Saturday, March 4, 2017

For the Angels - 3:01; Three's the Charm (annotated)

Angel of Death Victorious - bronze (distressed) - 1923, Herman Matzen.
Also known as the "Haserot Angel," this monument is located in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. Above is my B/W version of a photograph found here, credited to Steven Jupina.
(All images within this post can be clicked to enlarge)

"Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the hierarchies of angels?
Even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart,
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Every angel is terrifying."

"Every angel is terrifying. And yet, alas, I invoke you,
almost deadly birds of the soul, knowing about you.
Where are the days of Tobias, when one of you, veiling his radiance,
stood at the front door, slightly disguised for the journey, no longer appalling;
(a young man like the one who curiously peeked through the window).
But if the archangel now, perilous, from behind the stars took even one step down toward us
our own hearts, beating higher and higher, would beat us to death.
Who are you?"

- First stanzas from the First and Second Elegies of the Duino Elegies (Duineser Elegien), by Rainer Maria Rilke, 1923. The full English translations by Stephen Mitchell of the first two Elegies can be found here. However, I can't hardily recommend any of the other translations found online. Ideally, it should be read the way Rilke wrote it: in its original German form. Incidentally, Rilke's question "where are the days of Tobias" refers to an enigmatic scripture of ancient origin which relates the story of the youth, Tobias. and the archangel Raphael (See the "A Brief History of Angels" section).

"I turned my sight back to the angel when, suddenly, I noticed his hands - particularly his right hand which was reaching out to me. In English, he said, “Come into my world.” I was wondering why he was speaking to me in English when, suddenly, I heard the translation: “Entre dans mon monde,” and even in German: “Komm in meinem Welt.”

Then, through the music and the angel, I entered into that other world, which exists inside the painting. The whole time, the figures had been calling me there.

The angel changed my appearance, and I became just like one of the little people in the painting. I received a long cape, and I was crowned with coral (just like the woman in profile with the elaborate headdress). It was like a ceremony, initiating me into paradise... I became an angel..."

- Excerpt from Un Autre Monde by Myrette St. Ange (possibly a fictional character) (?) "translated" by Visionary artist, L. Caruna. The painting referred to is an actual painting by Visionary artist Robert Venosa. (inset, above, is a detail from the painting.)

"For painter and philosopher Robert Venosa, art and spirituality were simultaneous. Venosa was a visionary in the most real sense of the word: much of his artistic expression was deeply connected to visions that he had of higher dimensional beings whom he perceived as angels, although a different sort of angel than you might see in popular religious art. At several crucial moments in Venosa's life he was visited by an entity that seemed transcendent of time and space, yet was partially visible in the third dimension. These experiences affected Robert deeply and he attempted for the rest of his life to paint them (example, inset left). Many of his well known works were inspired by these visions, including twin angels Castor and Pollux, and Seraphim."

"Spirit energy, like all universal energy, must manifest itself in form and texture at its own vibratory level. We, in our present stage of time-space evolution are unfortunately limited in our perception of these transcendent substances. But the visionary, in his creative expression, must overstep these limits if he is to resolve his task of bridging the gulf between accepted reality and spiritual postulation”."

- Two quoted paragraphs from Reality Sandwich's article on Robert Venosa {1936 - 2011}: Viva Venosa. The second quote is from the artist and was excerpted from his 1978 publication "Manas Manna." All three paintings posted here can be found on his website.


Sorry for the delay, comrades, but my mental engine decided to stall last week just at the crucial moment... possibly flooded by too much angelology! Then again, maybe I've just been wrestling with my own angels lately... or maybe I've been wrestling with yours; it's difficult to say. Understanding the Language of Angels is a little like understanding the Language of Birds - and maybe they're one and the same - but, one thing I've learned: it's impossible to pin down an angel. Moreover, angels are not always "nice."  But, whether you "believe" in them or not - and, very possibly, they couldn't care less -  it is always they who have the advantage. Like birds - up to an including Rilke's "deadly birds of the soul" - they can merely fly away. (Or, even worse, tamper with your mental engine!)

