A short story dedicated to the Seraphim

This was my entry into a 2017 short story contest that was selected to be published in the book "When Angels Make House Calls" 

The wings of change
By Alex Brandin


I am back. Again. Whenever I am inside the Hagia Sophia I experience an incredible flow of inspiration, this place acts for me as a conductor for clarity. Pieces of internal wisdom, almost forgotten memories, life experiences and fragments of visions merge with universal insights, like pieces of a gigantic puzzle that start to fall into the right place to reveal parts of a larger picture.


How did it all begin? Prior to 2005, I had no idea who or what Seraphim are. This suddenly changed, when I, seemingly by accident, stumbled into a workshop related to this topic. That day triggered a deep fascination with this subject, and sparked my strong desire to learn more about it. Ultimately, it motivated me to embark on an almost Indiana-Jones-like quest around the globe, to uncover some of the mysteries of the Seraphim in order to understand their meaning and relevance for me today.


Almost everywhere I go, only few people know about Seraphim. I devised a quick survey as conversation starter regarding this topic. It goes like this:  Please point to the one of the following six pictures that shows an image you associate with the word “Seraphim”. The first photo is of a high-speed train flying through the countryside; the second one showcases a sparkling blue gemstone; the third portrays a bizarre fish swimming through a primordial ocean; the fourth depicts an angel with six wings in a piece of ancient art, the fifth illustrates an exotic flower; and the last one is a picture of a fabric with a distinctive pattern.


This quiz leaves many people scratching their heads, even among the more spiritual crowds at holistic Expos, where I give presentations. I think, if someone would have put me on the spot like this years ago, I would have probably picked the image of the exotic flower myself.


Things shifted significantly, after a long chain of synchronicities had drawn my attention repeatedly to the exceptional Seraphim depictions inside the Hagia Sophia. It was a subtle, but very distinct guidance that expressed itself in a series of serendipitous events. The culmination point was my decision to embark on my first trip to Istanbul in 2012.


I have returned here often since then, but I still remember the unique mix of almost overwhelming emotions and sensory stimulation during the initial visit clearly. It set into motion a process that deepened my understanding of the seraphic consciousness and the human perception thereof over time, and it changed the trajectory of my entire life.


I am standing inside the Hagia Sophia, like I have many times before. Experiencing the dimensions of this building is very humbling. Four gigantic Seraphim angel depictions adorn the ceiling. Their wings are reaching up to the edge from where the enormous dome arises. I love to position myself directly at the midpoint below. Being surrounded by these massive six-winged Angels triggers something deep inside of me.

Every visit here feels different. The Hagia-Sophia-experience has become a mandatory part of every one of my trips to Istanbul. But it is not only about the strong vibration of the location, or the impressive accumulation of historic artifacts. There is this sense of importance and significance resonating through and permeating from this extraordinary building, that draws me towards it again and again.


My physical presence here always coincides with entering an altered state of mind and emotion, it allows me glimpses of higher levels of truth and consciousness, and there is this strong sensation of connectedness. I also can feel an immediate impact physically, a tingling sensation dancing through my body.


The Hagia Sophia is a true architectural wonder. It represented the largest enclosed space on Earth when it was opened in 537 after only 5 years of construction, and maintained this status for over one thousand years. The name Hagia Sophia translates into “Holy Wisdom”. It has been attracting travelers, explorers and seekers from all over the world, it inspired writers and painters. And it sustained its mysterious allure over the centuries, as is evident by the fact, that the Hagia Sophia is the most visited historical monument in Turkey still today. And I feel, that somehow the enigmatic Seraphim depictions add to the almost magnetic force with which the observers are attracted.


Suddenly, a group of four women and two men is arriving and they are positioning themselves right next to. As they look around, their attention gets immediately captured by the four massive winged beings who truly dominate the ceiling. The - judging by the accent - British tourists start debating what it is that they are seeing high above. “Are they angels? They look like angels. No, not really, they don’t seem to have bodies... Are these wings? Wings??? And why so many wings? Six wings, really!?”


Oh yes, the topic of the wings… These questions are familiar to me. How did I struggle with this concept myself some years back!  When I was a child it somehow seemed perfectly agreeable for my sense of imagination that angels existed and that they had wings. But at some point, my critical thinking started to take over and my need to analyze, to understand and to comprehend changed this completely.


I probably spent hundreds of hours on the angels’ wings topic. And now, today this really does not even feel like such a big deal anymore. Interesting how things sometimes shift. For me it happens, when I “can get out of my head”, so to speak. When establishing a heart connection things appear different, priorities change. It almost makes me laugh today, when I recall my long internal battles about this topic.


