Written November 23rd, 2016 | Edited: 13th March 2019
Summary of my experience with Raphael.
Good guy Raphael, forcing war councils to be adjourned with sheer optimism.
(Scene is from Makai Ouji Devil’s and Realist, Ch 32)
What? Extremely irreverent to depict mighty Archangel of Air, Ruler of Hod/Tiphareth, and Divine Healer as a comical, flamboyant optimist, you say?
Well, it’s sort of true, at least for me, and clearly the person who wrote Makai Ouji.
I invoked Raphael recently. Looking back on this blog, I realised I only ever share posts about demons and darker angels. So I figured, why not share one about a more popular, light side Spirit, and one who holds incredible power and position. You know, to maintain the balance, as the blog’s name implies and not lean toward a single Pillar. So, give it up for Archangel Raphael!
This is an invocation done using the Grimoire of Armadel
This ended up insanely long, please bear with me
“Let me show you, what happened to Nagini”
The Name Raphael
Raphael is the name of the Archangel of Air. It is Hebrew, and translates as “God, who heals”, “Healing of God, or “God, The Healer”.
It originates in Babylon, where people spoke Akkadian, am ancient Semitic language from which Hebrew and Arabic come. Many angelic names come the 7 aspects/children of Ahura Mazda (God), known as the Immortal Ones, in Zoroastrianism.
In Hebrew it is spelled with the four letters Resh-Pe-Aleph-Lamed, R-Ph-A-L (רָפָאֵל), and it’s value is 200+800+1+30= 1031.
The common name we use, Raphael, is the Latinised spelling of this name.
The Arabic name for Raphael is Israfil ( إسرافيل), or Israfel, which means the “Burning One”, although in Hebrew lore, that title is generally given to Uriel. In Magick, this name is used in an Invocation of Thoth. All other times, we call him Raphael.
Before we move to the Magick, a quick look at Raphael from the traditional point of view.
To the Jews, Raphael is the 3rd most important angel, placed immediately under Mikhael and Gabriel, and one of the seven Archangels of Heaven. He is also one of the four highest Archangels, associated with Healing, known to have cured several important figures of ailments, such as Tobit, whom he accompanied on his journey through the desert. He overcame the demon Asmodeus, saving Raguel’s daughter Sarah from him, and binding the leader of fallen angels Azazel. He is sometimes depicted as a Serpent.
In Judaic lore, he rules the order of Auphanim (which are in the Sephiroth Chokmah), he stands to the West of the Throne of God, and is associated with one of the four rivers in Eden, very simply put. Look, we have a lot to get through.
“Sir! Would you be interested in-“
“I’m sorry, I have to go. I’m totally busy. I have exams. I’ll miss my train. I’m sure you’re doing something cool though. Really!”
To the Christians, Raphael is very similar to the Judaic Raphael, since both religions have the same source texts. In Christianity, due to the lack of complex Judaic theological structures, he is almost exclusively associated with healing Tobit and defeating Asmodeus, and in the New Testament, thought to be the Angel who healed the people at the Pool of Bethesda.
He is venerated as a Saint by the Catholic Church, as well as the Orthodox, exalted in several Renaissance artworks, sculptures and literature, as well as revered by many Protestant sects and called the “Divine Physician”. He is also sometimes mentioned as the one who brought the Ancient Mysteries to Solomon, though at times it is also Mikhael.
In Islam, it is more difficult to draw parallels, since it has different theology, and since it is a strongly monotheistic religion, and does not clearly define any beings or spirits other than Allah (God) and Mohammed. To the Muslims, Raphael, known as Israfil, is one of the four Archangels who were sent to fetch dust from all corners of the Earth to build Adam, and who will herald the apocalypse with Trumpets, and is said to have tutored the Prophet. Said to have four wings and be a master of Music and Languages, he sings hymns and melodies for God.
Non Abrahamic Sources
Though these are older than the Abrahamic version, Archangels as we perceive them come from Abrahamic sources. That’s why I’m writing this second, and this is just for information. It’s mainly literary connections I can draw.
The Archangels originate from Zoroastrianism, as I said previously, meaning the equivalent of Raphael is the Amesha Spenta known as Haurvatat, meaning Perfection of Health.
Since he is like a snake, that would link him to the serpents of Mercury’s Caduceus. Remember, the Caduceus is also associated with healing, which is why the WHO emblem is derived from it. It originates from the story of Asclepius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a God of Healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes. (The symbol itself is called something else, but it’s clearly derived from the Caduceus).