Of course, there are angels and then there are angels. For some people angels are guised as beneficent strangers; those enigmatic humans who seemingly come to us out of thin air (and just in the nick of time) to save the day. For an artist, the Muse is a kind of angel. For a child, a guardian angel is sensed as a protective force. And, as for mystics, well, they seem to be able to experience them firsthand.

As a matter of fact, it is often artists, mystics and children* who actually see angels. William Blake saw angels... especially as a child, and specifically in trees. The American artist Robert Venosa spent his lifetime attempting to represent the "higher dimensional entities" he saw (inset, right).** And, while the poet Rainer Maria Rilke devoted his Duino Elegies to angels, it is also said that his initial inspiration - and the first line of his poem - came from an angel whose voice was carried to him on the wind. The Swiss scientist (and mystic) Emanuel Swedenborg not only saw angels***, but wrote extensively about his conversations with them in a book entitled Heaven and Hell. He writes (found here):

"On the grounds of all my experience, which has lasted for several years now, I can say with full confidence that in their form, angels are completely human. They have faces, eyes, ears, chests, arms, hands, and feet. They see each other, hear each other, and talk to each other. In short, they lack nothing that belongs to humans except that they are not clothed with a material body."

As for the Christian mystics, Saint Francesca comes to mind. She even convinced Church authorities that her guardian angel was a true, substantial entity. In fact, she was formally declared the Patron Saint of Automobile Drivers, because her alleged angel was said to appear with a lantern to guide her whenever she travelled.

And, then there's the matter of Saint Teresa (of Ávila) - not to be confused with Thérèse of Lisieux - and her "ecstasy," but that's so juicy, I'm saving it for later...

Lastly, sometimes the ghosts of deceased loved ones are referred to as angels, and, curiously, this is often a description applied to the faerie races as well; that is, they are the spirits of the dead. And, yet, according to the Theosophist, W.Y. Evans Wentz, (who wrote the definitive book about them), faeries were often considered to be "fallen angels," as well. So, there seems to be a certain mythical bond between these two members of our preternatural pantheon.

A Fairy under Starry Skies - by Luis Ricardo Falero (1851 - 1896).

An autumnal angel.
In any case, one doesn't need to believe in angels (or faeries) to appreciate them. Winged celestial beings with idealized human features is a beautiful concept.  But, whether or not you believe in the existence of angels -  or, alternatively, the spiritual entities they represent -  they, like gods, ghosts, faeries, elves, vampires, aliens, dragons (and other elusive legendary beasts) are fixtures in our greater reality. Regardless of the lack of empirical evidence, our supernatural citizens of the world are firmly rooted in our consciousness, and had they ceased to exist we would promptly reinvent them. We have an almost pathological need for their survival. Without them we are somehow diminished, left with no evidence of any existence beyond the base trappings of physical survival. In a roundabout way, our "preternatural pantheon" - and the list is endless - serve one major purpose: they lure us beyond the realm of the observable known and into imaginative realms full of endless possibilities. They allow us to step out of time, enriching a sense of wonder that, without, we would perish. Moreover, they enrich our stories, our art, our dreams and every aspect of our metaphysical lives. Ultimately, they are devices which extend and expand the scope of our emotions, our passions, and, in the last analysis, that may be the whole point: sans a metaphysical presence, sans our imaginative and creative faculties, sans the driving force of our passion, we are nothing but potential fossils. Perhaps, less.

But, when I sat down to write about angels, I wasn't sure which direction I was headed. Maybe all I wanted to do was upload a lot of angel images. After all, while they may or may not have a physical reality, it's almost impossible to deny the beauty of their representation. I was initially inspired by the angel in Botticelli's (Castelli) Annunciation -  one whom I borrowed for a personal image of my own (see For the Angels) - and assumed my inquiry would begin and end there. But, of course, for the eternally curious, nothing ever ends anywhere. The problem is: where to begin? Is it even possible to answer Rilke's question: "Who are you?"

Probably not, But, the journey is everything.