It seemed – for me at least - like an inherent contradiction that an angel, who is a non-physical entity would have wings with feathers. A bird needs them to create force for lift-off. By flapping down, the wings generate high pressure underneath them and that can push the weight of the bird’s physical body up and off the ground. The wings are also necessary to provide the thrust for moving the bird through the air and to fly.


How about the functions of the feathers? Generally, birds have primary and secondary feathers. The primary feathers, mostly 10 on each wing, are essential for flying. If they are damaged, no take-off is possible. The secondary feathers are sustaining the bird in the air and giving it sufficient lift. All feathers together provide a lightweight surface for pushing against the air. They are indispensable tools to control the nuances of the downwards and upwards thrusts and to maneuver into the desired directions.


If angels have no physical body, what do they need the wings for? What weight do they have to lift, what resistance or opposing force do they have to overcome? Could an etheric being not just move by will or through mere intention? Ultimately, I was unable to reconcile these concepts. I even had several sleepless nights trying to find answers that seemed so fundamentally important to me back then.


Gone were the childhood days when the idea of Angels seemed fascinating and I loved the thought of having such invisible protectors and guides. Justifying the purpose of their wings had become almost an obsession. It developed into the central focus point on which my entire belief system seemed to depend on. To believe angels existed or to ban them into the realm of fairy tales for children. It all hinged on the wings for me…


The discussion among the visitors next to me continued. It was impossible for me not to overhear it. They kept sharing their ideas about the winged creatures and their possible meaning. It makes me smile when I listen to some of their comments alternating between a sense of wonder, curiosity and skepticism. As I am gazing at the Seraphim at the ceiling some of the wing-theories pop into my mind again. Should I share my thoughts with the group of debating strangers?


I could tell them about the theory, that what appears to us as wings may not be designed for flying at all, but they might be shields of protection. It is interesting that the lower realm angels are thought to have only two wings, but the angels who are at the top of hierarchy, who are residing at the highest vibrational levels are depicted with more wings: The Cherubim with four and the Seraphim even with six.


The Seraphim are defined as a group of high angels directly surrounding God, or in other terms the level of consciousness closest to source. Based on this understanding, these shields might be necessary to protect the angels from this constant blast of energy emanating from the source of all that is. An etheric concept, equivalent to how the Earth’s magnetic field creates a protection from the perpetual solar wind.


The biblical interpretation of the wings of the Seraphim is that they are used for vailing the angel’s faces and to cover themselves as an act of humility while they are in the presence of God. They wish to express their modesty and loyalty by preventing their own light from shining brightly, so that they will not be perceived as competing with the glory of God.


Maybe the shielding also goes both ways. Being so close to the source of energy might bear a risk of assimilation or melting back into source. To be able to sustain their individuality, they might need a separating buffer. In addition, the shields might also ward off unwanted energetic inferences during the angelic travels, and protect us, our human bodies and energy systems when we interact with them. Do the depictions of the Seraphim not look like they are intentionally withholding the full force of their light and only allow to come through as much as we can handle?


Maybe it would inspire the puzzled observers besides me to hear the theory that the wings might serve as tools to change direction and to navigate space. Like setting sails or using a rudder for steering a boot. Or, for me as fan of “Stargate SG1”, I could compare it with programming the correct destination coordinates before dialing out. When observing birds fly on a windy day, I sometimes notice how strong gusts can suddenly toss them around and how they use their wings to regain control.


Maybe there is such a thing like “etheric weather” with energy blasts and frequency streams and the angels use their wings to maneuver around obstacles and stay the course. Another aspect is the possible use of the wings as breaks to be able to slow down from lightning fast travels through space and time at a precise end point. Whenever there is a change of direction, or a switch from the state of rest into motion and vice versa, the wings might facilitate this change. 


Looking at wings that way, it is very interesting to point out, that each one of the four Seraphim angels inside the Hagia Sophia has a distinctly different wing position. In most other places where I have encountered multiple Seraphim depictions next to each other, each image normally is just an identical repetition of the same Seraph. But here, for some reason, that is not the case. Is this an indication how they adapt to different situations to facilitate the optimal dynamic? A hidden message?


Synchronistically, one of the ladies next to me just pointed out to the others that each one of the angels was looking unique, and she speculated that maybe the various positions of the wings might signify different stages of their flight. I must control myself and suppress laughing out loud. What is going on here? Telepathy? I continue to wonder if I should introduce myself to the group. Each one of them is very engaged in their angel-wing-conversation.


