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Angel of the Day

psPast Life Reading

      Your angels can help you remember your past lives. By understanding the journey that your soul has made, you can help yourself heal from emotional, spiritual, and physical wounds.

Past Life Reading contains:

        Your past; Your path;
        Previous incarnation; Your lessons.

Reading length: approx 11 pages.

Price: $14.90

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Archangels Reading

      A complete reading about your life covering a period of a year, between two birthdays. Find out what is out there for you: opportunities, dangers and how to avoid them, how to improve yourself and your relations.

Archangels Reading contains:

      Prevision for a year (between two birthdays)
      Important events of the year
      Message from your Guardian Angel

Reading length: approx 20 pages.

Price: $19.90

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Angel Card

      A divine message form the Angel of the moment. Please wait 5 minutes before asking the next question. Every Angel rules approximately 5 minutes of the day (after 6 hours they repeat). Don’t abuse the Angel Oracle.

How to do it

  1. Clear your mind.
  2. Think about your question.
  3. Click on the picture.

The answer will be revealed for you.

Your Angels

Your Angels

Contains: the Incarnation Angel (with description), the Heart Angel and the Intellect Angel.

Price: $9.95

Love Reading

Love Reading

Contains: your current situation regarding your love life, marriage, hidden things, attitude and future.

Price: $9.95

Career Reading

Job Career Reading

Contains: your current situation, business partnership, your career, attitude and future.

Price: $9.95

Posts Tagged ‘ANGELS IN’


The Mormons, more properly referred to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), hold beliefs about angels that are somewhat at variance from mainstream angelology. Although acknowledging the authority of the Bible, and thus sharing the tradition of biblical angels with other Christian denominations, the Mormons accept certain other, postbiblical documents as supplementing and expanding the biblical revelation. In particular, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price contain extensive discussions of angels.

Rather than viewing angels as a separate order of creation, the Mormon tradition regards the angels who visit the earth as persons. In the words of the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), “There are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it” (D&C 130:5). Different kinds of beings at different levels of development can play the messenger role that is the defining characteristic of angels. Any righteous person in the spirit world may serve as an angel, but particularly those who were “translated” (i.e., left the earth while still in their bodies, as did Elijah).

Mormons also distinguish between disembodied spirits serving as angels and angels that appear as “resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones” (D&C 129:1). These resurrected angels have been particularly important in the history of Mormonism. For instance, Moroni, the angel who revealed the Book of Mormon, was a resurrected angel. The LDS tradition also teaches that other such embodied angels restored the Aaronic priesthood and the Melchizedek priesthood. Having a body is essential, because only embodied beings can lay hands on mortals during the passing of authority for priesthoods.

Disembodied angels can, however, convey knowledge, comfort, and assurances from God to mortals. God himself is sometimes referred to as an angel, in that he is called a messenger, as in “messenger of salvation” (D&C 93:8). Mormonism also accepts the idea of an original War in Heaven, during which Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven. These rebels are often referred to as fallen angels.

As for the idea of guardian angels-in the sense of each person having an assigned angel throughout life-many Mormons accept the notion, although it does not constitute part of the official teaching of the church. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “The term guardian angel may best be viewed as a figure of speech that has to do with God’s protecting care and direction or, in special instances, with an angel dispatched to earth in fulfillment of God’s purposes” (p. 42).


Angels and archangels and cherubim and seraphim have always been fruitful sources of inspiration for painters and sculptors. Early images of angels emerged from a creative interplay between the artist’s personal vision and traditional canons, usually based upon Scripture.

It has often been assumed that only Christianity and Judaism express belief in angels, and that only Christian artists have depicted them, because Jewish law forbids all such representations. However, angels or angel-like beings also exist in classical mythology, shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam. In fact, and contrary to popular opinion, Islam does not prohibit such images, and its artists, particularly Sufi mystics, have derived a rich iconography of angels from all sources that nourish the Islamic “mythos,” from the Jewish and Christian traditions, to Gnosticism, and Manichaeanism.

In both monotheistic and polytheistic traditions, angels represent messengers of God, or gods and goddesses. They are viewed as the inhabitants of an intermediate world and, according to Muhammad, are sent by God to earth to search out those places where individuals or groups are engaged in remembering or invoking the Deity.