*  Speaking of children and angels, here's a sweet anecdote from Sophy Burnham's A Book of Angels, (1990):

"Bridget Maher, age eight, who lives in Washington, D.C., has an angel that accompanies her everywhere, She has pink wings, says Bridget, a yellow gown, and wings for feet. She has been with Bridget since about the age of three, and when Bridget goes to sleep at night, the angel envelopes her body in a spiraling rainbow to protect her when she sleeps. I asked the little girl if the angel was always with her, even when she was in company or went to school, and she paused thoughtfully to answer: 'No, unless I get a paper-cut at school, and then she heals it. 'How?' 'With her magic wing.' "


** (New3/8/17) Regarding Visionary artists and angels, I have recently come across some titillating information on Phil Coppen's website - which might be of interest to us here - concerning what may or may not be an actual group of artists referred to as the Angelic Society, "who have – by design or accident – communicated with the angels and have embraced these entities as their guides to complete their life’s mission."

Coppens begins his article with mention of another angel artist, Andy Lakey (née Andrew Markivich), who was an American artist born in France (1959-2012). Apparently Lakey had a vision of seven angels who instructed him to paint... and so his legacy began. (Inset, right - a Lakey angel assemblage, from one of many found here).

From there Coppens goes on to mention the French artists, Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Eugène Delacroix (1789-1863), before addressing the 20th century French writers Maurice Barrès, Anatole France and Jean Cocteau (the reknowned filmmaker). Of the latter he writes:

"Then, in 1925, Cocteau, having visited a friend, was in an elevator. Suddenly, he felt the presence, right besides him, of 'something both terrible and eternal'. This 'thing' identified itself: 'My name can be found on the plaque.' There was only one plaque, and it listed the maker of the elevator: 'Heurtebise.' The unknown, which for years had been sending its 'parliamentarians' to Cocteau, had therefore finally decided to reveal itself. From then onwards, Heurtebise accompanied Cocteau in all of his works. Or, rather, he showed him what road to take and thus guaranteed that Cocteau would follow the path that had been set out for him by the angels – his mission."

Coppens also includes an interesting quote by Barrès: “The greatest victory is indeed to conquer the angel, to wrestle from him his secret. The angel wants to open for us the gateway to the invisible, it is his mission, but he will not open it without a fight; he does not open it for those who are indolent, tepid, but only to those who, to clear the passage, do not fear to do battle with him.”

(Detail of) Et in Arcadia ego - 1638, Nicolas Poussin
(Are they gazing at a tomb... or a portal?) ;-)

All in all, from what I gather, the Angelic Society was an informal collection of artists and writers, beginning in the Renaissance but spanning centuries. Their intimate connection was that they had all communicated with angels, and the code they shared between them was "ET IN ARCADIA EGO (And in Arcadia I)". This is merely the tip of the iceberg, however; Coppen's article is very dense, so, it requires a great deal more scrutiny.

That being said, it's a very interesting, speculative article. Whether or not it's based on fact, well, truth is generally stranger than fiction. Meanwhile I also found a Wiki entry for the Société Angélique. From the article: "The Société Angéliqué was a group of writers and other scholars which formed around the printer/publisher Sebastian Gryphius in Lyon in the mid 16th century during the "Lyon Renaissance". It is considered to be the antecedent of the more recent literary societies. According to the cryptographer Claude Sosthène Grasset d'Orcet the group employed masonic trappings and adopted an angel's head as their crest."

Are the two Angelic Societies one and the same?


*** You'll note that, in Swedenborg's description, his "completely human" angels do not have wings. Perhaps, as a scientist, he was too embarrassed to mention them. Above is a drawing (a scan of a xerox I had in some non-digital files - origin unknown) that purported to illustrate the scientific "evidence" debunking corporeal angels: that is, the necks and shoulders of flying humans would have to be massive to support the vast wings they would require.

Of course, nobody generally refers to angels as "corporeal"... but, well, that's science for you. Happily, it is artists who have the last word. (Inset, right: a lovely feminine angel with vast wings found in Norwich, England, and identified on Bob Speel's website.)


A Brief History of Angels

Detail from The Mystical Nativity - 1501, Sandro Botticelli.

