What Are Angels?

Article by Craig Hamilton-Parker.

Angel CloudAngels 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 an intermediaries between the Creator and the created, the bridge between Heaven and earth. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, angels 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

Guardian AngelAngels 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. Angels have been expressed in art and written about through the ages.

The appearance of wings in many of the depictions of Angels 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 angels in the afterlife, they may not necessarily appear to you in their traditional guise. Angels, when required to take a form, will assume the likeness of that which is held in the persons 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 clairvoyant vision or shared hallucination, it was undeniably real.)

Do angels take human birth?

Real AngelsMost traditions claim that angels have never taken human birth. They are a different state of being from us entirely. Angels 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 earth 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 Angel Triads

Beautiful AngelThe first Triad is the nearest to God, and the last nearest to man.

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 fourmost recognized of the archangels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel; each representing a season, direction, and element.

Mediums views about angels

My own feeling about angels, 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. Angels 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.



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


5 comments… add one
  • Diana Seminara Aug 12, 2013, 3:43 pm

    I had a vivid dream last night of an angel holding the hand of a small child. She looked back at me and smiled and nodded her head. Then they continued to float away. I just stood there and smiled back. There was a warm and glowing light everywhere and it was peaceful. However, when I woke up I was smiling bit quickly realized that the Angel took a small child. What could this mean? I do have a daughter but it was not her in my dream. I could not tell if the child was a boy or a girl because I only saw the back of them and they were dresses in all white as as the angel. Thank you in advance for your thoughts in interpreting this for me!

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Aug 13, 2013, 10:39 am

      You clearly worry that this dream is of the Angel of Death and that someone is to be taken from you. Dreams however are most often symbols for the emotions we feel. In this instance your higher self may be highlighting feelings associated with your own childhood.

  • Chelsei Jul 12, 2013, 9:25 pm

    I’ve had many encounters with angels, but mainly with one that comes to me whenever I think about him. He has black wings, and is at my side as soon as I think of him. I’m not sure what all of this means…And I’m hoping you can put my mind at ease. However, I know that every ghost that leaves the living, are granted wings. Don’t ask how I know, it’s a very long story. Thanks for your time though!!

  • Patsy Clarke Mar 12, 2013, 8:10 pm

    I have just been diagnosed with incurable liver cancer, but I am experiencing recurring dreams/nightmares of an angel trying to kill me off before I’m ready. Hopefully this will calm down now I’ve signed my will today which seemed to have some thing to do with the nightmare. My husband says I am talking in my sleep most nights, I find myself waking up with a start. I have taken to wearing my crucifix and wrapping my rosary beads around my wrist to sleep. Is there any thing I can do to help rid me of these dreams? I’d be most grateful for some advice .

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Mar 13, 2013, 2:18 pm

      The angels in your dream are symbolic and here I beleive represent your fears about the possibility of dying. as you say, it may be also your unconscious telling to to get your affirs in order and write the will. We do not give full dream interpretaions on this page which is about the topic What are Angels? Take a look in our free community area for the forums and chat rooms where you can talk about this sort of issue and meet many kind and caring people online.

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