Evolution of Christian Beliefs Concerning Angels

The Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 declared belief in angels a part of dogma. In 343 the Synod of Laodicaea condemned the worship of angels as “idolatry.” Finally, in 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Synod reinstated a carefully defined and limited cult of the archangels, which took root in the Eastern church; in the West, however, distrust of angels remained.

The Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) represent the angels as an innumerable host, discerning good and evil by reason of superior intelligence, and doing the will of God. Not until the Babylonian captivity do we read about evil angels who wreak havoc among men, according to an angelological theory that draws from the religion of ancient Mesopotamia and the teachings of Zoroaster. The angels of the New Testament have sympathy for human sorrow, attend prayerful souls, and conduct the spirits of the just to heaven.

By the end of the fourth century, the Christian church developed a profound belief in the existence of both good angels, inciting human beings to pursue good, and evil angels, tempting them to sin. The church fathers maintained this faith in their writings, which teach that angelic help may be invoked in time of need.

The theologians of the Middle Ages originated a systematic classification of the Orders of the Heavenly Host, based on the classification of St. Paul, and assigned to each rank its distinctive office. The angelic host was divided into three hierarchies, and these again into nine choirs. The first hierarchy includes seraphim, cherubim, and thrones. The second hierarchy includes the dominations, virtues, and powers; the third, princedoms, archangels, and angels.

From the third hierarchy come the ministers, or governors, and messengers, or councillors, of God. The choristers of heaven are also angels, whose title, signifying messengers, is given to men bearing important tidings. The Evangelists are usually represented with wings, John the Baptist is often depicted as angel, and the Greeks sometimes even represented Christ with wings, calling him the great angel of the will of God.

Depiction of Angels in Christian Art

The lack of Jewish religious art, and the paucity of New Testament descriptions, presented no barrier to the art of Christianity. As far as the representation of angels is concerned, the aureole or nimbus is never omitted from the head of an angel and is always, wherever used, the symbol of sanctity.

Wings, the distinctive angelic symbol, are emblematic of spirit, power, and swiftness. This theme is very common throughout the entire Middle Ages and constitutes the first portrayal of the accepted Christian idea of angels as winged beings. The figure of the winged angel evolved during the fourth century, soon crystallized into a formula and remained common until the sixth century, after which it came into its own again in Carolingian art and the Romanesque art of Italy and southern France. It was foreign to Gothic art, although it became common again in Italy during the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries.

The Glory of Angels, the representation of great numbers of angels surrounding the Deity, the Trinity, or the glorified Virgin, is generally composed of the hierarchies of angels in circles, each hierarchy in its proper order. Complete versions of the Glory of Angels, with nine circles, are rare. Most artists contented themselves with two or three and sometimes merely a single circle. The nine circles of angels are represented in various ways and are frequently seen in ancient frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures. The princedom and power orders are represented by rows and groups of angels, all wearing the same dress and the same tiara.

The use of color constituted one of the most important elements in the proper painting of seraphs and cherubs, whereas greater freedom was permitted in the portrayal of other angelic orders. For instance, the inner circle in a Glory should be glowing red, the symbol of love; the second should be blue, the emblem of light, which symbolizes knowledge.

The colors of the oldest pictures, the illuminated manuscripts, the stained glass, and the painted sculptures were most carefully considered, although gradually the color scheme was less faithfully observed. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was not unusual to see the wings of cherubim in various colors, and cherub bursts with no apparent wings floating in clouds. Raphael’s famous Madonna di San Sisto and Perugino’s Coronation of the Virgin illustrate this change.

The five angelic choirs that follow the seraphim and cherubim were not very common in art, although they were painted with great accuracy in the works of the medieval theologians. Archangels represented merely as part of their order are usually in complete armor and bear swords with the points upward and sometimes hold a trumpet. Angels are robed and wield wands, although the wand is frequently omitted, as when the hands are folded in prayer or musical instruments are in use.

All angels are supposedly masculine and are represented as having young and beautiful human forms and faces. They are never old, and infant angels symbolize the souls of regenerated men, or the spirits of those who die in infancy. Also, because angels are changeless, time does not exist for them and they enjoy perpetual youth.

The earliest pictures of angels depict ample drapery, usually white, although delicate shades of blue, red, and green were frequently employed. The Venetians used a pale salmon color in the drapery of their angels, while the early German painters affected angelic draperies of vast expanse and weighty coloring, embroidery, and jewels.