"Angels are found within three key religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yet, angels, or divine helpers, were also found within Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian and Greek writings, as well, and played a major influence upon the ideas regarding angels within the key religions themselves. For example, it is well known that ancient Sumerian texts pre-dated the Hebrew book of Genesis, including the idea of the existence of angels. The Hebrew beliefs regarding angels were similarly shared with Christianity, and both Judaism's and Christianity's teachings of angels inspired the Islam beliefs concerning angels."

- Found on this Angels & Ghosts page.

"These are the seven forces of the seven heavens of chaos. And they were born androgynous, consistent with the immortal pattern that existed before them, according to the wish of Pistis (Sophia): so that the likeness of what had existed since the beginning might reign to the end. You will find the effect of these names and the force of the male entities in the Archangelic (Book) of the Prophet Moses, and the names of the female entities in the first Book of Noraia."

- An excerpt from an unusual Gnostic text On the Origin of the World, which can be read here in full. (Sorry; in English only.) The inset image is a tiling composed of 7 heptagrams (seven-pointed stars) surrounding a silent eighth, I designed in 1998.

"You must know that angelical spirits, seeing they are of a pure intellect, and altogether incorporeal, are not marked with any marks or characters, or any other human signs; but we, not otherwise knowing their essence or quality, do, from their names, or works, or otherwise, devote and consecrate to them figures and marks, by which we cannot compel them to us, but by which we rise up to them... then, by a certain admiration of our reason, we are induced to a religious veneration of them; and then are wrapt with our whole mind into an ecstatical adoration; and then with a wonderful belief, an undoubted hope, and quickening love, calling upon them in spirit and truth by true names and characters, do obtain from them that virtue or power which we desire."

- From The Magus, by Francis Barrett, 1801 - in the the chapter: Another Way of Making Characters, According to the Cabalists - where the inset image (sigils for the Angels of the 7 days of the week) is also found.

"The second Governour of the World is Anael the Spirit of Venus, who after Orifiel began to rule according to the influence of this Planet, in the year of the world 354. the fourth moneth, that is, the 24 day of the moneth of June, and he ruled the world 354 years, and 4 moneths, untill the year from the Creation of the world 708. as appears to any that shall Calculate the Age thereof.

Under the Regiment of this Angell, men began to be more Civilized, built Houses, erected Cities, found out Arts Manuall (viz. Monifactury) the Art of Weaving, Spinning, and Cloathing, and many such like as these, did indulge themselves plentifully with the pleasures of the flesh, took unto themselves faire women for their wives, neglected God, Receded in many things from their naturall simplicity; they found out Sports, and Songs, sang to the Harp, and did excogitate whatsoever did belong to the worship and purpose of Venus. And this wantonness of life in men did continue untill the flood, receiving the Arguments of its pravity from hence."

- On the archangel Anael, from De Septem Secundeis ("Seven Secondary Causes"), 1508, Johannes Trithemius. According to Trithemius,  each archangel rules for a period of three hundred and fifty-four years and four months, and we are currently in the age of Michael, the Solar archangel. Inset image is photograph of a clay model of the archangel Anael I used for drawings executed in 1985.*


So, where and when did the concept of angels originate?

Well, to answer this, you might assume we'd have to slog through an endless pile of biblical documents to find our angelic source, but, in reality, the least informative place regarding angels are the official Christian records.  Apparently, angels were flying around long before they landed there, and in far greater numbers.  But, mysteriously, there are no clear answers and the material we have is dense, complex and contradictory, emerging well before recorded history. Certainly angels are mentioned in the bible; primarily described as male and primarily referred to as instruments of the Christian (male) Creator but at the same time, theologically speaking, they're considered androgynous.** And, this seems to be the case across the board in both Western and Middle Eastern traditions.

Tobias and the Angel
As it stands, each of the three major Abrahamic religions seem to have their own angelic entities and angelic hierarchies. In Islam, angels are an undisputed fact; it was, after all, the archangel Gabriel who recited the Qur’an to Muhammad, and a belief in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith. But, it is in the Judaic tradition where a great deal more angelology can be found. They are mentioned in both the Torah - from which the Kabbalah finds its source - and the Talmud. Another important source is the ancient Jewish text, The Book of Enoch (300 BC) - from whence the Watchers came: namely, the "fallen" angels or "sons of god" who mated with human women and fathered the Nephilim, a race of warrior giants. Interestingly, although not part of the official canon of the Jewish faith, it has been canonized by two Orthodox Christian groups, and possibly influenced the authors of the New Testament as well. There is also the Book of Tobit (225 -175 BC, origins unknown): a strange scripture about the Israelite Tobit's son, Tobias, whose marriage is brought about with the assistance of the archangel Raphael. It was canonized by both the Roman and Byzantine Catholics and also appears in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanakh.

