Working with Angels

This is the second essay I submitted for my Corellian Degree. I haven`t heard back yet, but I wanted to post it anyway. Feel free to skip if you aren`t interested in reading about angels and magic. ^_^

Whenever someone mentions angels, my ears perk up. What angels are they talking about? Fictional ones, like from anime or books? A particular religion’s version of angels, from Judaism, or Christianity, or any of the other countless religions that include angels? Are they, by any chance, talking guardian angels? About talking with angels? Being friendly with angels? Working with angels?

I was 12 years old when I became Wiccan. I`d been reading and studying up on it for weeks, drawn to it, and that particular June day, on the bus ride to the middle school, I decided it was time, and whispered a vow, a dedication to myself, to put my foot on the path I knew I needed to walk. That vow was witnessed by my guardian angels. Since day one, I have always worked with angels.

I`d always believed in the presence of angels in one form or another. For that reason, one of the very first things I did when I discovered magic was to try to meditate (I wasn`t very good at it) and contact my guardian angel. It took a lot of tries, but I succeeded. At the time, my guardian angel was male, or at least he appeared that way to me, and his name was Mel. It was with Mel that I worked through my first spells, and started learning more about the path I had chosen to walk and where to go from there.

In what seems to be an unusual circumstance, (at least according to the other angels) Mel was only a temporary guardian angel for me. He had been with me in other lives, but this life, he was not meant to stay throughout the whole thing. When the six guardian angels that should have been with me the whole time arrived, Mel left. And it was with these six that I continued working, leading to where I am today.

If you have never worked with angels before, you might now be wondering `just how does one work with angels? ` and `How did you contact your guardian angels?` As with most other deities and spirits, there is no one right way to work with them. It depends largely on the angel in question, and you yourself as well. So I can`t tell you that in order to work with angels, you must do this or that. I can only tell you how I work with angels, what has been successful for me, and give suggestions on how you might successfully contact and work with angels as well.

Let me first touch on the subject of guardian angels, and how I contacted mine. They are with us from the day we`re born until the day we die, often through more than one lifetime. (As a side note, that`s why asking a guardian angel for help with past life meditation is a smart idea, though they will block you if they think you don`t need to know). Everyone has at least one guardian angel; many people have more. And they do affect the world around you, helpful in little ways that you may not be aware of.

That time you came within inches of hitting a truck while driving, but didn`t and can`t figure out how not? Your guardian angel was there. Why do you think they sell those visor clips with angels on them? When you`re really upset and a comforting song comes on the radio? That was your guardian angel too. (In that particular case, what the songs are depends on how subtle your guardian angel is, and what songs would be comforting to you—one time I had the songs `Don`t worry be happy` and `In the arms of the angels` play back to back.) When something you`ve lost miraculously shows up somewhere you know you`ve already looked? That`s our guardian angels as well.

How does one go about contacting guardian angels? It differs from person to person, but the most common method is through mediation. You can start the meditation however you`d like. When comfortable, call out, mentally or out loud, and ask if your guardian angels are nearby and willing to talk to you. I have noticed though, that even if you call for them, if they think that you aren`t actually ready to meet them or receive their help, they won`t show themselves. Wait patiently for a little while, to see if they`ll respond.

People can get responses several different ways as well. Some people hear their voices, some people see them or can picture them mentally, and others receive the feelings from their guardian angel(s) but not any words to go with it. Any, all, or none of those things could happen. If nothing does, be patient. Whatever you may think, they think that you aren`t ready to meet them. Sort of like when you get a busy signal on the telephone…it`s a hint to try again later.

Most angels, especially guardian angels, want to help us. That`s what guardian angel`s jobs are, after all, to help guide us along our own individual paths. Guide not lead; they let us make our own mistakes in order to learn and move on, but will walk by our sides as we do so. They will commiserate with us over mistakes made, but will not fix them. That said, there are many situations for which you can call them to come help you, that they`d be willing to help with, whether or not you `see` or `hear` them helping. For example, you can call them to help ease a tense situation, to help you decide what the next step in your path should be, or to help you with spells you may be casting.

To have angels help ease a potentially tense upcoming situation, I find that it`s beneficial to write down what you want/hope will happen on a piece of paper, to make the idea of what you want a bit more concrete. For example, `I want my parents to listen to me with an open mind. Please help them do so`. Keep in mind that your interpretation of an open mind might be different than an angel`s—you may want your parents to immediately accept whatever you were going to say, whereas an angel`s help might only be so that they actually listen and not cut you off, no matter their feelings on the subject. Angels can help, but they will not magically solve all your problems. That`s not their job, nor would you actually be helped if they did so.

