Some of you may have noticed that this “Animal Communication” blog has quickly turned into a blog about all sorts of communication. Indeed, angel topics have become almost as common as animals! You can use many of the same techniques to communicate with pets, animal spirit guides and angels, so I just post the articles as they come to me.
For today, I have a very exciting announcement: the painting I commissioned back in February from visionary artist Deborah Justice is finally complete! Justice (she goes by her last name) has just finished the final protective coat before coast to coast shipment, but she sent me a jpeg with permission to share the image on my blog.
The painting itself resonates so much power, dynamism, mystery and compassion. Having worked closely with Raphael since writing my 1995 honors thesis on the role of Raphael in Milton’s Paradise Lost, I’m just blown away by how deeply Justice portrays the essence of Raphael. What began as a fun little experiment became an eight-month journey. Justice and the direction of her work have both transformed through her encounters with Raphael. (You can view the painting with some suggested Raphael meditations below.)
For those of you who think you may not have experienced connections with the angels, or if you feel skeptical about this whole topic, Raphael offers a gentle way to begin. In Paradise Lost, Milton draws upon the Apocryphal Book of Tobit’s tradition of Raphael as both healer and guide. God sends this Archangel to Eden to converse with Adam, dine with the first couple, and convey warnings about a potential Fall from Grace. Raphael proves himself a lively and engaging guest, relaying tales about the War in Heaven, philosophizing about differences between humans and angels, and talking about complex topics like telepathy, Ascension and merging of energies.
No, Milton does not always use these exact terms! As I’ve said before, he was a man ahead of his time, and he gets a bad rap in high school English classes as dreadfully boring. I sure thought so until I lucked into a Milton class taught by Professor Reid Barbour at UNC-Chapel Hill. Suddenly, Milton came alive. Yeah, he has issues with women, and yes, he can sound a bit pedantic, but John Milton lays it all out there. He’s one of the most educated and rational thinkers ever to live and record his experiences. That left brain filled itself with philosophy, science, politics, classical literature, astronomy, world travel, Italian, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He could debate with the best of them, and he often did.
But Milton also found ways to engage his spiritual side. He was not exactly a fundamentalist. On the contrary, many people viewed him as a dangerous heretic because he explored orthodox beliefs and put them to the test. He believed that “a cloistered virtue is no virtue at all,” arguing for the importance of free will, experimentation and observation. Unlike religions that insist on faith without reason or favor repression over choice, Milton argues that the strongest and truest faith comes through the rigors of scientific inquiry, engaging dialog, and experience. (He even references some of Galileo’s theories in Paradise Lost.) In this regard, Milton serves as a model for today’s group of highly educated, super-intelligent, critical thinkers who nonetheless feel called to spiritual pursuits. He embodies intensity from all angles, letting his own grit show through in hopes of grinding that grit into a pearl.
So what’s all this Milton praise got to do with Archangel Raphael? Well, in Paradise Lost, Milton follows the classical tradition of invoking the muse. At some points, “heavenly muse” seems to refer to the Holy Spirit, but throughout much of his epic poem, Milton calls upon Raphael as his muse and guide through tricky territory. Milton the poet lets Raphael the character explain controversial theology to Adam; however, I have long believed that Milton the person drew upon Raphael the Archangel as his true guide and sometimes inspiration in writing Paradise Lost.
Having worked closely with Raphael as a guide in healing and creative work, I notice so many uncanny similarities. A few hallmarks of Raphael:
1) Particularly helpful for people with visual problems. (Milton dictated Paradise Lost; he was completely blind when he wrote this incredibly erudite epic poem.)
2) Helpful in the process of “accommodation,” or “justifying the ways of God to man.” Traditionally, Raphael acts as the most social and “human-like” of the angels. Though still mysterious and different, he provides some of the gentlest and most “familiar” guidance of all the angels. (Milton the poet uses Raphael the character for translation tasks. It’s also clear in parts of the poem that Milton the man has no idea how he’s going to explain himself; he asks for help and then some other voice and influence takes over. That “voice” feels quite similar to the guidance and energy that intuitive healers routinely feel from Raphael.)
3) Raphael means “health of God” or “God heals.” Raphael always brings healing wherever he goes. (Though called Paradise Lost, this poem offers so many seeds of hope for humanity. In many cases, those seeds have just begun to sprout in the late 20th and early 21st century. In a 17th century text, Milton explores things like breatharianism, raw and living foods, digestion as a means to Ascension, alchemy as a physical and spiritual process, stewardship of the earth, Faith in the Age of Reason, communication with angels, man and woman’s role in the universe, the energy of love, numerology, and the evolution of our species. These are all concerns of Raphael and areas that he and his angel friends help support and nurture.)
4) Raphael specializes in helping people embrace ALL of their brains, gifts, and faith. As humans we have complex and sometimes contradictory experiences. Especially as we move faster and faster on evolutionary cycles, so many people hunger to believe, yet want to honor the rational side as well. For me, it took a brain injury to give my intuitive side its appropriate place in my life. I learned to value both rational and spiritual and to realize that these need not be either/or. As we move into a world of both-and, Raphael supports and inspires our journey.
So … without further preamble, I present to you Deborah Justice’s “Raphael and the Miracle” — before I have even received the original:
Raphael and The Miracle by Deborah Justice
I also invite you to try some communication experiments:
1) If you have never tried to connect with an angel before, or you have and it “hasn’t worked,” you can spend some time staring at the image. The Russian Orthodox church has long used icons as a means to deepen prayerful connection to saints. Eastern traditions use “yantra meditations” for similar effects of calming and focusing the mind. You can ponder Justice’s painting of Archangel Raphael as a bridge to help you develop your own connection.
2) Download a sound file created by author, teacher and vocalist Tom Kenyon. Tom has offered Raphael’s sounds as “a gift to the world in these troubled times.” These are copyrighted sounds so I cannot include the file on my blog, but please do check out this free download
along with Tom’s other amazing vocals. Since we all have different strengths, some people find auditory connections easier and deeper than visual ones. Just because one method doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean no
method will support your quest. Experiment and explore.
3) You can try a “synesthetic
” meditation by playing Tom Kenyon’s Raphael sounds while looking at “Raphael and The Miracle.” I’ve tried this multisensory experience and personally find it a potent lead-in to meditation. If you have trouble with your “monkey mind,” then sometimes including both sounds and visuals in your meditation allows you to transcend both.
4) Create your own lines of communication with Archangel Raphael by inviting him to support your healing journey, world offerings, poetry, painting, raw food transition
, or spiritual exploration. Such things are right up his alley, and Raphael takes a special interest in humanity at this time.
5) I invite you to share your experiences as comments, if you so desire. Throughout years of teaching classes, I’ve noticed that people benefit from one another’s stories. I created this blog in part as a means for diverse people to connect and honor each other in ways they may not have realized possible. So many clients and students feel isolated in their unusual experiences, synchronicities, challenges and intuitions. I intend this blog as a safe space for sharing and growing.
Peace and Many Blessings to you!
Contact artist Deborah Justice at justicegalactica @ earthlink dot net. She’s revamping her website, which I’ll include here when ready.
You might also enjoy this earlier post
on Synchronicity, as well as this one on Essence
, which helps in all communication endeavors.