An Overview of the Archangels

An Overview of the Four Archangels

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In the New Age field there are several angels that the majority of followers believe in. Today we’re going to take a quick look at four of those angels – all from the choir of the archangels.

Archangels Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel are perhaps the three most well known archangels. Along with them is Uriel. These four angels make up the four angels associated with the cardinal directions.

In most cultures the four cardinal directions are deemed extremely important. Sometimes they are known as directions and other times they are called watchtowers. Some cultures associate animals with them, some elements, and others angels.

These directions and their associations are as follows.

Archangel of the East

Starting in the east, we have Raphael. Raphael is the angel associated with the element of air. He is considered to be the angel of healing. He is often times seen as a male angel holding a staff in one hand. We also associate new beginnings with Raphael. The season of spring is said to belong to Raphael as spring represents rebirth and “healing” from the past.

The Catholic prayer for Archangel Raphael is:

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As can be noted in the prayer, Raphael is called upon to ease not only physical pains, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Archangel of the South

In the south is Archangel Michael, the angel of protection. Michael is almost always seen as a young male angel in armor with a flaming sword. He is associated with the element of fire. For ages Michael has been beloved to be the protector of all. It has been said that Michael has a special affinity for protecting children and women.

In angel mythology, Michael was believed to be the angel that lead the war against Satan, after Satan fell from God’s grace and started a rebellion. According to this myth, Satan was God’s right hand angel for a long time, but that wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted to be above God. He gathered some angels that believed that he would make a better ruler than God and started a war in the heavens.

Michael, stepped up to the plate on behalf of God and lead God’s army of angels into battle against Satan. It has been said that in the final moments of that battle, it was Michael that threw Satan out of the heavens into what was later termed hell. The followers of Satan followed. Satan became known as the devil and his angels that battled alongside him became known as demons.

Of course, there are many questions that can be raised by subscribing to this line of thought – but now is not the time to get into that.

We also associate the virtue of determination to Michael along with the season of Summer.

The Catholic prayer to Michael is as follows:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Archangel of the West

To the west, we have the angel Gabriel, the messenger angel. Gabriel is sometimes seen as a male and sometimes a female and often times both at various times throughout life. I know for myself, I always thought of Gabriel as male until I had a dream and Gabriel appeared as a female in the dream! The angel is almost always seen holding a scroll.

Gabriel is the angel that delivers important messages. Many times these messages come in the form of dreams or visions to people. Usually these messages are from God, but we have the ability to ask Gabriel to deliver important messages for us to others too. For example, if you find yourself having a fight with someone and the two of you stop talking, Gabriel may be the way to helping open up new communication again.

We also associate the season of fall or Autumn to Gabriel. The elemental association is water.

The Catholic prayer is:

Blessed Saint Gabriel, Archangel We beseech you to intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy: As you announced the mystery of the Incarnation to Mary, so through your prayers may we receive strength of faith and courage of spirit, and thus find favor with God and redemption through Christ Our Lord. May we sing the praise of God our Savior with the angels and saints in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

Archangel of the North

Finally, to the north is the less well known, but just as important angel – Uriel.

Uriel is not really spoken of in the Catholic faith. In the Catholic faith there are three primary archangels, and those have already been discussed. Archangel Uriel does exist in other belief systems, such as Christan Gnostic.

I was always taught that Uriel was the angel of animals. I would later learn, however, that this is not correct. Uriel is actually the angel of wisdom and learning. Ariel is the angel of animals. Here we see that one letter can indeed make a huge difference!

Uriel name means either “God is light” or “God’s light” depending upon the source. He is acknowledged as the angel that helps others with natural disasters. This, of course, is in addition to bringing truth, light, and wisdom to people.

He is associated with the element of earth and the season of Winter. The virtue is, of course, wisdom. Many have come to associate Uriel with occult knowledge, alchemy, prophecy, manifestation, and illumination.

There is no Catholic prayer for Uriel. In the early years of the Catholic Church, a Roman council had several angels removed from the official ranks of the Church’s recognized angels. Uriel was one of them. The reason they removed these angels was because the Church feared and worried about the population’s obsession with angels, prayers for angel intercessions, and their devotion to God.

Uriel is mentioned in some historical texts which are not recognized as cannon by the Church.

How to Invoke Angels

Invoking an angel is as easy as asking, A simple “Michael please help protect me” or “Gabriel, help me be heard” or even “Raphael, help heal me” is all that’s needed to enlist the help of any of these angels. You can, of course, say the prayers associated with the angels, but from a New Age perspective, it’s not required. Prayer, after all, is simply pre written speeches. Far more powerful and meaningful is speaking to angels, God, spirit in your own words.

In ceremonial magick and pagan religion traditions (remember, pagan means earth based) there are entire rituals which are devoted to activating angelic energies.

For the purposes of a beginner, just remember that the most common belief is that angelic law forbids angels from interacting with humans or on their behalf unless one of two conditions are met.

First, the human is in mortal danger long before their time to transition from the physical world.

Second, the human directly asks for the help.

Don’t wait for number one! Be proactive and begin the process of communicating and interacting with the angels. You’ll be happy you did.

Posted in Mind, Body, & Spirit.