Part of me would love to share the theory that maybe they are wings of transformation. It might be true that the angels, when dwelling in their natural “home-environment”, are purely etheric and wingless indeed. But when angels interact with humans, they might choose to descend into lower realms that we humans also can perceive. In situations like that they might have to transform their entire being to maneuver these foreign territories. Creating an intermediate space, establishing some common ground between two different forms of existence, where we can interact with the Seraphim, might require as much, or possibly even significantly more of a change to the Seraphic consciousness than it does for us.  


We humans can use a variety of techniques to expand our sensory awareness and consciousness. In turn, the Seraphim might use certain methods depending on the requirements of a specific circumstance, and the usage of wing-tools could be one of them. Accounts of interactions with Angels that did not have wings seem to indicate that either the angels have the option and ability to switch the wings on and off, or the sensory awareness or state of consciousness of the witnesses fluctuated.


Spirit itself may need some substance to become tangible or even visible in the three-dimensional physical reality. One idea is that water vapor might be the optimal medium to enable angelic beings to appear to us. If the angels would use such vapor to aid their presence in denser realms, they might no longer be truly non-physical and weightless. The water might add enough mass to truly require wings to maneuver around. Is it a coincidence that freezing water droplets manifest as snowflakes with “six wings”? And isn’t interesting that freezing water vapor on a window crystalizes in fascinating feather-like ice flower creations?


I am finding myself thinking about several other theories, like the one, that each wing is a multidimensional energy vortex; or the idea that there may be an evolution of spirit itself that would be represented by the number of wings. With the core thought being, that every time spirit or a soul ascends, or better transcends one level of existence, it receives a pair of wings.


Part of me really wants to share all these thoughts with the group of British ponderers. But I do not. The whole topic of angels with six wings is a rather confusing one, even for many people who have studied the hierarchy of angels. But then again, the entire concept of the existence of winged etheric beings requires a lot of good faith to get on board with. Six wings, four wings or just two wings…


All these theories are just that: theories. I have also reconciled with that possibility that maybe the wings have absolutely no purpose at all. Perhaps we are misguided by our human desire and need to understand, that leads to the assumption of purpose in everything. The whole topic of angels remains for a large part in the realm of mysticism. Much cannot be revealed in words because we are missing proper associations. But, of course we cannot help but to ponder about it. Maybe having wings is simply something like a fashion statement, perhaps having six wings is just like an equivalent of wearing an Armani suit. Maybe angels like the way it looks and feels and they get enjoyment and pleasure from it.


We can easily overthink matters. I know!!! Our mind goes into overdrive and prevents us from perceiving the essence. All this information might just feed the inner critic. The need to understand can be a self-sabotaging act to distract as from the truly meaningful. I hope the British seekers can get beyond the whole wing topic and focus on the core questions: Who are the Seraphim? What is their essence? What is their significance for us today?


Inspired art is a “mystical mirror” of the divine within, it resonates with the soul wisdom and can help us to find the keys to access deep inner knowledge and truth. It contains a lot of symbolism. And symbols can be a spiritual trigger for the observer. The more we focus on them, the more personal meanings will be discovered. Spiritual images empower our imagination.


I trust the six Brits are being inspired by the artwork itself. They absorbed the images for a long time, they engaged thoroughly. Opening ourselves through this sense of wonder and curiosity creates space and opportunity for revelations. I don’t even have to share my thoughts with the puzzled observers next to me. I can trust in the divine guidance they will experience.


Suddenly, the group breaks off. Everyone seems to be going their own ways to explore other points of interest inside this huge museum. One of the ladies turns around and asks me if I could take a photo. Preferably, she would like to have one of the Seraphim angels in the photo right above her. “I really like that one”. She points to her favorite of the four. I smile. And I just respond; “Sure, aren’t these angels amazing?” She nods and adds: “They are so mysterious”.


I have to get down on one knee to get the perfect angle to capture the chosen Seraph right above the lady’s shoulder. I do it gladly. I take a few photos, just to make sure. She says: “I love the Angels! These ones seem to be very special ones” I nod in agreement and respond “Yes, they are magnificent.” I hand her back her phone, she checks the photos and gives me an approving smile. I wish her a nice time in Istanbul and she fades into the crowds of visitors.


It feels to me like this lady certainly established a real connection with the Seraphim through her sense of genuine curiosity and wonder. The photo will be a good reminder. I think she intuitively realized that the Seraphim can be interpreted as the personifications, or the embodiment of the energy of divine love, that they are powerful spiritual intelligences we can communicate with. And maybe, she created a lasting bond and after her return home, her favorite Seraph might make a house call at her place in the UK.  


I bring back my focus to the angels and continue to open myself to the mysteries of the Seraphim.