by Geoffrey Hodson
Geoffrey Hodson’s books are welcome books for they bring messages of gentle service and good will to men. This book from his pen shows us a new and interesting path to usefulness. It deals in an intimate way with our invisible friends, the angels and nature spirits. The writer assures us that the angelic hosts are our fellow citizens on this planet and eagerly await our recognition. We have only to acknowledge them and they will respond and hold sensible communion with us.
I know of no more welcome message than this — that we can gain
cognizance of an invisible, teeming world of vitif and friendly beings who only
wait our bidding to bring healing and radiance into our lives. Surely these are
tidings of great joy.
The author’s ability to contact and study the angelic kingdom should not be regarded as uncanny, for this power is but a special development of a faculty common to all who possess a coherent spiritual life.
As we might expect, the angelic co-operation promised is dependent upon ourselves. We must open the door by love and service. Love is still the greatest thing in the world.
This book cannot fail to exalt the mind and satisfy the spirit.
The idea that I wish to expound in this booklet is that cooperation between angelic beings and men will play an important part in the development of the new race which is now appearing in the world, and that even now it is an actual possibility.
Already the practical help of angelic intelligences, and of various orders of the spirits of nature, is available in all work which is designed and performed for the purpose of helping others and of serving the world.
As Christians, we have been brought up to think of angels as messengers who come from God to man only on very important occasions, and who are, normally, separated from man and invisible to him. While I wish to retain this conception, I also wish to extend it, and to say that the angels are always with us; that they not only come to us on important occasions, but are always within our reach.
Even before birth, angels guard the mother and guide the building of the growing form within her womb. At the moment of birth, angels stand beside the bed, helping mother and child, so that the new life may begin under the highest and most favorable auspices. Throughout the whole of our lives we are blessed by angelic guidance and guardianship; and angelic hands receive us when we pass through the portals of death. With rare exceptions, we are unconscious of this ministry of love and service, but under certain conditions this angelic companionship may become known to us. The veil which hides the angels from our sight may be drawn aside, the scales may fall from our eyes and we may see.
In order that we may understand and eventually provide these conditions, it is essential that we should possess knowledge of our own inner constitution, and of the purpose behind the existence of the human and angelic branches of the family of God. Let us, therefore, define the terms “man” and “angel.” By “man” we mean a divine and immortal being who uses a material and mortal body, in and through which to work and to grow. The purpose of his life in this body is simply that he may grow, for, as a result of the experience which he gains through it, he will ultimately reach perfection. In other words, the reason for his existence here is that he may become perfect, even as his Father heaven is perfect. All the sorrows, the joys, the experiences of life are designed to lead him to this goal of ultimate perfection.
The angels are also evolving beings who are growing towards a standard of perfection. They are our fellow citizens upon this planet and in this solar system. We may think of them as our less material brethren, born of the same Parent, divine in their origin as we are divine, and traveling towards the same goal, which is union with God and perfect manifestation of divine attributes. When Jacob, at Bethel, dreamed of a ladder from earth to heaven, and the angels of God descending and ascending thereon, he had a true vision of the angelic evolution.
Angels differ from ourselves in many characteristics, the chief of which is that they do not have a physical body, and are therefore, normally, invisible to us. The matter of which their bodies are formed is more subtle than that which forms our own. Its vibrations are beyond the visible spectrum, and therefore our eyes cannot respond to them. We have other eyes, however, with which it is possible for us to see them the eyes of the soul. If we will but open our inner eyes, our angel companions will become visible to us, and we shall see them face to face, for they are everywhere present; the air about us is full of unseen beings of many races and degrees.
The various kingdoms of Nature are their field of evolution. We find them in the woods, by the flowers of the meadow and the garden, in water, in air, in fire, in earth, as well as associated with the metals and jewels of the mineral kingdom. Wherever the divine life is manifest, there are Gods faerie children, the nature-spirits, and their elder brethren, the angels, who are shining and beautiful embodiments of His life.
The legends regarding the existence of fairies, brownies, and pixies, of gnomes or spirits of the earth, of undines or spirits of the water, of salamanders or spirits of the fire, of sylphs or spirits of the air, and of the naiads and dryads of the woods, are all founded upon truth. All these are much more than the imaginary characters of fairy tales and the dwellers in poetic realms of childhood’s fancy; they are actual realities, younger members of the angelic kingdom, making the great pilgrimage of life` side by side with ourselves.