The Sigillum Dei Aemaeth - attributed to John Dee - is described in the Wiki entry as: "a late Middle Ages magical diagram, composed of two circles, a pentagram, and three heptagons, and is labeled with the name of God and his angels. It was an amulet (amuletum) with the magical function that, according to one of the oldest sources (Liber iuratus), allowed the initiated magician to have power over all creatures except Archangels, but usually only reserved for those who can achieve the blessed vision of God and angels (beatific visionary)."  The above version has been filtered by myself to display its elegantly powerful geometry. More information can be found here.

So, in a sense, the underlying presence of angels is one aspect that unifies the predominant monotheistic disciplines. But, angels are free agents; they are not restricted to any creed or denomination. They are not, in fact, confined to the official religious realm at all; angels have a rich esoteric and occult history. Now, it must be said that much of the early angel esoterica - specifically that which arose during the Renaissance - was contrived from interpretations (and misinterpretations) of the Kabbalah. Regardless, the Kabbalists and Christian Cabalists from this period knew individual angels by name (72 of them are listed inset, above, and found in The Magus); names which ceremonial magicians  - specifically Enochian magicians like John Dee, 1527-1609, (and, much later, the Beast 666, himself) - integrated into their own philosophies and practices.

On the other hand, according to Gustav Davidson's introduction to his "Dictionary of Angels." at least some of these names were taken from pagan sources; the Greek god Hermes, for instance, became the angel Hermesael. And, this is no great wonder, really, because some of the earliest winged superpowers were in fact the Greek gods, specifically the great god Eros, and the androgynous god from whom get the term "hermaphrodite": Hermaphroditos, the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite (who is pictured inset, above, with the animal most associated with Aphrodite and Eros: the hare!). But, we'll get to them in the near future. In any case, before the advent of monotheistic religions, winged gods and goddesses were found all over the ancient world, and I suspect they slipped into the annals of angelology in more ways than one.

Detail from Psyche discovers ErosReinhold Begas, Altes Museum, Berlin.

But, these are merely a few of the diverse ingredients in our angelic "soup", for angelology doesn't begin nor end there. In the religions of the far east, for instance - notably Buddhism and Hinduism - there are the devas and Bodhisattvas, whom, although not precisely angelic in appearance, seem to share a number of angelic qualities. Modern theologians and anthropologists, on the other hand, conclude that the first angels were actually recorded by the Iranian Zoroastrians who referred to their angels as the Amesha Spenta: "immortals which are holy". The Amesha Spenta are loosely described as "divine sparks" or emanations of God, but, at the same time they seem to have more physical counterparts. Basically there were six in number; 3 of them male and 3 female. although, once again they were also considered essentially androgynous. Sometimes the Zoroastrian God is counted among them, bringing the total to seven.

And, the number seven seems to be the magic number for angels, specifically referring to the archangels, but - in accordance with the Kabbalists and ceremonial magicians - also attributed to the angels of the days of the week (and corresponding with the 7 planets acknowledged at the time). Oddly enough, the Bible does not name all seven of the archangels and they are not recognized by Roman Catholicism. In the Orthodox Christian faith, however, the seven archangels are both named and celebrated. Although the names of archangels seem to vary depending upon the source, and a few, like Sariel and Samael (a consort of Lilith) are often listed among the fallen, the archangels to your right are identified as: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel. Their feast day is November 9th. (inset, above, left, is small, painted image - originally owned by grandfather - of the archangel Michael) (inset, right is an icon entitled: Synaxis of the Holy Heavenly Bodiless Powers which can be found here.)

The Gnostics had their own orders - and contrasting spin - regarding angels. They, too, had seven archangel-like figures, known as the Archons. But, these were not necessarily the "good guys." Moreover, they seemed to be the creator gods (or demons), along with another group of celestials, the Aeons.

