In The Beginning
According to Judeo-Christian mythology, Lucifer fell to Earth after being defeated by Archangel Michael. The naughty angel, said to be consumed by pride and desire for the divine throne, landed on a blackberry bush. He cursed it, spat on it, stomped it with his hooves, and then urinated on it to show his utter disdain for the prickly bramble. In all, that fateful October 11th was a no good, very bad day for who would become God's archnemesis and humanity's fall guy for all eternity.
Early Christians loved this story so much, they decided to deem Lucifer's eviction from Heaven a holy day. To add salt to the fallen angel's wounds, the Christians named this holy day of October 11 “Michael’s Mass.” But when the first European countries made the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, Michael’s Mass--now "Michaelmas"--was moved up from October 11 to September 29, and European Christians still celebrate it to this day.
Dancing On The Head Of A Pin
But if you give just one angel his holy day, all the other angels are gonna start huffing and complaining. Thunder starts rumbling, lightning starts streaking, a village goes up in flames, and then nobody’s happy. Gabriel and Raphael were lucky enough, as they had stellar public relations with the humans. The two angels would be awarded their own feast days in the spring and autumn, respectively. Alongside Michael, that's only three angels, though, and we all know there’s a hell of a lot more angels than that, pardon my language.
What about Uriel? Oh wait, he had to get demoted to "fallen angel" by a salty, old pope before he could eke out a feast day. What about Iophiel, Yophiel and Jophiel? Hol' up, those are all the same angel--my bad. Despite being the angel of festivals and celebrations, she's stuck celebrating her feast at a corner table at Michael's feast on September 29. And don't forget Metatron! Or does lack of the suffix -el (“of god”) disqualify the tallest angel in Heaven from this angelic quest for recognition?
Even though not every archangel in Heaven has been granted a feast day, over the centuries, angel feasts began seriously piling up. Of course, the Church figured there was too much partying going on, so eventually Christians consolidated the holidays to celebrate them all on Michaelmas--a feast day that was built largely by the same quality PR that painted Archangel Michael as "The Most Beautiful and Beloved," "Master General of the Angelic Armies," "Prince of Heaven," and Heaven's resident badass.
Sympathy For "The Devil"
Unfortunately, being that divine badass involved Michael kicking his own twin brother out of Heaven, a story that may not be entirely accurate, according to Gabriel, Immanuel, Michael and Lucifer. The whole tale of Michael versus Lucifer suffered immensely as it spiraled down through the spiritual game of telephone some eternity ago, and to say the story is all just one big misunderstanding is an understatement. The "fight" between the twins, as it were, was really more a tiff than a war. It was essentially the equivalent of strongly worded text messages between Michael and Lucifer, whom I've address as "Helel" for some time now and will do so from this point forward.
Why do I call Lucifer "Helel?" Because he asked me to, that’s why. It’s the least I can do for the eldest archangel, who simply wanted to return Creation to the peaceful paradise it was before troublesome humans arrived. Helel is written into humanity’s memory as the bad guy only because he called us out for the petulant, ungrateful children we can often be.
And despite all of the angelic roles he could have in Heaven, Helel chose to be a divine physician that nurses us back to health after life has put us through a grinder. After an arduous life journey that spits our souls out in too many pieces to count, some of us need a little extra TLC. We can't go Home burdened with low-vibration emotions such as anger, envy, resentment, or even guilt, and so we go to Helel's divine weekend day spa, instead, for a spiritual glow-up before returning to Heaven proper.
No, it's not hell, although some souls' refusal to let grudges and hostilities go may make it seem that way. Helel's not there to torture anyone but to provide one an opportunity to find closure, an opportunity to unload whatever keeps a soul from ascending. You can't take your beef with your ex-spouse back to Heaven with you. You can't go Home, ready to fight your sister for stealing your boyfriend or the soldiers of an "enemy" country for stealing your farm. There are no enemies in Heaven. Check that baggage at the door, or go walk it off in Helel's mansion--which is still in Heaven, by the way, but quarantined off from paradise's general population. This is Helel's design; it's his way of ensuring that Heaven remains the place of peace it was in the beginning before humans arrived.