What are they like? Although they have no physical body, they certainly have a bodily existence. Their forms, however, are creations of light, or rather, of material which is self luminous, for every atom of their bodies, as also of the world in which they dwell, is a glowing particle of light. The form they use closely resembles our own; is, in fact, built upon the same model as the human form. Fairies and angels generally appear as very beautiful, ethereal human beings. Their faces, however, wear an expression which is definitely nonhuman, for they are stamped with an impression of dynamic energy, of vividness of consciousness and life, with a certain remarkable beauty, and an “other-worldliness” which is rarely seen among men. For these reasons the peoples of the East have always called them “devas,” which means “shining ones.”
If a modern scientist could capture, and apply electromagnetic tests to a fairy or an angel, he would find him to be very highly radioactive. While there is no likelihood whatever of such an event in the immediate future, there is good reason to believe that the angels will, and even do, voluntarily enter the laboratories and studies of men, in order to guide and inspire research into those hidden forces of nature, concerning which their knowledge is so vast. When men learn to recognize their presence, and to avail themselves of their good will, new and hitherto unsuspected sources of knowledge and of power will be revealed.
The appearance of the angels is always remarkable to human vision, on account of the continual play of energy in and through their bodies and their glowing auras. They may be thought of as agents for, or even engineers of, the fundamental forces of nature. The powers which they control and manipulate are continually radiating from them, producing, as they flow, a continuous appearance of miniature “northern lights.”
Distinct force centers, vortices, and certain clearly defined lines of force are visible in their bodies; and in the auric discharge definite forms are produced, which sometimes suggest a crown upon the head or outspread wings of brilliant and ever-changing hues. The auric wings, however, are not used for flight, for angels move swiftly through the air at will, with a graceful, floating motion, and need no wings to carry them. The old painters and writers, who seem to have caught glimpses of them, mistook these flowing forces for their clothing and their wings, and so depicted them as winged men and women, robed in human dress, and even gave them feathers in their wings!
As their bodies are formed of light, every variation in the flow of force produces a change of color. A change of consciousness is instantly visible, objectively, as a change in the shape and color of their shining auras. An outpouring of affection, for example, suffuses them with a crimson glow, while, in addition, a vivid stream of roseate love-force flows out towards the object of their affection. Activity of thought appears as a rush of yellow light and power from the head, so that they frequently appear as if crowned with a shining halo of light a crown of gold which is their thought, set with many jewels, each jewel an idea.
All the phenomena of consciousness which we term subjective, those of emotion and thought, are to them objective, so that they see thought processes, emotions, and aspirations as external and material phenomena, for they live in the worlds of thought, feeling; and spiritual intuition. Their interchange of thought is carried on by means of color, light, and symbol, rather than by speech. Indeed, the angels have a color language of their own, which is very beautiful to “watch.”
Wonderfully beautiful as they appear to our sight, their most striking characteristic appeals rather to the mind and heart; it is their perfect unity with God. Their lives and their actions are based upon this fundamental unity. We forget that we are divine in origin, that we are one with God. Separateness, selfishness, cruelty, and hate appear amongst us because of that forgetfulness. We experience bereavement and feel lonely, not knowing, as the angels do, that there can be no real loneliness and no separation in a universe which is filled with God’s life, sustained by His unfailing love, and peopled by the countless myriads of His children in the many kingdoms of His manifested worlds.
The angels live in the continual knowledge of these facts and in unbroken realization of their unity with God. According to their level of evolution-and there are many degrees-they are perfect embodiments of the divine will, wisdom, and intelligence. Immortal, they live, throughout the centuries of their long pilgrimage, in perfect accord with the one Source of their life and being. One with God, one with each other, one with all life, their lives are full of joy; for they are entirely oblivious of all the divisions and separations with which we surround ourselves, and which are the potent sources of all our sufferings.
The existence of angelic beings is more widely recognized in the East than in the West. The religions of the East contain much information about their life and their activities, their methods of growth, their many types and orders, and their universal existence. In the Christian religion we are taught that there are nine orders of angels called, severally, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Cherubim, Seraphim, Virtues, Angels, and Archangels. To each of these orders certain qualities and activities are assigned.
The Cherubim are those which excel in the splendor of knowledge, the Seraphim those most ardent in divine love, and the Thrones those which contemplate the glory and equity of the divine judgments. Hence, the Cherubim enlighten with wisdom; the Seraphim inspire with love; the Thrones teach men to rule with judgment. Dominions are supposed to regulate the activities and duties of the angels; the Principalities preside over peoples and provinces, and serve as great angelic rulers of the nations of the world; Powers are a check on evil spirits; Virtues have the gift of working miracles; and Archangels are sent as messengers in matters of high importance, as were Gabriel and Raphael.
