You’re My Wonderwall

There’s a lion in the celestial bower, a man of honeysuckle blossoms, golden wings, and blinding light.  There’s an angel in the bedroom, dressed in goldenrod, hair platinum – you know, the kind of sunshine in a perfect summer sky, and his laughter rings like the peal of a motorcycle.  His voice is caramel, his words are molasses – smooth and sweet – and he is the picture of poise and good humor and I swear, if I lick him my mouth would be sticky with sugar.  Archangel of mercy, Angel of the Lord that held Abraham’s hand back from wounding the first of so many Prodigal Sons, emissary of benevolence and the fourth sphere of the Sephiroth.

There’s a savior in my window, dancing in tune with the summer rainstorm’s vivacious lightning.  There’s a flame of hope that awakens yearning in the darkness of my heart.  When the lion roars, it is a cry of liberation.  When the chapel bell tolls, he is the shepherd moving the masses up to the cleansing Eucharist.  He is the goblet that my wine spills over, he is the torch of heavenly fire I stole from God’s throne room, he is my star.  Older brother, twin general, bosom friend of my heart, guardian of innocence and girlhood bliss.

When he holds me, it is with the strength and sacredness of temple walls.  When our mouths quest for answers on each other’s tongues, I taste infinity to the tune of eternal joy.  Hands like milk, hands like providence, hands like silk that pick ice splinters from my soul.  Sure, the heart bleeds waters of the womb in the grip of the hearth, but he has been melting me for years, since I was seven and first saw his candle flame eyes, and every lesson in kindness, I learned from him.  He is the essence of lovingkindness and thanksgiving, of the mixed blessing of a giving heart but the curse of never having enough blood to bleed, because patience is endless, but fires need tinder, and it does not do well to burn your patients.

We’re the original hippies – the twin angels of beauty and peace.  What better pairing, like salmon with maple syrup and capers set out with chardonnay.  They say I am a champagne bubble – sparkly, bright, warm-hearted, soft, girly, loving, caring.  But if the psychics are right, and I am a champagne girl, you are the intoxication I cause.  Find us on the beach with Bruce Springsteen playing dancing around a roaring bonfire, find us braiding each other’s golden hair with bluebells – we keep it long and blonde, but that doesn’t mean we’re dumb.  Find us flying through the cosmos chasing the tails of comets and basking in celestial glows.

You can find us anywhere, really.  We’re the Freyr and Freyja of Heaven, the Lovers and Ace of Cups, bubbles and birthdays and barks of laughter you can’t contain.  No one can secret a smile for long around him – his kilowatt grin will illuminate even the darkest recesses of the coldest winter night.  The moths come flying towards his brilliance, but every dark thing is cleansed in his ultraviolet aura.  He taught me to fight, he taught me to keep frith, he taught me family and faith and fearlessness.  My animus of glorious, splendorous bravery, the one who wields the sword in times of war and the scroll in times of peace.  He’s sweet on children, answers endless questions for inquisitive young girls, and is all to happy to play make-believe with aspiring princesses.

Now I’m older, and I’m far from a princess, but my star is still a star – the most brilliant soul in the multiverse – and in the most heinous wreckage, he taught me to glow.

For what is love if you cannot share it, and who is an angel but a missionary of love?

 

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Angel of Mercy

I thought you were a lion among lambs, golden
mane and braids like promise, blue eyes lambent
as the starlight whose name I christened you,
sweet Angel of Mercy, you carry sunny torches,
stoke bonfires with laughter, dance in the sand
as your bold song sails like a swan on the sea.
Ariel, Zadkiel, Sachael. I can’t choose your name.
It was borne aloft far out of reach moons ago.
All I know is that you are my twin angel, forged
in the flames of blue and violet light, haloed
and hallowed, with magenta gown and gold robes.
You waltz with me, run with me, fly with me.
Leonine Animus, Blonde Wonderboy, Golden One.
The strand of sand and foam is your dominion.
The waves and wind your birthright, general of
heavenly lightning, fiery sword and silver shield.
Hail the Angel of Righteousness. Hail the Light.

Ode to Ariel (This an Old Story – the First I Ever Lived)

You, my first love, my heart’s golden river, winged with wonder.
They say angels watch humans with envy for lips they don’t have,
for mouths of pink and rose that sing, tell, pray and even dream –
your tongue is ever-quenched by the white of the Milky Way, you swim
through the outer boundaries of space’s luminaries, I aback my angel.

