Friday, January 13, 2012


Unlike my last post, I didn't know much about angels. When I learned about the project, I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn. I am named after the Archangel Michael and so I decided to research angels for this week's post. I found an online catholic encyclopedia that contained a HUGE amount of information about angels in Catholicism as well as Judaism.

The original word in hebrew simply meant "messenger" and could refer to either human or spiritual messengers. In addition to carrying messages for God, angels also performed various tasks. Some angels were tasked with protecting or guiding individual people. Also some angels oversaw, or governed, a specific location or country, preserving the natural order and guiding the people. It was believed that if an angel caused imbalance in the natural order it created famine and plagues. In later, more complex, systems, angels were arranged into a hierarchy with nine ranks or choirs. In some systems of ceremonial magick four archangels are assigned to each of the cardinal directions, but there seems to be some dissent as to which angel governs which direction. They all name the same four angels: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel; but assign them to different directions.


The earlier views of angels appear similar to animist or totemic belief systems. Guardian angels are like personal totems. In the New Testament, a description is given of a sacred healing pool. It was believed that when the angel of the pool disturbed the water, the first person to bathe in the pool would be healed. There are similarities here to the sacred healing pools and springs of pagan Europe. Also, their role as enforcers of natural order parallels that of nature spirits in other belief systems.

This is just a basic overview of angels. Some traditions, especially ceremonial magicks, get really in depth about the angels and their powers and duties. If you are interested in working with these powerful beings, I highly recommend more research. Today's post has been brought to you by the letter A.


  1. Great post! I've always admired angels and movies about them. Glad to see you join in the Project. I am a seeker or "beginner" Pagan looking for my path. I see you're Shaman. I'm going to subscribe so I can learn more about it! :)


  2. Very good post! When I first started on my Pagan path, I used to call the Archangels to guard my circle (seemed a "safe" transition from my Catholic background). I'll be honest though, High Magic or Ceremonial Magic intimidates me. I'm more of a Low/Earth magic kind of Pagan myself.