And, Mercury also ruled travelling, and Raphael traveled over a fair distance with Tobit.
As far as Egypt goes, he is associated with Aquarius, and the Holy Living One/Kerub known as The Man. While “The Man” is the higher symbol of Air associated with Aquarius, Raphael is associated Libra. This association means balance.
Within Magick and the Occult
Being an angel, Raphael is predominant within Ceremonial Magick, and being a cardinal angel and Watcher, he plays a variety of roles.
First and foremost, Raphael is one of the ruling Angels on the The Tree of Life. He rules the sphere of Hod (Glory) or Tiphareth (Beauty). In Hod is the Healing aspect, while in Tiphareth is the aspect associated with Beauty and the guiding light.
Hod is associated with Mercury, which Raphael rules, further strengthening the connection to Magick, and we’ve already established Raphael’s links to Mercury symbolism.
Raphael is also one of the four Archangels of the Quarters, ruling in the East, once again, becoming the first Angel that the Magician faces towards. Being in the East, he rules Air, which is also ruled by the Planet Mercury.
Raphael thus also rules the Zodiac Sign of Air, which is Aquarius, and so this also connects him to it’s ruling planet Uranus, a higher octave of Mercury. Seeing as it is currently the Age of Aquarius, or at least, we can say that the transition has begun, Raphael is the overseer of the current/coming astrological Age.
And here, you see the 4 kinds of ways in which human beings react to Magick.
As the ruler of Hod, his Qliphotic counterpart of the Archdemon Andramelech, whereas his cardinal counterpart is Amaymon, Demonic King of the East and Air.
Within the Egyptian Ceremonies, there are four Kerubs in each Cardinal direction. The lower counterpart, aka the elemental King associated with Raphael is Paralda, the King of Air.
What Raphael Represents
So, in essence, Raphael corresponds with the ability of our body and mind to heal itself regardless of damage, as well as the ability of the Earth to heal itself against the odds (the story of Tobit is full of odds against him. Think about how Beijing, being immensely polluted for decades, reverted back to having clear air and blue skies with cars being banned for just 2 weeks). Healing leads to Beauty. Mercury to Sun.
Along with that, Raphael represents the conscious mind, our thoughts, decisions, reason and logic, and what we project onto the world, and the progress of Science, which in turn, lends to the progress of Medicine, which are among the few key things that lead humanity into the Age of Aquarius, but also the Ego contained in it, which is why he is connected to Serpents. The Ego is greatly strengthened when we place the Conscious mind over the subconscious.
“Sir, are you sure it’s suppossed to be pee coloured”
“Shut up Jane. This is going to be The Future. Once we decide if it’s profitable”
UPDATE (2019): I keep talking about the association of Raphael with Hod and Mercury. In Yetzirah, Raphael rules Hod, and this is the healing aspect. In Briah, Raphael rules Tiphareth, and the Sun. This is his other aspect, associated with Beauty. In each case, Mikhael rules the other planet. So in Briah, Mikhael rules Hod, while in Yetzirah, Mikhael rules Tiphareth. For this reason, the two angels overlap a lot. While their enegy and presence is very different, they share a lot of sphere of influence. For example, Raphael heals, while Mikhael cleanses. Raphael rules beauty, while Mikhael is the beautiful face of God. Raphael rules science and medicine, while Mikhael rules the rational mind and critical thinking. I often struggled with trying to understand why Raphael was so often places on Sun and Mikhael on Merury, even though it should be vice versa. I now know that this is because of the differences between the Tree of Life in Yetzirah and Briah.
Of course, then one might say Mikhael is also the ruler of Fire. The thing to remember, that took me so long so fully accept, is that the Tree of Life and all the myth and correspondences, are simply systems of classification and metaphors for profound things that are beyond full comprehension. These are not the literal or even the highest Truth. So your subjective interpretation may be more useful to you than mine. Even here, I am simply giving the definitions used by the Golden Dawn, and the mythologies and narratives used by different cultures, and the reasoning given by historians, for the sake of reference. My own perspective deviates significantly at times. This is all just a basis for you to build Knowledge upon.
