidis, but the Islamic version of the same story curses the same Jinn who refused to submit as becoming Satan.[19] Thus, the Yazidi have been accused of devil worship. Because of this and due to their pre-Islamic beliefs, they have been oppressed by their Muslim neighbors. Treatment of Yazidis was exceptionally harsh during the rule of the Ottoman Empire during the 18th and the first half of 19th century and their numbers dwindled under Ottoman rule both in Syria and Iraq. Massacres at the hand of Ottoman Turks and Muslim Kurdish princes almost wiped out their community in the 19th century.[27][28] Several punitive expeditions were organized against the Yazidis by the Turkish governors (Wāli) of Diyarbakir, Mosul and Baghdad. These operations were legitimized by fatāwa from Islamic clerics.[29] The objective of these persecutions was the forced conversion of Yazidis to the Sunni Hanafi Islam of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.[30]

[edit] Recent controversies

In 2007, a group of around 200 Yazidis beat and stoned to death a 17-year-old Yazidi girl named Du’a Khalil Aswad for falling in love with a Muslim boy. On April 23, 2007 masked gunmen abducted and shot 23 Yazidis near Mosul; this was speculated to be a reprisal attack for Aswad's death.

On August 14, 2007 Yazidis were targeted in a series of bombings that became the deadliest suicide attack since the Iraq War began.

On August 13, 2009, at least 20 people were killed and 30 wounded in a double suicide bombing in northern Iraq, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. Two suicide bombers with explosive vests carried out the attack at a cafe in Sinjar, a town west of Mosul. In Sinjar, many townspeople are members of the Yazidi minority.[31]

[edit] In Europe

Feleknas Uca, a Kurdish Member of the European Parliament for Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism, was the world's only Yazidi parliamentarian until the Iraqi legislature was elected in 2005. European Yazidis have contributed to the academic community, such as Khalil Rashow in Germany and Jalile Jalil in Austria.

As the Yazidi hold religious beliefs that are mostly unfamiliar to outsiders, many non-Yazidi people have written about them and ascribed facts to their beliefs that have dubious historical validity. For example, horror writer H. P. Lovecraft made a reference to "the Yezidi clan of devil-worshippers" in his short story The Horror at Red Hook.[citation needed]

The Yazidis, perhaps because of their secrecy, also have a place in modern occultism. G. I. Gurdjieff wrote about his encounters with the Yazidis several times in his book Meetings with Remarkable Men, mentioning that they are considered to be "devil worshippers" by other ethnicities in the region.[citation needed]

The Theosophical Society, in its electronic version of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary states:

Yezidis (Arabic) [possibly from Persian yazdan god; or the 2nd Umayyad Caliph, Yazid (r. 680 - 683); or Persian city Yezd] A sect dwelling principally in Kurdistan, Armenia, and the Caucasus, who call themselves Dasni. Their religious beliefs take on the characteristics of their surrounding peoples, inasmuch as, openly or publicly, they regard Mohammed as a prophet, and Jesus Christ as an angel in human form. Points of resemblance are found with ancient Zoroastrian and Assyrian religion. The principal feature of their worship, however, is Satan under the name of Muluk-Taus. However, it is not the Christian Satan, nor the devil in any form; their Muluk-Taus is the hundred- or thousand-eyed cosmic wisdom, pictured as a bird (the peacock).[32]

[non-primary source needed]

Idries Shah, writing under the pen-name Arkon Daraul, in the 1961 book Secret Societies Yesterday and Today, describes discovering a Yazidi-influenced secret society in the London suburbs called the "Order of the Peacock Angel." Idries Shah claimed that Tawûsê Melek could be understood, from the Sufi viewpoint, as an allegory of the higher powers in humanity.[33][non-primary source needed]

In her memoir of her service with an intelligence unit of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division in Iraq during 2003 and 2004, Kayla Williams (2005) records being stationed in northern Iraq near the Syrian border in an area inhabited by "Yezidis". The Yezidis were Kurdish-speaking, but did not consider themselves Kurds, and expressed to Williams a fondness for America and Israel. She was able to learn only a little about the nature of their religion: she thought it very ancient, and concerned with angels. She describes a mountain-top Yezidi shrine as "a small rock building with objects dangling from the ceiling", and alcoves for the placement of offerings. She reports that local Muslims considered the Yezidis to be devil worshippers.

In an October 2006 article in The New Republic, Lawrence F. Kaplan echoes Williams's sentiments about the enthusiasm of the Yazidis for the American occupation of Iraq, in part because the Americans protect them from oppression by militant Muslims and the nearby Kurds. Kaplan notes that the peace and calm of Sinjar is virtually unique in Iraq: "Parents and children line the streets when U.S. patrols pass by, while Yazidi clerics pray for the welfare of U.S. forces."[34]

A fictional Yazidi character of note is the super-powered police officer King Peacock of the Top 10 series (and related comics).[citation needed] He is portrayed as a kind, peaceful character with a broad knowledge of religion and mythology. He is depicted as conservative, ethical, and highly principled in family life. An incredibly powerful martial artist, he is able to destroy matter, a power that he claims is derived from communicating with Malek Ta’us.

Tony Lagouranis comments on a Yazidi prisoner in his book Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey through Iraq:

There's a lot of mystery surrounding the Yazidi, and a lot of contradictory information. But I was drawn to this aspect of their beliefs: Yazidi don't have a Satan. Malak Ta'us, an archangel, God's favorite, was not thrown out of heaven the way Satan was. Instead, he descended, saw the suffering and pain of the world, and cried. His tears, thousands of years' worth, fell on the fires of hell, extinguishing them. If there is evil in the world, it does not come from a fallen angel or from the fires of hell. The evil in this world is man-made. Nevertheless, humans can, like Malak Ta'us, live in this world but still be good.[35][non-primary source needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Allison, Christine (2004-02-20). "Yazidis i: General". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved August 20, 2010. "There are probably some 200,000-300,000 Yazidis worldwide."
  2. ^ a b "Yezidi". Retrieved 2008-03-31. Cites estimates between 100,000 and 700,000.
  3. ^ "Deadly Iraq sect attacks kill 200". BBC News. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  4. ^ [ Iraq Yezidis: A Religious and Ethnic Minority Group Faces Repression and Assimilation By Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq (25 September 2005)]
  5. ^ [Idan Barir: The Yezidis of Iraq: an Endangered Minority] Citation: The number of Yezidis residing in Iraqi Kurdistan is estimated at 300,000 residents
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Megalommatis, Muhammad Shamsaddin (February 28, 2010). "Dispersion of the Yazidi Nation in Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Europe: Call for UN Action". American Chronicle. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Armenia entry at The World Factbook 1.3% of 2,971,650 (July 2007 est.) = 38631.45.
  8. ^ a b 2002 Russian census
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Commins, David Dean (2004). Historical Dictionary of Syria. Scarecrow Press. p. 282. ISBN 0810849348. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  11. ^ Spat, Eszter (2005). The Yezidis. Saqi Books. pp. 17–21. ISBN 08635356593x.
  12. ^ Reeves, Bob (2007-02-28). "Lincoln Iraqis call for protection from terrorism". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  13. ^ Federal Research Division. Syria. "Chapter 5: Religious Life". Library of Congress Country Studies. Accessed August 20, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c d Encyclopaedia Iranica:Yazidis
  15. ^ Joseph 1919, p. 119
  16. ^ Joseph 1919, p. 120
  17. ^ a b Joseph 1919, p. 121
  18. ^ a b c d Kjeilen, Tore. "Yazidism". Encyclopaedia. LookLex. Retrieved 2008-03-31. "Malak Taus filled 7 jars of tears through 7,000 years. His tears were used to extinguish the fire in hell. Therefore, there is no hell in Yazidism."
  19. ^ a b Islam: Satan, sin, and repentance at Encyclopædia Britannica
  20. ^ "Yezidi Reformer: Sheikh Adi". The Truth about the Yezidis., A Humanitarian Organization, Sedona, Arizona.
  21. ^ a b c d "Yezidi Religious Tradition". The Truth about the Yezidis., A Humanitarian Organization, Sedona, Arizona.
  22. ^ MacFarquhar, Neill (2003-01-03). "Bashiqa Journal: A Sect Shuns Lettuce and Gives the Devil His Due". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-31. "Yazidis pray three times a day, at dawn, midday and sunset, facing the direction of the sun each time. 'The sun is very holy to us,' said Walid Abu Khudur, the stocky, bearded guardian of the temple built in honor of a holy man here. 'It is like the eye of God, so we pray toward it.'... They have adopted Christian rituals like baptism and a smattering of practices from Islam ranging from circumcision to removal of their shoes inside their temples. The importance of fire as a divine manifestation comes from Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian faith that forms the core of Yazidi beliefs. Indeed their very name is likely taken from an old Persian word for angel."
  23. ^ Hedges, Chris (1993-05-31). "Sheik Adi Journal: Satan's Alive and Well, but the Sect May Be Dying". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "The Yazidis, who are part of Iraq's Kurdish minority, had 100 of 150 villages demolished during the counterinsurgency operation against the Kurdish rebel movement that reached its peak in 1988. The campaign, which moved hundreds of thousands of people to collective villages, saw 4,000 Kurdish villages dynamited into rubble... The sect follows the teachings of Sheik Adi, a holy man who died in 1162, and whose crypt lies in the shrine in the Lalish Valley, about 15 miles east of Mosul. The shrine's graceful, fluted spires poke above the trees and dominate the fertile valley... Like Zoroastrians they venerate fire, the sun and the mulberry tree. They believe in the transmigration of souls, often into animals. The sect does not accept converts and banishes anyone who marries outside the faith. Yazidis are forbidden to disclose most of their rituals and beliefs to nonbelievers."
  24. ^ "Richness of Iraq's minority religions revealed" from the BBC
  25. ^ Lattimer, Mark (2007-12-13) "Freedom Lost", The Guardian, London.
  26. ^ Allison, Christine (2001). The Yezidi Oral Tradition in Iraqi Kurdistan. Psychology Press. p. 40. ISBN 0700713972. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  27. ^ Commins, David Dean. Historical Dictionary of Syria. Scarecrow Press. pp. 282. ISBN 0810849348..
  28. ^ Ghareeb, Edmund A. (2004). Historical Dictionary of Iraq. Scarecrow Press. pp. 248. ISBN 0810843307.
  29. ^ Edmonds, C.J. (1967). A Pilgrimage To Lalish. Routledge. pp. 60. ISBN 0947593284.
  30. ^ Hastings, James (2003). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 18. Kessinger. pp. 769. ISBN 0766136957.
  31. ^ "At least 20 killed in Iraq blast". International. August 13, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  32. ^ "Yezidis". Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary. Theosophical University Press. 1999.
  33. ^ Shah, Idries (1964). The Sufis. Anchor Doubledy. pp. 437–438. ISBN 0385079664.
  34. ^ Kaplan, Lawrence F. (2007-10-31). "Sinjar Diarist: Devil's Advocates". The New Republic 235 (4790): 34. Not accessible: original. Cited at PDPBR for October 31-November 1.
  35. ^ Lagouranis, Tony (2007). Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey through Iraq. New American Library. p. 128. ISBN 978-0451221124.