You taught me how to be kind to the desolate, to cherish the weak.
Oh Ariel, Hearth of God, Light of the Lord, you are too beautiful,
and you are the elder brother and protector of my virgin heart,
unsullied by the blood you spilled on my behalf, a rain of hope
always tangles your brassy hair, your starlight splendor, my love.

You are the blessed, you are the mighty, you are the poor, burning
glory, never a joke or laugh away from a kilowatt smile, funny bone
of Heaven, I remember catching fireflies, you braiding my long hair,
taking me on adventures through the multitudinous otherworlds, sword
unsheathed and gleaming, eyes the blue of a perfect summer highway.

My winged lion, my leonine animus, how you stretch to fill darkness
that creeps into my melancholy bones, lighting fires within marrow,
we are on beaches by bonfires, in the forest staring into the flames.
When I am lonely, I hear you whisper, my first anam cara, heart friend.
We dance, we fly, we merge, and angels know union with man’s heart.

Ariel

Dawn breaks over the sea strand, the Lion of God
is lord of the sun and the waters, elemental king.
Fire is also his domain, and as flames lick feet
his mane is bright bonfire, shift from beast to
man, man to beast, blond hair a windswept halo,
tanned as wood grain, eyes the blue of lost days.
We walk amidst the strand, froth kisses our ankles
hand in hand with my childhood idol, morning star
Ariel, Ariel, you were always there in my girlhood
I rode your wings through Milky Way fractal spills
you taught me to hold a sword too large for a child
to fight for my passions, to salvage the ruins of
war and find beauty, you were there in the torments
of playground battles and cruelties of childhood,
“Be strong,” you would say, “Be brave, I love you.”
I sang songs to you before I knew what worship was
just that you were my better half, master defender,
older brother cut from the same quick-kindle cloth
I was in such awe of you at seven, moreso at twelve,
for by then I knew you had your own monsters, and I
would hold back your hair as you cried into Hell,
comb girlish promises of spring into a soldier braid
you’re always the first on the battlefield, brash roar
of courage and recklessness, sometimes we would crash
and in the ruin of our blood and feathers, we laughed.

Sea Witch

Seaweed hair, nacreous crown of sea urchin needles –
a mermaid came to my cave, I stole her starling voice
now her soprano soaks my skin in youth, her vibratto
my perfumery, I suck that music dry as mackerel bones,
for I live off notes and rhythm, my voluptuous hips
are perfect for drowning men in my curves, shipwreck
siren I, fishnet trap for those full of wish-longing.

Fluid Genders and Angels

In my experience with angels, they all have masculine and feminine forms, but their true forms are transcendental and inherently genderless.  Mannerisms may change when they switch between genders – for example, fem!Gabriel is motherly and nurturing and like a valkyrie on the battlefield, while male!Gabriel is charming, witty, and a practical jokester that loves puns.  They may favor one gender over the other, like Michael, or shift easily between them, like Uriel or Gabriel.  An angel like Ariel that may appear as female to the majority of spirit workers may actually appear male to you.  I think it all depends on the lessons you need to learn from them.

Last night I dreamt of Michael’s female aspect, who is very regal and reminds me of Queen Elizabeth.  She has long flowing auburn hair that is usually in a chignon or braid and silvery eyes, usually dressed in white robes or dresses.  In this aspect she is very motherly with me and contemplative, asking me philosophical questions and attending to work in the Heavenly body with utmost diligence.  She is quieter and less forceful than her male aspect, which I mainly interact with, but no less fearsome.  She has an especial love for children and flowers.

Samael’s female aspect is like if Dita Von Teese and Ishtar had a baby.  Femme fatale, dominatrix, with a curvaceous figure, rather voluptuous assets, a tan Kim Kardashian would die for, and insatiable appetite for all things.  She is all fire, impulsive, sexual, energetic, crazy in her passion, literally crazy, does tons of drugs and alcohol, and an agent of destruction.  Long wavy black hair, she often goes naked or in a bustier and skirt and can usually be found vomiting in a bathroom.