In many old churches, angels carved in marble, stone, or wood or painted on glass, frescoes, or other surfaces fill all spaces. When the stricter theological observances prevailed, however, angels were not permitted as mere decorations, but were supposed to illustrate some solemn and significant teaching of the Church. During the first three centuries of Christianity, it was not permitted to represent angels, who were pictured in a crude manner.

Until the tenth century, angels in art were curiously formed, and more curiously draped. Giotto was the first artist to approach the ideal representation of angels, and his pupils excelled him in their concept of what these celestial beings could be. It was Fra Angelico, however, who first succeeded in portraying absolutely unearthly angels. No angel of Fra Angelico’s resembles any human creature, whereas the angels of other masters often resemble a beautiful boy or a happy child. Also, Fra Angelico’s angels are feminine, almost without exception.

The angels of Giotto and Benozzo Gozzoli are also quite feminine, whereas Michelangelo, whose angels are not winged, fail to represent such celestial beings. Leonardo da Vinci’s angels almost smile, while Correggio reproduced lovely children who served as models for his angels. In paintings by Francesco Albani and Guido Reni, angels are often attractive and elegant boys, as may be seen in the illustration of the child Jesus with angels, by Albani.

Raphael’s angels, especially in his later works, are sexless, spiritual, graceful, and, at the same time, the personification of intelligence and power, as may be seen in the illustration of the archangel Michael, as well as in the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, in the Stanza della Signatura in the Vatican, in which angels are without wings. Rembrandt, too, painted wonderful angels that are poetical, unearthly apparitions. Botticelli’s Neoplatonism inspired him with a vision of angels as human and classical as Raphael’s, but somehow more genuinely mystical and supernatural, as can be seen in his Mystic Nativity.

Among contemporary artists, there are significant representations of angels by Auguste Rodin, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and, especially, Marc Chagall. Chagall was a Russian painter who was obsessed by angels, as evidenced in his The Fall of the Angel, which is characterized by a violent red color in which the angel burns while falling.


Angels are an essential feature in religious art and architecture; in sacred structures angels are depicted in frescoes, mosaics, sculpture, or as ornaments for liturgical accoutrements. In secular architecture angels often appear as painted or sculpted details on such items as corbels or brackets, or accompanied by arabesques (flowing, fancifully intertwined branches of flowers and leaves) or scrolling on plasterwork, or incorporated into other architectural elements.

Angels in Classical Architecture

In ancient Greece and Rome the winged motif symbolized victory. Winged figures frequently were used in classical vase paintings, wall paintings, and sculpture. The most notable example of this motif is the winged goddess of victory, Nike of Samothrace, circa 190 B.C., which currently stands in the Louvre in Paris. Several such winged figures are featured on the marble frieze from the Alter of Zeus and Athena erected in about 180 B.C. (now in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin), which dramatically illustrates The Battle of Gods and Giants in seven-foot-high panels.

The excavations at the site of the ancient cities of Herculaneum in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748 in what is now Italy uncovered numerous well-preserved frescoes and mosaics, some of which depict winged figures.

In A.D. 79 the cities were covered with ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, however, the interiors of a large number of structures remained preserved. Excavations reveal that public and private structures featured large, brilliantly colored murals; because of the small number of doors and windows in these structures, a considerable amount of wall space remained that was suitable for decoration. Walls in a structure excavated at Pompeii, now known as the Villa dei Misters, display scenes of winged figures and humans carrying out what is believed to be some mysterious rite; the room itself is thought to have been used as a banquet room or possibly a place for the celebration of a Dionysian cult. The winged figures along the frieze are painted in the relief style set against a red background. Similar wall painting exists at other sites in Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Angels in Early Christian Architecture

Prior to the middle of the fourth century, Christian angels were portrayed as wingless beings. Some art historians claim that the winged Roman goddess of victory was first transformed into a winged Christian angel in Assyria and that the concept then spread via Asia Minor to western Europe. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim.

Nevertheless, the architecture of the Christian church utilizes an abundance of Biblical scenes that portray angels; in particular artists worked from theologian’s concept of angels. The old church represented angels as wingless harbingers, as wanderers with a staff, or as young men clothed in simple tunics, as evident in the Priscilla catacomb of Rome. The catacombs, a vast network of chambers running beneath the city of Rome, contain many small rooms called cubicula, which were decorated with brightly painted frescoes. It is believed that during the period of Christian persecution these cubicula were used as chapels.

