Michael (Hebrew) Mīkhā’ēl Who is as God; one of the seven archangels, in the Old Testament one of the chiefs of the heavenly host, regarded as the guardian angel or celestial patron of Israel. According to one legend, Michael was chief of the four or seven angels who surrounded the heavenly throne. The Roman Catholic Church regards Michael in much the same light, his festival, Michaelmas, being held on September 29. With the Gnostics, the first of the Aeons, called the savior. In the New Testament Michael leads the angelic host against the Apocalyptic Dragon, repeating the familiar tale of many ancient mythologies. Again, he is the chief opponent of Samael, the principal antagonist of the heavenly host. Originally, however, both Michael and Samael were as one, both proceeding from ruah (soul), neshamah (spirit), and nephesh (vitality) — as taught in the Qabbalah (in the Chaldean Book of Numbers). “Samael is the concealed (occult) Wisdom, and Michael the higher terrestrial Wisdom, both emanating from the same source but diverging after their issue from the mundane soul, which on Earth is Mahat (intellectual understanding), or Manas (the seat of Intellect). They diverge, because one (Michael) is influenced by Neschamah, while the other (Isamael) remains uninfluenced. This tenet was perverted by the dogmatic spirit of the Church; which . . . made of Samael-Satan (the most wise and spiritual spirit of all) — the adversary of its anthropomorphic God and sensual physical man, the devil!” (SD 2:378).

In Ezekiel’s vision of the Cherubim, or the four sacred animals, the angel with the face of the lion corresponds to Michael, as in the Ophite scheme.