Yasna - The Divine Heptad
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth – Henry Corbin [translated by Nancy Pearson] 1977
Traditionally, in mental iconography, as also no doubt in real iconography, the divine Heptad is figured as divided into two groups; three archangels represented as masculine on the right of Ohrmazd, three feminine Archangels on his left. Ohrmazd himself reunites their twofold nature, since it is said of him that he was at one and the same time the father and mother of Creation.
All the seven together produced created beings by a liturgical act, that is, by celebrating the heavenly Liturgy.
Each of the seven powers of Light, by virtue of the Energy that overflows from its being, brings forth the fraction of the beings that in the totality of creation represents its personal hierurgy, and which for this reason can be designated by its own name……
Of the three masculine Archangels; Vohu Manah (excellent thought, Vohuman in Pahlavi and Bahman in Persian) has undertaken the protection of the whole animal creation; Arta Vahishta (perfect existence, Artvahisht, Urdibihisht), the government of Fire in all its different manifestations; Xshathra Vairya (desirable reign, Shathrivar, Shahrivar), the government of the metals.
As for the three feminine Archangels; Spenta Armaiti (Splendarmat, Isfandarmuz) has as her own hierurgy the Earth as a form of existence whose image is wisdom, and woman regarded as a being of light; to Haarvatat (integrity, Khurdad) belong the Waters, the aquatic world in general; to Amertat (immortality, Murdad) belong the plants, the entire vegetable kingdom.
These are the hierurgical relations that indicate to human beings precisely where and how to meet the invisible Powers of Light, that is, by cooperating with them for the salvation of the creatural region which is dependent on their particular providence.
In this work the supreme Archangels are helped in the first place by the many Yazatas (Izad in Persian, literally ‘the Adorable Ones’, who are the object of a liturgy, a yasna); these are the Angels proper to Mazdaism, and the notion of their cooperation with the Amahraspands suggests a striking convergence with the angelology of neoplatonism. Among them is Zamyat, the feminine Angel of the Earth, as Dea Terrestris and telluric Glory, who cooperates with the Archangel Amertat.
Some people have regarded her as a mere doublet of Spenta Armaiti; in the end we shall see that their functions and their persons are distinct. Moreover, all the celestials are Yazatas, including Ohrmazd and the Amahraspands, although all the Yazatas are not Amahraspands, with respect to whom they form a kind of subordinate hierarchy
The source of the experienceYasna
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