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links





The Peacock Angel was in the Garden of Eden and because of his pride he refused God’s order to bow to Adam. This show of pride caused the fall of Lucifer and established an eternal enmity between God and the Peacock Angel.
Truth: In the Yezidi tradition it is indeed stated that the Peacock Angel was present in the Garden of Eden. He failed to bow down to Adam because he was obeying God. The Yezidis claim that previous to the creation of Adam the Supreme God had informed all Seven Great Angels never bow down to any other entity other than Him.

The Yazidis are linked to the extreme Shi'a (Ghulat) sects and number worldwide some 300,000 people. The main group of 150,000 Yazidis live in the Jebel Sinjar mountain and the Shaikhan district of northwest Iraq. At least 50,000 Yazidis live in the former Soviet Union (Armenia and other Caucasus states). They were also to be found in South-East Turkey around Diyarbakir and Mardin (10,000) but most emigrated from there to Germany in the 80s. They also live in Syria in and around Aleppo (5,000), and in parts of Iran. An estimated 50,000 have emigrated to Western Europe, mainly to Germany, in search of asylum and employment.

The Yazidis call themselves Dawasi. They are called "Devil worshippers" by their Sunni neighbours, who considered them heretics and have cruelly persecuted them over the centuries. They are closely related to similar sects such as the Ahl-i-Haqq.

The Yazidi religion is a syncretistic combination of Zoroastrian, Manichaean, Jewish and Nestorian Christian with Islamic Shi'a and Sufi elements and has many variants. They believe that they were created separately from the rest of mankind and are descended from Adam only - not from Adam and Eve like the rest of humanity. They have therefore kept themselves strictly isolated from the other communities among whom they lived, and did not intermarry with them. They also call themselves "Children of Adam" and see themselves as a chosen people.

Although scattered, they have a well organised society. The Emir (Mirza Beg) who resides at Ba'dari (65 km north of Mosul), is the secular head who represents the Yazidis to the central authorities. He installs the chief Sheikh (Sheikh Nazir, Baba Sheikh) who resides in Beled-Sinjar and is the supreme religious head and the infallible authority on their holy scriptures.

Ethnically most Yazidis are Kurmanji speaking Kurds. Their religious practice is centered on the tomb of their founder figure, Sheikh 'Adi ibn Musafir at Lalesh, some 60 km north-east of Mosul, who was probably a Sufi (some think an Isma'ili) preacher of the 12th century.

Yazidis believe that the supreme God created the world, but delegated its maintenance to a hierarchy of seven angels of whom Malak Ta'us (the Peacock Angel) was the first in rank. Malak Ta'us sinned in not worshipping Adam, and was punished by being cast down from heaven. After shedding tears for 7000 years, with which the fires of hell were quenched, he repented of his sin of pride, was pardoned and reinstated as chief of the angels.

In Yazidi belief, Malak Ta'us is also the devil (Shaitan), the ruler of this world, and they seek to appease him as they fear his power. They do not actually worship him, but seek to honour and placate him, believing that the Supreme Being has delegated to him dominion over the world. They will never pronounce his Arabic name "Shaitan" or use any word beginning with "SH". He is seen as a capricious Lord who determines man's fate as he wills and in whom the principles of good and of evil are combined. It is believed that he appeared in different form in various periods of history, the final incarnation being in Sheikh 'Adi ben Musafir (d. 1162).

Malak Ta'us rules the universe with the help of six other angels, and he guards the gates of Paradise. The seven angels are worshipped by the Yazidi in the form of seven bronze peacock figures called Sanjaq, the largest of which weighs 320 kg. Six of them are taken yearly on a round of the main Yazidi centres.

Of the other angels, Sultan Ezi is second in rank to Malak Ta'us and many legends are told about him. He is sometimes identified with the second Umayad Caliph Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah. Other important angels are Sherf-Edin (noble lord of religion) who is seen as the Mahdi (returning Messiah), and She-Shims (sun sheikh) who presents the prayers of the Yazidis to God's throne three times a day.

As hell was destroyed by Malak Ta'us, it does not exist anymore. There is no concept of the forgiveness of sins. A person's deeds receive due punishment or reward in his next reincarnation. Transmigration of souls is a process of gradual purification of the spirit through the successive rebirths until the final day of judgement.

Like all Shi'a groups, the Yazidis believe firmly in Taqiya, the dissimulation of their faith in the face of persecution for the sake of the survival of the community.

Sheikh 'Adi, the Yazidi founder figure and saint, was a 12th century Sufi mystic whom the Yazidi believe was the final manifestation of Malak Ta'us. His tomb is their religious centre and focal point of their annual pilgrimage.

Once a year, early in October, all Yazidis are encouraged to assemble at Sheikh 'Adi. The festivities are supervised by the Emir and the Baba Sheikh. The pilgrims bathe ritually in the river and form a procession in which the various clergy castes carry the Sanjaqs, play the flutes and drums, sing and dance. Hundreds of sesame oil lamps are lighted at the saint's grave and special offerings are brought. White bulls are sacrificed and common meals partaken of. A black serpent, symbol of Malak Ta'us, is carved on the doorway to the shrine and is kissed by the pilgrims. Booths are set up and there is much rejoicing with singing and dancing. The clergy engage in secret rituals to which the laity (murids) have no access.

Yazidis pray ritually three times a day facing the sun after first washing their hands and face. The prayers are in Kurdish and express thankfulness and pleas for blessing and help. The weekly holy day is Wednesday, in which they gather at dawn in a Ziyaret (local pilgrimage centre). The day of rest is Saturday. Twice a year they fast for three days: at the sun festival (ida roja, 1st December) and at the Khidr Elias festival (The Prophet Elijah day, 18th February).

The new year festival (ida sersale, first Wednesday in April) is a time of much rejoicing. Sheep, goats or hens are sacrificed, and houses decorated with flowers. Bonfires are lit at night. Yazidis celebrate other festivals, including two days at the end of the Muslim Ramadan and a Jesus feast (ida Isa) around Easter time.

Yazidis revere their dead, offering gifts, especially the firstfruits, at their graves. Many Yazidi villages have a tomb of a holy man nearby which is used as a local pilgrimage centre. Pilgrims seek blessing, protection and healing at these tombs.

Yazidi taboos include not eating lettuce, as they believe that evil is found in it. Tradition has it that "the devil once hid in a lettuce patch". This belief, ridiculed by their neighbours, probably goes back to the Manichaeans who believed that Divine Light was contained in plants more than in any other substance. Yazidis must not wear clothes of a specific dark blue colour, or a shirt open down the front. Underwear must be white. Very religious Yazidis do not eat chicken or gazelle meat.

Birth to Yazidi parents is the only way into the community. From birth each Yazidi is automatically linked to his or her specific Sheikh or Pir. This relationship cannot be changed. Children are baptised in the first week after birth, whilst circumcision is optional. Between the 7th to the 11th month, boys are initiated into full membership of the community through a special ceremony in which the Sheikh cuts off three locks of the boy's hair which are hidden by the mother.

The Sheikhs perform at weddings and funerals with special prayers and liturgies.

