Let's talk about guardian angels... Are heavenly spirits really watching over us? What is a guardian angel? Are we really guided
and protected by the divine?
People have asked these questions through the ages. Many mystics, past and present, have assured human beings that angels do indeed guide and protect us.
Most religions believe in guardian spirits. I personally believe in guardian spirits.
Do you believe in divine protection? Are you interested in learning more about angels? This article is a starting point in your quest. You can also find more guardian-angel related pages here.
So let's start at the beginning. What is a guardian-angel?
A guardian-angel is a divine being who acts as a guide, protector and intercessor to individuals or groups.
Guardian Spirits in Antiquity
The concept of guardian spirits is nothing new. Ancient cultures believed that they were protected and guided by tutelary spirits.
The Assyrians and Babylonians, for example, decorated their palaces and sacred temples with images of guardian deities. In fact, one Assyrian stone panel (on exhibition at the British Museum), shows two supernatural winged beings known as apkallu.
These divine beings are believed to be the Assyrian version of tutelary spirits. These depictions were usually placed at the entrance of temples and royal buildings, as a means to guard off evil.
Christianity and Catholicism
Guardian angels appear in both the Old and New Testaments. In Genesis 28-29, a guardian spirit saves Lot. In Exodus 12-13, an angel acts as the guide and leader of the people of Israel. In Exodus 32:34, God says to Moses: "My angel shall go before thee."
|An engraving of Jesus and the Angel at the Garden of Gethsemane by Gustave Doré|
In the 91st Psalm (my favorite psalm), the author declares: "For he has given his angels charge over you; to keep you in all your ways."
The Old Testament portrays angels as God’s emissaries, the executors of his Will. Sometimes they go to war on God’s behalf, other times they save their charges from doom.
In the New Testament, the presence of guardian spirits is also prevalent.
An angel helps Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, just before Judas betrays him. That was a very trying period for Jesus, yet he was never alone.
In another instance, an angel delivers St. Peter from prison.
In Matthew 18:10, Jesus speaks of children's angels: "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven."
- In Christianity, the idea of guardian spirits was broadly developed during the 5th century, thanks to the work of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.
- The Catholic Church has not clearly defined that each individual has a guardian-angel. However, the idea of tutelary angels is widely accepted.
- The Catholic Church celebrates guardian-angels on October 2nd.
The Book of Tobit
One of the most beloved Bible stories about guardian spirits is the story of Tobias and the Archangel Raphael.
In this tale, Raphael acts as Tobias’ guarding angel. The story is related in the Book of Tobit, and it narrates how Raphael heals Tobit (Tobias’ father).
Raphael also helps his charge find a beautiful wife.
Guardian Spirits in other Religions
Judaism. In the Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, Howard Schwartz says that, according to Jewish belief, "each person is given a guardian angel according to his ways."
So if a person is righteous, she will get a righteous angel. If the person is wicked, she will get a not-so-good an angel.
There is also a debate about an individual having two guardian-angels – one representing good and the other representing evil.
Islam. The Islamic belief in Kiraman Katibin (honorable recorders) suggests that each person has two angels. One angel records the person’s good deeds while the other tracks the person’s bad actions.
According to this belief, one angel resides on a person’s right shoulder. The other angel sits on the person’s left shoulder. Interestingly, these spirits do not try to influence the individual’s decision making.
Zoroastrianism. According to this faith, each human being has a guardian-angel. This angel stays with this person throughout his or her life.
Followers of this faith believe that, in the beginning, angels only dwelt in Heaven. Their task was to protect the boundaries of heaven. However, they later volunteered to descend to Earth and act as protectors and guides to human beings.
Guardian Spirits in the Modern World
Guardian spirits continue to make their presence known even in these modern times. Many people have had personal encounters with their angels. And many authors have compiled many of these stories on several books.
Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne, and A Book of Angels by Sophy Burnham, are two of my favorite books about angels. In them, the authors relate their personal encounters with angels. I highly recommend these books. The stories told in their pages give us a glimpse into the work and world of angels. They are indeed full of inspiration and hope.
Another popular book is Guardian Angels: True Stories of Answered Prayers by Joan Wester Anderson. By the way, this author has penned several wonderful books about real-life encounters with angels.
So how do we contact our personal angel? A heartfelt prayer, a silent request, a song... Just ask your angel for help and know that s/he will answer your prayer.
You will also find lots of books about communicating with your guardian angels. See below for some book suggestions.
Angelic Gifts and More
Are you looking for a guardian-angel-inspired gift? Angel-themed items help us to remember that we are not alone, that a divine being is nearby. Here are some ideas:
- Guardian-angel key chains
- Angel figurines
- Guardian-angel collectibles
- Angel books
- Angel dolls
- Angelic magnets
- Pins depicting angels
- Guardian-angel-inspired pictures
- Drawings of guardian spirits
- Guardian-angel-themed art
More about tutelary angels
These are some interesting tidbits about guardian spirits.
-- Guardian angels have appeared in many literary works. Two well known examples are:
- The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (usually known simply as Doctor Faustus) – a play by Christopher Marlow, and
- Don Juan by Lord Byron.
-- You will find lots guardian angel poems
and prayers, too.
-- Guardian angel books are very popular. Here are some books to help you contact your guardian angel:
- Your Guardian Angel and You: Tune in to the Signs and Signals to Hear What Your Guardian Angel Is Telling You by Denny Sargent,
- Guardian Angels: Connecting With Our Spiritual Guides and Helpers by Rudolf Steiner and Pauline Wehrle, and
- Guardian Angel Prayer Book by Aquinas Press.
-- Finally, guardian spirits have inspired many songs. Click here to learn more about tunes inspired by tutelary angels.
Guardian-angel related pages
Drawings of guardian-angels - Uplifting drawings of our divine protectors.
Guardian-angel graphics - Enjoy these heavenly illustrations.
Guardian-angel pictures - You will love these pictures of guardian spirits.
Guardian-angel poems - Find comfort and inspiration among these guardian-angel inspired poems.
Guardian-angel songs - Find here excerpts of guardian-angel-inspired songs.
Guardian-angel wings - Pictures of heavenly wings.
Pictures of guardian spirits - More images of divine protectors.
More pictures of tutelary spirits - Enjoy this small collection of heavenly images.
Quotes about guardian-angels - Enjoy these insightful quotes about divine protectors.
References and further reading:
--Angels A to Z - A Who's Who of the Heavenly Host by Matthew Bunson
Other topics of interest
Types of Angels
Leave Guardian Angels and return to the Home Page of Angel Art and Gifts