Nov 20, 2013

Michelmas and Angelic times

"The Assumption of the Virgin" , by Francesco  Botticini
Michelmas, also called Feast of Saint Michael  and  All Angels ( which, to me at least, is the most  befitting name actually ) is Christian holiday celebrated on 29th of September ( according to Gregorian calendar )  or 21st of November ( according to Julian calendar ) .  The holiday commemorates Angels,   all the hierarchies and all the Angels, lead by St Michael the Archangel, which had defeated and hurled down the Lucifer from Heaven, after the Great war in Heavens. 

It’s the ever present Angels, and their sincere love and guidance and help the provide to human race which is celebrated on this day.   Angels lack the physical body,   because they are made  from different, let’s say more subtle matter,  and they can travel distances nearly inconceivable to human mind in matters of 100th parts of second, hence why they are often depicted with wings. They’ve also most often appeared with wings to human beings.   Word Angel, comes from Greek “angelos” which means messenger. 

Angelic  hierarchy

Angels had in old days been worshiped as Deities, but the  Council in Laodicea circa AD 320th  anathemized and banned such practice among Christians .  Instead, Christians established proper way  to pay respect to them, address them and so on.   Angels have also been divided  into categories,  called spheres, triads or Hierarchies, each of which containing there orders or choirs of Angels.  Such division was purposed by Pseudo-Dionysius Aeropagite, [1] and the  orders/choirs are as follow  ( from highest to the lowest , or in descending order ):

·         Seraphim – six winged guardians  of G’d’s Throne, continuously praising the Lord, singing : “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole Earth is full of his glory!”

·         Cherub – Four-faced angels, with faces of human, ox , lion and an Eagle. They guard the way to the Three of Life ( in Garden of Eden ) and G’d’s throne. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Satan was Cherub.

·         Thrones – Living symbols of G’d’s justice and authority, which appear utmost peculiar, in form of “wheel-within-a-wheel” whose rims are covered with thousands of eyes. They appear in chariot  vision of Ezekiel

·         Dominions – extremely beautiful,  anthropomorphous  angels, who regulate duties of lower angels and preside over nations.

·         Virtues – angelic choir that stands behind Thrones  ( also called Wheels )  ,  monitor and control  the movements of the heavenly bodies to ensure the order in the cosmos

·         Powers – Also called authorities collaborate with Principalities, also called Rulers, and are guardians of consciousness and   history  . They oversee the distribution of power among human beings ( hence the name ) and are extremely loyal.

·         Principalities – Angels with scepters and crown, they carry out the orders of the Dominion, and bestow blessings on the material world. They also inspire people on great acts and discoveries in Arts  and Science, they entice ideas and creativity in humans.

·         Archangels – Called Chief angels, are guardian angels of countries and nations  and they also rule Angels. Traditionally Judaic and Christian sources see that there are seven  Archangels , four  of which are sometimes mentioned as “major”, namely Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.

·         Angels – Messengers of G’d, tightly connected and concerned about living things. There are many of them, and  they are what people normally thing of when the word “angel” is mentioned.

Seven Archangels

Seven Archangels is  part of old tradition in Abrahamic religions of grouping Seven Archangels together. The first mention of Seven Archangels is held to be the  one from non-canonical and apocryphal “book of Enoch” , although some believe that  the Seven Angels for the  “Revelations” in Bible are the Seven Archangels: 

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them   [2]

Pope Saint Gregory I mentions Seven Archangels as : Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel/Anael, Simiel, Orphiel and Ragiel.  Catholic church mentions only three Archangels , being the first three listed.

In Orthodox Christian tradition, Seven Archangels are as follow:  Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jegudiel and Raguel. 

Seven Archangels amulets, 1. and 2. seven vowels variations, 3. classic Seven Archangels gnostic amulet, from   " Egyptian magic" by E.A. Wallas Budge  
Kabbalah speaks of ten Archangels ( according to the interpretations of Golden Dawn ) each correspondent to one of the Ten spheres on  Tree of Life, each presiding over one of the ten “orders” also   correspondent to one of the Ten spheres.  

At least four Archangels ( Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel  ) are associated with a planet, cardinal direction and element each, but these teachings are rarely, if ever seen as even remote part of Abrahamic religions, but rather spawn from the occultism and hermeticism.

This  ( Seven Archangels )  is one of the teachings remembered and reverenced  on Michaelmass. 

MIchelmass customs and traditions

·         Michaelmass is a day  which is in occult thought  believe to be highly prominent for works of Enochian magick, magick of blessings, healing and spiritual development and all kind of spiritual work

·         In Europe, particularly Western,  tradition associated with Michlemass  is Curfew, which was a symbolic  hinting the upcoming arrival of the winter. This was most often done by tolling the Church bell each night, in distinct number of strikes, until the Shrove Tuesday. It was also time of the year when household  fires were supposed to be doused .

