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Author Topic: Angels  (Read 1937 times)

DomesticWitch

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Angels
« on: July 21, 2011, 09:08:57 am »
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

Remy

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Re: Angels
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 01:07:33 pm »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

 
Angels do factor in quite a bit in Christianity, although it may be a bit more accurate to say Abrahamic faiths, since they are also prevalent in Judaism and Islam.

The word itself simply means "messenger", and figures similar to iconic Christian angels appear in more ancient religions under that role.

Angels factor in very heavily into my personal beliefs, right alongside deities (primarily Hellenic, but a few others as well). Judaism was not always monotheistic; traces of that can be found in the Bible. They fit in well enough with paganism, for me, because of the similarities I see between them and some myths from other belief systems. I also have a bit of a hard time trying to see how they would clash.

I feel like I am answering this question very poorly. Feel free to poke or prod at me more in a specific direction, and I will try to do better.

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Micheál

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Re: Angels
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 04:15:18 pm »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

Most of us with Christian birth religions carry some kind of hangover in regards to angels that stems from their presence in Abrahamic religions. We know them with names and titles, but it wasn't quite viewed in this manner by the early Hebrews. the 'El' at the end of their names is simply Hebrew for 'God', example Mikha'el. As we know, the Hebrews used to be polytheists(as a couple traditions of the Kabbalah acknowledge), and there was a period of time during the transition of the 'lesser' gods of pantheons into the One God of Monotheism, as a scholarly friend&archaeologist pointed out to me, "This actually led to a form of proto monotheism in the early Babylonian period which predates Akhenatens dalliance with monotheism by several hundred years."

One of the four kerubic entities that we can trace back to Sumer was what we consider an angel. Since we have the Hebrew 'El', as in Gabriel , we can connect the linguistic dots in Mesopotamian languages. Gabriel, for ex., which translates to 'strength of God,' GuAbri(El), (courtesy of my friend again here),"Force/Strength"
http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/epsd/e1802.html
"Raw material"
http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/epsd/epsd/e90.html
...and this leads to the situation that when 'borrowing' old mythology, new characters are created with the rejected 'lesser' aspects.

Now where does this stand in paganism? Well we are most familiar with angels in the Western Mystery Tradition, compiled of many influences from pre-Christian, Arabic, esoteric&mystic Abrahamic, e.t.c. Monadology, and the duo-theistic nature of the divine is acknowledged in the Hermetic Qabalah, but we're probably most familiar with them in mysticism&magick with John Dee and Enochian, the grimoire tradition's watchtower guardians, the Golden Dawn's LBRP, e.t.c. In the boundaries between religion&magick, they're almost viewed in a more secular nature of magico-religious ritual, which would make personal belief personal&subjective.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Angels
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 06:11:09 pm »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

 
It's interesting that you find it strange. For me, I don't think I ever had that issue (then again, I never had a bad experience with Christianity.. it was just kind of there). I look in general Pagan 101 books and see the authors pull from cultures and religions that would not call themselves "pagan" (although Christians, and other Pagans, might), and no one really bats an eyelash at it. So for me, personally, I don't see an issue with Christian elements showing themselves in pagan practices, especially since in the Western world many of us grew up with that ingrained in our cultures.
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Re: Angels
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 11:39:13 pm »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

Most of the mentions of angels that I've seen in Pop Pagan books look to me to reflect the populist "angelmania" in general culture in the last decade or two.  While the concept traces back to the Abrahamic religions, much of the modern presentation is more folk religion, or just pop culture; it owes more to New Age ideas than to Christianity.

Some of the inclusion in Pagan books, IMO, is a matter of eclecticism (whether done well or poorly); it's there, so it gets borrowed.  Some of it is the result of conflating neoPaganism and New Age - while there are some overlaps, they're different (and often antithetical) things, but a lot of folks don't realize that, including, alas, some who acquire a mantle of authority from writing books.

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Adder

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Re: Angels
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 01:11:25 am »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
... I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian?


The only white Angel I've experienced visually was not quite exactly as portayed, for example the wings were not wings but I could understand why people back then thought they were wings. This is one of the reasons I look at all religions as being fragmentary in various degrees to something universal, and wouldn't be suprised if other beliefs had them.

Ursula

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Re: Angels
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 04:51:58 am »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

 
(Just a personal take on it, with no particular authority) - I experience them as 'spiritual beings which are not deities' - if that makes any sense!  (Of course, that description also includes other types of spiritual beings too which are not angels, but... ;) )

Rahni

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Re: Angels
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 03:05:06 pm »
Quote from: DomesticWitch;6785
I always find it quite strange when angels appear in Pagan books, I've always seen them as part of Christianity - are they Christian? I know very little about angels because of seeing them as part of Christianity - how do they fit in with Paganism?

 
Angels, in my experience, as I thought about it my whole adulthood/ teenage years is simply this.

Demi God.
Messenger.
Angel.
Depends on the decade, the culture, the people.

To me, after reading the replies, the answer confuses me even further.
Perhaps they have wings, or perhaps the 'pure white light' is an aura, a great big pure shining aura of power. Who knows?
I certainly am not dumb enough to try to summon such a being, for a selfish reason, lest I piss one off!! Or something!!  Not that anyone reading this who might have done such a thing was dumb or inexperienced, only that I am!
(As in the context of trying really heavy magic or such things at such a novice level or inexperienced person....)

But, that's very interesting to me that Christianity was built on a mix of "Lets get those heathen pagans to conform to our new monotheistic religion by taking beliefs from our brains and trying to mold it into something that they can conform to more easily....'' like, some Pagan celebrations vs Christian holidays.   Angels and Demons. How Lucifer and Satan are not the same person...oh the list goes on, I'm sure.

How Christ was NOT born in the winter with Santa Claus and snow; I doubt he rose from the dead at Easter time with bunny rabbits hopping around with jelly beans and chocolate...on and on and on....

Really not trying to be offensive. But the Christian religion makes even less and less sense to me the more and more I read on this board and the more I hear from some of my Pagan friends.

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