The sacred scriptures of the Yazidis are two short books written in Arabic: Kitab al-Jilwah (book of revelation) supposed to have been written by Sheikh 'Adi himself, and Mishaf Rash (black writing) by Sheikh Hasan ibn-'Adi. An Arabic hymn in praise of Shaykh 'Adi is greatly respected as part of their liturgy.

Yazidi society is divided into two classes, the laity and the clergy. Marriage is strictly restricted to one's own class, often to one's own clan and is preferably to a cousin.

The laity (murid) who constitute the majority of Yazidis were not supposed to learn to read or write (a privilege kept for an Imam claiming descent from the famous Sufi Hasan al-Basri). They are not initiated into the mysteries of their religion, their duty being to keep the religious rites and taboos and obey their spiritual leaders. Every Yazidi is linked as a disciple to a definite Sheikh or Pir, whose hand he kisses every day.

The clergy or priests (ruhan, kahana) enjoy great respect and must not cut their hair or beard. They are divided into six classes:

1. The Sheikhs who are descended from five families closely related to Sheikh 'Adi.

2. The Pirs, descended from some of Sheikh Adi's disciples.

The Sheikhs and Pirs are responsible for the spiritual welfare of the murid families under their care, and for teaching them the proper Yazidi rites and ceremonies. They also function at the religious festivals and at the rites of passage (birth, marriage, death, etc.).

3. The Fakirs or Karabash who wear black shirts next to their skins and black turbans round their felt caps. They are organised like a Sufi order and have their own ascetic rules.

4. The Kawwals, who sing and play music at the festivals. Their representatives carry the Sanjaqs around Yazidi villages, inviting them to the pilgrimage to Sheikh Adi and gathering their donations to the Emir and to the upkeep of the religious centre.

5. The Kocaks - the dancers who serve at the tomb of Sheikh 'Adi.

6. The Awhan or deacons who perform the menial service at the tomb.

Every Yazidi is designated a "Brother or Sister of the Other World" on reaching puberty. This is a spiritual relationship which persists until death and carries certain ceremonial responsibilities (similar to Godparents in Christianity).

Yazidi language, both in worship and in secular life, is the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish. Yazidis are organised in tribes, with a chief (Agha) at the head of each. Every tribe is divided into clan groups. Marriage is monogamous and restricted to a person's caste and clan.

As heretics the Yazidis were considered fair prey to any rightly believing Sunni. Turkish rulers and Sunni Kurdish tribes repeatedly persecuted them and tried to forcibly convert them. More recently the Iraqi authorities forcibly deported 20,000 Yazidis from Jebel Sinjar in 1975. Since the Gulf War the Iraqi Government is claiming that the Yazidis are Arabs and their areas should be under its jurisdiction, whilst the Yazidis and Kurdish forces assert that they are Kurds and should be part of their safe haven. Iraqi government posts are only one mile away from the Yazidi sanctuary at Lalesh.

Many Yazidis were also forced to leave South-Eastern Turkey in the 70s and 80s as a result of general anti-Kurdish and specific Sunni-Islamic anti-Yazidi persecution. They have historically viewed their Syrian Orthodox and Nestorian Christian neighbours as friends and fellow sufferers at the hands of the dominant Sunni majority.

The Seven Archangels in other Religions

This section will be constantly updated as new references are discovered.

The Seven Archangels have been mentioned during specific historical periods and within various Traditions:

Era / Tradition Reference Back ground information
The Pharaonic Era.
Dates back to 3000 years B.C. till Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 323 B.C. During the Pharaonic Era.

Urshu ( The watchers)

The Seven Sages


A pre-dynastic race of demi-gods called the followers of Horus

Also known as First-Time or Elder Gods who constructed the first temples known as the House of God

Worshiped by the Egyptians as the leader of the Seven Sages or Seven Builders. Osiris was also associated with the Archangel Michael

Yezedic Religion

Seven Mysteries

Seven Sheikhs

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 Teleck Melek (frequently known as "Melek Tawus" in English publications), the Peacock Angel.

From the Yezedic Scriptures the Seven Sheikhs were the incarnations of the Seven Archangels, we are familiar todat, there were created an sent forth into the univers by God to assist man.

Century- Alexandrian Tractate Seven Administrators

From the Hermetic Corpus of mystery text.

Philosophers of the time believed that the destiny of the classical world was under the dominion of one ultimate goddess controlling human affairs and mortal things under the rule of the zodiac and planetary luminaries the Seven Administrators.


Jackson, N. & Howard.M “The Pillars of Tubal-Cain”, Capall Bann Publishing. 2003.

Copyright © 2009 - 2011. - ArchAn Publishing. All Rights Reserved


The Baphomet

Rumors and Charges

An Abominated Idol

"Public indignation was aroused by...charges of ...worshipping the devil in the form of an idol called Baphomet." Baphomet was "the Templar symbol of Gnostic rites based on phallic worship and the power of directed will. The androgynous figure with a goat's beard and cloven hooves is linked to the horned god of antiquity, the goat of Mendes."
- Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks

"Some confessed that they had also worshipped an idol in the form of a cat, witch was red, or gray, or black, or mottled. Sometimes the idol worship required kissing the cat below the tail. Sometimes the cat was greased with the fat from roasted babies. The Templars were forced to eat food that contained the ashes of dead Templars, a form of witchcraft that passed on the courage of the fallen knights."
- John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)

In the list of charges drawn up by the Inquisition against the Templars on 12 August 1308, there appears the following:

"Item, that in each province the order had idols, namely heads, of which some had three races and some one, and others had a human skull.
Item, that they adored these idols or that idol, and especially in their great chapters and assemblies.
Item, that they venerated (them).
Item, that (they venerated them) as God.
Item, that (they venerated them) as their Savior....
Item, that they said that the head could save them.
Item, that [it could] make riches.
Item, that it made the trees flower.
Item, that [it made] the land germinate.
Item, that they surrounded or touched each head of the aforesaid idols with small cords, which they wore around themselves next to the shirt or the flesh.
Item, that in his reception, the aforesaid small cords or some lengths of them were given to each of the brethren.
Item, that they did this in veneration of an idol.
Item, that they (the receptors) enjoined them (the postulants) on oath not to reveal the aforesaid to anyone."
- The Articles of the Accusations

An Eastern Origin?

"...They bestowed worship in their chapter on a heathen idol, variously described as to its physical characteristics, but known as a 'Baphomet', which etymologically was the same word [in Old French] as 'Mohammed'. [Once or twice the form Mahomet is actually used by witnesses in the trial.] Like so many persecuted heretical groups of the past, they were said to hold their chapters only secretly and at night."

"It was impossible for the Templars to have 'picked up in the East' the practice of worshipping an idol bearing the name of the Prophet Mohammed, since no such idol existed anywhere in the Levant, even among breakaway sects such as the Ismailis or the Druse. The idea that Muslims were idolaters was itself a part of another system of 'smears', the pejorative representation of the oriental world by western Christians."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"Probably relying upon contemporary Eastern sources, Western scholars have recently supposed that 'Bafomet' has no connection with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic abufihamet (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish something like bufihimat). The word means 'father of understanding.' In Arabic, 'father' is taken to mean 'source, chief seat of,' and so on. In Sufi terminology, ras el-fahmat (head of knowledge) means the mentation of man after undergoing refinement - the transmuted consciousness."
- Idries Shah, The Sufis

Sufi martyr Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj died in 922CE. He was "a pantheist, an alleged miracle worker, and a most definitely unorthodox Muslim, Hallaj was imprisoned and tried for blasphemy for his public descriptions of his mystical union with God. Finally convicted after a nine year inquiry, Hallaj was maimed, crucified, beheaded, and his torso was cremated. Some of the stories surrounding his death include an account of the Caliph's Queen Mother having Hallaj's head preserved as a relic (Singh, 1970). Various Sufi sects have rituals commemorating Hallaj's death, and Shah claimed that Hallaj was the model for the 'Hiram Abiff' character in the Master Mason initiation ritual."

Hallaj "according to the medieval Islamic poet and historian Farid al-Din Attar, turns out to have been known by several titles beginning with abu-....Could the charge that the Templars 'worshipped a head called Baphomet' not have had some factual basis, namely the commemoration of a decapitated Sufi martyr whose head became a relic and who had been given the sobriquet abufihamet? The only problem here is that despite all the other abu- titles belonging to Hallaj, there is no known documentation linking him to abufihamet."
- Frater Baraka, IV, "Baphomet: A 'Mystery' Solved At Last?"

A Gnostic Origin?

"Another theory suggests that Baphomet is a compound of the words 'baphe' (baptism) and 'metis' (wisdom) ...Both theories imply the Templars were worshipping, or at least privy to, a secret knowledge. Several commentators believed this points to the Templars having been gnostics ('gnosis' meaning knowing)."
- Encounters magazine, issue 11: 45

A Bearded Head

The Brothers Testimony
The idol was described by Philip the Fair as:

"...a man's head with a large beard, which head they kiss and worship at all their provincial chapters, but this not all the brothers know, save only the Grand Master and the old ones."
- Philip's instructions to his seneschals

During The Trial of the Templars in 1307 Brother Jean Taillefer of Genay gave evidence.