In nearly all the Biblical accounts of men’s visions of God, He is described as transcendent in glory and surrounded by countless multitudes of His holy angels. Two passages which illustrate this are those describing the visions of Daniel in the Old, and of St. John in the New Testaments. Daniel says: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, Whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.” (Dan. VII. 9, 10.) St. John says: “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” (Rev. V. 11.)
How wonderful, too, must have been the experience of Jacob at Bethel, when he saw “a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it;” and when he returned from Padanaram “the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is God’s host,’ and he called the name of that place “Mahanaim,” or two hosts. (Gen. XXVIII. 12; Gen. XXXII. 2.)
Elisha’s servant was indeed illumined when “the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings VI. 17.)
In the New Testament we read again and again of the holy angels. It was foretold, for example, that the reappearance of our Lord upon earth was to be proclaimed with “the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God.” (1 Thess. IV. 16.)
A multitude of the heavenly host chanted the honors of His birth over the plains of Bethlehem. (St. Luke XI. -14.) When in conflict with the devil in the wilderness, “the angels came and ministered unto Hire” (St. Matt. IV. 11), and during His great agony in Gethsemane “there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (St. Luke XXII. 43). Angels watched over His tomb; “the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it,” at His resurrection (St. Matt. XXVIII. 2), and legions of the blessed spirits ascended with Him on His return to His heavenly glory.
The holy apostles were more than once succored in their time of need, and were even released from prison, by the angels of the Lord.
In the minds of earnest Christians there should, therefore, be no doubt whatever regarding the actual existence and power of the angelic hierarchy. Not only does the Bible tell of them, but they have been the subject of deep study by many learned Biblical scholars.
In Theosophy, much of this knowledge concerning angels is developed into a system, and one may now study the angelic kingdom in the same way as one studies a branch of natural history. [Vide “The Hidden Side of Things,” by C. W. Leadbeater, and the author’s books upon the subject.] If we seek to read and to interpret, with the key which Theosophy places in our hands, the records of the great civilizations of the past, we shall find that communion and cooperation between angels and men formed one of the basic principles upon which they were built.
The many Gods of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome were neither the legendary characters of ancient myths, nor anthropomorphic expressions of natural forces; they were veritable existences who frequently became visible and audible to the people of those days. They were, in fact, members of the angelic hosts.
In ancient Greece, every household had its God, every profession its presiding deity. Artists invoked their aid; poets prayed for the assistance of the Muses; cities had their Gods or Goddesses, and Pallas Athene was the angelic ruler and presiding genius of “the glory that was Greece.” Thus it was in those old days that in every department of human life a close communion was established between the human and angelic kingdoms of nature. The angels were the source of much of the inspiration for the peerless perfection of Greek and Roman art. They helped to build the great and splendid civilizations of India, Egypt, and Persia, as also of those nations which first appear upon the stage of Europe, when the curtain rises upon the shadowy scenes recorded by our earliest historians.
As history ever repeats itself, we may safely expect that, in the cycle of human life that is now opening, angels will once more walk and work with men. Already that spirit of unity and brotherhood which, despite our apparent separateness, is silently but steadily influencing our lives and times, is drawing together the human and angelic branches of the family of God. The labors of birth are surely drawing to a close. Mother Earth is even now being delivered of her youngest child; the new race is appearing, and the new civilization being built. No single continent will nurture the growing child, for the new race will people the whole earth. The birth and dwelling place of the children of the coming age will be of little moment, for they will be citizens of the world. Their glowing eyes will pierce the differences of color and of race, for, in their hearts, they will know mankind as one.
The time is ripe, therefore, to re-establish on earth the brotherhood of angels and of men. It is well that we should labor in this cause. Let us, then, consider the means whereby this may best be done.
Men imbued with profoundly altruistic motives must be the pioneers in this important work. The ideal of service must become the ruling motive of the lives of those who would safely invoke the powerful forces of nature, and their appropriate intelligences, in the service of the world. Without this essential but unfailing safeguard, failure is certain; for both moral and physical danger threatens those who violate the sanctuaries of Nature for purposes of selfish gain. Into this grave danger our ancient forebears fell; the ruins of their cities are the silent witnesses of their transgression. Silent only to those whose ears are deaf; eloquent, indeed, to those who have ears to hear!
Let us hear then, and, hearing, obey, that we may avoid the ruin into which they fell. All those who are engaged in work for the amelioration of human conditions, in whatsoever department of life, may safely invoke the aid of the mighty races of the angelic hosts. An increase in vitality, virility, and effectiveness, beyond all human commensuration, will most certainly result from this invocation. The work will become almost infinitely far-reaching, for it will be performed in spiritual, mental, and moral regions, as well as in the purely physical world, and we shall have the angels as agents and co-workers there to inspire and strengthen all our efforts by their wisdom and their resistless power and their love. This earth of ours is but a shadow of the reality of those deeper realms of existence wherein the eternal verities find their full expression, unsullied by the materiality of this earthly plane.
