What are angels and archangels, and do they really have wings?

Do angels really have wings? 

I am often asked this question.  It makes sense that we would be curious about this given the many ways in which angels 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.


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What are angels and archangels?

In general terms, angels 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, the Book of Mormon, the Qur’an, and in many other religious philosophies (e.g., Bahá’í, Zoroastrianism).

The study of angels is called “angelology.”  Although there are believed to be many different categories of angels (e.g., cherubim, seraphim), two of the most commonly referred to types are angels and archangels

There are believed to be hundreds of archangels and billions of angels. Each angel and archangel can be in multiple locations at the same time. Therefore, you never need to worry that your requests or prayers aren’t being heard or that you will be taking an angel or archangel away from something that is “more important.” 

You can request help from angels and archangels for things like protection, guidance, love, and support.

There is believed to be a hierarchy of angels.  Within this hierarchy, archangels are believed to oversee and delegate the work of the angels, although archangels can and do have direct contact with humans. 

When you pray for assistance, it doesn’t matter who you direct your prayers to. You can pray to God, your guides, angels, archangels, or an ascended master (e.g., Jesus, Mother Mary, Buddha).  They work together. Your prayers will be heard. Depending on the content of your prayer, it will delegated to entity best suited to assist you.

NOTE:  In a future post, I will talk in more detail about the different types of angels (e.g., cherubim, seraphim) and the different types of roles angels are believed to play.  For example, Archangel Michael is depicted in the Christian, Judaic, and Islamic faiths as a protector, whereas the angel Daniel is believed to respond to requests for help regarding a marriage or committed relationship.


Do angels and archangels really have 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 times 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 move closer to God in Heaven.

A more recent explanation for why angels are believed to have wings is because those who are clairvoyant sometimes see angels and archangels as having wings.  When a clairvoyant sees these wings, they report that they come in varying colors, shapes, and sizes depending on the specific angel that is being viewed.  They also often report that the wings of archangels are 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.  For some clairvoyants, what is being seen around angels and archangels may actually be their very wide and vibrant auras that surround them.  The aura is simply a representation of the amount of energy that is emanating from the entity, and both angels and archangels are believed to produce a great deal of energy due to their close relationship with God/Source/Spirit/All That Is.  But other clairvoyants may actually be seeing wings for another reason . . .


Will you see wings if you see an angel or archangel?

What my guides have explained to me is that all spiritual entities are actually formless and shapeless. They are simply energy.  They often joke with me that they are “nebulous gas.”

However, in order to help us identify them, 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 have wings, then they will appear to have wings.  If not, then they will not appear to have wings.

This also means that how a spiritual entity appears to you may not be the same for someone else.  For example:

  • Let’s say that you read a book in which Archangel Michael was described as having large gold wings. If you liked this image, then it is likely that Archangel Michael will appear to you clairvoyantly as having large gold wings because he wants you to recognize him.
  • However, if someone else was told by their teacher or a metaphysical friend that Archangel Michael usually appears surrounded by an indigo light, then this is how he will be perceived by them clairvoyantly.

Both of these individuals are accurately perceiving Archangel Michael . . . just in different ways because each entity will appear in a form that is recognizable to you.


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.  They will be present whenever we call on them, and they repeatedly tell me that they want us to call on them more often.  However, due to the Law of Free Will, they can’t help unless you ask.  So ask!




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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.