"was received into the order at Mormant, one of the three perceptories under the jurisdiction of the Grand Priory of Champagne at Voulaine. He said at his initiation 'an idol representing a human face' was placed on the altar before him. Hughes de Bure, another Burgundian from a daughter house of Voulaine, described how the 'head' was taken out of a cupboard, or aumbry, in the chapel, and that it seemed to him to be of gold or silver, and to represent the head of a man with a long beard. Brother Pierre d'Arbley suspected that the 'idol' had two faces, and his kinsman Guillaume d'Arbley made the point that the 'idol' itself, as distinct from copies, was exhibited at general chapters, implying that it was only shown to senior members of the order on special occasions."

"The treasurer of the Paris temple, Jean de Turn, spoke of a painted head in the form of a picture, which he had adored at one of these chapters."

"Nearly all the brethren agreed that the head was bearded and had long hair, and the Templars, like the majority of their contemporaries, regarded long hair as effeminate, so the length of the 'idol's hair was remarkable for this, if for no other reason."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

According to the most consistent accounts, the idol was:

"...about the natural size of a man's head, with a very fierce-looking face and beard."
- Deposition of Jean Tallefer

"He went on to say that he could not describe it more particularly, except that he thought it was of a reddish color."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

The mysterious object at one of the Templars' Paris ceremonies was,

"brought in by the priest in a procession of the brethren with lights; it was laid on the altar; it was a human head without any silver or gold, very pale and discolored, with a grizzled beard like a Templars."
- Stephen of Troyes

"Other descriptions, clearly referring to copies, included mention of gold and silver cases, wooden panels, and the like. But the Paris head is different. One gets the distinct impression that this was the holy of holies, accorded ceremonial strikingly reminiscent of that used by the Byzantines."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

The Templar Cord

"In the Inquisition evidence there are several references to members of the order receiving on initiation a little cord that had been in contact with the 'head'."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

Upon being initiated into the Order of the Peacock Angel (Yezidis), "a holy thread, of intertwined black and red wool, is put around the neck. Like the sacred thread of the Parsis and other ancient Middle Eastern cults, this must never be removed; and it sounds like the cord that the Templars were accused of wearing when the Order was suppressed as heretic."
- Arkon Daraul, Secret Societies

Theories About the Head

Alchemists' symbol
Caput Mortuum
(the dead head)

John the Baptist?
It is possible that the head idol was intended to represent the severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he was revered by the Order.

The Templars took part in the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head of John the Baptist.

An egregore is a magical entity that is artificially created by the focused thoughts and desires of a medium (analogous in many ways to Tibetan tulpas.)

Supposedly a medium or statue could then serve as a tenant for the egregore, nourished by the sexual life-powers of the members.

"The Egregora does [sic] exist in the so-called 'astral plane' and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. It is not a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted, introverted in human nature - a morass completely hostile to progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind."
- Marcel Ramos Motta (from P. R. Koenig below)

"The representation of the egregore as bust recalls the ancient literary tradition of animated statues or Salome, who wanted the head of John the Baptist, probably to master his visionary powers.....The classic prototype of such an egregore is Baphomet, the alleged egregore of the Templars, who was (as the Roman Emperor of the Gods) likewise worshipped in the form of a bust. In the secret statutes of the Templars, Baphomet was besought with the introduction to the Qu'ran and dismissed with the 24th chapter of the Book of Sirach."
- P. R. Koenig, "Too Hot to Handle"

A Likeness of the Lord?
Another possibility as to the identity of the Baphomet may lie with Nicodemus, who in the Gospel of John who brought spices for Christ's burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified in Christ's favor.

The Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following intriguing passage:

"Nicodemus had carved and fashioned a head in the likeness of the Lord on the day that he had seen Him on the cross. But of this I am sure, that the Lord God set His hand to the shaping of it, as they say; for no man ever saw one like it nor could it be made by human hands. Most of you who have been at Lucca know it and have seen it."
- Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval

The Skull of Hugues de Payen?

"Another possibility for the origin of the Head relates to the imagery on the first Grand Master's shield, which consisted of three black heads on a gold field. After about two hundred years, it is plausible that this head imagery could have worked itself into the legend of the Baphomet. According to more than one account, the Head was the actual skull of Hugues de Payen, which was preserved as an object of veneration."
- Forrest Jackson, "The Baphomet in History and Symbolism"

The Mandylion/Shroud of Turin?

"Surely this evidence [given by Templars at their trial] suggests that copies of the head, perhaps some of them not unlike the Sainte Face de Laon, others of carved stone or alabaster, such as those of the Nottingham School of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were widely distributed throughout the order's houses. This would at least explain why nothing resembling a pagan idol was found after the brethren had been arrested, and why none of the pictures found in their chapels raised so much as an eyebrow."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

The idol was also described as:

"...An old piece of skin, as though all embalmed and like polished cloth."
- Chronicles of St. Denis

Ian Wilson also hypothesizes that the Templar idols were representations of Christ's face copied from the Mandylion/Shroud.

A possible surviving example, on a painted panel found at Templecombe (image below), England, shows,

"a bearded male head, with a reddish beard, life-size, disembodied, and, above all, lacking in any identification mark.... It conforms too, to some of the most rational Templar descriptions: 'a painting on a plaque', 'a bearded male head', 'life-size', 'with a grizzled beard like a Templars'. (The Templars cultivated their beards in the style of Christ)."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

A Daemon Guardian?

"...The descriptions given of it [the Baphomet] varied wildly. The physical characteristics assigned to the 'Baphomet' seemed to come either from the maufé or demon of northern folklore, or from church reliquaries. It was often said to represent a cat, a beast traditionally associated with witchcraft and heresy."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"INQUISITOR: Now tell us about the head.
BROTHER RAOUL: Well, the head. I've seen it at seven chapters held by Brother Hugh de Peraud and others.
INQUISITOR: What did one do to worship it?
BROTHER RAOUL: Well, it was like this. It was presented, and everyone threw himself on the ground, pushed back his cowl, and worshipped it.
INQUISITOR: What was its face like?
BROTHER RAOUL: Terrible. It seemed to me that it was the face of a demon, of a maufé [evil spirit]. Every time I saw it I was filled with such terror I could scarcely look at it, trembling in all my members."
- from M. Michelet, Procés des Templiers

Based upon the idol's description as a "demon" having "very fierce-looking face and beard", the idol very likely could have been Asmodeus, the "daemon guardian" who helped Solomon build his Temple.

A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish church at Rennes-le-Château.

"The Templars' stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244. Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, Baibars, inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside the tower 'a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in its place."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

A Feminine Origin?


"...We found indisputable evidence for the charge of secret ceremonies involving a head of some kind. Indeed the existence of such a head proved to be one of the dominant themes running through the Inquisition records.... Among the confiscated goods of the Paris preceptory a reliquary in the shape of a woman's head was found. It was hinged on top, and contained what appeared to have been relics of a peculiar kind."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

The reliquary was:

"A great head of gilded silver, most beautiful, and constituting the image of a woman. Inside were two head bones, wrapped in a cloth of white linen, with another red cloth around it. A label was attached, on which was written the legend CAPUT LVIIIm. The bones inside were those of a rather small woman."
- Oursel, Le Procés des Templiers

"Caput LVIIIm - 'Head 58m' - remains a baffling enigma. But it is worth noting that the 'm' may not be an 'm' at all, but the astrological symbol for Virgo."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"The number 58 is less puzzling if one remembers that five (5) is the number of the pentagram and eight (8) is indicative of Isis. We may now complete the simple equation which exposes her secret number:

5 X 8 = 40 = 58 - 18 ISIS

"The numbers 5 and 8 are also exhibited in the beliefs of the 'Brothers of the Rose Cross', where the rose is constructed with a centre of five petals, surrounded by eight petals."
- David Wood, GENISIS (1986)

"That it had a feminine origin is shown by Gerald Massey who writes 'METE was the BAPHOMET or mother of breath'. According to Von Hammer, the formula of faith inscribed on a chalice belonging to the Templars is as follows: Let METE be exalted who causes all things to bud and blossom, it is our root; it is one and seven; it is octinimous, the eight-fold name."
- Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden
Skull & Crossbones

Cults of the Severed Head

"Herodotus (4:26) speaks of the practice in the obscure Issedones of gilding a head and sacrificing to it. Cleomenes of Sparta is said to have preserved the head of Archonides in honey and consulted it before undertaking an important task. Several vases of the fourth century BC in Etruria depict scenes of persons interrogating oracular heads. And the severed head of the rustic Carians which continues to 'speak' is mentioned derisively by Aristotle."
- Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

A similar tradition could be found in the Celtic cult of the severed head which figured predominantly in Peredur, a Welsh romance about the Holy Grail.

"A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, a Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him 'guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things', and so he carried it away with him."
- Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods

"One chronicler cites the name of the woman in the story - Yse, which would seem quite clearly to derive from Isis."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"At one time there was only God. He was all omnipotent and existed alone. This caused him to become discontented, thus he split himself in two in order to create a mate. He kept the elements of Order and Logic for his own being and gave his mate the elements of Chaos and Emotion for her being. Her name is Yse (pron. Issa).