·         In Serbia and Montenegro, Michaelmas is a “slava” ( lit. feast-day ) but unlike with other “slava” the wheat was not cooked, nor the special cake prepared,  nor had the wine been spilt, for these Slavic people believe “Angels have neither body nor blood” [3]

·         “A great custom in England was to dine on goose on Michaelmas . One reason for this was said to be that Queen  Elizabeth I was eating goose when news of the defeat of the Armada was brought to her. In celebration she said that  henceforth she would always eat goose on Michaelmas day . Others than followed her lead” [4] It’s no surprise knowing this, that one of the alternative names in UK for  the holiday was  Goose day.

·         It’s believed on Balkan peninsula that rising with the Sun on Michaelmas, and then staring into one own’  reflection in the mirror for a while served to prolong youth of the body, and promote longevity. In fact old folk say that If,  one sees image on St. Michael in the mirror, instead of their own, will  attain immortality*

·         There are many weather  divinations associated with Michelmass in UK.  For example : “If Michaelmas brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow”, or “A dark Michelmas, A light Christmas”

·         Eating goose on MIchelmas , was apparently  believed ( also in UK  ) to ensure a constant flow of wealth/money throughout the year , which  the following  example of  folk rhyme illustrate: “Eat a goose on MIchelmas da y, want not for money all the year” , or  “He who eats a goose on Michelmas day, shan’t  money lack or debts to pay”  [5]

·         Catching a  ( naturally ) falling leaf and making a wish,  on Michelmas,  is a popular tradition among European people.

·         It was customary in Eastern Europe to eat an apple in the morning on Michelmas, before anything else is consumed,  in order to signify how we  recall the sin of Adam and Eve, and thus indicate our devotion and humility  and servitude to G’d

·         Balkan peninsula folk believe anything  You find important, should be symbolically done 7 times, or asked for ( in prayer ) seven times on this day. Anything that brings us luck should also be done  7 times. If we wish to  be successful in something we must “re-enact” or mimic the positive outcome of the event in some manner  7 times on Michaelmas. [6]

Asking for help from St. Michael the Archangel

Michelmas is ideal day to petition St. Archangel Michael , particularly to deliver us from our own sins, and long standing, and persistent conditions, such as chronic illnesses, mental troubles, heavy and long standing crossings and so on.  I have written on how to  work with St. Michael   on here , before, so You could use that as an guideline to outline some kind of appropriate ritual .  There is also an interesting  spell circling around the net, much like a chain letter  and is called “Three day wishing spell”  which  asks for help from Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in making three of Your wishes come true.

Seven candles ritual

This is a folk ritual, I’ve seen done on Michaelmas, few times here, on Balkan peninsula. It’s simplicity itself, but  people seem to believe here it has great power.

One is required to light Seven white candles, or seven pure beeswax candles,  on Michelmas, and pray for seven things they need, or one urgent, serious and intricate issue. These things must never be pure whims, they have to be things the petitioner actually needs.  The candles were lined up so as to form a straight line, and lit from left to right. When each candle is lit, one of the Names of Archangels is uttered silently three times. Then the petitioner would light some Frankincense in the censer and  fumigate the area around the candles, three times clockwise. After this the incense would be placed behind the candles. After this Archangels were petitioned, and some people would  recite “Our Father” prayer before and after prayer to the Archangels.  After this the candles were left to burn all the way down, and the wax was disposed of either by burying them in Your own yard, or leaving them near some Church. There are people who would also throw them into river that runs towards East.  

Celestial incense

I’ve came up with the following formula to aid me in my spiritual works associated with Angels, but it also makes a very nice Uncrossing-Cleansing formula . It can be used in ritual work with Angels, and it can be used in conjunction with  Angel oil   .

·         Camphor resin
·         Powdered Bay Laurel leaf
·         Angelica root
·         Frankincense tears
·         OPTIONAL: Powdered lemon rinds or few drops of Essential oil to scentless talc base

And burn on charcoal blocks to honor the Angels ( and Archangels )  and get their  assistance in any matters where You may need their help.

*wether actual, corporeal immortality was what folk refer to with this, it’s hard to say, however, it’s seems to be rather  an “poetic” way to suggest aging extremely graciously, which meant looking decades Younger than one really is, and being extremely healthy

NOTES : This article  was composed and written by myself , hence If You wish to use any part of it elsewhere  online, feel free, but add credits: Shadow of Shadow's magick place, or  or a direct link to this post


[2] Retrieved from:
[3] acc. to writings in “Kalendar za Srecne Dane” ( lit. Calendar for the lucky days ) by “Jasna Jojic Pavlovski
[4] Retrieved from
[5] As under [4]
[6] As under [3]

IMAGE CREDITS: First image is from :   used for illustrative  purposes here without any ill will,
Second image is my own creation. The third image is from "Egyptian magic" by E.A. Wallas Budge, page 178th

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