What Are Angels and Archangels and Do They Really Have Wings?

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
Angel with wings against a blue sky
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Angels with wings against a blue sky

Do angels and archangels really have wings? 

I am often asked this question.  It makes sense that we would be curious about this given the many different ways in which angels and archangels are depicted in artwork and in the media.

Unfortunately, as is the case with so many topics in the field of metaphysics, the answer to this questions will vary depending on who you ask.

What are angels and archangels?

In general terms, angels and archangels are spiritual beings that are often described as “a piece of God” or “messengers of God.”  Their existence is referenced in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Qur’an, and in many other religious philosophies and texts (e.g., Bahá’í, Zoroastrianism).

Categories of angels and their responsibilities

The study of angels is called “angelology.”  There are believed to be many different categories of angels (e.g., cherubim, seraphim), with each type of angel having different roles or responsibilities.

The two most commonly referred to types are archangels and angels:

  • Archangels: These entities are believed to oversee and delegate the work of the angels. They are believed to be closest to God/Source/Spirit. The most commonly referred to archangels in the metaphysical community are Michael, Gabriel (or Gabrielle), Raphael, and Uriel.
  • Angels: These entities carry out whatever is requested of them by the archangels. They are believed to directly interact with humanity more often than other categories.

This type of hierarchy is very common on the other side. Even though one category might delegate to another group, no entity is seen as “better than” or “less than” another. They simply are fulfilling different roles with different responsibilities.

How many angels and archangels are there?

There are believed to be hundreds of archangels and billions of angels. If more are needed, God will simply create more.

Each angel and archangel can be in multiple locations at the same time. Because there are so many angel and archangels:

  • You never need to worry that angels or archangels are so busy that your requests or prayers aren’t being heard.
  • You never need to worry that you will be taking an angel or archangel away from something that is “more important.”  Each of us is important to them!

Historical depiction of angels and archangels with wings

In artwork, angels are often depicted as having wings, even though within the Bible only cherubim and seraphim were ever described as having wings. 

Why were angels and archangels originally given wings in many pictures?  The most common theory is that within the Bible, angels are described as “flying.”  Given the time period in history when the Bible was written, the only way for something to fly would be to have wings.

Once one artist depicted angels and archangels as having wings, it is not surprising that other artists replicated this interpretation of “flying.”  It is also believed that this artistic trend “took” because having wings and having the ability to fly set angels and archangels apart from other spiritual entities. It conveyed the idea that angels and archangels were special, in part, because they had the ability to fly into Heaven and be closer to God.

More current understanding of whether angels and archangels really do have wings

A more recent explanation for why angels are believed to have wings is because some psychics who are clairvoyant see angels and archangels as having wings. 

The “wings” that they see may appear in varying colors, shapes, and sizes depending on the specific angel or archangel that is being viewed.  For those who see wings, they frequently report that the wings of archangels as larger and brighter than the wings of angels.

However, it is commonly believed within the field of metaphysics (and actually within most religions) that angels and archangels actually do not have wings.  Although not all clairvoyants would agree, many now believe that what is clairvoyantly being seen around angels and archangels may actually be their very wide and vibrant auras. 

Auras are energy fields that can be seen clairvoyantly around anything. The size of the aura is proportionate to the amount of energy present. For example, plants have auras, but they are relatively small or narrow compared to the aura that is around a human being.

Spiritual entities also have auras. Both angels and archangels are believed to produce a great deal of energy due to their close relationship with God/Source/Spirit. For this reason, the aura around a human being is much smaller than the aura around a spiritual entity. Therefore, the “wings” may actually be the angel’s or archangel’s very wide aura.

Will you see wings if you are clairvoyant?

As stated previously, some clairvoyants do see wings, but others don’t. What my guides have explained to me is that there may be a reason why some psychics will see wings and some will not.

All spiritual entities are simply energy. They are formless and shapeless. My guides and angels often joke with me that they are “nebulous gas.”

However, in order to help us identify which entity is present and wants to communicate with us, all entities (e.g., angels, archangels, guides, deceased loved ones) will assume a form that is recognizable to you

Therefore, if you believe that angels and/or archangels have wings, then they will appear to have wings.  If you do not believe that they have wings, then they will not appear to have wings.

In order to reduce your confusion, they often will rely on what you have learned or believe. In other words, they will assume whatever shape, appearance, color, etc., increases the chances that you will recognize them.

For example:

  • Let’s say that you read a book in which Archangel Michael was described as having large golden wings. If you liked this image, then it is likely that Archangel Michael will appear to you clairvoyantly as having large golden wings. He does this because he wants you to recognize him.
  • However, let’s say someone else was told by their teacher or a metaphysical friend that Archangel Michael usually appears surrounded by an indigo light but doesn’t have wings. Then, this is how he might be perceived by them clairvoyantly.

Both of these individuals are accurately perceiving Archangel Michael. However, their clairvoyant images are different, and that’s OK!

Each entity will appear in a form that is recognizable to you. Additionally, once an entity chooses an appearance, this will seldom change. If they did choose a different shape, color, etc., then the psychic might not recognize who they are. The entity doesn’t want to cause confusion. Therefore, they will almost always be consistent.

How do you ask for help from angels and archangels?

NOTE: For more information about prayer and asking for assistance, see Anne’s blog post What Is Prayer, How to Pray, Why Some Prayers Aren’t Answered, and Suggested Prayers for Protection and Guidance.

When you pray for assistance, it doesn’t matter which entity you direct your prayers to. You can pray to God, your guides, angels, archangels, or an ascended master (e.g., Jesus, Mother Mary, Buddha).  All spiritual entities work together. If your request is better answered by another entity, it will automatically be redirected.

It also doesn’t matter how you ask. Just ask! You can use a formal prayer or you can just talk to them as you would talk to a friend. Your prayers will always be heard regardless of how you pray.

Asking angels and archangels for help

Regardless of whether you believe that angels and archangels have wings, be sure to ask for angelic help or support whenever you need it. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Angels, archangels, and your guides will be present whenever you call on them. They repeatedly tell me that they want us to call on them more often. 
  • Angels and archangels are particularly focused on providing you with love, support, and protection.
  • However, it is very helpful to understand that all spiritual entities have some limitations regarding which prayers can be answered. They can always provide you with love and support. They cannot answer a prayer that would in some way violate what you have written into your life script. This is why some people feel that prayers aren’t always answered.
  • But still ask! We never know when they can or cannot answer a specific request. “Miracles” can happen, but we have to ask!
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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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