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What Is an Angel?
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What Is an Angel?

by Laura Powers

When you think of angels, an image of a winged man, woman, or baby with a peaceful or loving expression and a halo probably comes to mind. Angels are shown in artworks, church iconography and later in television shows and movies all over the world. But what are angels really? Angels are intermediaries between the creator and humans acting on our behalf as guides and protectors. The English word Angel is based on a Greek word that meaning “messenger”.

The view of the role of the angels has changed over the years. Around in the 6th century, the study of angels or angelology was created by Dionysius the Areopagite. His book, The Celestial Hierarchy, classified angels in ranks and orders. There were three ranks which consisted of three orders each which are listed as follows:

1st rank: Seraphim,Cherubim, and Thrones

2nd rank: the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers

3rd rank: Principalities, Archangels, Angels

The ranks of angels most commonly referred to are angels and archangels. Guardian angels are in the angels rank and archangels are very powerful and oversee other angels. The number of archangels varies according to different religions with some believe there are four (Michael, Gabrial, Raphael, and Uriel) while other religions say there are too many to count!

Early depictions of angels did not have the wings and halo that we now associate as angelic. They appeared as men and the wings and halos came later. Renaissance art featured beautiful angels while in the middle ages, they were often depicted as warriors and later as little baby cherubs.

Angels in Cultures Around the World

Angels appear in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts and there are angelic like beings referred to in Buddhism, Hinduism, and ancient religions all over the world. Angels as we now call them appear in both the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible), and later in the New Testament and the Koran. Additionally, angel-like beings are described in numerous other cultures around the world.

How Do Angels Communicate With You?

Angels communicate in many different ways! Some people have been lucky enough to see or hear their angels however most people receive communication from angels through symbols, messages in music or television or coincidental reference, and other signs. One common sign from angels are feathers found in unusual places. Just the other day I was at a meeting with a friend and we laughed as a tiny white feather floated down from the ceiling and we had no idea where it could have come from! If you have prayed for guidance or asked a question, sometimes you may hear the answer in the lyrics to a song on the radio or as part of an overheard conversation when people are walking by. Keep in mind that the angels have a great sense of humor and sometimes their references can be funny! Other signs include seeing flashing or twinkling lights when there is no other cause or pressure changes in the air around you which make your ears pop even when you are not going through elevation changes. On one occasion, I heard the immense sound of wings moving all around me which was accompanied by incredible and overwhelming feelings of love and comfort. I will never forget that experience and think of it when I am feeling down and it immediately perks me up!

Angels will also send you messages in the form of intuitive ideas or impulses. They will also guide others to help you or offer assistance in answer to your prayers. You may have the sudden urge to pick up the phone to talk to a friend you haven’t spoken with for a while and after you speak, you learn about a job opportunity that is perfect for you! The more you ask for assistance from angels the more they can assist you so don’t hesitate to ask for their help even with little things; for angels there are no big problems or small problems. Just keep in mind that they may help you in surprising ways. You may pray for money to take a trip that you’ve wanted to take, and you win the trip instead, or maybe you get sent to the destination for work. Be open to “outside the box” answers to your prayers!

How You Can Feel Closer to the Angels

The more you ask your angels for help, the more they can assist you! Every single one of us has an angel that is there to help us at all times and often they are left to watch as we struggle because we do not ask for their help. You can begin every day with a little prayer for help or guidance and thank them every night and ask them to watch over you as you sleep. I’ve even asked angels to guide my car after I park it and it works! You can get an angel reading by an angel channeler or buy a set of angel cards (like tarot cards) and give yourself a reading. Every time I get in a car, I ask angels to guide me safely to the destination. Some people like to surround themselves with images of angels or angel figurines. Try one or more of these tips and you may be pleasantly surprised by your experience!

The more open you are to their presence and assistance, the more you are likely to feel their presence. As we experience the shifts that are happening all over the world, we can all use additional comfort, support and guidance and angels can help in all these areas. Be open to their help and find out for yourself; I’ll bet you won’t regret it!


Bussagli, M. (2007). Angels. Harry N. Abrams, inc.: New York.

Davidson, G. (1971). A Dictionary of Angels. The Free Press: New York.

Dionysius the Areopagite. (2004). The Celestial Hierarchy. Kessenger Publishing, Kindle edition.

Guiley, R. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Angels. Check Mark Books: New York.

Hampton Wright, V. (2006). A Catalogue of Angels: The Heavenly, the Fallen, and the Holy Ones Among Us. Paraclete Press: Massachusetts.

Newcomb, J. (2010). Angel Secrets. Godsfield: London.

Virtue, D. (2007). How to Hear Your Angels. Hay House: New York.

Copyright © Laura Powers 2012

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About Laura Powers

Laura Powers is the Founder and President of Healing Powers, a company dedicated to sharing information and resources on healing and metaphysical topics. Laura also works as a medium and intuitive reader, and teaches classes on angels, ghosts and spirits, intuition, and manifesting.

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