Unfortunately, while there are reams of information (and disinformation) about Gnosticism on the web these days, most of it is about as clear as mud, and much of it suspect, so, I'm reluctant to add any additional links or any (faulty) analysis of my own. Perhaps, this is in keeping with the true Gnostic tradition of secrecy. In any case, my advice is this: when researching esoteric subjects on the web, tread carefully.

That being said, Gnostic ideology inspired a number of more contemporary mystics and philosophers, and this short history would not be complete if I neglected to mention Austrian philosopher, Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), a Theosophist who later helped form the Anthroposophical Society. Steiner had some amazingly strange ideas about the origins of the "angeloi" and "archai," but once again, it's difficult to determine whether or not these entities were created by a god or were gods who created themselves. On one hand, he determines they have no free will beyond that of the Deity, but at the same time they seem to be consciously on an evolutionary path that somehow coincides with mankind's. In fact, according to Steiner, the angels were human at one time... or they became human... or... well, okay, it's confusing. But, appropriately, we'll end this section with a Steiner quote, because if this "brief history" has taught us anything, it is this: everybody knows what angels are but nobody knows who angels are, and vice-versa. In other words, Rilke's question, "Who are you?" is an unanswerable question.

"The Archangels, who were first able to become human on the Sun, found there gas or smoke, also. What had they to do in order to secure a footing on the Sun, to establish a dwelling-place there? They formed their own souls, they wove their inner being, their soul-bodies out of warmth into light, and they joined to these soul-bodies the gas that was there, a external body... Through the life they led in their gas bodies they lived in the Sun planet itself. They could now differentiate their own body of gas from the general substance of the Sun planet. They jostled against each other, and through this contact developed a kind of consciousness of self."

... now, because the Archai had surrendered the external eggs of warmth, Saturn was transformed into Sun, on which the Archangels found it possible to pass through their human stage. They were the heralds who announced to the world: ‘The Primal Beginnings or the Spirits of Personality, were our forerunners. As messengers, we proclaim to the universe in rays of light, the former existence of Saturn, of warmth-filled Saturn. We are the messengers, the heralds of the Archai.’ Angel means Messenger, Archai means the Beginnings. The Archangels were nothing else than the heralds of the deeds of the Primal Beginnings or Archai of former times. Therefore, they are called Angels of the Beginnings, ‘Archai-Angels’ which, in English, has become Archangels. These Archangels were the men of the Sun."

- Rudolph Steiner, excerpted from Lecture 3, being just one of a series entitled The Spiritual Hierarchies (1928). (Note: links will bring you to the original text in English.) ***

* Actually, what spiked my own interest in angels arrived in the form of an architectural design contest entered by my dear friend and New York architect, David West, around 1985. The object, if I remember correctly, was to design a cathedral, and David recruited me as a partner in the undertaking.

The result was our Cathedral of the Seven Angels; a somewhat Romanesque, pagan structure featuring a circle of seven towering angel statues. David designed the overall structure; I simply supplied the angels and the details (such as this design sketched for a stained glass window, inset, right).

To our mutual surprise, we won Honorable Mention!

** Now, angels are generally considered benign, spiritual entities, and almost always androgynous, and yet they are almost always depicted and referred to as primarily male - especially by male theologians in reference to patriarchal religions! How not surprising! There is actually an online article about this topic, purportedly brought to us by the "New" Theological Movement: Why the archangels have men's names.

But, before you go there, let me save you some time. While, certainly the article begins with a lucid description of the Archangels in Christianity, it soon segues to the not-so-very-new (misogynist) bottom line. For example:

"2) While St. Thomas strongly emphasizes that man and woman are both the image of God, as both are rational, he also admits that, in a secondary sense, man is more the image of God than woman – for just as man comes from God and returns to God, so too woman comes from man (having been created from his side) and returns to man (through married life). This is not nearly so sexist as some might think; in fact, St. Thomas is appealing to Sacred Scripture (1 Cor 11:7-11, a passage which refers both to the relation between men and women and to the angels). Thus, as angels (being pure spirits) are more like unto God than are human beings, so too men (in a secondary sense) are more like God than women – Man is the image and the glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. Thus, angels are depicted as men instead of women."

