Angelolatry: “worship of angels,” 1847, from angel + -latry.
Belief in angels is an accepted and, perhaps, expected accident of monotheism in the post-classical world. According to a recent poll according to a survey of 1,648 adults, who were asked 350 questions on their religious practices released in 2008 by Baylor University and subsequently reprinted in the Washington times, as many as 50% of Americans believe in angels:
“Mystical experiences are widespread,” said Rodney Stark, co-director of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion… I’d have guessed 15 percent instead of 55,” he added, referring to the 55 percent who claimed angelic protection. “This is the taboo subject in American religion. No one studies it, but there is a lot of it out there. ”Julie Duin. Half of Americans believe in angels, Washington Times. 09/19/2008
Interestingly, despite the widespread belief in angels, the three monotheisms represented by Judaism, Christianity and Islam have, at varying points struggled with the roles of angels as represented within the context of their religions ranging from wholly endorsed petitioning to these celestial messengers to outright prohibition of and condemnation for those seeking angelic intercession.
Without going too much into the messy theological disputes, I confess that I am an angelolater. While some may take alarm at this, it provides me a pragmatic and practical connection in the vast webs of spiritual bureaucracies posited by conventional and occult belief systems and, I’ve found, gives me a particular edge in my personal practice. In my youth and through college, my family’s connection to Catholicism instilled in me a deep interest in the symbolism and reality of angels which is something that I carried over with me in my journey into occultism. In recent years, there appears to be a resurgence of similar practices to the ones I carry out among more high-profile occultists and co-practitioners which has been fascinating to read about and exchange knowledge and experiences.
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the foundation ritual of post-Enlightenment ceremonial occultism promoted by the Golden Dawn and its related magical organizations, is perhaps the first ritual many encounter in modern magic and contains within it a very explicit process of petitioning the angels Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel to protect the magician during their magical undertaking and create an environment free from external (and internal) psychic interference. Even the diabolical Aleister Crowley held the ritualized invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel in highest esteem, so much so that he made it a mandatory part of initiation in his A∴.A∴ system to gauge the development of initiates. Yet, for all this, angels are treated as some otherworldly other at best, mental construct at worst, that are unable to relate to the everyday needs of practitioners except through formal invocation.
In my personal practice, I’ve developed a sort of “Angelic Psalter” that I use in my daily devotional work to help me connect to these messengers using elements orthodox Christian angelology combined with elements from Solomonic  magical practice. As an example, I’ll provide my Wednesday ritual to Michael the Archangel as a template for others who wish to do similar:
I first sprinkle the four corners of my altar with a sprig of rosemary or a combination of vervain , fennel, lavender, sage (S. officinalis or S. apiana), valerian, mint, garden-basil , rosemary, and hyssop and Holy Water I get from a local Catholic parish while saying:
“Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be clean: Thou shalt wash me and I shall be made whiter than snow.”
Next, I bless my general altar incense, saying:
“The God of Abraham, God of Issac, God of Jacob, + bless here the creatures of these kinds that they may fill up the power and virtue of their odors; so that neither the enemy, nor any false imagination, may be able to enter into them. Amen.”
Then I exorcise the charcoal, saying:
Bless +, O Lord, this creature of fire, and sanctify + it that it may be blessed to set forth the praise of thy holy name, that no hurt may come to the exorcist or spectators: through our Lord Jesus Christ +,
Then I bless myself with Holy Water upon my brow and perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. After completing the LBRP, I then pray to the four directions:
“O angels spoken of before, be my helpers in these petitions, and come speedily to my assistance. I adjure and call you all forth, by the seat of ADONAY, and by HAGIOS, O THEOS, ISCHUROS, ATHANATOS; PARACLETOS, ALPHA & OMEGA, and by these three secret names: AGLA, ON, TETRAGRAMMATON that you at once fulfill what I desire.”
I then return to my altar and uncover my talisman to Michael and recite his invocation eight times:
“I invoke and conjure thee, O Archangel MICHAEL, in the name of the most ineffable name ELOHIM TZABAOTH, the Lord of Hosts. O Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Hosts and the Sons and Daughters of God, ruler over the sphere of Kokab, ruler of this Day, I call your name to offer you praise and thanksgiving for this day over which you rule that I may be preserved by your presence and guided by your wisdom. Preserve me in the course of my daily activities and pray to the Lord of Hosts that we may thrust the Evil Urge under our feet, so far conquered that it may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm them. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating it down that it may no longer hold power over my life. AMEN.”
When I feel the angel’s presence I offer him a glass of water and a candle, saying:
“O Michael the Archangel, accept this offering of sacrifice and praise to the greater glory of your name. AMEN .”
I then spend time in quiet conversation or contemplation. And recite the license to depart:
“In the name of the Father +, and of the Son +, and of the Holy Ghost +, go in peace unto your places; peace be between us and you; be ye ready to come when you are called.”
I repeat the LBRP and extinguish the altar candle, leaving the offering candle to burn out on its own.
While it may seem like a fairly involved service, the overall length of time from beginning to end is rarely longer than an hour – roughly the same amount of time spent by particularly devout Christians who practice the Liturgy of the Hours. I personally find a great benefit to communicating with the angels in this more devotional method since it helps to solidify my link on earth to the greater schema of the Macrocosm. Even if one doesn’t practice it on a weekly basis year round, it can be beneficial for those who are preparing for longer magical operations that require a number of days’ worth of preparation.
Coptic Icon of Michael the Archangel
 In this particular case, drawing from The Heptameron, or Magical Elements attributed to Pietro de Abano and a good chunk of inspiration from Aaron Leitch (if you’re reading this I owe you a lot).
 Dominican brand incense is a good universal incense, however I use a variation of the Abramelin recipe consisting of equal parts frankincense, benzoin, aloes and rose.
 Personal edit. “O angels spoken of before, be my helpers in these petitions, and help me in my affairs and petitions.”
 Personal composition.
 Yetzer Hara, refers to the inclination to do evil, by violating the will of God. The term is drawn from the phrase “the imagination of the heart of man [is] evil” (Hebrew: יֵצֶר לֵב הָאָדָם רַע,yetzer lev-ha-adam ra), which occurs twice in the Hebrew Bible, at Genesis 6:5 and 8:21. Anything that distracts one from following their “True Will” – Thelemites may compare this to the concept of Chronzon.