He who does not see the angels and devils in the beauty and malice of life will be far removed from knowledge, and his spirit will be empty of affection.
— Khalil Gibran
Where did the idea of angels comes from? The word in itself can be traced back to ancient Greek, the word “anggelos”, which means angel or messenger.
The concept of angel embodies this idea of a divine messenger, a go-between the transcendent and the human experience.
Throughout western history, they are depicted as human in form, with wings on the back, and glowing light (or aura). The concept also holds a practical intervention on the material world, and the impact on the daily human existence thorough specific interventions, like happening of good, inexplicable and unexpected events.
This idea is widespread thorough Christianity and Islam religions, with similar ideas in other spiritual related domains and practices, like in Shamanism.
It is general understanding that angels manifest in visible form announcing births and deaths, or in times of need. Nowadays angels are conceived more as protectors and guardians.
In Shamanic spirituality there is an equivalent idea. It is believed that when you are born one or more spiritual guardians volunteer to stay with you and protect you through life, helping you keep safe either physically or emotionally. In the Shamanic tradition they have a different name, they are called power animals, but the concept behind is the same.
“Do You Believe in Angels?” Surveys
In 2007 a survey was made by Baylor Religion Survey about this question.
The results go as follows. They found that 81 percent of Black Protestants, 66 percent of Evangelical Protestants, 57 percent of Catholics, and 10 percent of Jews mentioned that they had personal experience with a guardian angel.
Interesting to notice, that 20 percent of those that reported having an angelic encounter had no religious affiliation.
In another survey done in 2009 and published in an Australian Newspaper, 51 percent answered that they believe in angels.
Are Angels Real? A Personal Experience
From a tender age I was confronted with this question.
It all started when my godmother, being a church goer, was appointed by my mother to teach me some rudiments of Christianity, and mainly how to pray to my Guardian Angel.
I was always eager to learn new things and so it went. I have to say that I did enjoy that bedtime ritual.
One evening while I was kneeling by the bed praying to my Guardian Angel I felt something different in the room. It was like the air became thicker, and was some sort of glow hanging there. In short I could feel a non physical presence in the room.
I stood up so excited, and thought to myself “Yes, that thing of praying to the Guardian Angel was working”. I ran to the kitchen where my godmother and mother were talking to bring the good news.
I rushed to my godmother and with great joy on my face, totally excited, I told her that the Guardian Angel was there, in my room. I was hopping that she would be as happy and excited as I was.
My godmother looked at my mother not knowing what to say, to which my mother patronizingly said — “Angels don’t exist.” My heart sunk, and the excitement fast excised. I turned around feeling sad, and without a word I walked back to my room with my head down.
Although young (I was about 5 years old) I could think on my feet, and began to have this internal dialogue with myself: – Why did they teach me something that is not real? I couldn’t find the answer, and I was ashamed to ask after the rebate in the kitchen.
Various feeling were running in my body, anger, shame, ridicule, to which I came up to the following conclusion.: – I am not going to do that anymore. Why pray to something that does not exist? And so I stopped.
This little story marked my make up, but didn’t sever my connection with the divine. I had my special and private channel of connection. Almost every night I had amazing lucid dreams where I used to go to a special place, a planet where love was present all around, and the sense of bliss and unity permeated all experience. I could drink love and replenish my soul, connecting my heart and becoming whole.
Many years later, after my degree in Psychology, I got immersed in shamanic practices and techniques through the work of Michael Harner’s (Foundation for Shamanic Studies) and rediscovered new and deeper ways of accessing different realms of reality. I began to consciously connect more intimately with my Power Animals and Guiding Spirits.
So, Are Angels Real?
Well, one fact is that angels, have been in human culture for millennia. We can find mention to them in throughout history and in different mythologies.
I saw an angel near me, on the left side, in bodily form. This I am not wont to see, save very rarely…. In this vision it pleased the Lord that I should see it thus. He was not tall, but short, marvellously beautiful, with a face which shone as though he were one of the highest of the angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call Seraphim…. I saw in his hands a long golden spear, and at the point of the iron there seemed to be a little fire. This I thought that he thrust several times into my heart, and that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew out the spear he seemed to be drawing them with it, leaving me all on fire with a wondrous love for God. The pain was so great that it caused me to utter several moans; and yet so exceeding sweet is this greatest of pains that it is impossible to desire to be rid of it, or for the soul to be content with less than God.
— Saint Teresa of Ávila
As you already know I am not very good in believing but I am a strong supporter of human curiosity and personal first hand experience.
So, if you can make an effort and remain open to the idea and possibility about angelic presence among us, you could be surprised by emerging new possibilities, intuition flashes, and insights. This doesn’t mean that you will relinquish the need to verify and confirm the info received. Although open to experience, keep a healthy skepticism, the balance is in the middle.
The best thing is each of us to have a personal experience, instead of trying to believe or convince yourself, or worst let others convince you. Be patient and keep your curiosity working, and you might one day (specially when you least expect) have an amazing spiritual experience that can shape your life for the better, and open horizons that you haven’t dreamt of.
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