That said, once you have your goal written on a piece of paper, crumple it in your fist, words facing in, and meditate. I suggest meditating within a cast circle for this, to keep out potentially harmful beings, but it`s up to you. When you`re in a calm enough state, send out a call.  A mental call, asking for an angel that can help you with the current situation and your current goal. Angels, like people, each have specialities, and things that they are better at then others, is why you`re calling for any angel, and not simply your guardian angel. If an angel responds, be sure to explain the situation, and they will let you know if they are able and willing to help. To be honest, I`m not entirely sure if they`d want something in return, something like you lighting a candle for them. If they ask for anything that would harm you or anyone else, do not. That may be a fallen angel, and I`m sure you can see why that`s a bad thing.

On that note, let`s side-track onto fallen angels for a moment before going on to having angels help in spellcasting. I can hear other wiccans in the background wondering how there can be fallen angels when wiccans generally do not believe in hell. The answer would take a while to explain, but sums up as, `fallen` means `have decided to not do their jobs`. These are angels that have turned their backs on their jobs, and what they should be doing to instead try to tempt others into going onto a bad path. Some people call them `evil spirits` in this case. Whatever you want to call them, be careful. Trust your instincts, if something tells you it`s not a good idea.

Back on topic, how to work with angels for casting spells. The easiest way, to me, that doesn`t require any changes to a spell you may already have, is to call angels to guard the quarters of your circle. That is, when you cast the quarters, call angels. Four, one for each direction. Generally, the four called for this would be the archangels Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Ariel; Michael is south, Ariel is north, Raphael is east and Gabriel is west. The four are pretty friendly (though Gabriel is a little stoic, don`t let that fool you, he`s still nice), and they`re usually willing to help, especially if you`ve asked them in advance before trying to call them. This gets angels involved with your spell work, but leaves you free to do the spell as you normally would. I wrote a short introduction for the four of them, to be used in casting quarters. I will share it here as an example; others can feel free to use it as well, and have done so before.

You start by making your usual circle casting preparations, gathering incense, a candle, water and salt. When it comes time to actually call the quarters, use these phrases, starting, of course, in the East.

I call upon Raphael, angel of the East. Angel of healing, red and air. Please help and guide my circle. I bid you hail and Welcome! Light the incense and visualize the archangel Raphael joining the circle, wearing red robes, standing to the East. A great sense of peace can be felt from him.

I call upon Michael, angel of the South. Angel of fighters, blue and fire. Please help guide and guard my circle. I bid you hail and Welcome! Light the candle and visualize the archangel Michael joining the circle, wearing blue robes, standing to the South. He feels strong and dependable as a protector.

I call upon Gabriel, angel of the West. Angel of protection, green, and water. Please help guide and guard my circle. I bid you hail and Welcome! Dip a finger into the water and visualize the archangel Gabriel joining the circle, wearing green robes, standing to the West. He feels sort of like an older brother, protective.

I call upon Ariel, angel of the North. Angel of records, brown and earth. Please guide and record our circle. We bid you hail and Welcome! Scatter a little more salt along the north and visualize the archangel Ariel joining the circle, wearing brown robes with a pale green sash, standing to the North. She seems very studious, and is indeed, carrying a book and a pen.

Michael at my back, Ariel to the front, Gabriel and Raphael to either side; now I call this angel quartet to protect my circle and guide.

For closing the circle, when you`re done with whatever magic you were working, just remember to thank all of them for their help in guiding and guarding the circle. If you don`t, they are far less likely to come help you again. And besides, that part is just good manners.

Because angels, especially guardian angels, are our guides, they are rather good at helping us decide on what the next step in our individual paths will be. While the final decision of course comes down to you yourself, they can help talk it out, or give hints on the way that they think would be better for you to go. You can ask your guardian angels, or call for a specific angel to ask for advice. You can choose whether or not to take that advice, or try whatever it is that you think is best for you.

For me, I like working with angels. Since I always have, I`m not sure I could do magic without them nearby, whether they`re helping or just observing. I do tend to listen to their advice, though I admit I don`t always take it. (Depending on your guardian angels, watch out for the `I told you so`s when you don`t follow their advice). Every person interacts with the angels differently, and just because you interact with them doesn`t mean that you have to include them in your magic. But they can help, if you let them.