Angels are generally considered to be divine
messengers. Angel is a word that comes to us from
the Greek word angelos meaning "messenger."
The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek,
and thus the Hebrew "malakh," which means
"heavenly messenger" became angel.
They are heavenly or spiritual beings created with
special and specific duties, divine intercessors
between divinity and humanity. They are organized
in hierarchies and command lesser spirits and
Angels are considered to be pure energy, pure
consciousness unlimited by time or space. Each
angel emits its own light and is a focus of divine
power, wisdom and care.
Angels are classified by Dionysius the Areopagite
as a celestial hierarchy in a descending order as
follows: seraphim, cherubim, thrones; dominions,
virtues, powers; principalities, archangels,
angels. Only the archangels and angels have
contact with humans.
When attached to the word angel, the prefix
"arch" literally translates as at the top or
chief angel. Archangels are the leaders and
commanders of God's army against the forces of
evil, constantly in battle with the Fallen Ones,
with Michael leading the fight.
Angels come in handy in the magickal arts, and in
tarot Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel are the
ones generally illustrated. Other angels
associated with working magick include Samael,
Sachiel, Asariel, Haniel and Cassiel.
Let's take a look at some of the characteristics
and correspondences to the archangels:
Cardinal Point - East; Element - Air;
Season - Spring; Symbol - Sword
Raphael was set over illness, diseases, and
wounds. The name Raphael comes from the Hebrew
rapha meaning "doctor," or "healer."
Raphael is the guardian of the Gates of the East
Wind and a very special healing angel. He is often
depicted bearing a caduceus and is associated with
Thoth, who taught man the healing arts. Raphael is
associated with Mercury, and as such is a
communication angel par excellence. As Mercury,
Raphael rules Gemini and is depicted on Key 6 -
In a reading Raphael influences communication,
contracts, partnerships, documentation and
language. As the healer of hurt feelings and
devotion, he is also great at assisting in
relationships. Invoke the energy of Raphael when
rapid resolution is required in a matter.
Cardinal Point - South; Element - Fire;
Season - Summer; Symbol - Rod
Archangel Michael has many different duties
according to religious accounts. Michael is the
champion of law, judgment, truth and integrity.
This great archangel of elemental fire is
considered the mightiest of all angels in Islamic,
Jewish and Christian traditions. Michael is the
vanquisher of evil and the protector of humankind.
He is a warrior, and his astrological attribution
in tarot is Sagittarius.
In a reading, Michael's warrior power assists in
all matters. He lends persistence to help you
achieve whatever ambition you desire - if it is
balanced and for the highest good. Invoke the
energy of Michael in pathworking on your way to
Cardinal Point - West; Element - Water;
Season - Autumn; Symbol - Cup
Gabriel is archangel of the psychic faculties and
the imagination. Gabriel is one of the two highest
ranking angels in the Western religious traditions
being the only other angel mentioned by name in
Biblical text. Considered female by some accounts,
Gabriel's nature is gentle, comforting and calm.
Gabriel is the angel of mercy, vengeance, death
and revelation. Considered the angel of the moon,
Gabriel works through the subconscious mind. In
rabbinic literature, Gabriel is referred to as the
Prince of Justice and is depicted as the angel
summoning souls for the "final judgment" on
Key XX - Judgement.
In a reading, Gabriel's trumpet awakens you to
your higher calling. The feminine qualities of
Gabriel are shown through the association with
water and can suggest issues of emotion,
fertility, home and psychic ability. Invoke the
energy of Gabriel on new or full moon nights,
which are considered sacred to Gabriel.
Cardinal Point - North; Element - Earth;
Season - Winter; Symbol - Shield
Archangel Uriel's name is translated as "Fire
of God" and is identified as a cherub who guards
the gates of Eden. Uriel appears as the Angel of
Repentance and is described in the Apocalypse of
St. Peter as being pitiless as any demon. He is
indentified as the presider over Tartarus (hell)
and is credited with being the embodiment of
occult magic. He is often depicted as swarthy,
dark, and holding a flame, sometimes in an open
hand. Uriel rules Da'ath, the location of
knowledge on the Tree of Life, and is credited
with bringing alchemy and Qabalah to humanity.
In a reading, Uriel may herald a warning or
caution. Uriel encourages us to learn from past
mistakes and can often shake things up for us to
get our attention. Uriel shows up in The Devil
card but can also make his presence known through