Who is our Guardian Angel?
How can this Angel help us?
How can we make contact?
On October 2nd, the Western Church honors the guardian angels given to each person at birth, the angels assigned to look over and watch out for them. The idea of some sort of “guardian spirit” is nothing new, as we can see from Socrates’ daemon, the Roman conception of a genius, or the Semitic conception of teraphim; this universality is reflected in the Church’s teaching that a guardian angel is assigned at birth rather than at baptism, meaning these guardians are assigned to all people regardless of origin, religion, or lack thereof.
This angel is under the command of the Archangel Michael, and is more personal to us thanks to having watched over us our entire lives. This means the Guardian is a helper and protector that we can call upon any time, and it behooves us to develop a conscious relationship.
This “Holy Guardian Angel” is seen as an actual entity, not as a conception of the “higher self” as taught in some modern systems. This higher self is more in line with the spiritus in the Catholic anatomy of the human soul, with the lower self being located within the anima. These very loosely (and by no means exactly) correspond to the Kabbalistic concepts of neshamah and nephesh respectively, with the rational nature or animus corresponding to the ruach.
The tools for developing a relationship with the Guardian Angel are given early within Traditional Catholicism, with children taught and encouraged to say the Guardian Angel Prayer:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here;
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
Pope Pius XII once told American tourists that “when children become adults, their guardian angels do not abandon them, but remain at their sides.”
His predecessor, Pope Pius XI, once taught him a quasi-magical exercise involving his guardian angel and the angel of another person: “In speaking with someone who is closed to your argument, go to your guardian angel and recommend the matter to him. Ask him to take it up with the guardian angel of the person you have to see. Once the two angels establish an understanding, the conversation with the visitor will be much easier.”
His successor, Pope John XXIII, encouraged people to cultivate a relationship with their guardian angels, and to “rely on your guardian angels, the lovable heralds of our will.”
In these short quotes we can see that Catholic magicians, even the rank-and-file who would never describe themselves as practicing “magic,” seek to cultivate their own form of “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel” by way of prayer and meditation.
As we meditate on the mysteries of God’s greatness and His sending a spirit to watch over us, we become aware that the Machinery of the Universe is not some cold and impersonal set of abstract principles, but presided over by a loving God willing to move the universe in our favor should our cause be just. Thus to develop a familiarity with one’s Guardian Angel is to take the step on the path to understanding the Vision of God’s Love on the one hand, and the Vision of God’s Power on the other.
Guardian Angel Meditation
(From page 51 of Ritual Magic for Conservative Christians, where the exercise is accompanied by relevant notes and explanations.)
“Each guardian angel may be considered as the pure prototype of his ward; hence the disciples (Acts 12:15) supposed that Peter’s angel was at the gate.”
– Herzog, The Protestant Theological and Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia, 1860
This is a method I created in the summer of 2003 and have been using ever since. It is a reliable way to put you in touch with your Guardian Angel, and you may even learn your Angel’s name as a result of this (if you do, never reveal it to anyone else!).
1. Assume your usual meditation posture.
2. Begin the rhythmic breathing and relax yourself.
3. Once your mind is clear and your body feels relaxed, imagine yourself in a dark void, as if floating in space.
4. Off in the distance you see a white dot, like a faraway star. Imagine yourself moving toward that star.
5. The star gets larger as you move toward it. Eventually you find that it’s not a star at all, but a large round door.
6. Walk through the door and feel it gently close behind you. You find yourself in a brightly-lit room with a table and two chairs.
7. You sit down on one of the chairs. Soon a figure enters the room from another door, made of light and wearing a flowing robe of pure energy.
8. The figure looks at you, and you say test it. You say to it: “Confess the name of the Lord! Confess that his coming in the flesh!” (see 1 John 4:2-3)
NOTE: If the figure responds back with the name of Jesus and saying he came in the flesh, then the being is legitimate. If the being dissolves or tries to evade, then it was an impostor.
When this happens you end the meditation by making the Sign of the Cross over the entity to bind it away from you, and then proceed immediately to step 10.
9. The test is passed, and the figure sits in the other chair. You begin to converse, discussing what’s going on in your life while the figure talks about what it’s like being a Guardian Angel and passes along any information it thinks important. Do not ask for anything; just enjoy each other’s company and the conversation.
10. When the conversation is over, you thank your Guardian Angel for taking the time to talk to you, and then exit the room the way you came in, retracing your steps back to yourself.
11. Finally, you take a few breaths to center yourself, open your eyes, and the meditation is completed.
This exercise is best done regularly (once a week or so), and can also be used to develop a relationship with your Patron Saint; however, for this I would recommend the “Making Contact with the Saints” exercise described in chapter 3 of my Christian Candle Magic.