An angel is a supernatural being who mediates between God and mortals. Angels minister over all living things and the natural world and also over all things in the cosmos. They play an important role in Magic.
The term angel comes from the Greek angelos, which means “messenger.” Similarly, the Persian term angaros means “courier.” In Hebrew, the term is malakh, which also means messenger. The name refers to one of the angel’s primary duties, to shuttle back and forth between realms, bringing human prayers to heaven and returning with God’s answers. Angels also mete out the will of God, whether it be to aid or to punish humans. Angels are specific to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; however, they derive from concepts of helping and from tutelary spirits that exist in mythologies the world over.
Angels evolved from the mythology of the Jews, influenced by the mythologies of Babylonians, Persians, Sumerians, Egyptians, and others with whom the Jews had contact. The Jewish angel passed into Christian and Islamic mythology.
The Bible presents angels as representatives of God. They exist in a celestial realm and are numberless. They are incorporeal but have the ability to assume form and pass as mortals. They also appear as beings of fire, lightning, and brilliant light, sometimes with wings and sometimes not. Various classes of angels are mentioned in the Bible; by the sixth century, these were organized into hierarchies.
The church fathers of Christianity gave extensive consideration to the duties, nature, numbers, abilities, and functions of angels. This theological interest peaked by the Middle Ages and began to decline in the Renaissance.
Angels are prominent in Jewish magic and preside over every aspect of creation. They are featured in kabbalah based magic, which forms a significant part of the Western magical tradition. Angels, along with Demons, are involved in rituals given in magical books and grimoires. They are invoked by sacred names, symbols, seals, and so forth, and their names are inscribed on magical tools, magic circles, amulets, and talismans.
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