Q: How can we learn the names of our angels?

A: We don't think it is particularly important to know the name of your guardian angel. It may even be improper to inquire.

In Judges 13: 9-20, when Manoah and his barren wife are informed by an angel that they shall be the parents of a child (Samson) who shall be devoted to God, they ask the heavenly messenger his name "so that when these sayings come to pass we may do thee honor." The angel makes it clear that all honor must go only to God, but as to the matter of his name he answers, in the King James version, that it is secret. In the Contemporary English version, the angel replies, "You don't need to know my name. And if you did, you couldn't understand it."

Some readers may be familiar with our calling our guardian angel or spirit teacher by the name Elijah. In 1972, although we were not yet married--and in fact had not yet even met--we each experienced a physical manifestation of an angelic intelligence. After the manifestation had departed, we were each left with the impression of the name Elijah. Neither of us would claim that we know for certain that this is the name that our angel calls himself. Neither do we pray to him or call upon him to aid us or serve us in any way whatsoever. We think there is great wisdom in heeding the advice given by the angel who appeared to Samson's parents.

By the same token, we know that for centuries prophets, teachers, and clergy have spoken of angels and archangels, giving them a host of names, and ascribed to these beings what they deem their specific duties to be. We must also recognize that certain holy men and women may have received a divine revelation that Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and so forth were the actual names of mighty angelic beings, both in heaven and on earth.

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We claim no such divine revelation, so we might best consider "Elijah" as our nickname for our angel guide. We're human beings, after all. We like to have names for everything--from our pets to our automobiles. There is a magic in names, an identification, an association. We are compelled by our very nature to want to call our guardian angels and spirit teachers by their names--whether it is their actual names or not--so if it pleases you, do likewise.

What impression of a name do you receive while sensing the nearness of your angel guide? What impression of a name do you pick up while meditating on a lovely painting of angels or listening to inspirational music? You, too, can receive a nickname for your angelic guardian. Just remember: To God alone go all honor, glory, praise, and prayers.

Q: I was sitting alone at home with my infant daughter asleep in my arms, when I suddenly smelled the aroma of freshly baked doughnuts. I had not made or bought any doughnuts and did not have any in the house. Nor did I have any candle or air freshener that smelled like that. I had a feeling that there was a presence in the home, trying to give me a message. Can angels manifest their presence as a comforting scent, perhaps if they were trying to communicate a calming influence?

The detection of a pleasant aroma in the air has been reported by many individuals prior to their receiving what many have declared a significant, even life-altering, communication from angelic intelligence. The aromas most often reported are those of roses, violets, lilies, and various flowers. Others have mentioned the smell of a deceased loved one's cologne, aftershave, or body powder prior to spirit contact. If the aroma of doughnuts represents a time of comfort, security, or love to you, then angelic presence might very well surround you with such a smell to bring about a calming of the mind and senses and prepare you for meaningful contact.

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