Image by s weis from Pixabay

Often in my neurotic youth I couldn’t figure out the next step in my life. Always I felt called to follow a spiritual path. In fact, I recall my first husband saying, “You act like you are on a mission from God.” I thought, Of course. So are you. You just don’t recognize it.

Sometimes, sitting on my porch, I prayed for a big white panel van with an arrow on it to pass by the house. That van would give me clear direction in a message painted in letters two feet high: “Normandi, Go This Way.” But the van never arrived. That perhaps would have interfered with a divine alternate plan in which I had to make a choice. Fate or karma is part of the human experience. Any angel commandeering that white van would not be allowed to interfere.

Perhaps unseen angels have guided most circumstances of my life as it’s unfolded. Angels might overshadow the right human and send him or her along at the right moment to engage in a conversation that will result in a life-altering course. For example, one conversation with an acquaintance resulted in my purchase of Wallis Budge’s hieroglyphic text The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Papyrus of Ani. That event initiated me into a lifelong journey of spiritual and metaphysical thought.

Then there was the time, on a snowy Sunday, that the angels maneuvered a MapQuest malfunction that sent my friend Gina and me driving, hopelessly lost, for thirty minutes in the wrong direction, until we righted ourselves. We soon realized that had we not exited that same interstate thirty minutes previously, we would have been involved in a fatal auto accident.

Hey, Lady...

Once I believe I encountered an angel inhabiting a human form. During my first trip to Egypt, I traveled alone, and earlier in the day, I’d found in the Luxor street market a gorgeous black basalt statue of Isis. Pressed for time, I promised myself I would come back for her.

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Returning to the street market that dark, cold, and foggy January night, I found myself lost. It grew late. The sound of kiosks and shops shuttering their doors and windows filled the air. A particularly thick blanket of fog kept rolling through the streets. I could barely see two feet in front of me.

I remembered having seen the statue on a high shelf in one of the shops. Could I find her again? I hurried from store to store, alley to alley, trying to rediscover the spot I had visited in the day- light. After an exhaustive search, I zigzagged through the labyrinthine streets—and then, lo and behold! There she was!

The shopkeeper who was rolling up the striped awning and shuttering his doors grudgingly stayed open only long enough for me to buy that statue. He wrapped it in newspaper, and I carried my bundle back through the maze of alleys and darkening, silent streets. In the deep emptiness of closing time with all the shop lights clicking off in a town that had but a single stoplight and few streetlights, I could not tell where I was; but I could very distinctly hear footsteps behind me.

I grew nervous and crossed to the other side of the road. The steps followed me. I picked up my pace, crossed the street again, and turned quickly around a corner. So did those footsteps behind me! I hurried, scanning doorways, right and left, picking up the pace. So did the feet that followed! I panicked and ran as fast as I could run, clutching a sixteen-inch stone statue, and the footfall behind me drew closer. Totally lost now, and quite afraid, I whispered “Goddess, help me!”

From out of the fog appeared a black horse pulling a black-topped carriage driven by an Egyptian boy. He slowed his horse just long enough to point to the left and say “Lady! Your hotel is one block this way.”

I ran to the street corner, turned left, and there was my hotel! I practically burst through the glass front door and into the lighted lobby. The shadowy figure who had been following me strode on.

Thank you!

A Divine Messenger in Human Form

Later that night, tucked into my bed in the hotel, my mind returned to that encounter, and I kept returning to the image of the boy who had saved me. How did he know where my hotel was? I hadn’t told anyone or even ridden in any carriage to or from the hotel. In retrospect, I have decided that he was an angel—a divine messenger in a human form.

Perhaps he descended from a higher realm to save my younger self so that I could grow old, write my books, live a life imbued with mystery, and now, on this particular future day, recount that miracle of the past when an angel appeared and possibly saved my life. Or perhaps an angel overshadowed this good native son of Egypt, using a human vessel to deliver a message to a frightened traveler. Okay, it wasn’t a white panel truck, but a black horse-drawn carriage. Still, that lifelong prayer to Spirit to point the way for me becomes more enigmatic now.

Who or what did I encounter that night?

Angelic Messages

People not only believe in angels, they also rely on them. In uncertain times they are an antidote to an overwhelmingly illusory material world. Angels appeal to our childlike desire to know what is going on behind that closed door—behind the curtain in Oz, so to speak. Angels draw us that much closer to the mystery of God.

There are many heavenly neighborhoods and more avenues to wander through than there are back alleys and shops in the bazaars of Luxor. Beautiful, haunting, puzzling, mysterious . . . Many authors have tackled this subject.

Why the widespread fascination with the hellish and heavenly attributes of angels? Contemporary Jewish writer Rabbi Philip Berg may have summed it up best: “The subject of angels is not one to be regarded as a curious notion that simply captures our imagination. It must be considered as a serious matter. Our lives may very well be affected by this knowledge.”

So, what is an angel? Perhaps an angel is an experience to which our minds must give form. The mind (knowledge) can awaken, just as the Buddha’s mind snapped into awakened consciousness with an ineffable experience (mystic wisdom).