We have been placed in these terrestrial realms to work and to evolve, and, whilst we remain, it is here that our labors must be performed. We may, however, enormously increase their effectiveness and the rapidity of our own growth by linking ourselves with the powers and presences of the inner worlds, which, though invisible, are all about us. Our eyes will gradually be opened to the light of those worlds, and their denizens will lend us their aid and their guidance in the long pilgrimage which we have undertaken. And, as I have said, they will add their strength and their knowledge to our efforts to help less fortunate brethren, to relieve suffering, and to heal disease.
Everywhere about us there are ignorance, suffering, and disease. Everywhere, also, there is appearing a growing idealism. Increasing numbers of men and women are devoting themselves to the task of dispelling ignorance and of alleviating pain, and to the solution of the many pressing problems of social reform. These servers, in every walk of life, may rightly demand, and will certainly obtain, the powerful aid of the angelic hosts.
A few examples will suffice to illustrate the methods by which this may be achieved. If we desire to help one who is ill-and who does not?-what more magnificent helpers could we have than these resplendent “shining ones”? In all work of healing we shall find them the most valuable allies and assistants, for angels are the embodiments of life. Intensely vital in their nature, their very presence charges their surroundings with life and power.
To heal the sick, our method of procedure would be, first to pray that the soul of the suffering one be illumined with the light of wisdom; for then he may truly understand the reason for his ill health, may recognize pain as the voice of Nature, teaching him Her laws, and, finally, may determine to correct the errors of thought and action by which the suffering was produced.
If such be our temperament, we may address our healing prayers to our Lord Christ, the great Healer of Men, and, with absolute faith, ask for His blessing and for the descent of His healing power upon the suffering one. The answer may be spiritual rather than physical, or it may be both, but certainly it will never fail to come. We may then call, mentally, upon the healing angels for their strong aid, praying them, also, to serve as channels for His healing power, and to encompass, and remain with, the sufferer until he is whole, or has entered into the fuller life, “as may be most expedient for him.
The response is absolutely certain; it will never fail if the mind be steady and the heart be pure and full of love. I, personally, have been a witness of many cases of healing by this spiritual method. It is the method adopted by the church, and by all spiritual healers throughout the ages, though few in our times, even within the church itself, recognize the presence of the angel messengers of life and health. Valuable as the work of the spiritual and mental healer already is, far greater and more permanent results may be obtained by conscious co-operation with the angels. By regular practice, a personal knowledge of their presence, and of the tremendous forces of which they are the agents and embodiments, will most surely be obtained.
If we see a person depressed, and we wish, with all our heart, to drive away the dark cloud and to see the light of happiness shine out in him once more, we may think first of courage and joy, invoking these qualities from within the sufferer. We may will very strongly that the dark cloud shall he removed and be replaced by joy. Then we may invoke the angels of light and power to charge him with their radiant energy until he is full of light and happiness; and to remain after we have ceased our prayers, sweeping away depression, and thereby enabling the light of his own divinity to shine through him once more. In this way the sufferer may be filled with courage, peace, and joy.
Again, supposing we are aware that in a city, a district, a house, or a room, there are influences that we wish to drive away, an atmosphere to be made harmonious and pure. We can expel all evil influences and presences by the force of our own will, and, by the aid of the angels, charge the atmosphere with living light and power. Afterwards, by their presence, they will guard the place and maintain the purity and harmony which have been produced. The dark areas of vice, disease, and poverty which sully so many of our cities may be cleansed, and even permanently purified, by continuous endeavor along these lines.
Group meditation is always a most effective way of achieving these ends. Those who are one-pointed, and united in their aspiration to serve by these methods, may well form groups for this special purpose. Seated in a circle, they should direct their thoughts to harmony and unity, until they feel themselves and their angel co-workers to be one. Then the leader may invoke the power and blessing of the Lord of Love, using such words as these:
“0 Holy Lord o f Love, Teacher of angels and of men,
We invoke Thy mighty power in all its splendor,
Thy undying love in all its potency,
Thy infinite wisdom in all it perfection,
That they may flow through us in a resistless flood into this place (or person).
Before the living stream of Thy resistless power all darkness shall melt away; the hearts of all men shall he changed, and they shall seek and find the way of light. AMEN.”