Sign: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius
Colours: Yellow and Purple (Air), Orange (Hod), Green (Healer)
Incense: Lavender (Hod), Sandalwood (Air)
As always, I used the Seal of Raphael, given in the Armadel
I found something interesting though: usually, the Armadel has two sets of sigls for the Archangels, first the characters and then a circular seal. Minor angels have characters and no seals, but most major Angels who have seals almost always have characters. For whatever reason, Raphael has only a single seal.
The paragraph on Raphael also has a very lacking description as well, mentioning just the story of Tobit. I only took the Seal from the Armadel, but it’s not a Book I’d use for this particular Spirit’s invocation. There is another popular Seal of his given in the Faust Magicka. There is also a set of characters given in Poke Runyon’s Book of Solomon’s Magick
As for the seal itself, O Theos is Greek for ‘O, God’ and Agios means ‘Sacred/Saint’, then there’s Raphael and Adonay, a Hebrew Godname. The two “X” shapes are the first Hebrew letter Aleph.
So, it just happens so that in my daily life I need to go into and pass through the most polluted city on this planet. (You can hear more complaining, along with how I purged a parasitic spirit here, and how I eventually made a talisman to protect one from pollution here)
For a few weeks, I’d been having cold like symptoms, after there was a sudden spike in the smog levels. Initially I believed it was a flu, but it stayed for far too long without causing any fever or headaches. Eventually, I decided that it must be the pollution causing the sneezing and runny nose.
Often I’d wake up completely fine, but upon entering the city, the symptoms would come back. It must have been tiny particles of pollutants constantly entering through my nose and my body attempting to get rid of them.
There wasn’t a lot I could do, and eventually it just grew worse. I’d been meaning to invoke Raphael for a while, and so I decided to call on him for guidance and healing.
I did this invocation on the Day (Wednesday) and in the Hour of Mercury. You can read about astrological timing here. I don’t get Lavender where I live, so I used Sandalwood, for Air.
On the altar I placed a Yellow Candle for the East and Air, at the center, and a white feather, a dagger, along with the incense and the Seal. I also had a small bit of mercury on there. All you really need is a Yellow/Green/Orange candle, the seal, and incense. You may put an offering if you want, and that’s good. Stones associated with the Angel are optional.
Like in the Samael ritual, I listened to Binaural beats of the Mercury frequency to get into the corresponding trance. I don’t use it these days because I can get into trance easily, but if you’re new to meditation then it’s very helpful.
I did my initial banishing, castings, consecrations, proclamations and all that stuff that we magicians like to waste 10 minutes on, and sat down. Before starting, I traced the invoking Pentagram of Air, visualizing it out of bright yellow light in the East. How you start rituals is totally up to you.
UPDATE (2019): To Invoke Air, trance an Invoking Pentagram of Air in bright yellow, and trace the Purple symbol of Aquarius inside it.
As you trace the Pentagram, Vibrate the godname SHADDAI EL CHAI. As you trace the zodiac symbol, vibrate YHVH.
And the end of the ritual, remember to banish Air by tracing the banishing pentagram of Air and zodiac symbol again, vibrating the same godnames. Do this in the East.
I decided to mimic my Samael ritual, chanting a hymn from my heart, saying whatever came to mind. You can also prepare any chants or invocations that appeal to you.
I started slipping into a trance, and I don’t always write down the hymns, so I don’t remember it well. It involved calling on Raphael, first describing and visualizing his form and symbols, then using his many titles and achievements and mythos, moving to a more emotional plea, and a kind of devotional “surrender”, and then chanting his name repeatedly. In the end, I was left vibrating his name, swaying back and forth staring at his sigil.
It took me a long time to reach the climax, because my attention kept wavering, and so I kept breaking my trance and having to go back into it. Once I start a ritual, I like to see it through, so I kept going. I was not about to stop now.
It grew very hot eventually, after lots of chanting, and my body went into deep relaxation. Invoking Light Spirits is very different from Dark Spirits. Beings of Light lack concreteness, and come as very abstract energies, feelings and thoughts. Unlike my experiences with Darker angels like Samael, there’s no “peak” of awareness where your, instead, you drown into a deep trance and at the climax of the ritual, you feel extremely exalted. With darker beings it is more like an Awakening. With being of light it is more like Empowerment.
The deep relaxation almost made me want to lie back, and fall asleep, but I willed myself to go on. And then Raphael came.
