Throughout history and in nearly every culture, Angels have been depicted as messengers and protectors that serve as intermediaries between God and mankind. There are references to angels across many traditions, with interpretations that vary widely, however all share a core belief that angels are considered higher spiritual beings. Most are benevolent, but according to some faiths, a few have also contributed to the downfall of mankind.
Today, many believe in guardian angels; the higher spiritual beings said to guide, protect and inspire individuals on their life’s journey. There are also many ranks and types of angels mentioned in lore. Cherubim are the angels who assist those in need of inner strength and faith. The Seraphim are considered the watchers who are vigilant in looking after the souls of those who hunger for truth. Virtues provide inspiration for creative endeavors and are often behind art, music and other forms of human expression.
Archangels are the highest ranking angels and are most well known because they are mentioned by name in the Bible. They are said to serve as guardians to all mankind providing protection and instilling great courage. It was the arch angels who frequently appeared to assist mankind at pivotal moments in history.
In general, angel symbolism provides comfort, inspires faith and promotes the search for higher wisdom and understanding.
Angels have been depicted in a variety of styles of art since the most ancient of times, all the way back to the days of Mesopotamia, with depictions varying widely amongst cultures. For example, the lore of the Cherubim dates back to Babylonian and Assyrian mythology, where they were depicted as creatures with the head of a bull, wings of an eagle, feet of the lion and a serpents tail. These four animal parts represented the four elements Earth, air, water and fire. These cherubim guarded entry ways to palaces and temples. This is a far different interpretation of the cherubim than what would appear later in Christian mythology where they came to be depicted as sweet, chubby children with wings.
Although interpretations of these beings vary widely, their purpose is very similar. Angels are called upon to provide comfort, guidance and protection. Angelic presence can be acknowledged and welcomed by placing art or other angelic symbolism throughout the home or office.