     EA/ENKI                               ENLIL 


In the Bible, they split idenntities into 'God' and 'the Lord'.  It is realy EA/ENKI and ENLIL - who were the Annunakis.

She became so overwhelmed with love at her creation that when he kissed her, she gave him a reaction which was to become known as the 'Chosen Response'. The Chosen Response was the first acknowledgement and reaction of love between a male and female in the universe, and this became the greatest secret of and mystery of mankind, being 'The Holy Grail'."
- Synopsis from the Merovingian Bible, "Angels Among Us! The Gnostic (Johannine) Christian Path"

Use of the Atbash Cipher

Dr. Hugh Schonfield in The Essene Odyssey "had discovered a system of cryptography - he called it the 'Atbash Cipher' - which had been used to conceal certain names in Essene/Zadokite/Nazarene texts. This system of coding figured, for example, in a number of the scrolls found at Qumran."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy



Schonfield "showed that by applying the Hebrew Atbash code to the name Baphomet, the name Sophia [ShVPIA], female wisdom, is revealed. Sophia is equated with Isis by Plutarch."
- David Wood, Genisis



Isis's magic was allied to the wisdom of the Egyptian god Thoth. His wife or consort, Nehemaut, was known to the Gnostics as Sophia.

"By this analysis, therefore, when the Templars worshipped Baphomet what they were really doing was worshipping the principle of Wisdom."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"From the Templars' use of the Atbash Cipher, it is probable that some form of Nazarean or neo-Nazarean sect had continued to survive in the Middle East as late as the twelfth century, and had made its teachings available to the West."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

The Black Virgin





"Plutarch compares Isis to knowledge, and Typhon to ignorance, obscuring the light of the sacred doctrine whose blaze lights the soul of the Initiate. No gift of the gods, he holds, is so precious as the knowledge of the Truth, and that of the Nature of the gods, so far as our limited capacities allow us to rise toward them."
- General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

"The great Egyptian goddess Isis, often depicted as a black woman, is inextricably linked with alchemy and is closely associated with the Black Madonnas of Europe."
- Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose Image? The Shocking Truth Unveiled



"The ankh [the looped cross of Egypt] which Isis carries as supreme initiatrix may account for some of the oddly-shaped scepters carried by the Black Virgins who, like Isis, often favor the color green. Their greeness and blackness points to the beginning of the opus whose secret, according to alchemists, is to be found in 'the sex of Isis'."
-Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin

"The Black Virgin... is Isis and her name is Notre Dame de Lumiére."
- Pierre Plantard de St Clair (former Grand Master of the Priory of Sion)

"The Templars, imprisoned and awaiting death in the Castle of Chinon... composed a prayer to Our Lady acknowledging Bernard to be the founder of her religion. In addition to the numerous hymns and sermons he addressed to her, he wrote about 280 sermons on the theme of the Song of Songs, the epithalamion of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, whose versicle 'I am black, but I am beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem' is the recurring refrain of the Black Virgin cult."
-Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin

"I am black, but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem. Like the black tents of Cedar, like the pavilions of Solomon."
- Song of Songs 1:5-6

Most of the several hundred statues in France known as Black Madonnas were accidentally darkened by smoke and fumes from votive candles. Others were originally constructed of a dark wood like ebony (and later pear) or deliberately darkened through periodic treatment with oil or wine. Syrian, Coptic, or Ethiopian images transported to France during the Crusades may have served as prototypes for the Black Madonnas.

Black represented the color of earth - the source of fertility and life, or divine flesh, or sorrow. Many effigies of goddesses were black including Isis, Diana and Cybele. From early on in Christianity, the Bride of the Song symbolized the Church and the Virgin Mary.

Churches of the Black Virgin often bore the name of Mary Magdalene. In 1247, Emperor Baldwin II (who helped establish the Templars in Jerusalem) exchanged pieces of the Shroud of Turin with the Abbey of Vézelay for the purported body of Mary Magdalene. A secret tradition states that the Magdalene was Jesus' wife and bore Jesus' offspring to Southern France.

There she was revered as a medium of occult revelation.

The Hidden Legacy of the Templars

Deep into Africa

Prester John

"In the year 1145, the German bishop Otto of Freising reported in his Chronicon a most astonishing epistle. The Pope, he reported, had received a letter from a Christian ruler of India, whose existence had been totally unknown until then. And that king had affirmed in his letter that the River of Paradise was indeed located in his realm.

"Bishop Otto named as the intermediary, through whom the Pope had received the epistle, Bishop Hugh of Gebal, a town on the Mediterranean cost of Syria. The ruler, it was reported, was named John the Elder or, being a priest, Prester John. He was reputedly a lineal descendant of the Magi who had visited Christ the child. He defeated the Muslim kings of Persia, and formed a thriving Christian kingdom in the lands of the Ends of Earth."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"Prester John is a corruption of Presbyter John - the Apostle John - even in the Gospel, it says that a rumor had arisen that John would never die, but that this was not true. Combine that with the several emperor Johns of Byzantium, at a time with Europe was threatened by Muslim invasion, and it becomes conflated into a rumor of hope of assistance."
- Steve.Schaper (

"...No sooner had Bishop Otto reported the existence of Prester John and of the River of Paradise in his realm, then the Pope issued a formal call for the resumption of the Crusades. Two years later, in 1147, Emperor Conrad of Germany, accompanied by other rulers and many nobles, launched the Second Crusade.

"As the fortunes of the Crusaders rose and fell, Europe was swept anew by word from Prester John and his promises of aid. According to chroniclers of those days, Prester John sent in 1165 a letter to the Byzantine emperor, to the Holy Roman emperor, and to lesser kings, in which he declared his definite intention to come to the Holy Land with his armies. Again his realm was described in glowing terms, as befits the place where the River of Paradise - indeed, the Gates of Paradise - were situated."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal   videos:


"If indeed you wish to know wherein consist our great power, then believe without doubting that I, Prester John...exceed in riches, virtue, and power all creatures who dwell under heaven. Seventy-two kings pay tribute to me. I am a devout Christian and everywhere protect the Christians of our empire...We have made a vow to visit the sepulcher of our Lord with a very great wage war against and chastise the enemies of the cross of Christ...

"Our magnificence dominates the Three Indias, and extends to Farther India, where the body of St. Thomas the Apostle rests. It reaches through the desert toward the place of the rising sun, and continues through the valley of deserted Babylon close by the Tower of Babel..."
- Prester John in a letter addressed to Manuel Commentus, Emperor of Byznatium (1165)

"Where was Prester John? His reference to the Apostle Thomas' tomb pointed to India, but so muddled were medieval notions of geography that India was thought to be somewhere near the Nile; thus when, in 1177, the Pope wrote to PresterJohn, his letter was presumably carried into 'Middle India', or Ethiopia."
- Mysteries of the Past

"Harbay, reigning Zagwe monarch of Ethiopia before his brother Lalibela deposed him, is deduced to have been the mythical Prester John. "Derived from Jano, a reddish-purple toga worn only by royalty, the word [Jan] meant 'king' or 'Majesty'..."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

Prester John's letter also contained a warning against the Templars, who were believed to have been allied with his brother against him.

"There are Frenchmen among you, of your lineage and from our retinue, who hold with the Saracens. You confide in them and trust in them that they should and will help you, but they are false and treacherous...may you be brave and of great courage and, pray, do not forget to put to death those treacherous Templars."
- Prester John in the letter written to varous Christian kings (1165)

The Churches of Lalibela
In Parzival,

"a member of the Grail Company...spoke, amongst other things, of riding 'deep into Africa...past the Rohas'. ...Rohas was the old name for a town in the remotest highlands of Ethiopia - a town now called Lalibela in honor of the great king who was born there and who made it his capital when he returned to it in triumph in the year of our Lord 1185... Lalibela had spent the previous quarter of a century in Jerusalem rubbing shoulder with the knights of a military-religious order whose headquarters stood on the site of the Temple of Solomon - knights who would have had a special interest in any contender to the throne of a country which claimed to possess the lost Ark that the Temple had originally been built to house."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"Writing was seen on the Gral to the effect that any Templar whom God should bestow on a distant people...must forbid them to ask his name or lineage, but must help them gain their rights. When such a question is put to him the people there cannot keep him any longer."
"If a land should lose its lord, and its people see the hand of God in it and ask for a new lord from the Gral Company, their prayer is granted... God sends the men out in secret."
- Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival

Ethiopia's diplomatic relationship with Christian Europe were to continue into the following century.

"It is known that this emperor [Wedem Ara'ad of Ethiopia] in the...year of our salvation 1306 sent thirty envoys [who]...presented themselves reverentially before Pope Clement V at Avignon."
- Giovanni da Carignano (a Genoese cartographer active during the years 1291-1329)

"By a considerable margin, the eleven rock-hewn churches of Lalibela were the most architecturally advanced building that Ethiopia had ever known (indeed, in the considered opinion of UNESCO, they deserved to be ranked amongst the wonders of the world.).... Towering edifices, the churches remain places of living worship eight hundred years after they were built. It is important to stress, however that they were not built at all in the conventional sense, but instead were excavated and hewn directly out of the solid red volcanic tuff on which they stand. In consequence, they seem superhuman - not only in scale, but also in workmanship and in conception."

