According to a 2011 poll, of the 1000 Americans interviewed, 77% believed that angels are real.1 A similar 2007 poll of 1000 Canadians showed that 66% believed in angels.2 As the Christmas Season approaches, angels inevitably pop up everywhere from Bible scripture readings in church, to Christmas tree decorations, to the carols we sing, to the movies we watch like the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. While stories of angels actually span many of the world’s various religions and cultures, how is it that over the millennia, angels continue to have such a popular place in our lives? Are they real or simply a myth to help us feel better in a troubled world? Have you ever had an encounter with an ethereal angel? In this article I’m going to explore both the spiritual and the scientific side to the question, Angels: Myth or Reality?
Back in 1967, Gustav Davidson, an award winning author, editor and consultant to the Kennedy Foundation on angelology (the study of angels) published his book called “A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels”.3 He never intended to compile all this information. It just started out as an interest in collecting books on angels. In his book he cites hundreds of angels who have been named in literally hundreds of sources over the millennia. From A to Z, there are named angels who appear across the world’s religions and cultures. He notes that St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “Every visible thing in this world is put under the charge of an angel.” His dictionary certainly brings to light the significant role that angels have played through the ages.
In 1990, Sophy Burnham published “A Book of Angels”.4 In the forward of her book she explains that the book started out a bit of an autobiography for herself and her friends. She realized at age 43 that she’d had many mysterious things occur to over her the years that she just couldn’t dismiss any longer. They could not be explained in a logical way. “How could I ignore the fact that my own life had been saved in a miraculous fashion? Or that strange coincidences and meetings seemed to occur?….This book began, then, as…stories of things that had either happened to me personally or to friends so close that I could attest to their sanity. Each encounter is true. The book has grown, now, and changed, as I have, and includes encounters with angels from all over the world.”
In 1992, Joan Webster Anderson published her book called “Where Angels Walk”.5 On Christmas Eve, 1983, Joan’s son and his friend were driving when their car broke down on the side of the road. No one was out because of the record breaking windchill of -80F. They ended up having a mystical experience of being rescued on the side of a deserted road by a tow truck driver who, after dropping them off at their friend’s house, mysteriously disappeared without a trace, including leaving no tire tracks in the snow. As time passed, Joan was prompted to do research on angels. While she found out historical as well as fictional information about angels, she wanted to know if angels actually existed now, in the present. So, she wrote to a number of magazines, who were already familiar with her newspaper and magazine articles, to ask if they would publish a letter she had written. Her letter said, “I am looking for people who believe they may have met an angel. I am talking about spirits who appeared in human form to give some kind of help. Please write to me at this box number…” (Obviously pre-internet.) To her amazement, she ended up receiving many letters from people, so many, in fact, that she ended up writing this book where she shares people’s real life experiences with angels.
In January, 2014, Dr. Oz had Rebecca Rosen, a psychic medium and author, on his show to talk about how angels can help us to heal.6 She ended up doing a reading with Dr. Oz, as well as 2 audience members which contained information that she had no way of knowing. Rebecca talked about how angels are messengers from God, beings of light to protect, comfort and heal us if we’re open to letting them. Dr. Oz showed brain scans that illustrate the changes that physically happen in the brain when you meditate. She talked about using prayer, meditation and trust to connect with angels and to receive divine messages.
In September, 2014, a study was done to see whether the belief in guardian angels would cause people to take more risks. The study results were published in the journal SAGE Open. “While some felt that belief in guardian angels might make their behavior more risky, most believers were far less inclined to take risks than their non-believing counterparts.”7
So, what does this all mean? Are angels just a myth or are they real? Well, yes! There is no question that much that has been written about angels over the centuries has been based on myth. However, there are so many documented cases of people having real life experiences with angels, including valid mediums who can connect easily with angels that it’s impossible, in my mind, to dispute that they exist. Even in quantum physics, nothing exists without an observer. What that means is that believing is seeing! So, whether or not you believe in angels is up to you. However, I think there is a reason that they continue to permeate many religions as well as spiritual perspectives. I think if we look at ourselves in the mirror and are honest with ourselves, we’ve all had at least one experience in our lives that could only be explained by the presence of an angel!
- Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels including the fallen angels. The Free Press, ©1967
- Burnham, Sophy. A Book of Angels. Ballantine Books, ©1990
- Webster Anderson, Joan. Where Angels Walk. Ballantine Books, ©1992