All Things Alchemical is the monthly E-newsletter of personal transformation for those seeking grace and clarity. Enjoy discoveries centered on health, spirit, purpose, archetypes, symbology and artistic expression that will guide you dancing through life.
Note From Kendra
Angel: a spiritual being that serves especially as a messenger from God or as a guardian of human beings – Merriam-Webster
It’s hard to believe that, in all the time I have been writing about archetypes, I have never featured one of my favorites - Angel. I take for granted that everyone believes in angels and knows all there is to know about them. Everyone is at least familiar with angels whether through religion, a personal encounter, vision, or dream.
I hold these sacred beings close to my heart. I work and play with them every day and am very familiar with their energy and essence. So when I met an angel a little over a month ago, I knew it instantly. Actually, that is not true. When I heard about this woman and her trips to McDonald’s to give out angels, I knew it instantly. Her name is Gwynieth. The name ‘Gwynieth’ means: A Gift
I feel blessed to frequently meet people that are lightworkers, individuals who do great, selfless deeds for those in need and guide us through challenging times. More often than not, they have wicked senses of humor as well! Sounds like someone you’d want to become best friends with, right? Gwynieth is that person to me. She is a beautiful 84-year-old angel and is dying of cancer. She is well aware of her fate and has no problem talking about her life and the legacy I believe she is leaving for all of us. I wish I had met her 60 years ago when she was starting out on her adult journey as a young mother raising her firstborn child, a son.
An encounter with an angelic being leaves me speechless and in awe. So trying to describe the experience is challenging. I will attempt to share how spending one day with her in late October in a small town in southern Minnesota changed my life. She and her story, I feel, are worthy to share with the world, especially in this season of light and sound and selfless giving and sharing. I hope you will tell her story as well.
I introduce you to Gwynieth.
An Angel Amongst Us
A sunny day is what we received for a two and a half hour drive to southern Minnesota to visit an angel. Perfect.
A friend of mine has an aunt who is dying of cancer. She wrote me a letter after her initial visit to see her Aunt Gwynieth soon after her diagnosis. When I finished reading Mary’s letter, I knew I needed to meet Gwynieth. Intrigued by this beautiful spirit, I asked Mary if we could drive back down to visit with her and talk about the angels she gives out at the local McDonald’s.
Maybe it seems like no big deal that she does this, but Gwynieth is a vivacious eighty-four year old who has been giving her angel ornaments since she was seventy-four. When I asked how many of the ornaments she has given, she laughed and said humbly, “Oh thousands!” Well I guess this makes sense since her name means “a gift.”
I could easily write a short story about Gwynieth and how she’s touched my life and the lives of thousands of people, people that never have had the chance to talk with her about her angel collection, which rivals any Christian bookstore’s display. She has been collecting angels all her life she told me.
Gwynieth welcomes Mary and me in, and she immediately escorts me into her room and asks me how many children I have. I tell her, and then she goes to a box that has the American flag on it and instructs me to take an angel for each of my children. I don’t ask a single question at this point; I do as I am told. When I look into the box, there are at least a hundred of these angels. They are simple yet strikingly beautiful, and each one illuminates light from the love that Gwynieth has infused into them. We sit for some time and talk with a few members of her family as they stop by to visit her. Realizing that time is closing in on this part our of journey, we decide it’s time to go to lunch. Gwynieth is hesitant about taking us to her favorite restaurant as she thinks perhaps we want “fancy.” Not today we express; we want to take her where she enjoys going the most – McDonald’s.
Gwynieth…I am in awe of her expression of love for her life - the past, the present, all of it. She takes it in stride, and I witness this as we sit at a table in McDonald’s visiting with the same group of friends who meet there for breakfast or lunch each day. The staff at McDonald’s knows her order without Gwynieth having to speak a word. They smile at her as they fill her order, and I can tell they are protective of their Guardian Angel of the Arches! Here is where she hands out her specially crafted angels to friends and strangers, and some days she waits for the buses that pull in to give angels to all who are aboard, including the bus driver. For the extra special people, she gives them a crisp two-dollar bill.
I am curious about the resilience of a person who has lived a very full life of great challenges and sadness, and yet great triumphs and joy. Fully vested in the “BE”ing in life. So I ask Gwynieth if I can ask her some personal questions that perhaps she would want her children and grandchildren to remember about life – what she would want to pass on to them. Here are a few she said I could share:
- Kendra: What are the things you remember most about your life?
- Gwynieth: The bad things.
- Kendra: What has been your greatest gift?
- Gwynieth: My children.
- Kendra: What are the most important things you want to convey to your children?
- Gwynieth: Never go to bed angry at your spouse, and work hard.
On our way home, we ask Gwynieth if she wants to make the next stop she has been making each day for the past eight years - to sing a love song at the gravesite of her late husband of 58 years, Bernerd. She is a bit more frail now, and the wind is cold. So we each grab an arm and slowly make the trek to the grave where she kisses her finger and then gently places it on his picture that is smiling back at her. She sweetly starts to sing to her beloved, “I Love You for Sentimental Reasons.” She knows every word to the song, and she sings it to the end. As I stand with her, I am mesmerized by her beauty and her voice – the voice of an angel. Deeply moved, we walk back to the car to take her home.
