all night without pinning him for a three count. The Elohist source had a slightly more exalted view of God: every time he appeared to men it was through a non-anthropomorphic device like a burning bush which was called “The Angel of the LORD”.
By the time the post-Exile Jewish priests began to piece together the Yahwist and Elohist documents with Deuteronomy and their own home-grown stuff, God had been elevated even higher into the ionosphere, such that he didn’t even show up as weird manifestations. He remained far off in
, and now the Angel of the LORD was one of many independent, winged, humanoid creatures who shuttled messages from God to the Earth. They even had names such as Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Azrael,
. There was a reason they stated “fear not” upon their arrival.
They also did bizarre things. Some of them merely imparted information, like the heralds of Jesus. Others, however, either killed people (including babies) or else wrestled people to the ground.
It’s also worth noting that they were apparently extremely terrifying to look at; they almost always preface anything they have to say with the remark “Do not fear”, owing to the fact that they most often resemble something out of a work by
Judaism and later Christianity has
. Of course there’re different ideas
on where to put
an angel who has received a name.
The modern depiction of them as
pretty people with (usually white and very often too small to be useful at all to fly) bird wings is mostly due to Victorian artwork
(which, of course, are the same people that brought us pretty little fairies that don’t kidnap your babies and Fluffy Cloud Heaven
); an aversion of that trope is in the television show
; when the first angel to actually appear does so, his “voice” is a supersonic effect that shatters glass and causes bleeding, and when a
forces him to show himself to her, the sight of him blinds her. The angel, named Castiel, brushes it off as saying that “(his) true form can be a little overwhelming for humans.”. Another modern example that diverges of the typical depiction of angels as handsome winged beings is famous Final Fantasy’s
in his final form
While most people think of angels as being of pure holiness and light (a Victorian-era image), note that they are not all good.
According to both Christianity and Islam, a substantial number of angels rose up against God and were punished by being sent down to either Earth or
In Christianity, it was because they wanted the same power as God. According to traditional Islam (and Milton’s
), it was because they refused to bow down before Adam, the first man.
means “God.” In the 1800s, many magicians would claim to summon the power of angels to help them perform strange feats. In order to be really impressive, they made up lots and lots of new angels by adding
to the end of nonsense, like Jor-el and Kal-el.
Most Christians and Muslims refuse to worship angels, claiming that only the supreme god is worthy. However, an increasing number of
have begun worship and supplicating angels, either in place of or in addition to traditional gods. Traditional neopagans greatly frown on this practice, claiming that it makes claims to neopaganism meaningless, but at least one really popular neopagan writer (
) has openly endorsed it, particularly as a way for young neopagans to hide their true faith.
Your guardian angel is a
assigned to look after you personally during your
include belief in guardian angels. A lady claims when she was upset and stressed out she had an apparition in the middle of the night. No it couldn’t be a dream, lucid dream, hallucination, sleep paralysis, overactive imagination, or fiction dressed up as fact – or, for that matter, some spirit or lowercase-g god or something yet more obscure originating from one of the world’s massive number of religions that don’t include angels and have just about as much credibility as the ones that do. It had to be her guardian angel. Anecdotal evidence like that abounds but somehow proof is lacking.
Groups and categories
The collective term for a group of angels is a “choir”. Choirs of angels can come in with different categories of angels, like archangels (not the city in
), thrones, principalities, dominions and powers. Plus cherubim and seraphim.
(Compare the ranks of the fallen angels, with their devils, demons, and imps. Plus succubi.
Ready to give up and accept the idea of natural hierarchies of supernatural prestige and control, on earth as it is in heaven? – Perhaps that was the idea…
Angel therapy involves the idea that our guardian angels can help us achieve better health and happiness. As is often the case, this idea tends to be pushed by people who’ve borrowed the words “God” and “angel” from the Bible, but then pretty much disregarded the rest of the book.
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