"...Considerable efforts have been made to cloak their real natures: some lie almost completely concealed within deep trenches, whole others hide in the open mouths of huge quarried caves. Connecting them all is a complex and bewildering labyrinth of tunnels and narrow passageways with offset crypts, grottoes and galleries - a cool, lichen-enshrouded, subterranean world, shaded and damp, silent but for the faint echoes of distant footfalls and priests and deacons go about their timeless business."

On the arch "of the ceiling of the rock-hewn church of Saint Mary's...can be seen a stylized croix pattée contained within a Star of David - a most unusual symbol in a Christian place of worship, but one to which it is known that the Knights Templar were particularly attached. Behind the arch...[is]a cloth-wrapped column said by the priests to have been engraved by King Lalibela himself with the secrets of how the rock-hewn churches were made."

Another croix pattée is carved on a boulder on the outskirts of Axum, and several more can be found "in the ruins of King Kaleb's palace - a structure that could well have been still standing and inhabited in the thirteenth century."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

Portugal: The Knights of Christ

"In Portugal, the Templars were cleared by an inquiry and simply modified their name, becoming the Knights of Christ. They survived under this title well into the sixteenth century, their maritime explorations leaving an indelible mark on history.

(Vasco da Gama was a Knight of Christ; Prince Henry the Navigator was a grand Master of the Order. Ships of the Knights of Christ sailed under the Templars' familiar red patte cross. And it was under the same cross that Columbus's three caravels crossed the Atlantic to the New World. Columbus himself was married to the daughter of a former Grand Master of the Order, and had access to his father-in-law's charts and diaries.)
- Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

"...The first and most active figure on whom any solid information is available was Prince Henry the navigator, Grand master of the Order of Christ and a man described by his biographer [Zurara] as possessing 'strength of hear and keenness of mind to a very excellent degree...[who] was, beyond comparison, ambitious of achieving great and lofty deeds."

"Born in 1394, and actively involved in seafaring by 1415, Henry's greatest ambition - as he himself declared - was that he would 'have knowledge of the land of Prester John'. Chroniclers who were his contemporaries, as well as modern historians, are in full agreement that he devoted the greater part of his illustrious career to the pursuit of precisely this goal."

"It is notable that he immersed himself in the study of mathematics and cosmography, 'the course of the heavens and astrology', and that he was constantly surrounded by Jewish doctors and astronomers - men in every was reminiscent of Wolfram's character Flegetanis who 'saw hidden secrets in the constellations [and] declared there was a thing called the Gral whose name he read in the stars without more ado' [Parzival ]."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

In Portugal, Dom Enrique, mestrat of the Knights of Christ became know as Enrique the Navigator and "exploited every modern method. At Sagres his staff included geographers, shipwrights, linguists, Jewish cartographers and Moorish pilots. The team studied map making and how to improve navigational instruments, the astrolabe and compass.

Islam had conquered the Spains; Christianity would conquer Africa, then Asia. By 1425 his brethren had colonized Madeira and the Canaries. In 1445 they settled the Azores. The systematic exploitation of the west African coast began in 1434, made possible by the new caravels, the most seaworthy ships of their day. Rigged with many small sails instead of one or two huge spreads of canvas as hitherto, these new ships were much easier to handle - a smaller crew make provisions last longer."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War

"Our knowledge of the Henrican voyages is inadequate, and this is largely due to the adoption of a policy of secrecy which included the suppression of facts...historical works...nautical guides, maps instructions to navigators and their reports."
- Edgar Prestage, The Portugese Pioneers

"Indeed, so great was the commitment to secrecy in Henry's time that the release of information on the results of the various exploratory voyages that were undertaken was punishable by death. Despite this, however, it is known that the prince was obsessed with the notion of making direct contact with Ethiopia - and that he sought to achieve this end by circumnavigating Africa (since the shorter route through the Mediterranean and then into the Red Sea via Egypt was blocked by hostile Muslim forces). Moreover, even before the Cape of Good Hope was rounded, the masters of Portuguese vessels venturing down the West African coast were instructed to enquire after 'Prester John' to see whether it might mot be quicker to approach his kingdom overland."

"It was not until the early years of the twentieth century that certain secret archives pertaining to the last decade of his life came to light. Among these archives a brief note was found to the effect that 'an ambassador of Prester John visited Lisbon eight years before Henry's death'. It is not known what the purpose of this mission was, or what the prince and the Ethiopian envoy discussed. Nevertheless, two years after their meeting it can hardly have been accidental that King Alfonso V of Portugal granted spiritual jurisdiction over Ethiopia to the Order of Christ."

In 1487 "King John II of Portugal, then Grand Master of the Order, had sent his trusted aide Pero de Covilhan on a perilous journey to the court of Prester John via the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Red Sea. Disguised as a merchant, Covilhan passed through Alexandria and Cairo to Suakin and there, in 1488, he took ship in a small Arab barque for the Yemeni port of Aden. He then became caught up in various adventures which delayed him considerably.

As a result it was not until 1493 that he finally succeeded in entering Abyssinia. Once there, however, he made his way immediately to the emperor's court where he was first welcomed but later paced under comfortable house arrest. One can only speculate as to why this happened, but...Covilhan's greatest skill was a spy (he had previously worked as a secret agent in Spain)..."

In 1497 Vasco da Gama, also a Knight of the Order of Christ "devoted a considerable part of the expedition [to India] to African exploration and is reported to have wept for joy when, at anchor off Mozambique he was rightly told that Prester John lived in the interior far to the north."

"...the first official Portuguese embassy to the court of Prester John landed at the port of Massawa in 1520 and made its way inland [in a grueling eight month march] to meet with Lebna Dengel, the Solomic emperor who had been on the throne since 1508.
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"We our great joy the tents and camps of the Emperor Prester John."
- Captain of the Portuguese expedition (October 20, 1520)

"At the center of this tent capitol, in a red pavilion guarded by warriors wearing lion skins and by live lions on leashes, the travelers beheld him, the negus, or emperor, of Ethiopia. That neither he nor any of his subjects had heard of Prester John fazed the Portuguese not at all, so elated were they to have found him at last."
- Mysteries of the Past

"One of the members of this embassy was Father Francisco Alvarez...who had been told by priests of the ancient tradition that the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela had been 'made by white men'....Carved into the roof of this great edifice [the church of Saint George], he said, was 'a double cross, that is, one within the other like the crosses of the Order of Christ."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

Spain: "Viva la Muerte"

"In Spain the brethren of Calatrava, Alcantara and Santiago were the spearhead of the Reconquista, consolidating the Christian advance, destroying the exotic Moslem civilization of Cordoba and Granada. On the vast and lonely meseta where no peasant dared settle for fear of Moorish raiders, the monkish frontiersmen ranched hears of cattle and sheep, a practice which reached North America by way; of the Mexican haciendas. In the later Middle Ages politicians used them to capture the whole machinery of Castilian government."

"They were the perfected instrument of five centuries of warfare with Islam, given their final shape by the Templars' example."

"Much of Spanish history cannot be understood without some knowledge of the brethren [which became the Order of Knight's of Christ and The Aragonese Order of Montesa after the dissolution. They had become the Reconquista itself and helped form their country's military tradition, that compound of unspeakable ferocity and incredible gallantry, expressed in the modern Tercio Extrajero's motto - 'Viva la Muerte'. It was this spirit and the techniques of the Reconquista which overcame Aztecs and Incas, creating the Spanish Empire, while Portuguese brethren transformed the crusading idea into a movement of colonization which ended with Europe dominating the world."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War

"Not long after the Templar dispersal, very accurate and inexplicable sea-charts began to appear all over Europe. These maps, called portolans (thought to be derived from 'port' to 'land'), were far superior to the Ptolemaic maps studied by academic ecclesiastics in the monasteries and fledgling universities. Most of the portolans covered the area of the Mediterranean and the European Atlantic coast. They covered the areas crucial to European sea-commerce.

"The earliest dated portolan chart is the Opicinis de Canestris map of the Mediterranean of 1335 A.D. It demonstrates that maps of inexplicable accuracy began to appear in Europe less than 25 years after King Philippe's surprise raids against the Templars and the papal elimination of the Order under Clement V."

"...Is it mere coincidence that his flagship, the famous Santa Maria, bore Templar crosses on her sails when Columbus set sail from Palos? Is it mere coincidence that his voyage was financed, not by the sale of Isabella's jewelry as so commonly thought, but by a mysterious consortium of wealthy men which included Jews and other heretics? And is it only coincidence that Columbus weighed anchor on August 3, 1492 just a few hours before the deadline for all Jews to be out of Spain?"
- Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic

England - The Peasants' Rebellion

For several years before the Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381, "a group of disgruntled priests of the lower clergy had traveled the towns, preaching against the riches and corruption of the church. During the months before the uprising, secret meetings had been held throughout central England by men weaving a network of communication. After the revolt was put down, rebel leaders confessed to being agents of a great Society, said to be based in London."

