Our Guardians: The Angels
From the beginning of time, angels have been lovingly watching over us. As expressions of divine love, they are sent to help and enlighten. Pure spirits, angels have the experience and wisdom of the ages and their reason for being is to guide and love us. Spiritual beings, who are neither male nor female, angels are light forms that carry the energy of creation. They may take on a human form to allow us to see them or to act in our world, or be present in our thoughts or hunches — that “inner voice” that we can all hear when we pay attention. They bring feelings of love and comfort when we most need them.
The word “angel” comes from the Greek word “angelos,” meaning “messenger.” And interestingly, the Hebrew word for angel – “malach” also refers to this idea of messenger. The idea that each of us has our own “guardian angel” acting as a messenger or interceder for us is an ancient one. The ancient Sumerians believed that everyone had a spirit that would remain their companion throughout life. Altars dedicated to these guardians have been found in excavations, as well as stone engravings and temple wall paintings of human figures with wings. The Babylonians and Assyrians built monuments with winged creatures guarding them, while an early Babylonian ruler declared that he was sent an angel to “go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work succeed.”
In Greek philosophy, the idea of a guardian spirit was common. The philosopher Epictetus wrote: “Yet God hath placed by the side of each a man’s own Guardian Spirit, who is charged to watch over him — a Guardian who sleeps not…. For to what better or more watchful Guardian could He have committed each of us? So when you have shut the doors and made a darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone, but God is within, and your Guardian Spirit…”
And, of course, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are rich in their stories of angels. Many books of the Bible contain angelic references. As it is noted in Psalm 91, “he will command his angels to guard you in all your ways.” From ancient times up to the present day, there are many legends and personal stories of encounters with guardian angels. As a matter of fact, according to a Gallup poll, 78% of Americans expressed their belief in their guardian angels.