In A.D. 325 Constantine established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire and the churches built during his reign feature brilliantly colored mosaics portraying angels.

In addition to mosaics, angels and other figures were carved into the capitals of columns as architects of this period departed from the classical Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders. Winged figures known as genii, often appeared on Christian sarcophagi and on other relics as symbols of the victory of good over evil. Other themes featuring Christian angels included the Visitation of Mary, the mother of Christ, by angels; angels announcing the incarnation of Christ; Christ’s Ascension accompanied by angels; Christ enthroned in glory surrounded by angels; angels singing praises; and the angel whose sword protects the church against evildoers.

Charlemagne, like Constantine, desired to create a unified Christendom and produced an environment in which the depiction of angels flourished; the Holy Roman empire existed as a central force in Europe for over one thousand years. The Imperial Diptych, an ivory carving from Constantinople dating to around A.D. 500 and believed to have come from the so-called “Place of Charlemagne,” features two winged figures typical of the time.

Ottonian architecture of the tenth century followed the course set by its Carolingian predecessors. Several examples of Ottonian architecture exist, including the abbey church of Saint Michael in Hildesheim, Germany. The nave at Saint Michael’s features a painted ceiling illustrating several biblical scenes containing angels.

The Byzantine style, which first appeared in the fourth century, was a synthesis of Hellenistic and Eastern influences. The exterior wall surfaces of Byzantine structures were often ornamented with relief carvings. Church interiors featured brightly painted colored mosaics, marble veneering, or frescoes depicting episodes in the life of Christ, the apostles, saints, and martyrs, other narratives from the Bible, or ceremonial scenes of the time. Early in the sixth century the Italian city of Ravenna was made the western seat of the Byzantine empire. Examples of Byzantine depictions of angels can be found in the apse mosaics of San Vitale, built between 527 and 547. One mosaic features Christ seated between angels and saints.

The apse mosaic of the Cathedral of Torcello shows an angel high above the Virgin Mary and the infant Christ. In 726 an edict of Leo III banned religious imagery in the Byzantine empire. The iconoclastic debate was influenced in part by the rise of Islam and its nonrepresentational art. The ban was lifted in 843.

Angels in the Architecture of the Eastern Church

Angels of the Eastern Church were depicted as dignified protectors, never as female or children. Seraphim were portrayed as having six wings covering their body so that only the head was visible; cherubim were portrayed as having four wings; ordinary angels had only two wings. In Asia Minor the adoration of angels was customary, and churches built in honor of angels were known throughout. (The archangel Michael was the first to be adored by a cult.) Depictions of Michael and Gabriel, in particular, became fixtures at church entrances.

Angels in Romanesque Architecture

Architecture during the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries represented a revived interest in the architecture and construction principles of ancient Rome; the style developed as a direct response to the liturgical needs of the church. The carvings at Saint Pierre Cathedral in Angouleme, built between 1115 and 1135, serve as an excellent example of the illustrative style of the period. The tympanum of the south portal illustrates the Second Coming of Christ, with Christ enthroned and flanked by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and an attendant angel holding a record of the deeds of humankind. Angels are similarly treated in a portal at Saint Lazare, which dates to ca. 1130, in Autun, France.

Angels in Gothic Architecture

The style first referred to as Gothic flourished from about 1150 to 1420 in Italy, and to 1500 in Northern Europe. The Gothic style originated in the church architecture of the Burgundy and Normandy regions of what is now France. Such architectural innovations as the development of the rib vault and the flying buttress led to the building of higher, lighter structures. The system of flying buttresses further developed into a system of semi-arches adorned with pinnacles and statues. The use of stained glass further added to the lightness of Gothic structures. The period also witnessed the increased adoration of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Heaven, who was often depicted in the company of angels. The three west portals of Chartres Cathedral (built between 1194-1220) show Christ in majesty with the Virgin Mary, Christ’s Ascension into heaven, and his Second Coming. Angels are prominently featured. The north portal of the west facade illustrates Christ’s AscensionChrist is pictured in the tympanum’s center supported by angels, above a portal filled with flying angels addressing the seated apostles.

