In my book Angels Among Us, I mention a poll done by the Washington Post in 2008, in which 36,000 people of various faiths (or none) were asked if they believed angels actively participate in our lives. The majority answered yes. That same year, in a poll by Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion of 1,700 Americans, 55 percent reported that their angels had protected them from harm.
What Are Angels?
Many people think that when we die we become angels. But according to Billy Graham’s website that’s incorrect––we become something greater. The Compelling Truth’s website says, “Humans are physical beings with a spiritual soul” whereas “Angels are spiritual beings . . . who can only become physical if God ordains that their work requires it.” Others say angels don't have free will, as humans do, and therefore humans face greater challenges during their journey on earth and in the spirit realm. Much has been written about angels throughout history, and these ethereal beings show up in the literature of many religions. Yet we’re still not certain what they are, how they came to be, or exactly what our relationship with them is.
The Christian mystic Dionysius the Areopagite, 1500 years ago, and later the Dominican priest and philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas proposed that nine types of angels exist. These ranged from the lowest level––our personal guardian angels––to the highest––the Seraphim, who occupy the top rung of the celestial ladder, closest to God, where their singing aids the process of creation.
Our Progress as
As I understand it, we may evolve into spirit guides at some time after leaving physical earth. During my visits to the spirit realm, I observed souls as colored orbs of brilliant light. Their colors indicated their level of wisdom and experience (see my post “What Color Is Your Soul?” for more). Blue and purple souls were the masters, who guided beings on earth. These masters once existed as humans, but have now reached an advanced level and no longer need incarnate––though they may, if they choose. Other souls––especially those from our own soul groups––may also assist us throughout our earthly lives. (See my post “Soul Groups” for more.) I suspect that these entities are the ones who watch out for us, though I don’t know if they’re actually angels.
After my long-time companion, Ron Conroy, left his physical form in 2013, I asked him about this conundrum. He replied, “When people ‘die’ they don’t become gods or angels, they’re still themselves, they’re just not physical.” He also explained that our core natures remain the same after we leave our bodies––we’re still playful, quiet, serious, adventurous, artistic, etc. Our fundamental purposes and interests stay with us too. (See my post “What’s Your Life Purpose?” for more.) Our egos fall away, however, leaving us “kinder and gentler” than we were as humans.
Meeting Angels and Other Spirits
Psychic and medium Francine Clausen, “The Angel Lady” of Gloucester, Massachusetts, told me each of us has at least seven angels around us all the time––and we can call upon more for assistance when we need them. I think it’s possible that both spirit guides and guardian angels offer us protection and aid. Furthermore, I think it’s likely that we knew some of these spirits on earth––as I knew Ron for many years––but we may never have encountered some of them in physical life. (Nature spirits, fairies, and other ethereal entities also exist among us, but that’s a topic for another post. You can also read more in my book Fairies: The Myths, Legends, and Lore.)
In his book Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, PhD writes, “Most of my subjects report the first person they see in the spirit world is their personal guide.” Even if other entities that the newly deceased person knew on earth are present, the individual’s main spirit guide stands nearby, ready to escort the soul into the spirit realm. This guide, it seems, remains with us throughout all our earthly incarnations as well as during our time out of the body––teaching, protecting, and steering us through life with great love and compassion.
Children often speak of seeing their spirit guides, although adults usually discount these claims, labeling the spirits “imaginary friends” or “alter egos.” You may meet your spirit guides through meditation, trance states, dreams, hypnosis, moments of illness or trauma––they may even appear to you during your everyday, waking life. People sometimes describe them as light forms in the shape of a human being, as angels with wings, or as faint ghostly images. Others see them as glowing orbs, as I did in my journeys to the spirit realm.
Even if you don’t actually see them, you may sense their presence, perhaps as warmth or coolness, a slight breeze or movement, a tingling sensation on your skin, or something else entirely. Once, while I was giving Reiki to a woman, I felt her guide standing behind me, laying its hands over mine to provide healing energy through me to the woman.
Trust your experiences, whether you see, hear, sense, smell, or otherwise become aware of your spirit’s presence. If you keep an open your mind, you have a good chance of making contact with your spirit guide and benefiting from what it has to share with you.