Usually, there is some kind of appearance, like a reflection, or a thought, an image, or just the smoke or darkness appearing like a person, but with Raphael, it was just pure and strong emotional force. I had somehow managed to invoke the force, without the form.
I asked, or rather, almost prayed for the form, and continued to chant, although I could already make out “I am here. I am here.” in my head, but I chanted. Why? Maybe it was the 4 am delirium, or stubbornness. Not the the best thing in a magician.
Regardless, finally Raphael appeared in the flames. And he was beautiful, and androgynous. He had long, yet kind of masculine black hair, but a very beautiful, bright and androgynous face, and a slender frame. He was wearing a white shirt, like the kind they used to wear in the 18th century, which was yellowish white. and had a dark purple kilt like thing at the waist. That was it. Strangely, no wings, dramatic symbols, abstract visions, except when I closed my eyes and there were many balls of light.
I began by greeting him and thanking him for coming. He said he always answered whenever he was called upon, by anyone.
I asked him about my illness, and asked for help with healing. His reply was along the lines of “do not worry, it will be done by the time you awaken. Health is easy to achieve, but you must help me too”
I asked him what that meant, and he said “stop putting junk in your mouth”, and I was hit with a bunch of images going through my head, of all the bad food I had eaten, mostly of me eating hot chocolate powder directly out of the jar.
“Do you think you can consume things like that and be okay?”
“The human body is easily affected. Your immunity is lowered by consuming poisons. If you want to no longer be affected by the pollution, you must do everything to strengthen the body.”
“But I eat good food. I’m vegetarian”
“Such things are merely tokens, if you continue to counter it by eating junk directly from it’s packaging incessantly to fill your stomach. And with that, you must refuse to acknowledge any weakness. Practice discipline.”
So, then I promised to be more careful, and closed the ritual. At first I wondered if I needed to give Raphael the License to Depart, since he is literally invoked with every LBRP.
“I am always here.”
Update (2019): Lilith would tell me years later that most of the time the “License to Depart” is useless for higher and powerful beings. It is only used for lesser spirits that you have bound by a ritual, which happens usually during planetary working. Often, most deities and angels, and even higher demons, do not need one. Least of all, the Watchers. It is better to say “I release all spirits bound by this ritual. I thank thee, and bid thee farewell.” Often for important beings, like Lilith herself, or major angels and gods, address them directly and thank them as well. This also applies to any spirit you have called on by name, or for whom the ritual was designed.
For lesser spirits, she suggested adding “return now to your homes and habitations. Leave, without causing harm or mischief, to man or beast, and the let the peace of God be between you and me. Amen. Good bye.”
The next morning, my runny nose was nearly gone, and would disappear over time. It came back every now and then when I traveled by train, but I would will it away, refusing to indulge it by sneezing or wiping my nose, much like you ignore annoying people. Eventually, I’d make a talisman to protect me.
I also began to watch my diet, as in I stopped eating the hot chocolate. Not an issue really, because I had finished the jar right before the invocation. But nonetheless, tried to eat as much real food as possible, and not snack a lot. Even if I snacked, it would be a sandwich or some lemonade, instead of chips, biscuits and other things.
I’d been in the process of stopping the routine of soda and softdrinks. I ended up buying a can one day, but immediately the thought came to me that it was bad for me. And yeah, once you start leaving this stuff, it tastes less and less satisfying over time. You actually begin to notice the drowsy, sickening and demotivated feeling you get after eating them.
Update (2019): Over the years I’ve eliminated almost all the shit from my diet. I’ve also gotten rid of things that do not suit me. It is different for each individual. I do still eat chocolates though. But the Aztecs used it for magick, so it can’t be all that bad, eh?
I also stopped the rare consumption of Red Bull, because if anything is poison, it’s that. A few day ago, I saw a video titled “If Energy Drink companies were honest with us”, and yeah, that sealed my decision.
At first, my body craved the sugar rush, but I decided to not give in, and it went away.
Of course, I still eat peanut butter out of the jar. But somehow, seems like peanut butter is good. Once again, I didn’t stop completely. I’m not the guy who cringes if someone offers me some Coke. But, I don’t crave it.
So yeah, that is my experience with Raphael. I expected as much. Angels and Archangels are supposed to help you make big changes with your life, and this was helpful. Anyway, this is White Raven signing off. If you liked this, leave a like, and comment your thoughts.
EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.
Follow my blog for more content. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus
Until next time