"Another mystery was the concentrated and especially vicious attacks on the religious order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John, now known as the Knights of Malta. Not only did the rebels seek out their properties for vandalism and fire, but their prior was dragged from the Tower of London to have his head struck off [along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Treasurer] and placed on London Bridge, to the delight of the cheering mob.....One captured rebel leader, when asked the reasons for the revolt, said, 'First, and above all...the destruction of the Hospitallers.'"

"Pope Clement V had directed that all of the extensive properties of the Templars should be given to the Hospitallers" almost seventy years before the Peasant's Revolt."

Walter the Tyler "exploded into English history with his mysterious uncontested appointment as the supreme commander of the Peasants' Rebellion on Friday, June 7, 1381, and left it as abruptly when his head was struck off eight days later on Saturday, June 15. Absolutely nothing is known of him before those eight days. That alone suggests that he was not using his real name...In Freemasonry the Tyler, who must be a Master Mason, is the sentry, the sergeant-at-arms..."

"Archbishop Courtenay, who became the leading churchman in England as successor to the archbishop whose head had been lopped off by Wat Tyler, identified the existence of the Lollard group in the spring of 1382, less than a year after the Peasants' Rebellion. He drove them out of Oxford and attempted to crush the entire movement. Lollardy, however, survived his efforts, and those of other civil and church leaders, for the next two centuries by the expedient of going underground. The Lollards conducted business in 'conventicles', or secret meetings, in a network of cells throughout the country, and they somehow gained the support of certain members of the aristocracy, especially the knightly class."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

"In the early 1300s John Wycliffe, a professor of Divinity at Oxford University, realized that the major problem with the Church in England was that the Bible could only be read by the educated clergy and nobility because it was written in Latin. Although the common man was generally illiterate, Wycliffe decided that if an English translation of the Bible was available, then general literacy might be stimulated as well.

"As Wycliffe translated the Latin text, he organized a group called the Order of Poor Preachers. They began distributing the new Bible through-out England to anyone who could read. For the first time, it was possible for the common man to know what the Bible actually said. Suddenly, peasants flocked to the village greens and country parsonages to hear preachers read aloud from the new English translation.

"Opponents of Wycliffe's Order of Poor Preachers called them and their followers 'Lollards', which means 'idle babblers'. The Lollards grew so quickly, not only among the country folk, but even the artisans and noblemen that one opponent wrote: 'Every second man one meets is a Lollard'.

"The Lollards made such an impact in Britain that eventually Wycliffe's words were banned and the Pope ordered him to Rome to undergo trial. Although Wycliff died in 1384 of a stroke before he could undertake the journey, Lollardy continued to grow. By 1425, forty-one years after his death, the Roman Church was so infuriated with Wycliffe that they ordered his bones exhumed and buried together with 200 books he had written."
- William T. Still, New World Order

Scotland - The Scots Guard

"The church at Kilmartin, near Loch Awe in Argyll, contains many examples of Templar graves and tomb carvings showing Templar figures; furthermore, there are many masonic graves in the churchyard."

"...There was a strong Templar connection with this area of Scotland from the time when Hugues de Payen married Catherine de St Clair. In fact the first Templar perceptory outside the Holy Land was built on St Clair land at a site to the south of Edinburgh now known as Temple. By the beginning of the fourteenth century the Templars had many estates in Scotland and a great deal of affection and respect from the people."

The Templars reportedly provided assistance to William Wallace. "...There was a battle between the Scots and the English at Roslin in 1303 which was won with the support of Templar knights, led by a St Clair."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"Scotland...was at war with England at the time [1307], and the consequent chaos left little opportunity for implementing legal niceties. Thus the Papal Bulls dissolving the Order were never proclaimed in Scotland - and in Scotland, therefore, the Order was never technically dissolved."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"...Part of the Templar fleet made the decision to head to Argyll and the Firth of Forth, where they knew Robert the Bruce was engaged in a rebellion against England. The fact that Robert the Bruce was excommunicated combined with the long St Clair family links with Rosslyn was the greatest attraction of Scotland as a sanctuary - it was one of the few places on the planet where the Pope could not get at them. Because of the war with the English the Templars also knew that as skilled warriors, they would be received with open arms."

"The Scots' greatest triumph was the Battle of Bannockburn on 6 November 1314. The battle is recorded as going strongly against Bruce's army until an intervention by a unknown reserve force quickly turned the tide of the whole battle and ensured victory for the Scots. Stories quickly spread that these mysterious warriors had carried the Beausant (the battle flag of the Templars)."

The force was "led by the Grand Master of the Scottish Templars, Sir William St Clair."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"According to legend - and there is evidence to support it - the Order maintained itself as a coherent body in Scotland for another four centuries."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"At the bloody Battle of Verneuil in 1424, the Scottish contingents had acquitted themselves with particular bravery and self-sacrifice. Indeed, they were virtually annihilated, along with their commander, John Stewart..."

"The new French army created by Charles VII in 1445 consisted of fifteen 'compagnies d'ordonnance' of 660 men each - a total of 9000 soldiers. Of these, the Scottish Company - the 'Compagnie des Gendarmes Ecossois'...was explicitly accorded premier rank over all other military units and formations, and would, for example, pass first in all parades. The commanding officer of the Scottish Company was also granted the rank of 'premier Master of Camp of French Cavalry'."

"In 1474, the numbers were definitely fixed - seventy-seven men plus their commander in the King's Guard, and twenty-five men plus their commander in the King's Bodyguard. With striking consistency, officers and commanders of the Scots Guard were also made members of the Order of St Michael, a branch of which was later established in Scotland.

"The Scots Guard were, in effect, a neo-Templar institution, much more so than such purely chivalric orders as the Garter, the Star and the Golden Fleece."

"The nobles comprising the Guard were heirs to original Templar traditions. They were the means by which these traditions were returned to France and planted there, to bear fruit some two centuries later. At the same time, their contact with the houses of Guise and Lorraine exposed them in France to another corpus of 'esoteric' tradition. Some of this corpus had already found its way back to Scotland through Marie de Guis's marriage to James V, but some of it was also to be brought back by the families constituting the Scots Guard. The resulting amalgam was to provide the true nucleus for a later order - the Freemasons [Scottish Rite Freemasonry]."

"As late as the end of the sixteenth century, no fewer than 519 sites in Scotland were listed by the Hospitallers as 'Terrae Templariae' - part, that is, of the self-contained and separately administered Templar patrimony."
- Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

"c.1560. When the Knights-Templars were deprived of their patrimonial interest through the instrumentality of their Grand-Master Sir James Sandilands, they drew off in a body, with David Seton, Grand Prior of Scotland, at their head."
- A History of the Family of Seton

West to America?

"Josephus, the historian of the Jews in the first century, observed that the Essenes believed that good souls have their inhabitation beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow nor with intense heat, but refreshed by the gentle breathing of the west wind which perpetually blows from the ocean.

This idyllic land across the sea to the west (or sometimes the north), is a belief common to many cultures, from the Jews to the Greeks to the Celts. The Mandeans, however, believe that the inhabitants of this far land are so pure that mortal eyes will not see them and that this place is marked by a star, the name of which is 'Merica'."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Knight and Lomas argue that this was the true source of the name "America". Historical convention, of course, states that the continent was named after Amerigo Vespucci.

This was, Knight and Lomas say, is due to an error committed by an obscure monk in the Duchy of Loraine who had mused over a meaning for 'America' and confused it with the amateur navigator.

"Now, these parts of the earth (Europe, Africa, Asia) have been more extensively explored and a fourth part has been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci (as will be described in what follows). Insomuch as both Europe and Asia received their names from women, I see no reason why any one should justly object to calling this part Amerige (from the Greek 'ge' meaning 'land of'), i.e., the land of Amerigo, or America, after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability."
- Cosmographiae Introductio

When the monk published the information in Introduction to Cosmography it quickly became part of popular folklore.

"If you look at a map of the road network of France, which the Templars had built and policed, it is very noticeable that all the great long-distance routes meet at one point - at La Rochelle, on the Atlantic coast. The harbour of La Rochelle lies in a natural bay, is easy to defend, and it was laid out and developed by the Templars very early in their history.

Furthermore, the Order owned a huge fleet, and other seaports in the north, for links with England, and in the south, as a starting-point for voyages to the Holy Land and the Mediterranean islands. La Rochelle, however, is far too far north to serve as a viable port of embarkation for Palestine, and the same applies to voyages to England. For this purpose, it was far too far south. There were other ports from which one could cross to Britain far more quickly and simply.

"For this reason, La Rochelle must have had some very special significance. The town was not merely the seat of a simple Commanderie, but also the capital of a Templar Province. Its population grew quickly over the years. In which direction did the Temple's shipping lines lead, if it was neither to the north nor to the south? There can only be one possible explanation for the position of this seaport - the Order's ships set course from it due west, to America."