Ariel’s male aspect, whereas he is usually female with most spirit workers, is who I dub Blonde Wonderboy.  Snarky, charming, flirty, obsessed with bonfires and the ocean and surfing, a total beach bum and rascal to boot.  He is fun as fun can be and loves going on adventures in the otherworlds and is very boyish in his charms and mannerisms.  An angel of the elements, he is all about nature, and probably an Eagle Scout to boot.  Many times he is part-lion and overlaps with Samael as the Demiurge inspired by the god Nergal.  They have a joint aspect I call Ariael that I interacted with a lot as a child, but now remain quite separate.

Unlike most occultists, I primarily see Uriel as a girl.  Umber skin, hazel eyes, beautiful blondish brown dreadlocks and a toned body like Rihanna.  She looks Melanesian and favors cyan or seafoam robes, summer dresses, or swimsuits.  Her heaven looks like a tropical paradise and she wouldn’t be caught dead without her trusty spear.  She is very motherly and older sisterly and loves taking people under her wing.  An earthy angel, she is extremely grounded and radiates peace.  Don’t be surprised if she is delighted to see you and gives you a peck on the cheek!  Her male aspect works more with children and appeared to me around Christmastime in festive robes, delivering presents.  He literally looked like Denzel Washington and I went, oh god, have mercy, he’s hot.

Finally good old Gabriel.  They are about as gender fluid as you can get, switching easily between male and female aspects.  It’s about 50/50 with people perceiving them as male or female, and I tend to like her female side better.  The male one jokes too much and likes novelty bars ;).

Obviously other angels – all of them – have male and female aspects, as angels are inherently genderless.  My guess is they appear in forms we are most comfortable with.  Raphael and Azrael I’ve never seen as gals, and I can only IMAGINE what Metatron would be like as a woman.  That would make my year.  Michael as a woman is funny enough.  Better start calling her Michelle…

My Experience with the Archangels (UPDATED)

Updated with Uriel, my Khaleesi.

There are a lot of things I love – green curry, mythology, a good book when it’s raining outside, next to a cup of tea, in a blanket burrito, tall tall trees – but nothing gets my heart singing like angels.  I have always adored the idea of angels since I first learned about them as a preschooler and gravitated towards anything with angels on them – Hallmark cards, children’s bibles, classical artwork, stained glass windows in churches.  Whenever I saw them it felt like I was wrapped in a warm blanket of energy, my hairs standing on end and skin buzzing with pure love like electricity.  When I was old enough to have imaginary friends, I made mine an angel of lions, destruction, and fire that was a stand-in for the older brother I never had: my best friend, protector, and teacher.

I called him Star after the morning star which to my young eyes, was the brightest thing in the night sky, standing sentinel to the moon.  I would sing to him at night and pray to him and tell him my deepest secrets – in dreams we’d play in heaven with other angels, fight demons, and I’d be carried on his back as we flew across the Milky Way.  Star stayed with me until I was about twelve in dreams – I remember saying goodbye to him officially when I thought I was too old to write stories about imaginary friends anymore, that I should start believing in “real” gods – too bad I never read about Archangel Ariel – angel of lions, fire, and destruction – whose flip side, as the Demiurge lion-faced serpent, is Samael.  Sorry but the Gnostics have been dead for a few thousand years not counting the Cathars.  Also this was the nineties-early 2000’s and I was more concerned with playing Pokemon than researching the occult.

Star had an “evil” side like I swear all small children who like explosions make their OCs have.  Normal Star had tan skin, with azure blue eyes and platinum hair – his evil side, which in my third grade mind was the embodiment of chaos in the universe I had created, was a spirit of dragons, poison and snakes with porcelain skin, red eyes, and black hair.  Right when “Star” exited my dreams he was replaced by a character I named “Samael” that looked suspiciously like his evil side, yet still had the same snark as Star.  Pale olive skin, red eyes, long black hair.  I was still reeling from the fact a name I’d pulled out of my posterior was real (It’s happened twice, with my characters Samael and Ragnar) and that my computer was for some reason claiming a twelve year old had edited the Lucifer Wikipedia page.  This was also the time I had my first vision of an angry ginger angel general who saved my life then thrust me back into my body, so alongside puberty and hair growing in weird places like my armpits, also middle school, life was getting increasingly weird.

