Angels

By AL J. Vermette

   They are known throughout the world as the messengers of God.  Winged
beings who watch over us from the kingdom of Heaven.  It is said they
protect us...keep us from harm, guiding us in our day to day lives.  They are
often depicted as being young (something's) almost baby like in looks with
strong white dove like wings and a halo of light adorning this heads.  They
are Angels and yes they are God’s messengers who come to us in dreams
and bring enlightened to our lost souls.  Their kind have been celebrated in
song, art, movies and television and are known world wide almost since the
beginning of human kind.  Still, what do we know of these immortal creatures
who although never seen.... seem to be such a big part of human life none
the less.  What we know or think we know about these winged Cupid like
people is in truth much, much more than meets the eye.  Truth is there are
many kinds of Angels in Christianity and Judaism along with other
mythology.  Yes, we know mainly of the winged creatures who protect us
from harm or even from ourselves but there are others...Angels even darker
than you would ever dream of.

   The classic look of Angels dates back 1,000's of years in medieval art,
mostly shown with wings, halos and dressed in a white robe or dress.  They
are shown as good Angels, who do God’s bidding and watch over humanity.  
They are immortal creatures who hide in plan sight and help us be better
people.  These are the classic Guardian Angels that we know of so well.  
They watch over us and protect us from harm.  Sometimes they will whisper
into someone's ear and keep that person from doing the wrong thing or keep
them from going somewhere where harm awaits them.  Sometimes they
would show you the way or how it would be as in the case of the film "Its A
Wonderful Life".  In the classic film, an Angel shows a man hell bent on
ending it all that his life does have meaning.  This is the classic case of
Guardian Angels.  When we think of these creatures, we think of them as
being good....all of them being good or at least sweet and loving in
appearance and nature.  But then again not everything is what it seems.  
There are God war Angels who protect Heaven itself.

   They are the Archangels, God's warrior army who protects the Kingdom
from the forces of evil.  It was they who went to war with The Devil and cast
him out of Heaven when Lucifer rebelled along with a portion of Angels who
followed Lucifer to bring war to the Kingdom.  Lead by Michael the Archangel
commander, he along with Gabriel beat Lucifer and sent him and his army
away from Grace and send them to the pits of Hell far below the Earth.  
When we think of Angels, thoughts of these bad ass warriors do not come to
mind.  Clad in body armor and wielding swords and shields, Gods warrior
force is the last stand between good and evil.  Joining Michael and Gabriel
are the Archangels Raphael and Uriel who stand beside their leader as well.  
Together they protect Heaven from evil as Satan sits and plots his next
move.  Michael is the most known of the Archangels and was the muse for
the movie "Michael" with actor John Travolta playing the Angel now on Earth
and hanging out with people.  In the Bible, Michael is God’s right hand and
the leader of his divine forces.  It is Gabriel who stands with Michael as his
right hand and next in command of the army although it is Gabriel who is
often depicted as the villain in such films as "The Prophecy" and the TV
series "Supernatural."

   Most people see Satan as than ugly monster that rises out of the depths
of Hell to wreak havoc upon the world.  Truth is that Satan, Lucifer or better
known as The Devil is not the monster or demon they think he is at all.  In
fact, he is not a demon at all.  Lucifer was one of Gods Archangels and one
of his most beloved in all of Heaven.  The once Angel, prince of war favored
over Michael until God created man changing things forever.  As the All
Mighty made his legion of Angels bow to his new children, one rebelled and
would not bow to the new lesser creatures.  Lucifer felt that humans were far
below that of him and his fellow Angels spoke out about his feelings.  Others
had joined who felt the same as he and soon their numbers grew until a
great war erupted throughout the Heavens.  But Michael and his forces beat
Lucifer and his legion and they were cast out of Heaven and sent to Hell to
remain ever since.  Lucifer now renamed Satan, along with his Fallen Angels
now called Demons by those of Heaven reign over the underworld as its
Devil.

   Black cloaked, hooded and welding a scythe The Angel of Death is far
from the pixie like Angels shown in most artworks of any church.  He is better
known as The Grim Reaper, a figure of death and this Angel is not looking to
help, protect or guide you in any way.  His only job is to reap the dead souls
of those who just passed on and bring them to the Land of the Dead or
Heaven if you will.  In any case, this Angel neither good nor bad, he is just
the thing we see just as life ends and our afterlife begins.  He is seen as a
creature of evil but truth is The Angel of Death stands on no side of Good vs
Evil and just is what he is has his only task is the transporter of the living to
the next stage of life.  Largely used on Halloween as displays and props (I
too am guilty), this Angel has become more of a pop icon in the last 20
years.  Used in films and TV, Death even shows up on the TV series
"Supernatural" as a recurring cast member.  Sometimes shown as human,
most often dressed in a suit much like an undertaker or in his classic form of
black robes under a hood with most often displaying a skull face or just a
blankness of darkness and no face.  This creature was even used in almost
every film version of "A Christmas Carol." playing The Ghost of Christmas
Future.

   Other Angel tasks are that of Avenging Angels.  These are Angels who
help people take revenge on those who wronged them.  Sometimes it’s the
Angel itself that enacts the revenge on evil people as in the graphic novels,
films and TV series "The Crow".  In the story of The Crow, a man is killed and
brought back as an Avenging Angel to right the wrongs of those who killed
him.  The word Avenging Angel is giving to anyone who seeks justice for
themselves or others who were wronged.  Other dark angels are called
Valkyries, these are war Angels who fly over great battles and pick who will
die and who will live as their very name means choosers of the slain.  They
are a large part of Viking folklore and are most often thought of as being
female and sometimes take men as lovers before they die in a battle.

   People who have had a near death experience claim that they saw an
Angel before they died and were brought back.  They say that the Angel told
them that their time on Earth was not over and to go back and join the living.  
Others have said that in this time of a living death that they saw the Angels
counter parts The Demons at their death beds.  Some say that it was these
Fallen Angels drove them to near madness in the time they were dead
before doctors brought life back to their hearts and maybe just maybe saved
their souls.  Some say that their saw a lovely young lady who met them in the
Veil between life and death. (Me I'm betting on the classic Reaper myself.)

   Angels like all supernatural creatures seem to find they way into films,
books and TV shows.  They have inhabited all genres and works of fiction.  
They have even found their way into the horror genre with films such as "The
Prophecy" and TV’s "Supernatural" series.  Vampire author Ann Rice has
now used Angels as her new creature of choice in her new work "Angel
Time" and The Grim Reaper always finds his way in and out of horror films
as his spooky looks always are need to add something a little more scary to
many a tales.  Angels such as The Crow brings action to his films and stories
and the real star of the movie "Max Payne" are the dark winged Valkyries
that inhabit the skies.

   They are always with us and watching from above.  They seem to walk
beside us as we journey through life as we pray to their holy selves.  They
are Angels and they are watching.
Creature Feature
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