My spiritual life is like a woman balancing a scale, or perhaps walking across a tightrope, torn between two opposing forces that both want her to fall into the netting over their heads and catch her evening prayers. Michael and Samael are heady forces alone, and the enmity between them is legendary: being a devotee of both brings balance and the World, but power at a price. They have been fighting over me since I was 12 – Samael wanting to be my patron alone, Michael saving me when Samael gets out of control, the two politicking like Russia and America during the Cold War or just reverting back to their usual sword-and-scythe tussles where Samael either banishes Michael or Samael ends up head-stomped face-down in the dirt. I don’t know why, of all the spirits, the ones I am closest to are these two – one I consider my guardian angel – Michael – and the other my patron angel – Samael. I consider them twins who were once close before Samael pulled the whole rebellious teenager screw you to God a few eons ago and caused a third of Michael’s beloved brothers to fall.
Michael has forgiven him and bears the weight of the world.
Samael has yet to forgive himself. He is the scapegoat supreme.
This piece incorporates a lot of UPG and symbolism I’ve garnered from over a decade of knowing them. Michael’s bird, besides the red-tailed hawk, whose form he has given me is a totem, is the cardinal, my state’s bird. Samael’s is the crow, the only other animal I have ever shape-shifted into in dreams. Usually I’m a red-tailed hawk and use that form in reconnaissance missions. The crow is more for liminal work.
They both hold their respective flowers – the calla lily for death and rebirth, and the rose for sacrifice and beauty amongst pain. Michael stands to the right and holds his flaming sword in prayer, Samael looks on from the background with his scythe, almost wistful. I’m dressed in both my white reaping robe from Samael and the cobalt blue cloak Michael gave to me in dreams. I hold the apple Samael gave to me when I was 12, his heart in my breast from visions, and Michael’s famous soul scales. They are in balance, representing my new spiritual equilibrium.
I love both of them to pieces and hope, someday, they can reconcile.
But that is probably a dream dead men harbor.