After I found out Samael was “real” – as real as a mythological figure can be – I went into denial about angels.  I was still a budding pagan, had been since the tender age of seven when I first got my hands on D’aulaires, so I decided that all Abrahamic religions sucked because the Messiah couldn’t be a woman, and hey, if I wasn’t good enough to be the Messiah, then I wasn’t good for anything.  I also wanted to be the President at this point and was in my angry feminist phase so anything that stank of the patriarchy – read Bible – I abhored.  Still, I devoured Madeliene L’engel’s Wrinkle of Time quartet and fell in love with the angels in those books, from the first to Many Waters, and I continued dreaming of angels and demons who I then wrote about in my stories.  Samael took me on crazy adventures only a drunk would take a young teenager on in my dreams, and through them I met the archangels and archdemons.

To me the archdemons are like the drinking buddies you don’t want to be seen with in public – they’re good to party with, but too crazy for day-to-day interactions.  The archangels are the opposite – kind, the essence of love and compassion, with hidden quirks and complexities, servants above all to humanity and God.  They treat me like a younger sister and I often dream I am a young child playing with them, or that I am in the audience of their Heavenly Council or Michael’s prayer garden.  This is a list of the ones I interact the most with, because I’m bored and still have an hour til my train:

Michael: The head honcho and first angel I “officially” met at the age of twelve, barring Auriel and Metatron.  I’ve written about my vision of him here.  To say he is terrifying is an understatement.  Too tall, I see him as Islamic mystics describe him – saffron thread hair, emerald eyes.  His wings are white and armor golden with a red sash, blue cloak and fashionable tunica and sandals.  This guy reminds me of Thor in that he has muscles on his muscles and basically looks like Hercules.  He’s a lot less huggable than Thor and much more a sad plant man who only ever smiles when he is gardening.  His voice is like thunder, his faithfulness and steadfast love to God keep Heaven together, and he is the most fearsome being you will encounter on the battlefield whose strength is only matched by Samael’s.  I often dream of them fighting or politicking Cold War style minus the whole ping-pong diplomacy portion.  Michael is above all a defender – of the innocent, truth, the oppressed, everyone and anyone – your pet, your wife, your child, that sad dandelion that is dying of thirst in a crack in the sidewalk.  He cares so deeply about everything that he often times grows weary, but he listens to every single prayer to himself and his Father – every single one.  His laugh is rare but the most wonderful sound in the world.  So is his smile.  Some mystics say he hasn’t smiled since his brothers fell, but that just isn’t true.  It’s fast: a small soft quirk of the lips, a crinkle of his ancient eyes, but it’s there.  He listens to prayers, and answers every single one of mine in the most unexpected, but beautiful, of ways.

Gabriel: This is more Izzi’s territory, but Gabriel has always been a lighthearted presence in my life.  He/she looks nothing like the actor on Supernatural minus the dark brown hair, but they got one thing right: GABRIEL’S MALE ASPECT IS A HUGE ASS TRICKSTER AND FLIRT.  He has a smile more devilish than Samael and is one of the few that can make Michael laugh.  He’s an angel of water, peace, souls, good cheer and jokes, and messages.  Her female aspect to me appears with long blonde hair and is much more maternal, but is vicious on the battlefield – I mean she razes legions of demons with a flick of her saber, she’s that powerful.  Gabriel shifts between genders easily and is a very go-with-the-flow guy/gal, at least in my dreams.  They often speak in riddles or parables.

Ariel: I get Zadkiel mixed with Ariel and am not unconvinced they are one and the same.  Anyways, he’s like my older brother and main defender besides Michael – for some reason he likes to play with hair – like he will literally braid mine and make me a flower crown and I’ll have to tell him to bugger off in dreams because I’m trying to have adventures.  He loves children and nature, and is associated with all four elements – I see him mostly around ocean settings and bonfires.  He sometimes carries a torch or shoots arrows.  He usually wears white or purple robes and has long blond hair like Fabio.  Lions are his signature animal and most people apparently see him as a woman, but not me.  I get Blond Wonderboy.  He’s also a major flirt and is very playful and creative, but don’t piss him off.  Then he goes all destructo on your ass.