This archangel, which many call "Lucifer" and use as a scapegoat for all their problems, was the first angel to condemn the chaos that humanity seemed to bring to paradise. And when he realized that humans weren't going anywhere anytime soon, he devised a way to isolate and conquer the most destructive part of our nature. While this isolation isn't permanent, as most religions teach, it does force a soul into reflective contemplation, which countless human souls tend to avoid like the plague, apparently. For that, there has always been this tension between humanity and Helel even though he admits that he perhaps judged us baby siblings too harshly in the beginning. Thusly, Helel requesting that we drop the "Lucifer" moniker is just a bit of rebranding to present a gentler angel who, at the very least, will now tolerate our presence in Heaven.
The "War" of Words
A question remains, however: does the fact that there was no actual war between Michael and Helel in any way depreciate Michaelmas?
Of course not!
Remember, while Helel was busy pointing out our not-so-pleasant side, Michael was the one who became wholly enamored with our creativity, our playfulness, our curiosity, our spunkiness, and our ability to love. At the same time, Michael saw humanity's shortcomings--such as anger, fear and shame--as features, not bugs.
With divine purpose and intention, we are made, although a bit differently from our angelic counterparts. While angels are born with knowledge and wisdom, humans are born with curiosity and emotion. Unlike angels, humans must learn about the whole of Creation through experience. Though we have all of eternity to do this, it’s no easy task, and Michael knew that. He realized that all the "flaws" in humans that annoyed Helel, to the point of distraction, were essential to helping us grow and evolve. That’s all to say, Michael saw in us exactly what Helel saw, yet Michael embraced all of humanity anyway.
Michael condemned Helel for seeing humans as flawed. "Nothing imperfect can come from perfection," he would admonish his brother, meaning that the Creator--in all its divine perfection--was wholly incapable of creating something seemingly so broken. The fact that Helel saw imperfection in humans, Michael postured, meant that the disgruntled brother perhaps saw imperfection in the Creator itself.
Aghast, Helel balked at the notion as preposterous, but Michael stood his ground, "Humans aren't flawed, brother. They're simply different." The archangel insisted that despite our distinct nature and way of being, we humans are still children of the Creator and thus divine creatures in our own special way.
Still, Helel wasn't having it.
"Buffoons, the lot of them," Helel groused.
"Sure, they're idiots," Michael joked with his twin, "but they're our family, and we should embrace them. Who knows? Maybe they'll teach us something."
"Yes, you're right. They've taught me anger, malice and discontent. Look what they've done to our home!"
"It's nothing we can't fix, Helel," Michael consoled. "Look at them, brother. They're so tiny, but they have potential. And with our guidance, yes? I think something beautiful can come of this. At the very least, it'll be interesting."
This conversation between Michael and Helel lasted eons. Eons. And it finally overspilled into the angelic body, making angels take sides on the matter. But, thanks to the then baby of the group, Immanuel, it was all smoothed over. There was no war. No angels fell from Heaven. There's no bat-winged demon plucking brambles from his hind quarters.
The Feast Must Go On
Despite discrepancies in the popular story, Michael still deserves our love. He had our backs. He advocated for our place in Heaven alongside the angels, and for that, I'm more than happy that he has a feast day. I don't think that lack of a war or the culling of an archangel, so the Bible can have an archvillain, diminishes the holiday in any way.
In fact, for the past two decades, in addition to Michaelmas, I had also considered summer solstice as Michael’s holiday. He’s regent of the sun, his smile alone is a billion times brighter, and his preference for wearing as little clothing as possible makes him the perfect poster boy for summertime fun. That, and the angel himself said the first day of summer was his favorite day of the year.
Nevertheless, can the beach-dwelling, surf-loving angel also mark the end of summer on September 29?
And should Michael’s angelic siblings be included on this special day? Why not? There are far more archangels than there are days in a year, so for the sake of ease, let us invite all of them to the feast!
If any humans really have an issue with Michael sharing his day, we do have another option; “Feast of Saint Michael and All the Angels” was proposed at one time. I don’t know, though. That sounds way too much like a late 1960's flower-child rock band. Let’s just go with “Feast of the Archangels.” Michael knows he’s the angel of the hour, whether we name it after him or not.
In honor of Feast of the Archangels, I've listed below a few things you may wish to add to your autumn altar--don't forget the equinox on September 22-23-24, depending on where you live. You don’t have to add all of these things. In truth, you don't have to add anything. Not a single angel, not even Michael, asks for gifts or offerings--that's more of a god thing.