Angels in Renaissance Architecture

The period known as the Renaissance actually consists of three eras: the early Renaissance (1420 to 1500), the High Renaissance (1500 to 1550), and the Late Renaissance, or Age of Mannerism (1530 to 1600). The period was a time of revived interest in classical ideas; buildings during this period reflected a fascination with ancient Greece and Rome. Included among the period’s most significant developments in the area of the arts and architecture were the exercises in perspective and in classical proportions.

The repertoire of Renaissance motifs included garlands, scrollwork, nymphs, and winged forms. Angel-like forms, reminiscent of those of ancient Rome, were included among the carved figures that crown the porches and pediments of the Villa Rotunda (built between 1550 and 1553) near Vicenza, Italy and the San Giorgio Maggiore (built in 1656) designed by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. The work of Palladio served as inspiration for architects of the much later Georgian period (1714 to 1830). Similar motifs appear in the work of the English architect and furniture maker Robert Adams.

The depiction of little angels with robes and long trains of garland became popular during the Renaissance, as well as the use of putti, or children’s heads with wings. Feminine angels were first represented during this period; from this point onward the concept of angels as female beings became increasingly frequent. Cherubs in the company of the Madonna and Child was another recurrent image. The marble tomb of Leonardo Bruni sculpted by Bernardo Rossellino features on its side two winged figures supporting an inscribed tablet and is crowned with two winged genii holding an escutcheon atop the great arch surrounding the tomb. The tympanum shows the Madonna and Child with two cherubim, and the base of the tomb features a rank of cherubim bearing garland.

Angels in Baroque and Rococo Architecture

The Baroque style flourished from about 1600 to about 1770; the later phase of the Baroque is often referred to as the Rococo and lasted from about 1720 to the period’s close. The Baroque was an outgrowth of the aesthetic concepts developed during the Renaissance. Ornamentation abounds in Baroque and Rococo architecture and the decorative arts, often in the form of three-dimensional elements emanating from the structure’s surfaces. Extensive use of frescoes for walls and ceiling and elaborate molding were typical during the period.

Representative of the Baroque, two massive marble female angels wielding trumpets crown the arched entry to Scala Regina, the monumental stairway leading to the papal apartments in the Vatican, designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini and built between 1663 and 1666. The baldacchino, the massive canopy above the altar of Saint Peter’s, also designed by Bernini and built between 1624 and 1633, is supported by four spiral columns topped by four colossal angels standing guard.

The Rococo was essentially an interior style carried out in furniture and the decorative arts. Delicate, undulating lines and sinuous curves were characteristic of the style; gilded moldings, ormolu (goldcolored furniture mounts), and relief sculpture were also typical. The ceiling fresco at the Villa Pisani in Stra, Italy, titled The Apotheosis of the Pisani Family is an exceptional example of the Rococo treatment of angels. Painted by Giambattista Tiepolo in 1761, the fresco depicts angels of all types fluttering through sunlit skies and resting on clouds.

Angels in Romantic Classical Architecture

The nineteenth century was a period of romantic nationalism inspired by the past and the influences of ancient Rome is evident in much of the architecture and decorative arts of the period; many of the symbols of the French Revolution were borrowed from ancient Rome. Frequently used motifs included military insignia, crossed swords, arrows, and winged figures.

Arc de Triomphe built between 1806 and 1836 and designed by Jean Francois Therese Chalgrin, features four massive high-relief and several smaller bas-reliefs illustrating scenes from the Republic’s history.

One of the large reliefs by artist Francois Rude, The Departure of the Volunteers or La Marseillaise, shows French volunteers (dressed in classical attire) being led by the winged goddess of liberty to defend the new Republic from foreign enemies. Winged figures also crown the richly ornamented facade of the Paris Opera (Academie Nationale de Musique), another treasure of French romanticism built between 1861 and 1874 by Charles Garnier.

Angels in Victorian Architecture

The Victorians displayed considerable originality in ornamentation and it may even be said that they made the greatest contribution to architectural ornamentation and the decorative arts. Revived interest in the Gothic, Rococo, and classical styles encouraged the use of ornamental grotesques, monsters, and even angels. Large parts of facades of Victorian structures were used to illustrate mythological scenes and other stories. Buildings often were clad with carved terra cotta panels, terra cotta and brick sculpture, mosaic, or ceramic tile. Scenes of cherubs with garland trailing discretely over their bodies were typical, for Victorians regarded such ornamentation charming.

