Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and it is also the Feast Day for the Archangel Raphael who names translate as "God has healed" or "It is God who heals."
Legend says that Raphael was originally named Labbiel which is said to mean "Knowledge of the Light of the Source of the Whole of Existence". God changed it to Raphael because this Archangel had sided with God in a dispute with the other archangels on the issue of creating man. He is one of the seven angels that attend to the Throne of God. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, Raphael was sent to Earth to heal mankind, physically and spiritually.
Raphael is considered the Archangel of Healing, Regent of the Sun, Guardian of the Rising Light, Master of the whirling air and storms, and Guide of travelers. In the Book of Tobit, a book that is a part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canons speaks of a story about a man named Tobit, a righteous Jewish man who took upon himself the burial of the dead even when it was forbidden by his Assyrian captors. Tobit becomes blind and God sends Raphael, in disguise, to heal and guide Tobit.
This archangel is associated with the element of Air, the color Yellow, the Tarot suit of Swords, and the cardinal direction of the East which is associated with the Rising Sun and the return of light to the world.
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