Psychic Readings And Belief In Angels
Do you believe in Angels? I can honestly say that I do but not those saccharine confections that one sees hovering over two impossibly virtuous-looking children as they cross over a turbulent stream, as in the sentimental image at left.
No, the Angels I find beleivable are creatures of pure consciousness and, as such, they are invisible to the physical sight of humans. But, given that they’re invisible, how can one claim that Angels exist at all?
Well, considering that most of the ‘stuff’ from which the universe is made is also invisible to the human eye we don’t have much of an argument that Angels can’t exist because we can’t see them. We can’t see bacteria either without the aid of a microscope but we have experienced their existence any time we have had an infection. Yet, the question remains: If they do exist, what are Angels?
Psychic Readings And Belief In Angels
I could take the easy way out here and aver that Angels are archetypes that arise from the human psyche as by-products of our evolution in consciousness. Most of the familiar archetypes that we carry around in our psyches are more like human prototypes: king, queen, father, mother, magician, judge, pardoner, etc. When you hear or read the word King or Queen, for example, a generic mental image of some kind comes to mind such as the crown image at right. The generic image derives from fairytales, legends, and folktales, from cinema, fantasy fiction, and the like. The image seems to be almost universal in human cultures which is what makes it an archetype, a concept we all can understand. But what about Angels? Are they also archetypes, or, are they something more? And where did our notion of winged guardians come from?
Origin of Winged Guardians
Representations of winged creatures go back a long way in human culture. Some of the earliest carvings we have are of “bird goddesses” found in archaeological sites, with some of the earliest having been found on the Balkan Peninsula. These images are from the Paleolithic Era roughly from 140,000 to 35,000 years ago. Birds, in particular, were an object of fascination. The females laid eggs and then incubated them with the warmth of their feathered bodies creating new life where there was none before. The female winged creature came to represent the prospect of survival and freedom, protection and nurturance.
Early Totems of Winged Creatures
No one knows exactly why humans were such industrious recorders of the other species and, in particular birds, around them but cave and rock paintings and incised figures are amongst the oldest artifacts produced by our ancient ancestors. Gradually, our species seemed to integrate several concepts: the idea of a winged protector or benefactor in the form of a bird goddess, the concept of flight as magical because it was beyond human capability, and a respect for creatures that didn’t not rely on us for their survival as we relied on them. We have here the earliest impulse toward a spiritual connection between early humans and other creatures. But it was the obsession with winged guardians that eventually dominated the human imagination in terms of a concept of the divine, the source of all of nature’s power and hence our source, as well. From this early impulse the concept of the winged nature spirit evolved into the messengers between the unseen and our three dimensional world.
If Angels Exist, What Are They?
The points of consciousness that we think of as Angels seem to be sentient energy forms whose existence we can only intuit from the accumulation of human experience with them which seems to point to other realities beyond our three dimensional, apparently ‘solid’ world. Unless you’ve spent the past 20 years living under a rock, you’ll be familiar with the upsurge of interest in the existence of Angels amongst the general reading public. A great deal of what has made it into the popular imagination is pure bunk, a cross between faddism (wanting to be ‘in’ with ‘what’s hot now’), wishful thinking, and indulgent gullibility. However, there are a number of books that I have found worthwhile reading, largely because the authors approached the subject in a neutral yet informed manner having done the required research on the history of Angels as a phenomenon in various human cultures and their place in archetypal psychology. In these instances the writers stand back and let the stories tell themselves and leave conclusions to the reader.
A Book of Angels
The book that put the case for the existence of Angels on the mainstream agenda is Sophy Burnham’s 1992 A Book of Angels. In her Foreword, Burnham tells us “…the fact is…I did not grow up believing in the paranormal…” The book had originally been conceived only as a personal memoir for friends but “…it occurred to me around the age of 43 that many curious and mysterious things had happened that could not be passed off anymore or explained away as logical.” Burnham had reached a place a in her life when her own experience was at odds with “consensus reality”. She had brushed aside such anomalies for years but now the “cognitive dissonance” between personal and consensus reality had to be addressed. Burnham began researching the subject of Angels and the apparently related phenomenon of miracles of various kinds and what she found amazed her. Her experience was not so much anomalous as it was a kind of cultural taboo. Experiences of what the people involved described as the timely intervention of ‘some sort of Angel’ had happened to thousands and they were from all walks of life, medical doctors as well as patients, scientists as well as artists, skeptics as well as ‘believers’. It didn’t seem to matter what people believed prior to the life-changing experience; non-believers were as likely to have such experiences as believers. If these experiences were not dependent upon pre-conceived ideas of what was or wasn’t possible, how could we account for them? Burnham’s search led to examine the literary, artistic and historic record for independent accounts of encounters with Angels, grounding her contemporary cases in historical perspective. I would recommend A Book of Angels as a useful introduction to the subject of Angels and their place in the human experience.
A Book of Angels is available for purchase HERE.
Image credits: Wikimedia Creative Commons.