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Uriel, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael are
the four archangels mentioned most often in
Hebrew, Kabbalistic, Islamic, and Christian
traditions.   The name Uriel literally means
"Fire of God," "Flame of God," "Light of God,"
or even "Sun of God." 

Some accounts place the Archangel Uriel at the head of the third order or company of angels.  Others identify Uriel as one of the Seven Spirits before the Throne.  Kabbalists assign Uriel to the middle pillar of the Tree of Life, and specifically to the sephirah Malkuth, the Kingdom.   Malkuth is often associated with the Shekinah, the Glory of God and the divine presence in the world.   Malkuth represents the lowest point of descent of the divine force, from which it ascends again to complete the cycle of manifestation and pralaya.  The penetration of divine force to the physical plane is of particular interest, at this time, because of the increasing intensity of seventh-ray energy in the world and growing emphasis on healing work.

The Archangel Uriel has been called "the Lord of powerful action" [Helena Roerich.  Heart.  Agni Yoga Society, 1932, 268].  Uriel personifies the Divine Fire that comes down from the Third Aspect of Deity--Universal Mind--penetrating each plane until It reaches the physical.  There, the Fire ignites the fusion in the center of the Sun, the fission at the center of the Earth, and the kundalini at the base of the spine.  It creates worlds, universes, and life--which then await the quickening impulse of the Second Aspect to evolve and grow.

The Book of Enoch describes Uriel as "one of the holy angels, who is over the world... the leader of them all."  Later we read in the same book: "Uriel showed to me, whom the Lord of glory hath set for ever over all the luminaries of the heaven... the sun, moon, and stars, all the ministering creatures which make their revolution in all the chariots of the heaven." 

In Paradise Lost, John Milton mentions "Th' Arch-Angel URIEL, one of the seav'n, Who in Gods presence, neerest to his Throne... Regent of the Sun."  In his oratorio, The Creation, composed in 1797, Franz Joseph Haydn has Uriel announce the words from Genesis: "And God saw the light, that it was good... And God said, Let there be light in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day from the night, and to give light upon the earth... He made the stars also."

Colin Wilson describes encounters between Uriel and the 16th century scholar, Dr. John Dee.  Dee's scrying assistant, Edward Kelley, saw a cherub in a crystal ball.   Dee identified the cherub from his Kabbalistic knowledge as "Uriel, the angel of light."  Later, in 1582, Dee had a vision of a child angel floating outside the window, holding a crystal egg.  Again he identified this with Uriel.  Wilson claims that the crystal egg is preserved in the British Museum. [Colin Wilson.  The Occult: A History.  Random House, 1971, pp. 273-4].  Whether Uriel appears as a child, a powerful man, or a woman of regal bearing (as the artistic depictions show below), the archangel continues to command the imagination, reverence, and devotion of people around the world.

Uriel is often referred to as the Great Archangel of the Earth.  One contemporary account describes the archangel thus: "He (or she) is the keeper of the mysteries which are deep within the planet, underground and in the hidden depths of the living world."  Additional information is provided along with the artwork reproduced below.

The feast day of the Archangel Uriel is celebrated July 28.   Uriel's influence is believed to peak during the summer months.  According to Corinne Heline:  "The beautiful Uriel stands guardian over the activities of the summer.  The ripening of grain and the floodtide of blossom are under his guidance.   He also supervises the Nature Spirits, those fascinating little sprites who inhabit the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and who lend so much to the beautification of all nature.  The highest initiatory teachings belonging to the New Age... are under the direction of Uriel."  [Corinne Heline.  The Blessed Virgin Mary.  New Age Press, 1971, p. 110.]


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Invocation to the Archangel Uriel

Glory to God and his deeds,
for everything is good and wonderful.
Holy Archangel Uriel,
protect and look after rivers,
their waters we drink,
life springs up from them;
make grass sprout for cattle,
make man yield bread out of the land,
wine to enliven his heart,
oil and food to give him force.

[This beautiful invocation was translated from the original Spanish by Pedro Pablo Parrado of Bogota, Colombia--to whom we are also indebted for letting us know about three of the pictures shown below.]

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Who (or What) are Archangels?

The archangels are near the top of the Devic Kingdom, which includes entities ranging from the lowliest elementals and nature spirits to the highest ranks of angels.  They are under the direction of the 3rd Aspect of Deity--or what Christians call the Holy Spirit.  Archangels are mentioned in both the Bible and the Koran.  For example, Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and also to the prophet Mohammed.  They are also referred to in many Jewish, Christian and Islamic apocryphal texts.  Archangels play a major role in the Kabbalah, where one is assigned to each sephiroth, or divine emanation. 

Artists have usually depicted archangels as male figures, whereas lower members of the devic kingdom have often been portrayed as female.  Since there is no evidence that gender as we know it extends to the archangels, the male bias in artistic representation is simply cultural. 

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Uriel in Art

The Archangel Uriel has never been a popular subject of artistic representation.  A few images once graced churches in Rome, but Uriel fell out of favor with church officials in the early Renaissance period.  Pope Clement III reportedly ordered the removal of Uriel's image from the church of Santa Maria del Angeli in Rome, and a painting in the church in Piazza Esedra was painted over.  The reason seems to have been a mistaken notion that Uriel was somehow connected with the Johannine heresy which claimed that John the Baptist, not Jesus, was the true messiah.   Needless to say, there is no evidence of such a connection.  Uriel escaped unjust criticism in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, and it is in South America that we have found--and still find--the greatest reverence for the archangel.   However, as discussed below, interesting centers of devotion are found in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Several pictures are reproduced, spanning several centuries and three continents.  They also represent different types of symbolism.  One of the paintings shows Uriel holding a gun, a common symbol of power in the 17th century, and a recent portrayal shows a female image.  The stained glass windows from Tansley, England, and Salisbury, Maryland, are of special interest.  Accompanying the Tansley image is the following information: "Behind the head of Archangel Uriel can be seen a flaming sun with a face on it.  The flames from the sun can be seen at the top of the sun and two eyes and eyebrows can be seen just above the turban.  A closer look at the cloak shows that it is covered with the signs of the zodiac, animals and figures."  And accompanying the Salisbury image: "St. Uriel is the angel depicting 'God is my light' and is the leader of the sub-group of angels called Seraphim under the class Counselors.  He is said to be the angel who guarded the sepulchre of our Lord.  He is looked upon as the interpreter of prophecy.  His symbol is usually a scroll or a book, which he carries in his hand. (In this window he is shown with the blazing sun in hand symbolizing the light of God.)  He appeared in a vision to Esdras in the second book of Esrads in the Apocrypha, 4:1, "And the angel that was sent unto me, whose name was Uriel ...." Nancy Lee alerted us to the beautiful stained-glass window of St. Peter's Church, Salisbury, MD, shown below:


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Archangel Uriel with the Fallen Satan

Engraving in The Poetical Works of John Milton
by W. Harley, 1794


Uriel, Fuego de Dios

Anonymous 17th-century painting. 
Chapel of Parroquia de Sopů, Bogota, Colombia

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Uriel, Dei

Anonymous 17th century

Art National
Museum, La Paz, Bolivia


Further information


Oracion al
Arcangel Uriel

Anonymous painting,
Caracas, Venezuela

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Archangel Uriel

Brodie Mais Window
Holy Trinity Church
Tansley, Derbyshire,


Further information



Saint Uriel

Stained-Glass Window at
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
Salisbury, Maryland

Further information



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Archangel Uriel

Based on a painting by
Margaret Gregg
Tennessee, 1998


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Copyright ©, John F. Nash, 1998-2012.