by Rabbi David A. Cooper
Angels, Rabbi David A. Cooper notes in Invoking Angels, are described in a variety of spiritual traditions. These include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and even Tibetan Buddhism. In the study of angels — angelology — one can come across angels of all types: “messengers, ministers, accusers, guardians, archangels, teachers, assistants, and so forth.” In fact, according to Rabbi Cooper, you don’t have to look hard at a synchronistic event before you see an angelic force behind it.
The author is interested not so much as invoking any particular angel itself, but invoking the characteristics of each angel. For example, the archangels each have their own attributes. For Michael, it is loving kindness; Gabriel, justice or righteousness; Raphael, healing; and Uriel, the light of mercy. The meditations on the accompanying CD allow the listener to learn of the qualities of each archangel experientially by visualizing him/herself surrounded by these beings, all in a soothing and relaxing way. It is impossible to perform these meditations and not walk away with a feeling of profound peace, and even protection from these ethereal beings.
Rabbi Cooper also discusses what he calls the “supreme angels,” — one so powerful he dare not utter his full name, and therefore refers to only as “M.” Other supreme angels are Sandalphon, the primary intermediary between heaven and earth, and the Shekhina, feminine, and described as “the divine presence.”
Most interestingly, Rabbi Cooper also writes of the concept of each person being swayed at any random time between yetzer ha-tov and yetzer ha-ra. These are good inclinations and not-good inclinations, respectively. It rather reminded me of old cartoons where an angel sits on one shoulder and a devil on another, when one is making a decision. And speaking of devils, the book also goes into the concept of fallen angels.
Throughout, the author teaches: “Each of the traditional archangels, for example, has unique attributes associated with it. Through the use of imagination and visualization, we can develop a psychospiritual relationship that brings these characteristics alive within us. In this way, we are able to access our own hidden strengths that we often do not realize we have.”
Did I like this book? Let’s look it this way: After reading it and listening to the meditations, I did in fact order a new copy of the book to give away at a holiday party I’ve been invited to where the guests were instructed to bring a Kris Kringle of less than $20. So that pretty much answers that question! In this season of giving, Invoking Angels instructs how one can align themselves with angelic forces that can only be positive for those who want to learn.
by Rabbi David A. Cooper
Sounds True, Inc. 2006
89 pp plus 64 minute CD, $19.95
Review by Diane Saarinen