1. Religion & Spirituality

How Do I Recognize Archangel Gabriel?


angel Gabriel

A statue of archangel Gabriel blowing a trumpet

Jules Frazier / Photodisc / Getty Images

Question: How Do I Recognize Archangel Gabriel?

Archangel Gabriel is known as the angel of revelation because God often chooses him to deliver important messages to people. If Gabriel visits you, you can be sure that God has something significant to say to you through Gabriel.

Here are some signs of Gabriel's presence when he is nearby:


Guidance for the Future

When you get sudden insights that give you valuable guidance for the future, Gabriel may be delivering those insights to you, believers say.

In her book Archangels 101: How to Connect Closely with Archangels Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel and Others for Healing, Protection, and Guidance Doreen Virtue writes: "Gabriel, as the archangel of communication, often announces what's on the horizon, and acts like a manager or agent in orchestrating new ventures related to one’s soul purpose."

Author Richard Webster writes in his book Gabriel: Communicating with the Archangel for Inspiration and Reconciliation that, "Gabriel aids visions, and can also help you get glimpses of the future." Webster adds: "You can call on Gabriel for help whenever you feel downhearted, need to overcome doubt and fear, or desire guidance, inspiration, intuition, or purification. If you feel trapped, locked in, or are simply in a rut, call on Gabriel to help you change and start moving ahead again ... Gabriel wants you to lead a happy, fulfilled life and will offer guidance and aid whenever you ask for it. If you feel lost and have no idea where you are going in life, ask Gabriel for help. ... If you want to know about the future, ask Gabriel to keep you informed. The gift of prophecy can be yours, if you ask Gabriel to help."

Help Solving Problems

If an idea about how to solve a problem comes to your mind (especially after you've been praying for guidance about solving a difficult problem), it may be a sign that Gabriel is with you, say believers.

In Gabriel: Communicating with the Archangel for Inspiration and Reconciliation, Webster writes that Gabriel sometimes offers ideas for solutions while people are meditating and asking Gabriel what to do about their problems: "The most usual form of communication is for thoughts and insights to come into your conscious mind. Ask Gabriel to clarify anything you do not understand. By the end of the conversation you should know exactly what to do."

In their book Dreaming With the Archangels: A Spiritual Guide to Dream Journeying, Linda and Peter Miller-Russo write that archangel Gabriel and other archangels may work during your dreams to help you solve problems if you invite them to do so before going to sleep: "You should awaken with a dream-world memory that contains the solution (or a seed to the solution) to your problem. Sometimes you will not remember having a dream at all. Yet the answer to the problem will come to your conscious awareness later in the day."

Messages Through Dreams

Gabriel often visits people while they're dreaming, believers say. For example, Christian tradition says that Gabriel is the angel in the Bible story about an angel telling Joseph in a dream that he would serve as the father of Jesus Christ on Earth.

In Gabriel: Communicating with the Archangel for Inspiration and Reconciliation, Webster writes: "Gabriel is considered the archangel of dreams, premonitions, and clairvoyance. ... Gabriel will also give you advice in the form of dreams and visions. She will help you grow in knowledge and wisdom. Your spiritual growth and development will progress faster than ever before."

Gabriel often hopes that his appearances in people's dreams will inspire them to pursue greater purity in their lives, write Linda and Peter Miller-Russo in Dreaming With the Archangels: A Spiritual Guide to Dream Journeying. They write that: "Archangel Gabriel wishes to meet with you in your dream worlds tonight. Gabriel has appeared to people as both a male angel and a female angel. When meeting him, one can sense the purpose that emanates from him."

The Miller-Russos quote a message that they say archangel Gabriel gave them about that purpose: "Purification of the self builds strength and opens the channels of communication between you and the beings on the higher planes. The wisdom of your guardian angel, the archangels, and your spirit guides is more easily understood and integrated by those who devote themselves to the purification of their heart and mind."

Feeling Challenged When Receiving a Message

People may feel challenged to take on a great responsibility when Gabriel communicates with them. Historically, the messages that Gabriel delivers often have to do with asking people to do something for God, and religious texts record that the people whom Gabriel visits have felt troubled when they ponder his message to them.

The Qur'an says that it was Gabriel who miraculously revealed its entire content to the prophet Muhammad, and Muhammad wrote that Gabriel's visits to him were stressful and challenging. In his book What You Need to Know About Islam and Muslims, George W. Braswell writes: "It was Gabriel who appeared to Muhammad and brought the Qur'an to him and told him to recite ... There was physical and psychological stress upon Muhammad as he encountered the angel Gabriel, who gave him the words to recite."

Tariq Ramadan describes Gabriel's challenging visits to Muhammad in his book In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad: "The angel Gabriel appeared to him several times. The prophet was later to report that the angel sometimes appeared to him in his angelic persona and sometimes as a human being. At other times, the prophet would hear a bell-like sound and revelation would come suddenly, requiring of him such extreme concentration that he came close to asphyxiation. This last mode was particularly painful, even though at the end of the process he was able to repeat word for word the contents of revelation he had received."

When Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she would serve as Jesus Christ's mother on Earth, the Bible records that Mary was troubled at first: "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be" (Luke 1:29).

In her book Women in the New Testament, Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan writes: "The angel Gabriel appears unexpectedly ... After greeting Mary, the angel begins the message from God, saying 'Do not be afraid.' The attitude of awe or reverence, expressed as fear, is typical for those who experience an epiphany. ... Mary is troubled at hearing the greeting of the angel. Her confusion is based on both the appearance of the angel and on what the angel has said.

White or Copper Light

You may see either white or copper light around you when Gabriel is nearby, since Gabriel's electromagnetic energy corresponds to the white angel light ray and his aura is a copper color, say believers.

In her book Psychic Children, Joanne Brocas writes: "Archangel Gabriel is associated with a beautiful white light and this color brings purification to wherever it is needed. Imagine this white light enfolding and surrounding you and your child and ask that it help dissolve any stress or worries that may be affecting either of you."

About Gabriel's copper aura, Virtue writes in Archangels 101: How to Connect Closely with Archangels Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel and Others for Healing, Protection, and Guidance: "Gabriel is usually portrayed with a large copper trumpet, to symbolize clearly trumpeting messages from God. ... Gabriel's halo is copper-colored, like the angel's symbolic trumpet. If you see flashes or sparkles of copper light, or if you suddenly find yourself attracted to this metal, this is a sign that you're working with Archangel Gabriel."

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.