Jacob wrestled the angel,
and the angel was overcome.
Bono, U2, Rattle and Hum
With the tremendous interest in angels these days, it is not surprising that they are becoming frequent characters in dreams as well. Pictures of angels, stories of angels, and a popular spirituality of angels have put the images and imaginations of angels in our collective unconscious.
The word "angel" literally means "messenger." Often, delivery of a particular message in the dream is the role filled by these beings. As the needs arise, they may provide additional help to the dreamer beyond simply delivering information. Since so many religions and contemporary worldviews have made room for angels in their view of the universe, this topic needs to be broken down a little more. Jung had room in his worldview for "spirit guides."
These were apparitions that shared both knowledge and insight. This insight came as dialogue. Consequently, the Jungian angel was something of a spiritual mentor.
Religious angels have usually served more as ambassadors. They come with specific information, but not much dialogue. They are dispatched for specific purposes. Revelation, not dialogue, is the mission of the angel in this context.
Beginning with popular literature of the 1970s, angels have become more involved with tangible needs of this world. Tires are repaired, oncoming traffic is diverted, and rickety homes are preserved from the weather by angels. This seems to be a reflection on the growing interest in finding a reliable help in a malevolent world.
Angels also have become, in a sense, the sort of instant wish-granter that the character "Kazoo" was to Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones TV cartoon show. Kazoo was a green alien being who appeared when Fred needed help-he provided free favors and magical tricks. Some folks dream of angels helping them out in this way. In this sort of case, the dreamer may be turning toward an actual friend in real life to give them something.
Many angels in dreams represent help from an unknown and unseeable origin to survive a difficult situation. The dreamer is turning out into the unknown, expecting help from beyond his or her actual means. This could be called "wish-projection."
Finally, the angel may be what the name implies: a message.
To discern which type of angel you have in your dreams requires some energy on your part. Does your worldview include the possibility of such beings? If not, you can probably move into wish-projection pretty easily.
Did your angel speak or act mysteriously without verbalizing?
If the angel spoke, what was the content?
If the angel merely acted, what was the nature of the action?
What area of your life seems to be needing a special solution that exceeds your resources? Do you feel emotionally unsupported in one of your personal quests or spiritual struggles?