An Overview of the Four Archangels

An Overview of the Four Archangels

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 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, with 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 seen as a male angel holding a staff in one hand. We also associate new beginnings with Raphael. The spring season 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 guide 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 heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask you the favor of (here, mention your particular intention.) Amen.

As noted in the prayer, Raphael is called upon to ease physical pains and emotional, mental, and spiritual ones.

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 particular affinity for protecting children and women.

In angel mythology, Michael was believed to be the angel that led 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 who believed he would make a better ruler than God and started a war in the heavens.

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

Of course, many questions 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 with Michael, along with 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 both at various times throughout life. 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 essential 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 critical 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 help open up new communication again.

We also associate the season of fall or Autumn with 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 the 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 influential angel – Uriel.

Uriel is not spoken of in the Catholic faith. There are three primary archangels in the Catholic faith, which 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 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’s 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 wisdom.

Most 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. They removed these angels 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 canon by the Church.

How to Evoke Angels

Evoking 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 Catholic prayers associated with the angels, but from a New Age perspective, it’s not required. More powerful and meaningful is speaking to angels, God, and spirits in your own words.

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

For a beginner, 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 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.

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