A Persian temple relief showing representations of Jahi and Angra Mainyu.

Jahi is the east Iranian representation of Jeh, the Persian goddess. She is a member of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. Zoroastrianism originated in Iran approximately 3500 years ago, with Ahura Mazda as its central deity. For 1000 years it was one of the most powerful religions in the world, and was the official religion of Iran between 600-650 CE.

Jahi was believed to be the demonic personification of lasciviousness and debauchery, with a look that was considered so powerful that it could kill. Both Iranian and Persian texts refer to her as a variation of the words courtesan and libertine, making her out to be a sexual deviant. She was said to use this in order to encourage men to do evil deeds, whilst also being influential in the defilement of women which was believed to result in their monthly menstruation cycles.

The Vendidad shows her being responsible for the death of Gav-aevo; the much loved primordial creature from whose seed all animal creation had originated. Multiple Zoroastrianism hymns show remedies for battling against her and her influences, such as those dedicated to Hooma and Asha.

Ancient Persian religion showed Jeh as the consort of Ahriman, the destructive spirit. This idea is closely followed in Zoroastrianism, where Jahi is shown as raising Angra Mainyu from his slumber. Angra Mainyu is also known as being the spirit of conflict. His prior battles with Ahura Mazda, also known as the primordial peace, had sent him to this slumber following his defeats. At the beginning of the second age of Iranian mythology, Jahi attempted to wake him. Angra Mainyu had resisted all prior attempts at this, but he was roused from impotence by the deity and her promise to assist him in the battle against Ahura Mazda. On waking he defiled her with a kiss, and in doing so he transformed from lizard form into that of a handsome man. This action was also believed to have afflicted Jahi with a monthly menstruation cycle, starting the pattern for women around the world. Together they defeated Ahura Mazda, and energised, they set to work on making an evil presence throughout the world.

-Devon Allen
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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