"After Napoleon conquered Rome in 1809, some files were brought back to Paris from the secret archives of the Vatican. Among these were a few documents relating to the Templar trials. In one of these records was the statement of Jean de Chalons, a member of the Order from Nemours in the diocese of Troyes."
- Johannes and Peter Fiebag, The Discovery of the Grail, translated from the German by George Sassoon

"On the evening before the raid, Thursday October 12th 1307, I myself saw three carts loaded with straw, which left the Paris Temple shortly before nightfall, also Gèrard de Villiers and Hugo de Chalons, at the head of 50 horse[men]. There were chests hidden on the carts, which contained the entire treasure of the Visitator Hugo de Pairaud. They took the road for the coast, where they were to be taken abroad in eighteen of the Order's ships."
- Jean de Chalons

"There is no record of the seizure of eighteen Templar ships from their naval base at on the French coast, or of any Templar ships anchored in the Thames or at other seaports in Britain.... Since many of the Templar ships were galleys, they were ideally suited for piracy, because becalmed ships were always easy prey for those that did not depend upon the wind."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

The Zeno Narrative tells of a mysterious ocean voyage west one hundred years later by a Templar descendent, Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney. Indian legends and a number of clues suggest that the landfall was Nova Scotia.

Preserving the Secrets

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

"It is known that the Templars fled to Scotland, too, after the dissolution of 1312, and it is known that some found refuge among the Saint-Clairs of Rosslyn in Midlothian. There is a Templar cemetery there."
-Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic

"No family in Europe beneath the rank of royalty boasts a higher antiquity, a nobler illustration, or a more romantic interest than that of St. Clair."
-Sir John Bernard Burke, Vicissitudes of Families and Other Essays

Rosslyn Chapel Choir

"...We encountered repeated references to the Sinclair family - Scottish branch of the Norman Saint-Clair/Gisors family. Their domain at Rosslyn was only a few miles from the former Scottish headquarters of the Knights Templar, and the chapel at Rosslyn - built between 1446 and 1486 - has long been associated with both Freemasonry and the Rose-Croix. In a charter believed to date from 1601, moreover, the Sinclairs are recognized as 'hereditary Grand Masters of Scottish Masonry'. This is the earliest specific Masonic document on record."
-Baigent and Leigh, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail Choir

Rosslyn Chapel "is decorated inside with carvings of Masonic significance...and botanical significance. Arches, lintels, pillar bases and such like are mostly covered in decorative but highly detailed plant motifs, with many different species represented."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Two of the motifs resemble the aloe cactus and maize cobs, plants indigenous to the New World and supposedly unknown to Europe before the sixteenth century.


"...Everywhere there were manifestations of the 'green man', the Celtic figure that represented fertility. Over a hundred 'green men' have been counted but it is believed that there are even more subtly peeping out of the vegetation."

"The symbolism is Egyptian, Celtic, Jewish, Templar and Masonic in profusion. A star-studded ceiling, vegetative growth coming form the mouths of the Celtic Green Men, entangled pyramids, images of Moses, towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem, engrailed crosses and well as squares and compasses. The only certain Christian imagery was in later Victorian alterations: the stained glass windows, the revolting baptistery and a statue of the Madonna and child."

Recalling the legend of Hiram Abif, "high up in the corner where the south and west walls meet, and level with the organ, is a head with a severe gash on the right temple and in the opposite side of the west wall is the head of the person who killed him."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"...William St Clair himself masterminded the whole construction of the building from its inception to his own death in 1484, just two years before it completion; furthermore, he personally supervised every tiny detail of the work...William St Clair had brought some of Europe's finest masons to Scotland for this great project, building the village of Rosslyn to house them."

"From the outside, Rosslyn is a representation in stone of the Heavenly Jerusalem as depicted in Lambert's copy, with towers and a huge central curved, arched roof. Inside the Rosslyn shrine, the layout is a reconstruction of the ruin of Herod's Temple, decorated with Nasorean and Templar symbolism. In the north-east corner we found a section of the wall carved with the towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem complete with the Masonic compasses, styled exactly as they are shown on Lambert's scroll."

"As we looked directly upwards from the organ loft, we could see that the arched roof had a running series of keystones down its length, just like the one the Royal Arch degree describes as found in the ruins of Herod's Temple!"

- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Apprentice Pillar

"Early this morning on resuming our labors we discovered a pair of pillars of exquisite beauty and symmetry: proceeding with our work, we discovered six other pairs of equal beauty which from their situation, appeared to be the remains of the subterranean gallery leading to the Most Holy Place."
- Royal Arch Degree

"In Rosslyn, we observed that the fourteen pillars had been arranged so that the eastern eight of them including Boaz and Jachin, were laid out in the form of a Triple Tau. The formation and the proportions were exactly as the Royal Arch degree depicts today."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"The Triple Tau, signifying, among other occult things, Templum Hierosolyma, 'the Temple of Jerusalem'. It also means Clavis ad Theosaurum - 'A key to a treasure' - and Theca ubi res pretiosa deponitur - 'A place where a precious thing is concealed', or Res ipsa pretiosa - 'The precious thing itself'."
- Royal Arch Degree

"The famous Grail Seeker Trevor Ravenscroft claimed in 1962 that he had finished a twenty year quest in search of the Grail at Rosslyn chapel.....His claim was that the Grail was inside the Prentice Pillar (as it is known) in this chapel. The chapel is often visited now by Grail Seekers and many references to the Grail can be found in its stonework and windows.

Metal detectors have been used on the pillar and an object of the appropriate size is indeed buried in the middle. Lord Rosslyn adamantly refuses to have the pillar x-rayed."
- Chris Thornborrow, "An Introduction to Current Theories about The Holy Grail"

Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas believe that the small crypt of the Rosslyn shrine was the lower middle chamber where the masons received their wages.

Before the vaults were sealed off when the chapel was completed, twenty Templar knights were buried there in full armor.

"Seemed all on fire that chapel proud,
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie:
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheathed in his iron panoply."
- Sir Walter Scott, "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"

"The vaults themselves may yet be far more than a simple tomb, other important artifacts may be contained therein. The one recorded action of the Lords Sinclair that apparently contradicts their well earned reputation for chivalry and loyalty may also be explained if the vaults are opened, for it is just possible that some clue as to the whereabouts of certain treasures of great historical interest may also be discovered."
- Tim Wallace-Murphy, An Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel

"The Companion's Jewel of the Royal Arch is a double triangle, sometimes called the Seal of Solomon, within a circle of gold; at the bottom is a scroll bearing the words, Nil nisi clavis deest - 'Nothing is wanting but the Key', and on the circle appears the legend, Si tatlia jungere possis sit tibi scire posse - 'If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest enough'."
-Royal Arch Degree

Knight and Lomas speculate that the reconstructed treasure vaults of Herod's temple are located below the main floor of the Chapel.

An Seal of Solomon (Star of David) can be constructed from the alignment of pillars between the entrance and Triple Tau formation.

"At the very center of this invisible Seal of Solomon, in the arched roof there is a large suspended boss in the form of a decorated arrowhead that points straight down to a keystone in the floor below. It is, we believe, this stone that must be raised to enter the reconstructed vaults of Herod's Temple and recover the Nasorean Scrolls."

"Rosslyn is not a free interpretation of the ruins in Jerusalem; as far as the foundation plan is concerned, it is a very carefully executed copy. The unfinished sections of the great western wall are there, the main walls and the pillar arrangements fit like a glove and the pillars of Boaz and Jachin stand precisely at the eastern end of what would be the inner Temple. The spot we identified as being at the center of the Seal of Solomon turned out to correspond exactly with the center point of the medieval world; the middle of the Holy of Holies; the spot where the Ark of the covenant was placed in the Temple at Jerusalem."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Andrew Sinclair (The Sword and the Grail, Arrow Books 1994) "did some ground radar investigations of the chapel and found evidence of large metallic objects and vaults. They drilled down into a vault but were unable to get a mini-TV camera down because rubble kept filling the borehole."
- George Sassoon (private communication)

Freres Maçons

"Jacques de Molay and his predecessors signed documents over the title Magister Templi, Master of the Temple. And that temple, taking its name from the Temple of Solomon, certainly was left unfinished upon the murder of its masters, who also had been tortured to reveal their secrets by three assassins who ultimately destroyed them. Not Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, but Philip the Fair of France, Pope Clement V, and the order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem."

"What the secret society needed was men who would affirm their belief in God, with a desire for brotherhood strong enough to accept any man's personal religious persuasion as secondary to their principal goal of survival."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

The formation of the The Illuminati by Freemasons and the instigation of the French Revolution and anti-papacy movements in the eighteen century have been seen as a fulfillment of Templar revenge.

"The Templars, or Poor Fellow-Soldiery of the Holy House of the Temple, intended to be re-built, took as their models, in the Bible, the Warrior-Masons of Zorobabel, who worked, holding the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.

"Therefore it was that the Sword and the Trowel were the insignia of the Templars, who subsequently, as will be seen, concealed themselves under the name of Brethren Masons. [This name, Freres Maçons in the French, adopted by way of secret reference to the Builders of the Second Temple, was corrupted in English into Free-Masons]."
- General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

"Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel."

"Hence Free-Masonry, vulgarly imagined to have begun with the Dionysian Architects or the German Stone-workers, adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint John the Baptist [the Johannite heresy], and thus covertly, proclaiming itself the child of the Kabbalah and Essenism together."
- "Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free Masons"

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