A period of silence and meditation should follow this prayer, and, as His glorious power descends, the group should project it, with all the force and concentration of their united wills, upon the place or person chosen as the recipient of their aid. Then the angel members of the group may be directed to act as bearers and conservers of the power, and to labor in the cause for which it was invoked.
As the power available to those who know how to call it forth is boundless, and as the angels exist in countless hosts, there is no limit to the number of causes or of people who can be helped continually by this means. If our hearts are open to the sufferings of men, and we practice co-operation with each other and with the angel hosts, we shall soon become adepts at this work, thereby widely increasing the range, of our activities and our usefulness in the world. We may, for example, undertake to help all the patients in a hospital or nursing home, the inmates of a prison, or the staff and patients in an asylum. Daily we may pour the power of our prayers into these places, invoking a host of “shining ones” to enter them and drive away the atmosphere of suffering and depression, and to exorcise the powers of darkness and disease. The angels will answer in their thousands, and, as we work regularly with them, as is already being done by certain groups, they will become an absolute reality to us; we shall discover, with growing joy and wonder, that a great power is in our hands, enabling us to become radiating centers of spiritual life and blessing in the world.
It is conceivable that the reform movements of the future will use the dual method of physical activity, legislation, and altruistic service, on the one hand, allied to spiritual endeavor along these or similar lines, on the other. If groups of people would meet together regularly to meditate upon, and work by the methods indicated for such ideals as international brotherhood, world peace, the women’s movement, prison reform, the abolition of poverty, slums, the white slave traffic, the vivisection of animals, very quickly these great evils would disappear and eventually war would be banished from the earth. Such groups would become sources of power to all movements working for these and other ideals, and the angel co-workers would take that power on its mission of quickening reform, of spreading happiness, tranquility, and peace upon earth. Each individual worker would become a center of force, a radiant messenger of peace, and a healer of his fellow men.
There are many who long to serve these splendid causes, but feel themselves to be denied this happiness by physical claims and disabilities. Here, however, is a field in which all can work. If every Christian would use the power entrusted to him as a member of Christ’s Church, would make himself a center of peace, good will, and angelic co-operation in his own environment, and would gather with his brethren to radiate the peace and blessing of his Lord upon the world, the hearts and minds of men would be powerfully affected, and the many evils which have their roots therein would disappear. The same is true of members of all the many faiths, for His power inspires and supports them all.
And so also with every good cause; there is no department of human suffering for which we may not properly call upon God’s mighty power and the presence of His angel hosts. Is not this the truest method of reform? Do not disease and war, and indeed every other evil, arise first in the minds and hearts of men? So let us approach these problems at their source, dealing thus with the gravest evils of the world, working to abolish them, not alone by legislation and social service, but by cleansing and quickening our own hearts and the hearts of all men, so that these evils may be rapidly outgrown.
It is not my purpose to develop this subject further, for I have written fully of it elsewhere. [Vide the author’s “The Brotherhood of Angels and of Men,” and “The Angel Hosts.”] Practice will quickly demonstrate the truth of my words. Constructive imagination will enable the reader to apply these ancient teachings to all the evils of the world. All who will use these methods will most certainly find a new joy coming into their lives, an added power and happiness, and a growing effectiveness in all their undertakings. They will cease to be dependent upon external sources of pleasure, for they will have found peace and happiness within, and the knowledge wherewith to lead others to that happy land which, by service and angelic co-operation, they themselves have found. Then, indeed, will they be ready to “enter into the joy of their Lord.”
The time will surely come when it may be said, as of old, “angels walked with men,” for the blending of angelic and human life and consciousness is part of the plan for the coming age. The children of the new race will see and recognize their fairy and angel companions; will play and work with them instinctively. Let no one seek to dull their clearer vision by denial of the fairer world and its inhabitants which their young eyes can see. Rather let the elders train themselves to see and feel, with them, the beauties and the joys that lie outside the range of vision of the older race.
A great and overwhelming flood of new life is already flowing over all the earth. Upon its bosom the leaders of the coming age will ride, masters of its power, embodiments of its life and joy. Old forms will be swept away by this resistless tide; new forms, of surpassing loveliness, will then appear; for beauty will be the single standard of excellence and wisdom the only guide. Fair cities will arise, godlike races of men appear, and angels will share with them the labors of the coming day.
“Almighty and everlasting God, with all our hearts we praise Thee for the great glory of Thy most holy Angels; we thank Thee for their wonderful wisdom, their supreme strength, their radiant beauty, and, as their resistless power is used always and utterly in Thy service, so may we, following zealously their resplendent example, devote ourselves wholly to the helping of our brethren, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” [Collect for St. Michael and All Angels, from the Liberal Catholic Liturgy.]