Evolution of Angels
there was Animism which is believed to be the original religion of humankind.
It's belief was that spirits such as nature spirits, fairies, sprites, devas,
elves and other elementals
inhabit all things. It still exists today in many tribal societies and the
belief is growing among people in Western societies.
When people needed
a strong presence to watch over them, they turned to gods, goddesses, ancestors
and great spirit entities. Like Angels, they were charged to maintain
harmony in the universe and serve as messengers between heaven and earth.
In the polytheistic religions, such as the religion of the ancient Greeks, the
people worshipped a pantheon of male and female deities.
The Greeks also believed in personal guardian spirits,
known as their daimons. This was
an inferior deity or attending spirit and was assigned to each person. The
Romans called it their genius. Plato and
Socrates were two great philosophers who were inspired by their daimons.
The daimon was very much like our guardian Angels except for the fact that a
daimon could be classified as benevolent or malevolent, where as in the
Christian belief, we have guardian Angels and demons.
Angels as we
understand them in Western Christian society
had their origins
in the ancient Persian religion of
Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion during the Persian empires (559 BC to 651
AC) and was the most powerful world religion at the time of Jesus Christ.
It is one of the oldest monotheist religions and you can still find it being
practiced today, especially in Iran and India.
Angels were embraced by Christianity
like no religion before it, but the love of Angels came from the people and not
the church fathers. In the Middle Ages, there was an "Angel mania" with
countless sightings of Angels and saints. At this time there was a
great acceptance of the idea of “visions”, especially in England and France.
People obsessed by Angels would have countless visions of Angels appearing to
them and giving them advice. But people soon became disillusioned by all
the sightings along with the false sightings reported.
Today in the Christian countries of the West, people are again becoming more
conscious of Angels. They are exploring their spirituality and questioning
beliefs they were raised with. They are turning to a more loving and
accepting concept of religion and the thought of a "Higher Being" or "Light"
that watches over us all, regardless of religion or beliefs.
Many religions believe in Angels - Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism
and Islam all have their Angels and hierarchy. Although I acknowledge the
Angels from all the religions, focus will on the Judeo-Christian Angels and the
Dionysius Hierarchy of Angels.