In addition to the architecture inspired by the revival movements of the Victorian age, angel-like figures were well suited to the Art Nouveau, a style that flourished from about 1890 to World War I. The Art Nouveau as an ornamental style was based on organic forms, especially those suggesting movement. Flowing, organic winged forms were typical not only in exterior architecture details but in furniture, textiles, wallcovering, glass, ceramics, and jewelry. Works by architects such as Victor Horta and Antonio Gaudi serve as excellent examples of the Art Nouveau style.

Angel in Modern Architecture

The architecture and decorative arts of the twentieth century is more eclectic (as seen in the Art Deco style), more organic (as seen in the prairie and revival styles), and yet more functional (as seen in the international style) than that of prior periods. The Art Deco style, in particular, seemed to best lend itself to the treatment of angels. The style, which reached its peak between the two world wars, featured winged figures in murals, gold-lacquered angel-like beings, and similar figures in wood inlay, bent chrome, or blown glass. The most extravagant examples of Art Deco can be found in theaters, hotels, and department stores.

Architectural ornamentation following World War II has tended to be less of an extraneous embellishment and more a part of the overall architectural statement. Architects of the late twentieth century have worked closely with artists. For instance, the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts features murals by painter Marc Chagall. The murals Triumph of Music and Source of Music, both painted in 1966, show angels and other winged figures dancing and performing. An even more spectacular display of angels can be seen in Saint Patrick’s Church in Oklahoma City, which features ten-foot sculptured angels in relief.


Americans’ ongoing fascination with angels seems to have no end in sight. One indicator of the public’s widespread interest is that angels and angel-related themes can be found in a variety of modem-day advertisements. Though at first this might not seem to be an appropriate topic for commercials, our culture has trivialized angels to the point where religious and non-religious individuals alike are not put off by angel ads.

One manifestation of this trend is the tendency to name products and businesses after angels. Because angels are regarded as soft-presumably because angels’ feathered wings seem to allude to pillows and bedding, which are traditionally stuffed with feathers-products such as Angel Soft toilet paper include “angel” in their name. Also, because of the whiteness associated with angels, there are more than a few “angel” cleaning companies. The beauty traditionally said to characterize these celestial beings has made angels appropriate for products designed to enhance feminine attractiveness, as seen in the Victoria’s Secret line of angel bras.

Angels appear less frequently in television ads, though Capital One has a series of humorous credit card commercials featuring an irresponsible and inept guardian angel who seems to completely fail the human being he is supposed to be protecting. In one ad, his assigned human steps out of a plane that has pulled away from the loading bridge, and he crashes onto the tarmac. The angel had been distracted from his duties because he had been reading a book. He comes up from behind, looks down at the fallen traveler, and says, “I totally spaced on that one.” The angel’s appearance-he looks like an overweight, unhip version of British singer Calvin Harris with wings-reinforces the impression of ineptness. After several other misadventures, the angel intervenes as the traveler reaches into his wallet to pay for something and guides him to use his “Capital One no-hassle card.” The angel then remarks to himself, “I am so good!”

Some ads are harder to classify. In a Roy Rogers restaurant ad in the early 1990s, for example, a fellow who had recently died in an automobile crash comes before what appears to be a kind of review board. The backdrop for the scene is a pair of escalators: one going down and one going up. Asking if they “cook anything” in the celestial realm, an angel interjects that he must be “thinking of the other place.” Immediately, fire and smoke belch out from a black chimney as a voice cries, “Yow! I hate this place!” Although the association between cooking fires and hellfire is straightforward enough, this ad otherwise trivializes eternal damnation. The point is not that this fastfood chain is somehow linked to hell, but rather that celestial versus infernal imagery makes for a humorous ad.

Yet other ads allude to traditional folklore about an angel on our right shoulder and a devil on our left, each of whom try to prompt us to commit good or evil actions. For instance, among a series of Apple computer commercials in which a savvy, young Mac interacts with a square, middle-aged PC is an ad that has Mac offering to show PC a photo book that he has made with iPhoto. As PC is examining the book, a red-suited version of himself appears and says, “Well, go on, rip it in half!” Immediately, a white-suited version appears and counters, “Nonsense, it’s beautiful.” The conversation proceeds from there until PC, in an obvious state of confusion, hands the book back to Mac.

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