Guardian Angels, Powerful Guardian Angels, Archangel Raguel, Archangel Uriel, Archangel Jophiel

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Considering the wings, this is either the work of a drunk sculptor, or a fallen angel from the Darksiders franchise.

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are the minor


of the

Abrahamic religions

, capable of amazing feats, but not as powerful as the major deities like




. One notable exception to this definition is the

Jehovah’s Witnesses

, who believe that Jesus was the Archangel Michael before his birth and became Michael again after his death.

The concept of angels evolved along with the understanding of the nature of God. At first


was a hands-on sort of fellow who walked in the Garden of Eden with




, had to “go down” to see what the humans were up to at


, appeared to


as a man, and even wrestled


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,


Punkael, and the like.

(The only time in the

New Testament

when God really had to do his own dirty work was when he seems to have surreptitiously slipped a little something into the womb of an unsuspecting

virgin Mary

, but depending how it was done, that might have been mixing business with pleasure.)

Biblical depictions

Depiction of an angel from the 1500s.

Angels as they appear in the


are a very curious bunch. Sometimes they look like people, as the ones who visited


did, and were presumably extremely good looking considering the entire town wanted to roger them senseless.

Sometimes, they look like six-winged monstrosities that kiss burning coals, like the ones

Isaiah saw

. Sometimes, they were

wheels in the sky

with many eyes or a mix of wings, human or animal heads, and eyes, like

those seen by Ezekiel

. 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

H.P. Lovecraft


Judaism and later Christianity has


Wikipedia's W.svg

them on


Wikipedia's W.svg


Wikipedia's W.svg

. Of course there’re different ideas

on where to put

Wikipedia's W.svg

an angel who has received a name.

Modern depictions

The modern depiction of them as

Tolkienesque elves-like

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


Bad angels

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

Paradise Lost

), it was because they refused to bow down before Adam, the first man.

An odd

A distinctive splinter-group, the


, claim that because they refused to bow before anyone other than God, these angels were in fact exalted. No matter which version you go with,


is the leader of these renegade angels.

There were also the


, or


, a class of angels with the job of keeping an eye on humanity.

Some got a little too attached and started fornicatin’ with their charges, fathering the


, a race of half-human demigods (including


). For this, they were thrown out of Heaven.

Angelic names

Most angel names end in the suffix


, which in


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.

Angel worship

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 (

Silver Ravenwolf

) has openly endorsed it, particularly as a way for young neopagans to hide their true faith.

Guardian angel

Your guardian angel is a

special angel

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

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.

Among its most famous proponents is

princess Märtha Louise of Norway

, as of 2016 fourth in the line of succession to the


throne and avid proponent of all things woo and


. She runs a rather popular “angel school”, Astarte, which teaches students how to get in touch with the angels.

By contrast

Doreen Virtue

talks to angels on your behalf.

See also

The other wiki’s article on angels


  1. And before it countless religious artwork as the one at right

  2. See Wikipedia

    Wikipedia's W.svg

    Those little guys are properly called “putto”, and are based on the pagan god Cupid/Eros.

    Those little guys are properly called “putto”, and are based on the pagan god Cupid/Eros.

  3. Yes, I know he’s


    an angel properly. So what?

  4. Besides works as the

    Salvation War

    series, in which they behave


    differently to the traditional way


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