To hold on to that awakened state, to define it, to live within that consciousness, the experience most often needs a shape. Thus the mind will provide us with shape or a symbol—a touchstone for the experience to which the mind can return. The mystic may express the feeling with the cry: “Oh, that’s what it was—an angel!”

The City of Gold

Once I received a vision of the angelic residence in heaven. Early one summer morning I saw on the eastern horizon the “City of Gold.” An equally stunned and reliable witness sitting beside me corroborated its appearance.

At the time this vision appeared, I didn’t know about that celestial mountain in the sky, Mount Meru, and the Tibetan vision of the realm of Shambala. I didn’t know about the ascended masters of the Theosophists who, in etheric bodies of light, attend vigils in the Wesak Valley for planetary and spiritual transformation. Perhaps I should have known, but that might have ruined the impact of the complete, decade-long revelation that came to me about the place of angels, the creation of the world, and the City of Gold.

On this particular day in August 1987, according to the Mayan calendars, a certain planetary alignment was to come into being. The Harmonic Convergence had been prophesied by Dr. Jose Arguelles, a new age author and artist. On that same day, throngs of people gathered in spiritually potent locations to see the wheels and gyres of the universe slip into place. With no desire for a group experience, my friend Jessie and I decided to celebrate her birthday—the alignment of her solar return—in a private sunrise meditation. In the dark, we climbed Mount Sanitas, which juts out of the landscape near my house in Boulder, Colorado.

As Jess and I waited in silence, gazing east across the plains north of Denver, we witnessed in the clear sky a golden light formation. Just before sunrise, without a cloud in the sky, Jess and I observed the building up of a towering city of gold. Perhaps it was the Shambala of the Tibetans, or Mount Meru, the residence of Hindu devas.

On a golden mountain fully made of brilliant light, thousands of temples appeared built upon its plateaus. Stunned, I watched in silence, trying to take in the vision that offered a portal into an alternate universe. Then I elbowed Jessie, saying nothing. “I see it, too,” she whispered. We marveled at the sight, flooded with a sense of peace. When the sun rose, blindingly, the vision disappeared.

Upon such an occasion, the rational mind kicks in, attempting to think away or interpret the message. The mind whirs as it tries to categorize and diminish the experience. Stunned by what we have seen, we keep trying to fit it into a container too small to contain it.

An Experience of Awe

Scientists say that our entire essence changes after such an experience. How so? Every religion celebrates the central sun as the source of light, life, and the symbol of an awareness of God. Exposure to this light, or to the enlightenment of meditation, increases the presence of biophotons in the brain, which increases our capacity for consciousness.

Angels emanate an intense, powerful light. The more of their light we experience, the higher our consciousness becomes. And seeing an angel (or a whole city of angels) pierces the witness with awe. Awe, sometimes dread, are the words used in sacred texts to describe seeing a phenomenon that doesn’t fit within our worldview. It stops us in our tracks.

Let’s face it, the familiar road is not the one that leads us into a new life. The experience of awe, scientists suggest, can assist our bodies in producing more light, more consciousness, more enlightenment.

A New Life Awakens

What deeper understanding, what “new life” did the cosmos instill in me that day beyond the witnessing of the City of Gold in a transmission of light? In short, my life changed. At a fevered pace I began to complete the sunrise meditations, which led to the eventual translation of the hieroglyphs of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Phanes Press published my book of translations, Awakening Osiris, in 1988, and since then I have followed a path of spiritual inquiry and writing.

I firmly believe that in August 1987 an angelic vision pulled back the curtains of my psyche to let in more light, thereby elevating my consciousness. To me this proved that I was, as are we all, part of a grand cosmic scheme. Knowing that we are part of a larger plan and accepting our place in that plan affords us a sense of peace and wellbeing—if we are but open enough to sow the seeds of our own divine awakening.

Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission of the publisher,
Healing Arts Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.

Article Source:

BOOK: The Ancient Tradition of Angels

The Ancient Tradition of Angels: The Power and Influence of Sacred Messengers
by Normandi Ellis.

book cover of: The Ancient Tradition of Angels by Normandi Ellis.What is an angel? In this in-depth study into the mystery and purpose of angels, Normandi Ellis looks at the angelic dimensions of spiritual traditions around the world—from the ancient past to present day. Quoting from sacred traditions, narrative myth, and contemporary angelic encounters, including her own personal interactions with angels, the author clarifies the divergent aspects of angelic beliefs but also reveals the common points shared by all traditions.

The author shows how, in whatever guise they appear, angels are messengers, part of the universal life force that connects all beings. And not only are angels actively helping in our planet’s cosmic evolution, they also help us see our own place in the cosmic plan.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here.  Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.

About the Author

photo of Normandi EllisNormandi Ellis is an award-winning writer, workshop facilitator, and director of PenHouse Retreat Center. The author of several books, including Awakening Osiris, and coauthor of Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt, she leads tours to Egypt with Shamanic Journeys, Ltd.

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