Friday, January 10, 2014

Archangel Anael

Anael (or Haniel) is one of the Seven Archangels of Western esoteric lore. He isn't as famous or well-known as the first four (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel) and is not always listed as one of the Seven. But Anael has his (or her) own set of correspondences according to the esoteric system. Anael connects with the planet Venus, with green and copper, and the number seven. He/she also is associated with the Kabbalistic sephirah (place in the symbolic Tree of Life) of Netzach, or "Victory."

I chose to portray Anael as a youthful warrior (hence the Japanese sword, which was just getting to be popular in the USA) in semi-"Oriental" garb, clothed in malachite green. A cat, which is one of the animals of the goddess Venus, sits by his side. The star in the background is actually the planet Venus, shining as the "Evening Star." There's a seven-pointed star on his robe.

This little sketch is influenced by 20th century Tarot cards and I might have been planning to do a set of archangel and esoteric Tarot. Later on I did some more of these neo-Kabbalistic symbol portraits but I never did the whole set of archangels or all the 10 sephiroth. Western esotericism gives an artist endless amounts of symbolism to work with, so you never know, I might get inspired again someday.

Anael is ink and markers on sketchbook page, about 3 1/2" x 7", November 1980. Click for somewhat larger view.

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