When we get back to the apartment, she wants to take us in to see the Christmas tree in her office; it has not been taken down for the past eight years. It is the last tree that she and her husband put up together before he died in early January, and she decided then that she would never take it down. The tree has memorabilia for the troops, and the rest of the ornaments are angels. I ask if I can take her picture by the tree because that said it all to me. “Her life didn’t stop when her husband died; she lived each day fully and was a woman that loved her man. And that expression of her love never dimmed with the passing of each year following his death.” - Mary
Watching Gwynieth serve from the heart and serve as an angel, both Mary and I were reminded, and may she be a reminder to you, that if you love from the heart unconditionally, you have everything you need in life: fulfillment, peace, joy, and a state of grace that becomes you. And you are blessed.
Gwynieth, your name was divinely and perfectly given to you, and I think ‘Grace’ would have been fitting as well.
Thank you for a day I will remember forever. I am blessed.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Peace and with love,
(Fairy Godmother/ Godfather)
Angels exist in a category unto themselves because they are thought to be living beings of Light and messengers of the Divine. Almost every cultural and religious tradition on earth features angels of some description, including belief in a personal Guardian Angel in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. Angels are typically represented as winged beings who intervene in times of great need or for the purpose of delivering a message of guidance or instruction from God to humans. Even though you probably aren’t an actual Angel, you can acknowledge a strong connection to the angelic realm, as noted in people who have a dedication to representing the presence of angels. Artists who paint their images, for example, authors who write about their interaction with humans, and those whose lives in some way provide a channel through which their presence is physically manifested exhibit a rapport with the angelic realm. Some people are also referred to as “angels” because of the loving and nurturing qualities of character that they embody. One may also play the role of a Fairy Godmother or Godfather by helping someone in need either anonymously or with no expectation of any return.
The shadow side of this archetype manifests through people who make claims to be in touch with angelic guidance for the sake of control or ego enhancement, or who act innocent or angelic to mislead others about their true nature. From biblical perspective, the shadow Angel is frequently associated with Satan or Lucifer, but the Devil or Demon should also be considered as a unique archetype.
Films: Herbert Marshall in The Enchanted Cottage; Charles Coburn in The More the Merrier; Mary Wickes (Aunt March) to Amy in Little Women; the two angels in It’s A Wonderful Life; Marlon Brando in The Godfather trilogy (shadow); Danny Glover and Kevin Kline in Grand Canyon.
Television: Touched by an Angel
Fairy Tale: Glinda in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Religion/Myth: Angiris (Hindu angels who preside over sacrifices); Uriel (in rabbinic lore, the angel who wrestled with Jacob); Gabriel (archangel who appeared to Mary in the Gospels and recited the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad); Sijil (Islamic angels overseeing the heavenly scrolls); Tenshi (Japanese angels who are messengers of the gods and helpers of humanity); Lucifer and Iblis (in medieval Christian and Islamic belief, respectively, evil angels who work to destroy human souls); Fravashis (ancient Zoroastrian guardian angels who guide the souls of the dead to Heaven); Ombwiri (tribal guardian angels and ancestor spirits in central Africa); Athena (goddess who frequently comes to the aid of Odysseus in The Odyssey).
Myss, Caroline. Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002, 2003. 367-368. Print.
Contributed by Anne Barton
A couple of months ago I wrote about a powerful set of cards that I’ve been using in my life. The woman I’m following who is actively teaching about these cards, Almine, provides a lot of interesting and unique information about the times we are in – times when energies are shifting and old ways of being and doing are being shed. And she talks about specific ‘days out of time’ that provide the opportunity for us to connect in a deeper way with these energies.
In 2015, these are the ‘days out of time’:
I would suggest marking your calendar and consider incorporating these suggestions from Almine for making the most of these unique days:
"...on a day out of time, your reality becomes non-physical, even though you might not feel the difference. You can set big trends in motion and shape the quality of unfolding trends. These days are of importance.”
1. Invite Support into your field
Invite angels into your space and feel the support from the hidden realms responding to your most fervent and innocent requests.
2. Consciously raise your frequency
"A day out of time gives a great opportunity to affect the way events in your life unfold beneficially. The frequency of the day is higher, and therefore in another plane than other days. The most potent way to change the quality of your journey is to change your attitudes (frequency)." - Almine
3. Dream the future
“The best way to spend a day out of time is to not be in “doing”ness. Be as much in silence, peace and aloneness as you can. If you need to be with others, take little snippets of time and dream. Dream how your life would be if you had all the resources and support you could have. Dream in the future. Listen.” - Almine
I’ve picked another card this month, especially for this newsletter and its readers. This card seemed especially relevant to the above suggestions…
Close your eyes and consider a question you have right now – it could be about a decision you have to make, or a challenge you are facing, or something you’d like to create in your life – more joy, less stress, more freedom.
Hold that question, then open your eyes and read the statement for this card. Look at the symbol on the card, in the image below. Try saying the Name (this is actually Egyptian). And then consider the statement again. Repeat it. Does it provide you with a path for resolving your situation? It’s not meant to tell you what to do, it’s meant to guide you to your own answer or solution. Sit with it. Repeat it daily this week.
Klanus-krivanut-eset (Pronounced: Claw Noos-Cree Va Noot-Eh set)
Take time to be alone, that you may foster the seeds of greatness and gain the emotional comfort and peace of knowing your being is your sustenance. In the silent hours of solitude do you come home to your self.
To learn more about my tools, as well as more about me, visit http://tiny.cc/AnneBartonReadings.