Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Fascination With Fallen Angels

They're everywhere, from YA to erotic paranormal, and almost everything in between. But what exactly are fallen angels? As with most paranormal creatures, there are many myths and legends.

The stories a lot of us learned came from Sunday school and the Old Testament. Fallen angels helped lead men into acts of depravity, and one of the consequences was the Great Flood.

One of the archangels, Raphael, was told to put the fallen angel Azazel into chains and cast him into a pit of sharp stones in the desert, and cover him with darkness where he'd remain until Judgement Day.

Another archangel, Gabriel, was charged to proceed against the bastards and reprobates, the sons of the angels begotten (isn't that a great word? no one uses that word anymore) with the daughters of men, and plunge them into deadly conflict with one another. Perhaps it's this legend that sparks so many romance novels where fallen angels get it on with humans?

The descendants of Cain seemed especially linked to the wiles of fallen angels. According to legend, Cainite women and men alike were in the habit of walking around naked and giving into every conceivable manner of lewd practices. The women were said to be able to tempt angels from the path of virtue.

Lucifer is said to be a fallen angel. His names means "light giver" or "light bearer," referring to the morning or evening star. In Roman mythology he is the son of Aurora, the Roman personification of dawn. In Greek mythology he is the father Ceyx. Some scholars believe Satan and Lucifer are actually two separate fallen angels. Lucifer's sin was pride, suggesting he was the first angel to sin. His banishment was due to his complete egotism and pure malice.

In Genesis, the fallen are referred to as Nephilim, or sons of God, who came to Earth and reproduced with humans. These events caused God to cast them from Heaven. According to the Book of Enoch, there were some two hundred of the fallen. Of these, nine chief angels led them.

One of the most famous literary works to cover the plight of fallen angels is an epic poem titled Paradise Lost by John Milton, written in 1667. It incorporates the legends and myths of various religions and cultures regarding the fallen ones.

Whether you cull your fallen angel story from a myth or legend, or take liberties with your prose and make up your own, our fascination with these creatures has come down through the centuries. Won't you share your own fallen angel stories with us today?

10 comments:

  1. Hi Carolyn! :)

    My fallen angel is Saul the Bastard, who tries to redeem himself in BEAUTY AND THE BASTARD by working as a bounty hunter for mafia-like demon families, ridding our world of its worst demonic excesses. He endures physical and emotional torment every day, while living and working in hellish conditions. And as if that isn't enough for him to handle, he is hired to protect the beautiful modern-day demon princess Rebecca from dangerous hunters and the two fugitives fall in love. Next stop: Complication City! :)

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  2. Hi David! I LOVED Beauty and the Bastard, but you already know that! :)

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  3. Carolyn,
    Interesting post. You're right. There are many books about fallen angels.

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  4. I keep seeing fallen angels combined with vampires! So far no fallen angels have been werewolves, though. New genre?

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  5. I never realized how very violent angels are. mine is always giving me the best hugs. I have to ask him if he's different with his contemporaries.

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  6. Brenda, I was amazed at the amount of information available.

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  7. Nessa, apparently they have a bad side. :)

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  8. Jody, I love it! I'm also surprised no one has done that yet. :)

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  9. Great post, Carolyn! I've been fascinated with fallen angels for years. My mom had this fantastic book listing all the known angels and I would pour over it all the time. Really enjoying all the variety of books out now that have angels as the main characters!

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  10. Hi Monica, I've always been fascinated by them as well. Take care! :)

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