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A Little About Angels

Updated on June 1, 2011
Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel | Source

This picture has been around for a long time—it hung in my bedroom when I was a child and looking at it made me feel safe. That’s what Guardian Angels are for, after all, or that’s what we were told in Catholic school.

Angels have been a part of religious belief since the beginning of recorded time. In both the Christian and Jewish texts they have been portrayed as spiritual beings, superior to humans in both power and knowledge. Since the 5th century angels have been depicted with large wings. Supposedly, angel wings are not all white. Different types of angels have different colored wings. Most, however, have no wings at all.

Everything we know about angels is subjective, as there is no guidebook written by a higher power that gives us intricate details about them. As I’ve mentioned, The Bible and other religious publications mention them, but they do not give us detailed information. So, when it comes to details, we have to rely on what many “experts” agree upon as the truth.

There seems to be nine individual classifications of angels, which are divided into three ranks.

The first rank are the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. These angels are thought to be totally dedicated to God and his needs.

The second rank are the Dominions, Powers and Authorities. These angels work through God for the general benefit of the cosmos.

In the third rank are Principalities, Archangels and Angels. These are the angels that deal mostly with humans and animals. These are the Guardian Angels and spirit guides. In the Hindu religion they would be known as The Angiris—messengers between man and the holy-divine energies.

Many people believe in the existence of angels, and not only the religious. Because they are always portrayed as coming from Heaven and are always associated with God it is difficult to talk about them without them having a religious association. Since we have no information to the contrary, let us assume that this is what most people believe. I think we all can agree that angels are symbolic of communication and connection between higher Universal energies (God) and lower energies (man).

Angels seem to have many tasks. Among them are: they act as messengers—they communicate God’s words and desires to man. The word, “Angel” comes from the Greek (angelos) word meaning messenger. An example of a messenger angel would be the angel who came to Mary to announce that she was with child, or the angels that came to the shepherds telling them of Christ’s birth.

Angels are also associated with protection, as Guardian angels. We were told in Catholic school that everyone had a guardian angel… that would make for a lot of angels bumping into each other on a crowded sidewalk. It sure is a comforting thought when one is walking home alone on a deserted street or wooded area, however.

Archangels are thought to be the highest ranking angels. They are associated with strength, protection and guardianship. I am the most confused by these angels, as I cannot equate angels with a warrior persona. To me they are the symbol of faith, love, tolerance, peace, compassion, protection and harmony. Perhaps John Travolta has ruined my impression of the archangel Michael forever. “Hollywood Hype” strikes again!


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