Conclusion: you might want to skip this one.


*** (New 3/8/17) Actually, I just found a Rosicrucian text that features a paragraph which has striking similarities with Steiner's angelic philosophies:

"Angels are an earlier stream of evolution who were human in a previous incarnation of the earth, called the Moon Period among Rosicrucians. The Archangels were the humanity of the Sun Period and the Lords of Mind, called by Paul the "Powers of Darkness," were the humanity of the fourth period of the present scheme of manifestation, the Earth Period. As all beings in the universe are progressing, the humanity of the previous periods have also progressed so that they are NOW at a higher stage than they were when they were human-they are superhuman. Therefore, it is perfectly true that God made man a little lower than the Angels. But as everything is in a state of SPIRAL progression, it is also true that our present humanity is a higher and more evolved humanity than the Angels were; and that the Angels were a higher order of humanity than the Archangels were when they were human. In the next step we shall attain something like the stage of the Angels at the present time, but we shall be superior to what they are NOW."

- Excerpt from: The Rosicrucian Philosophy In Questions and Answers. Volume I, Max Heindel (1865-1919).


Angelus Domini by the Portuguese Renaissance painter Francisco de Holanda.

Incidentally, here's a bit of angel trivia which may or may not interest you: a medieval grimoire of unknown origin (apparently) channeling the angel Raziel. (Unintelligible) text found here.

Oh, and before I forget, here's a fun website (from the New Age genre) featuring Angels from A-Z... go ahead, pick an Angel Card; I know you want to. ;-)

(Note: in reference to the three inset images that are unidentified: the first - introducing the text portion of the "History..." section - is a splendid, four-winged angel found in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, France. The photo is credited to "Julien M. - Turalyon," and found here.

The second - and third from the last image in the post - is a statue from St Michael’s Church, Hamburg, Germany featuring the archangel Michael which can be found on this Steiner-related page. Lastly, the third - and second to the last image in the post - is a medieval manuscript illumination featuring an angel and an alchemist. It's a Wiki offering, but I've misplaced the link... and if you saw my actual note files you'd understand why!)



I wanted so desperately to finish this angel series in one (3 day) sitting... but, well, here we go again, folks. This post was originally meant to be several sections longer, but time is not on my side. So, there is yet one more angelic post to come: For the Angels 3:02.

My apologies, but there is not one single thing I can do about it. And, I'm not even going to bother forecasting a date... when its time arrives, it will simply appear. (All good things come to those who wait.) ;-)

Personally, I find angels are a bit like hares... they grip you by the gonads and simply will not give up until you do their bidding. I surrender.


  1. Great article as always. Keep up the good work!

    1. Not mysterious at all! It's Jorge, the guy that sent you the sona drawings from Africa. I was starting an anonymous blog so I changed my profile... there goes the anonymity 😁!!
      By the way... since last time the artistic suggestion was on the topic, i'l try another one!
      Go search for "Francisco de Holanda"... he is a Portuguese ( my country ) artist from the 16 century, and some of us work concerns angels. Anyway.. I do believe him to be "your kind of artist". Cheers and good fortune!!

    2. Ah, Jorge... or should I say Salomão? Well, you had me mystified.

      I looked up de Holanda as you suggested. Interesting. Some of his work kind of reminds me of William Blake. I found one of his angel paintings which I promptly added to the post. Thanks for the heads-up!

      Cheers and good fortune to you, as well! Looking forward to your "anonymous" blog! ;-)

  2. Wow...what an immersive article!

    Awesome work as always, Dia!

    You've obviously got an angelic muse hidden away somewhere.

    1. And, as always, thank you, BG.

      But, the reality is, the information touched upon in this post isn't even the half of it. So, stay tuned for 3:02... and possibly 3:03... depending upon how much data I can squeeze into one post.

      Well, as I said in the post, the artistic muse is a kind of angel. :-)

  3. Great, great post! I'm not done reading yet. But you had me at Rilke.

    1. Thanks, TB! We'll meet with Rilke again in the next post.