Tattoo Ideas: Angels
Appearing most frequently in Christianity and Judaism, angels are the spiritual messengers of God who serve as the guardians to mankind. In Catholicism, angels are physical manifestations of God's divine love, bringing good news and delivering messages of hope to God's disciples. They appear in visions to communicate with men and women throughout the Old and New Testaments. It was the angel Gabriel who appeared to the virgin Mary to announce she would soon give birth to Jesus and the angel who latered visited Mary's husband, Joseph, to ease his suspicion that Mary had been unfaithful and assure him that her pregnancy was an immaculate conception caused by the Holy Spirit.
Archangels, a term which literally translates to "primary messenger", are angels who are far more superior or high ranking than ordinary angels. The Archangel Michael is one of the "chief princes" in Christianity. Commonly portrayed in artwork as a warrior, Michael's name was the war cry of the angels during the battle against Satan. He is thought to be the ultimate protector of the people of Israel and because of this his image is depicted frequently in tattoo designs, sometimes shown with his sword and shield, other times portrayed in a scene where he valiantly fights the devil and crushes him underfoot.
According to Dionysius, there are nine different types of angels, broken down into three orders. The First Order are those closest to God, and they include Seraphim (the "fiery spirits" who sing God's praises and shine brightly to dispel darkness in all the angels beneath them), Cherubim (usually depicted as babies with wings, they are guardians of God's glory) and Thrones (the "many eyed ones" who issue judgements for karma.) The Second Order consists of Dominions, who teach intuition, Virtues, who perform miracles on earth and intervene when someone is struggling with his faith, and Powers, who keep the fallen angels from taking over the world and keep the universe balanced. The Third Order are called the ministering angels and they are made up of Principalities, who protect nations and inspire leaders to make the right decisions, who carry God's messages and are commonly seen as guardians because they protect mankind, and finally Angels. True Angels are closest to human beings as every human is assigned an Angel at the time of his or her birth. They are a positive force that is always with us, comprised of love and understanding, and they help guide us through our everyday lives, communicating God's love for us through their presence.
These are the Angels that people are usually talking about when they say they have had an encounter with a celestial being. It is these Angels who are typically unseen that have been reported as appearing physically in times of great danger or distress. It is also believed that our loved ones become angels when they pass away and leave this plane for a higher existence, which is why angels are the most popular image in memorial tattoos. Whether selecting a complete replica of a religious design or opting for actual wings that span the width of their back, is it any wonder that so many people choose to get angel tattoos?