Angels are our elder spiritual siblings here to guide us humans through life in order to facilitate our spiritual growth. They don't require payment, but it's in our human nature to want to honor those we love. That said, if you're not particularly a fan of Archangel Michael--fair game, he may not be the one you asked to accompany you on this life journey--feel free to honor any archangel you wish!
The list below contains the archangels I personally connect with on a regular basis, all of whom were nice enough to answer my inquiry, "What's your favorite autumn treat?" I've also included their candle color if you wish to dress your altar accordingly.
Happy Feast of the Archangels!
Feast of the Archangels Altar Suggestions:
Candles: In addition to the colors listed below, white may be used for any angel. Candles may be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Naturally, please use extreme caution when working with lighted candles!
Food: When placing food on your altar, make sure you wrap it tightly--we're feeding angels, not ants. Also, please use common sense and adhere to safe food handling practices. You can also use images or little toy items to represent food items on your altar in place of actual food.
Drinks: Since its inception, alcohol has long been an offering to the divine. If you are abstaining, know that your angels would never want you to risk your health. Clean, fresh water is the perfect offering in place of any of the beverages listed below.
Nonedible Items: Can't get the real thing? Images are fine. Or make something from the heart! Angels love thoughtful, hand-made items.
What to do September 30 - October 11: How long you wish to leave items on your altar is up to you. Please practice safe food handling when removing food. If food is still in the package or wrapped well, check for spoilage before consuming or returning food to your pantry. If foods smell or seem off, wrap thoughtfully and discard. Libations may be thoughtfully discarded. Nonedible items should be used or repurposed--think of it as fostering a connection and friendship with your angel as you continue to share your items with them.
Final thoughts: We don't place these items on our altar because we expect something back from the angels (e.g., protection, money blessings, romantic love). The angels are not djinn. They do not grant wishes. The life script is what it is and cannot be altered, but how we react to our life script can make all the difference in the world. Focus on yourself and your spiritual growth, not other people and things. Or you could just place something on your altar because you love the angels. That's all the reason you need.
For a mobile-friendly version of the grid below, download this PDF.
**Why two Michaels?
Every human in the world has their own set of angels. There is a Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, etc. for every soul on this planet, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof. The same goes for each region—city, state, country. And just as every human has a particular angel in the foreground of their lives during a particular leg of their journey, each region of the world enjoys an angelic patron for a time. From 1865-2016, Archangel Michael was the patron of the United States. As the angel of empires, he made USA everything it became, love it or hate it. In 2016, he departed the country for another.
Know that the angels don't play favorites. They don't have teams. They go where they are instructed to go by the Creator, who is running this whole show. And so, Michael went east.
If you've been following my work, you know that the angels revealed that they take on whatever appearance they must for us to better connect with them. Well, the bold, boisterous, in-your-face, individualistic Archangel Michael of the USA couldn't just go east as he was. Understand, he's an ambassador of the Creator, not America. He didn’t go east to instill "American values." He went east because the world script dictates that he does, and in doing so, he has become as the people are there. In this transition, he has asked me to call him Michel, and he's now very different from the Michael I've come to know over the past twenty years. His ethos is still very much present; he's brave, courageous and strong. His appearance may have changed, his voice may have changed, his food preference may have changed, but he's still Michael...well, Michel.
So, where's "Sunny Michael?" See, in Heaven, there is the Michael-Source, the source of all that Archangel Michael is. From that source comes countless Michaels for every human, every world in existence. Each Michael is custom-made for each individual job, and so the angels may vary a bit. Sunny Michael or "Western Mike" as some of my clients call him, is still around, surfing the waves, playing volleyball, devouring greasy fast foods, blasting loud rock and hip-hop. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He will remain here on Earth with us until he's done connecting with the souls he's promised to, for whatever reason that may be. When he's done, he'll return to the Michael-Source.
The same, for that matter, will happen with Michel when another Michael arrives to go patron yet another country. Michael has been all over this planet. He's patroned Ancient Egypt, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Russia and the United States, to just name a few places where he made a splash throughout our history. So, don't worry, Michael will always be with us, in one incarnation or another. We're kinda stuck with the big goofball, and knowing that helps me sleep soundly at night.
Chantel Lysette, International Author and Psychic Medium