Article about what are angels by Craig Hamilton-Parker.
What are angels? They have existed since the dawn of creation, in every culture, myth, and tradition. They are normally portrayed as being filled with grace and beauty and represent a higher order than humankind.
The word “angel” in Greek means “messenger,” and they are considered to be intermediaries between the Creator and the created, the bridge between Heaven and earth. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, they are the primary divine messengers through whom God communicates with humankind. Angels bring their messages to people on earth and also to the people in the afterlife.
A belief in angels existed in very ancient civilizations. For example, angels are depicted in carvings from Babylon that date between 2500 and 1000 BC, and some archaeologists claim that the tradition dates back even much further. References to angel-like beings can also be found in shaman lore and within tribal societies.
Guardians of the Soul
Angels are considered to be the guardians of the soul, continually trying to inspire us to live a life that is happy, harmonious, and fulfilling. In early Judeo-Christian theology, the Angel of Repentance reminded humans of their sins and offered opportunities for forgiveness.
It is said that, after death, the Angel of Peace carried worthy souls to the heavenly planes. Individuals each have a personal angel, guardian of his or her soul, who will be present at the judgment of the soul after death. Similar traditions can be found in Islamic beliefs. For example, the prophet Mohammed received the words of the Koran from the angel Gabriel. They have been expressed in art and written about through the ages.
The appearance of wings in many of the depictions is merely to portray their “flight” between heaven and earth…call it artistic license, but it serves as a reminder that they are not of this earth plane. If you encounter one in the afterlife, they may not necessarily appear to you in their traditional guise.
When required to take a form, they will assume the likeness of that which is held in the person’s consciousness to whom they are appearing: to some, a male/female figure, to others, simply a ball of light. (In my book The Psychic Casebook (Sterling) I explain how an angel visited my wife and me. It appeared in the room as a brilliant ball of light, floating about six feet in front of us. This was not a clairvoyant vision or shared hallucination, it was undeniably real.)
Do angels take human birth?
Most traditions claim that angels have never taken human birth. They are a different state of being from us entirely. They are genderless, although they have male or female type energies. They are exactly that–energy or spirit. The contemporary American philosopher Mortimer Adler postulates that angels are minds without bodies, and take human form only as part of their earthly ministry.
Once their given task is finished, they return to the afterlife and shed every last vestige of corporeality. Others say that angels may be considered superior to humans because they know that their true essence is Love, whereas humans have forgotten that their divine heredity is Love
Speculation about the nature of angels thrived in the Middle Ages, and to this day many people believe that angels have influenced their lives. Although there are different opinions as to their rank, names, and station, angels are said to have a hierarchy. The most influential theories about angels were put forward in the eleventh-century by the philosopher Thomas Aquinas, who enjoyed being known as the Angelic Doctor.
He believed that angels were “all intellect,” totally without matter. Aquinas proposed that the angelic worlds consisted of orders (or “choirs”) split into groups of three, each group of three forming what is called a Triad.
The first triad consists of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Ophanim. They are the closest to God and are keepers of divine love and wisdom. The second triad, below the first-triad, has the function of maintaining a pivot between those nearest to God and those nearest to man. They are called the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers.
The final triad consists of the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. These work closest to humans. Most angels have “el” in their name, meaning “of God.”
The foremost recognized of the archangels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel; each representing a season, direction, and element.
A Medium’s Viewpoint
My own feeling about this, a view which has been expressed by other mediums, is that they are beings from the higher realms of being. Some of these angels were once human and it is the objective of human existence to become angelic ourselves. They are the souls of those who never need to come back to the earth plane again.
The joy of their work is to open closed minds and to soften hard hearts. They come sometimes to help those who lack compassion, understanding, and forgiveness by filling their hearts with faith, love, and trust.
One day we will all become angels.
Find Out More:
‘What to Do When You are Dead’ explores what happens after death and describes the world we will find there. It is a powerful book that draws on near-death experiences, spiritual traditions as well as the medium’s direct experiences.
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References and Works Cited
Hamilton-Parker, Craig (2010) What To Do When You Are Dead Sterling imprint Barnes & Noble ISBN 978-1-4027-7660-1 (Languages: English, Dutch, Portuguese) BUY THE BOOK HERE
Useful Link: Catholic take on Angels