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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Supernatural Sunday - A (very irreverent) look at Angels

If you were raised in the Christian, Judaic or Islamic faith, you'll have been exposed to the idea of angels as the messengers of God, referred to frequently throughout the religious texts of all three faiths.

They aren't alone; a number of religions and religious movements subscribe to the belief in higher beings who deliver wisdom, protection and care to us mortals; spiritualism in the western world is a good example.

For the purpose of this post, I'm going to look at the romanticization of angels in the western world; anything else will result in a three mile long blog and possible lightning strikes..

The fluffication (yes, I made it up) of angels is particularly interesting to me as most of it's adherents either consider themselves staunch Christians, or float around New Age shops looking dreamy and constipated at the same time. And they absolutely loath each other; the christians consider the new agers to be dangerous dabblers in ye dark arts, and the new agers tend to pity the christians as uptight fuddyduddies with sadly closed minds.

Yet their attitude towards angels is remarkable similar: wonderful, wise, sexless, generous bringers of light and goodwill and safety.

A quick look at the christian old testament throws cold water on this one, since where angels are referred to they tend to be visiting a whole lot of wrath on someone's unholy ass. (Egypt, anyone? Sodom & Gomorrah?)
Angels in the biblical context are not cute and fluffy.

The world of  t.v.  hasn't really helped here - shows such as Touched by an Angel and Highway to Heaven have added to the pop culture myth. To give the show makers their due, my guess is Smote by Messenger doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

On the new age side, we have angel readings (???), angel tarot cards, angel invocations and blessings. I've heard of seances where people try to get an angel to join the party.

Step away from the cute Victorian image of flying babies for a minute. Take a cold, hard look at the different writings and theories before people started believing their personal guardian angel was picking up their socks for them.

You are talking about beings of power. Whether you follow the religious aspect or not, something with the ability and capability of destroying a city, probably without much strain or effort.

Why would you want to try to bind that into a small room with you? Why would you want its attention on you? And if you got it, just how happy do you think it will be with you?

It's probably the psychic equivalent of taking a long bubble bath with a small armed nuclear bomb - you could do it, but why would you want to?

J H Sked is the author of WolfSong & Basement Blues.
You can find WolfSong on Amazon, Sony  e-bookstore, Nook and Smashwords. Basement Blues is on Amazon and Smashwords