Uriel: The Khaleesi of my heart, queen of my fangirling, I have known Uriel since I was seven and she has almost always appeared as a woman to me: black and blonde dreadlocks, umber skin, freckles, and hazel eyes.  As the Light of God, she is an absolute delight and ball of radiant energy, childish and talkative, but by god do not piss her off, as she is built and trains like an Amazon warrior.  She usually favors cyan blue or seafoam robes or exercise gear, and loves beaches, starfish, shells, and anything tropical.  To me, she looks Melanesian and her heavenly home reflects that – it is a tropical paradise.  I’ve even seen her swimming in a bikini on one of her off days, then practicing on her beach with her most trusted spear.  She is very much an earthy angel to me, the element she presides over, extremely grounded, kind, and kind of a pack mother like a wolf, the animal I associate with her.  In her own words she is good for bringing friends together, settling disputes, and promoting peace and justice.  She always has time to peck you on the cheek or ruffle your hair and will usually treat me like a beloved little sister.  She and Ariel are a Hot Item and she is one of the only ones that can make him take things seriously.  She is usually spotted in Michael’s company and they are very, very good friends, bringing out a softer side in him not many see.  Her male form has golden eyes and looks a bit like Denzel Washington – there I go again with the weird celebrity references.  He appears usually around Christmastime in a festive outfit of red and gold and delights in giving gifts to children and snow.

Raphael: I love him so much I’m writing a whole book about him.  Raphael is like if sunshine were bottled into a person.  Always optimistic, good-humored, loves children, wears bright yellow with a megawatt smile.  For some reason to me he looks like Idris Elba.  I don’t really know why.  Maybe I just like Idris Elba too much and have projected it onto my favorite archangel.  He’s the best cook in Heaven and often tells jokes to lighten the mood in angelic councils.  I mostly dream I’m a child when I’m with him and he plays with me – we build sand castles, he pulls me in a wagon, we play tag.  He will bring out your inner child for sure.  Also the best angel to go to if, like me, your toenail falls off and you’re grossed out to the max and want a fast recovery, as he’s the physician of the angels.

Samael: About 50% of this blog is about Bonebutt so I’m not going to say anything except that he is a piece of work, lousy lazy archangel, stinking wino and obsessed with being “cool”

Azrael: In my dreams, the angels call Samael the “Red Reaper” and Azrael, his much kinder counterpart, the “Blue Reaper.”  Azrael has two forms: a Grim Reaper form with glowing blue eyes like Discworld death, and this chill Middle Eastern Goth dude that is always reading a book with headphones on.  He is soft-spoken, introverted, calm, peaceful, and endless like the depths of the ocean.  For some reason he also likes baseball – as in he has taken me to baseball matches in dreams.  I wonder if it’s an Angel of Death thing because Samael just has this thing for baseball too.  Anyways, Azrael likes to stay out of the spotlight, in the shadow, and chill.  He won’t directly come up to you at a party or whatever but is very witty if you talk to him.  He’s a loner for sure, but one of the kindest angels ever.

Raguel: I’ve only seen him once in passing and got this overwhelming sense of peace and compassion.  He had long chestnut hair and was dressed in a gold robe with Roman sandals, carrying a Very Important Book.  I don’t know if it was the Book of Life or not, but he was in a hurry to get somewhere that was also probably Very Important.

Metatron: Best for last.  The grandpa of the angels.  I’ve known this dude since I was like seven.  I called him the President of the angels because he ran Heaven and drank a lot of tea and was always doing paperwork.  Ain’t nothing Metatron loves more than entertaining children’s precocious questions and tea.  Black tea, specifically, with cream and sugar.  He stirs it a lot when he’s doing Very Important Paperwork and sometimes accidentally spills it.  He is easily distracted as he gets so absorbed in the topic at hand.  He presides over angelic councils and I swear he’s the only one that can make Samael behave, or at least shut up for a period of five minutes max.  Also for some reason to me he looks like Elrond.  Like circlet, receding hairline, everything.  I don’t know if that’s as weird as Raphael looking like Idris Elba but whatever.  He’s very good-humored and very much the elderly British gentleman – obsessed with genteel good manners, likes gardening and formalities, and above all, order.  He can get flustered easily but if he is serious about gaining control of situation, AIN’T NOTHING STANDING IN HIS WAY.

I’ve met lots of other angels in dreams but these are the archangels I know best.  Heaven is like one big bureaucracy, whereas Hell is kinda like if society collapsed into this endless apocalyptic orgy.  I still don’t know which place I like better.