In Parts One and Two of this series I introduced some very old ideas about Archangels, found in Jewish mysticism and Christian iconography. Now I’m going to delve a little deeper and see how we can make sense of those concepts of non-physical entities, and how you can engage with them as a springboard for new insights that will support your spiritual journey.
Watch the video for details not fully illustrated below!
Archangels as ‘pillars’ in the Holy Place
In Part Two of this series, I suggested we could imagine our individual psycho/spiritual template as a sacred building – a temple or a cathedral. The Divine qualities represented by the Archangels are essential structures in the ‘architecture’ of a healthy psyche. We can think of the Archangels on the lower section of the Tree of Life as the pillars supporting the ‘nave’ of our life, where general, everyday activities take place. The upper section introduces qualities that are ‘transpersonal’ – fundamental Divine attributes that touch our lives in mysterious ways. Possibly, they will call you to move out of immediate, personal concerns to play a part in the wider human story. Clearly, this does not happen for everyone and, as it is said, they also serve who only stand and wait.
In the original Jewish temple, created before the Israelites were exiled to Babylon in the sixth century BCE, a large area was designated as the Holy Place. Here you would find a ‘shew table’ – home to bread, wine and incense, which represent our human needs as living creatures. Also in this sacred space was the seven-branched menorah, with seven lamps for the five planets (visible with the naked eye) plus the Sun and the Moon. We learn from this formulaic layout that the ancient priests considered ordinary life (within the flow of time marked out by the cycles of the heavenly bodies) as Holy, and by no means ‘fallen’. But they did create a curtain to separate and conceal the inner sanctum – the Holy of Holies – from the Holy Place. This represented the division between Heaven and earthly life.
The layout of the Temple represents an awareness that everyday activities were not lacking in Divine blessings. Ordinary people are bound in time, but the High Priest could enter into a transcendental state of heightened consciousness on behalf of the tribe. This was a heavenly state of being, beyond time – the High Priest was involved in a mystical or shamanic ritual. The High Priest doubtless achieved altered states using methods we associate now with shamanism – chanting, fasting and, quite likely, the use of entheogenic plant substances.
In our turn, we have to acknowledge that our everyday lives are engaged with the cycles of Creation, but that we can also venture – with care, due reverence and integrity – on our own shamanic or mystical journeys to explore the deeper reality beyond ‘the veil’. When we stabilise the Archangelic qualities in our own Divine kingdom, we are well prepared for a journey to expand our awareness – we can move from the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies. In order to be a good ‘priest’ in attendance for a well-ordered inner temple, we need to combine everyday necessity – shopping, cooking, cleaning, and so on – with the heavenly activity of meditation.
The Archangels and the heavenly bodies
The Archangels of this Holy Place, the Creation we live in day by day, are the Archangels who guard the Gates of Light on the lower part of the Tree of Life. They can be associated with the visible planets and luminaries in the solar system:
- Sandalphon and Auriel (also spelt Uriel) – Earth and Moon
- Gabriel – Mercury
- Raphael – Venus
- Hanael – Mars
- Michael – Sun
- Zadkiel – Jupiter
- Samael – Saturn
Beyond the curtain
This wood engraving is an excellent representation of the psycho-spiritual journey we want to make. The earthling is seeking to go beyond the everyday Creation,for which the Sun, Moon, planets and fixed stars create a backdrop. They are reaching through the veil, beyond the world of time constraints, in which the rising, shining and setting processes of birth, life and decay are a natural sequence. The mystic is longing to step into an expanded zone where unknown powers watch over Creation.
If we take the mysterious non-sefira associated with Ruah ha Kodesh – the Holy Spirit – to represent the curtain between a manifested Holy Creation and the Holy of Holies, we can imagine ourselves stepping into a new state of consciousness. (See the diagram below to see where Ruah ha Kodesh fits into the Tree of Life). Then we meet what are sometimes called the ‘supernal’ Archangels. (Supernal just means ‘Divine’ or ‘heavenly’). We might say all the Archangels are heavenly beings, but the top three sefirot are set apart from the lower seven by the curtain, and this tells us the Archangels beyond are… well, something else! It might be helpful if they had different titles. I’ve explored this idea, but I haven’t come across anything suitable so far.
Reaching further out, reaching deeper in
In the early days, when the astronomer-astrologers associated heavenly bodies with gods or Archangels, their understanding was very limited – they could only see as far as the planet Saturn. They had no awareness that other planets were out there in the further reaches of our solar system. But we now know that, beyond the god of earthly Time, are other, even slower moving, ‘gods’, whose cycles are inextricably entangled with human activities.
The psycho-spiritual advances that were triggered once we had invented powerful telescopes and discovered the outer planets – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – have provoked rapid ripples of evolution. Technological, political and spiritual revolutions have been transforming the way we live our daily lives, alongside the way we think about social and spiritual issues.
These faraway planets, invisible to the naked eye, are described in astrology as ‘transpersonal’, because their cycles are slow, affecting long periods of earthly history. Equally, the Archangels we can associate with these planets, who are guardians for transpersonal sefirot, will only be suitable allies for you if you have incarnated in order to play a generational or transpersonal role. Such a role does not necessarily involve becoming a public figure or a celebrated leader. Mystical evolution may be a very private affair – a hermit meditating in a secret cottage ‘off the grid’ can make a major contribution to the expansion of group consciousness.
Love, Wisdom and Power
Beyond the veil, when we raise our vibrations and loosen the karmic ties that bind us to our present personality, we can ask to meet:
- Zaphkiel – Neptune
- Raziel – Uranus
- Metatron & The Shekinah – Pluto with its moon, Charon
However, we must be very cautious, because we may open our energy field to potent forces that we will find difficult to balance in our ordinary life. There are two more parts to come in this series, so look out for more about Archangels. Also, I will talk about Archangels in more depth in my parallel Signs & Wonders video series.
My SoulSchool Gateway course Accessing Angelic Realms has been designed to help you explore angelic opportunities for yourself. Check out the course here. I will be delighted to support your spiritual journey as you discover the potential of the Archangels in your own heavenly kingdom. As always, I suggest a twice-daily meditation practice will open portals into your inner kingdom. If you haven’t already found a technique that easily and reliably takes you to a place of deep stillness, check out The Shefa Method.
You can learn how to work with the great Archangels of the Tree of Life by enrolling on my new course, Accessing Angelic Realms, either as Self-Study or with personal supervision from me. There are currently Special Offers on both versions of the course.
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