A princely subject much loved by tattoo enthusiasts, this winged protector differs widely from one religion to another. Let’s find out why.

According to the Christian tradition, a guardian angel accompanies each person throughout their life, helping them through all manner of earthly troubles. Their main function is to keep the faithful away from sin so that they can one day reach salvation and eternal life in Heaven.

Fabio Guerrreiro, True World Tattoo, Albufeira, Portugal
Fabio Guerrreiro, True World Tattoo, Albufeira, Portugal

Another task is to see to it that the individual achieves earthly happiness. A happiness, needless to say, which is above and beyond human weakness and misery.

In the Old Testament, angels occupy the role of messengers of God just as they do in Greek philosophy, in particular in the various works of Plato (above all “Phaedo”).

Regarding guardian angels, Pope Pius X once said: “Guardian angels are those angels which God has appointed to guide us on the road to health. Our guardian angel assists us with good inspiration and guides us on the right path. He offers our prayers to the Almighty so that we can obtain His grace”.

Sergio Sanchez, Timeline Gallery, San Pedro, USA
Sergio Sanchez, Timeline Gallery, San Pedro, USA

The early Christian church did not invent the concept of “angel” but inherited it from the Jewish tradition. Here it was a figure already present as an intermediary ring between God and man, acting as a guarantor of divine transcendence.

In the Kabbalistic school of Girona, there was much credence given to theories about certain beneficial energies which angels are able to transmit to us. According to these writings, there are 72 guardian angels active on certain days of the year or on a daily bais. Angels who are available to help us for twenty minutes each: in fact, 20 minutes by 72 adds up to precisely 24 hours.…

Chuey Quintanar, Deer's Eye Tattoo, Santa Fe Springs, USA
Chuey Quintanar, Deer’s Eye Tattoo, Santa Fe Springs, USA

In Islam, there are two angels watching over the actions of a man: one on the right shoulder – recording only the good deeds – whereas the other on the left shoulder notes down both the good and bad he has done.

From this point of view Islamic angelology is markedly different from the Christian one. Here, angels are not pure incorporeal spirit but are subject to the resurrection. They have not chosen once and for all between Allah and the earthly rebellion, but are doomed to continually exercise free will. Just like mankind.

In Islam, since angels are not without sin, there is therefore no clean division between the Realm of angels (faithful to Allah) and that of demons. In fact, they do not have the role of “guide” and “protector” attributed to the guardian angel in western traditions.

We hope you enjoy our mystical gallery of all things angelical.