What are angels?
Angels though bring the vastness of God, and put it in a package we as human beings can relate to much better. Angels embody some of the greatest qualities of God: compassion, love, understanding, non-judgment, contentment and peace.
Angels bring these beautiful qualities down to earth. They are like messengers of God sent to bring us special things. Angels have the ability to be the 'inbetween' beings, able to communicate with both humans and the very subtle energies of creation.
Angels and religion
There are tales of angels in the Bible. Yet sometimes we are left with a sense that some religions see angels as beings of the past that are no longer around, or they take the existence of angels in stories to be metaphors, used merely to illustrate a point. This historical view of angels can lead some people away from the more traditional religions because they want a spiritual faith that is alive and in the present, one that says angels still exist today. If God still exists why can't angels exist?
Many Christian religions actually give the angels ranks such as Seraphim and Cherubim. In the New Testament St. Paul added another seven orders. They are, in order of importance, after the previous two: Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels (Regular).
Angels are also common to many other religions such as Judaism, Islam and Native American beliefs. Also, many people who do not have a specific religion believe in angels.
What do they look like?
The most common aspect seems to be the colour white and a spiritual glow. Sometimes they are reported to be a column of light, sometimes their face cannot be made out, and others are reported to appear just as you and I, solid, visiting to achieve a certain task. Maybe one of the most amazing and transforming appearances is in mystical visions, such as when Mary saw an angel who told her about the birth of the baby Jesus.
For those that have had experiences like the most common aspect seems to be the all encompassing beauty and joy that the seer feels.
In the stories that are told sometimes they appear as we have seen in pictures, bathed in light and with wings, but often it seems this is not typical. This portrayal has been greatly re-inforced by artists of the past who have often been told by the church to paint angels in that way. Sometimes an angel might appear just as you or I, or be just an invisible being, or a white light. What a person sees may possibly be dependant upon what we need to see as a human being. If we need to see a full blown angel with wings and everything then maybe that is what we may get.
So do angels exist?
Believing in angels can be a bit like believing in UFOs in that unless you have actually seen one how can you be sure they exist? So the answer to this question will be different for everyone. Everyone will have there own definition of what an angel is. For example are all spirits who help us angels?
The question could also read "Do you believe in spirits?" or "Do you believe in the after life?" or "Do you believe in God?" Each individual may have their own proof or answer, but because the answers are gained more from spiritual and emotional experience rather than mental processes it is hard to pass this knowledge or insight onto others.
How do angels help us?
Some say we each have our own angel with us all the time - an angel that watches over us. Also that other angels come in and out of our lives as we need them. You may take on a very mentally challenging job for which another angel may be around to give guidance. Then you may do a more emotionally challenging job where another angel may come to the fore.
Angels have been observed in times of great crisis. For example to give reassurance to someone in great distress, or to intervene in a dramatic event or to miraculously save someone's life. In An Angel in your Pocket by Rosemary Ellen Guiley she retells stories of people who have met angels. One man felt a physical force pull him away from a 440 volt live wire, another lady, when suffering from life threatening diptheria was taken by an angel to other realms and when she awoke the doctor thought it a miracle that she was better as he thought she would surely die in the night.
One of the most frequent events is where a person appears suddenly to help someone in great distress and then after the visitor has accomplished their task, they seem to disappear. The person turns round and they are gone mysteriously and suddenly. There is often some fact that makes the person believe that the help was not of this world. For example, the mystery person calls them by their name when no name was mentioned, or they demonstrate a "super human" ability such as extreme strength. It is often described that the person was very beautiful regardless of their physical appearance.
What one person may call an angel another may call a spirit guide or animal spirit. Sometimes in our lives we feel a sense that there is a spirit near us, that there is someone else in the room or may after an event think we have been guided one way or another. It is hard to define these subtle energies. For most of us we are dealing with the world of "feels like" and "I had a sense of" so for a lot of people they say an angel has touched there lives, and what they really mean is that some positive beautiful force has come to play.
Their involvement may be quite subtle. Your brain is telling you to turn left because that is the quickest way home, yet you have a strong gut reaction to turn right. So you do and you bump into a long lost friend or afterwards find out you have avoided a bad flood. Is that an angel?
For most of us angels are a matter of faith. Do we believe in them? We may have experiences in our lives that lead us strongly or even with certainty to believe in their existence and as we develop spiritually and personally over time we may become more sensitive to their subtle energies.
Angels represent all that is good. Whether we believe in them or not we can believe in what they represent. Many would aspire to have their good qualities and may look at them as role models.
Can believing in angels harm me in any way?
It is possible to turn every decision over to what you perceive to be your angels. But from another viewpoint you could say you are turning decisions over to a higher part of yourself.
Angels are a subject that could be very much connected with our intuition. Where does our intuition stop and the intervention of angels start? Are angels simply our higher self or are they separate beings or is the answer somewhere between the two.
So the danger, as with many spiritual beliefs, is to not play down our own involvement in our lives. If every time something goes right in your lives you say it was your angel, maybe you are not giving yourself enough credit.
However asking a higher part of yourself, whether that higher part be a higher part of you, be it God or an angel, can be a healthy thing to make sure we are always treading a good path.
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