Who are those Watchers, anyway? We’ve all asked that question at one point, at least those of us who regularly cast sacred circles or work with correspondence lists and the effects of the elements or the cardinal directions generally associated with many Pagan traditions, Wicca among them. Just what exactly are the Watchers who watch us from within those Watchtowers?
Let me first explain that I am not referring to the thoughtforms we call “watchers” (although in a sense all astral entities can be defined as either being, or originating in part, from thoughtforms). I am speaking of those entities we call upon for protection and assistance during rituals of worship and magickal workings. And since my M.O. lately seems to be to revisit a basic concept learned in my First or Second Degree Training at Sacred Mists, and then rip it apart to its quantum level so I can understand what it is and why we use it, it is not surprising that I decided to do the same with Watchers.
The first concept to remember is that the terms “Watchers” and “Angels” are mostly synonymous, and thus, interchangeable. My personal research regarding Angels has brought me to define Angels as ancient beings or entities, some of whom are tasked with or have volunteered to work with humanity’s evolution, who did not originate here on our physical world, who have entirely completed their own evolutionary processes as a species, and who exist within the non-physical realms (although they can reside within a physical body if they so choose). Angels are not associated solely with the Christian Traditions; actually, references to Angels can be found that predate Christianity. I believe that some tend to associate Angels with Christianity because much (but not all) of the information out there regarding Angels is couched in Christian terminology. All of this applies to Watchers also, and makes our task of understanding Watchers a bit easier.
The term that ended up bringing me the most valuable understanding of Watchers is “the Four Royal Stars of Persia.” The Four Royal Stars of Persia are actual stars, easily located in the nighttime sky, and at least slightly familiar to anyone with an astronomical bend: Aldebaron, Regulus, Antares and Formalhaut. These four stars became “Royal” when ancient astronomers realized that each star comes into prominence towards the height of each of the four seasons, and thus assigned powers and correspondences to the stars according to the associated season. Below is a brief summary, in no way complete, of information I found while researching each star:
Aldebaron (“the Follower”), Persian name, Tascheter or Tishtya (also associated with Sirius and Arcturus), reaches dominance at the Spring Equinox, and thus it is associated with sunrise, the cardinal direction of East, and the season of Spring. It is found in the constellation Taurus, and has a possible planetary companion; it is associated with Archangel Michael, and eloquence, integrity, courage, agitation, loss and violent death. This star is probably the source of the phrase “hitting the bull’s eye,” and is said to predict riches, honor and integrity, but those benefits are usually presented through the passing of some kind of test.
Regulus (“little king” or “prince”), Persian name Venant, Vanant or Wanand (also associated with Vega, Altair, Corvus, Sirius and Procyon), reaches dominance at the Summer Solstice, and is found in the constellation Leo; it is associated with the Archangel Raphael, and nobility, ambition, great power, alertness, leadership, sudden downfall, accidents and violence. Metaphysically, because I associate the element of Fire (heat, Summer, daylight) with the direction of South, my first instinct is to place Regulus in the Southern quarter; more on that choice can be found below these descriptions. This star predicts success within your chosen field, even fame, however it also warns of the good possibility that you will be tempted to take revenge. The warning is to be listened to, for if you give in to the temptation, all that you have strived for will turn to dust.
Antares (“holds against Ares (Mars),” and “the heart of the Scorpion”), Persian name Satevis, Sataveaesa or Sadwes (also associated with Crux, and the stars of Musca Australis), reaches dominance at the Fall Equinox, and thus it is associated with sunset, the cardinal direction of West, and the season of Fall. It is found in the constellation Scorpio; it is associated with Archangel Uriel, and adventure, obstinacy, stubbornness and violence, as well as injuries to eyes and sudden loss. This star can also indicate trouble dealing with emotions because they are easily triggered.
Formalhaut (“mouth of the fish,” and “the Star of Alchemy”), Persian name Haftorang, Haftoreng or the Haptoiringas (also associated with Ursa Major), reaches dominance at the Winter Solstice, and is found in the constellation Pisces; it is associated with Archangel Gabriel, and magic, fame, the occult, faith, alchemy, addiction, undesirable associates and congenital birth defects. Metaphysically, because I associate the element of Earth (cold, Winter, nighttime) with the direction of North, my first instinct is to place Formalhaut in the North; again, more on this choice below. This star is associated with creative mental energy, which can either have a positive effect or a challenging one.
The “need to choose” mentioned above is connected with a discrepancy I found in the seasonal/directional associations with the North/Winter and Formalhaut, and the South/Summer and Regulus; in some sources, their positions are reversed. To me it appears there is no wrong answer, just personal preference.
Interpretation number 1: Regulus reaches dominance at the Summer Solstice. Metaphysically, because I associate the element of Fire (heat, Summer, daylight) with the direction of South, my first instinct is to place Regulus in the Southern quarter and give it Summer/Fire correspondences. Formalhaut reaches dominance at the Winter Solstice. Metaphysically, because I associate the element of Earth (cold, Winter, nighttime) with the direct of North, my first instinct is to place Formalhaut in the North and give it Winter/Earth correspondences.
Now for the contradiction, interpretation number 2: If we consider the horizontal line (Aldebaron and Antares) as a left/right flow of energy in a solar way (after all, that is the direction our sun moves), then we can see the vertical line as an above/below flow of energy, similarly in a solar fashion. The concept of “above” is usually associated with noon and the peak of light for the day, and thus with the season of Summer. The concept of “below” is usually associated with midnight and the deepest dark of night, and thus with the season of Winter. If we take this into consideration, Regulus, with its association to the Summer Solstice, should be “above” and thus, North, and Formalhaut, with its association to the Winter Solstice, should be “below” and thus, South. For the record, after much consideration, I chose interpretation number 1 because it meshed best with my own Practice; you should choose whichever interpretation meshes with your own Practice.
Both the Bible and the Book of Enoch speak about Watchers as Fallen Angels, and certainly not as entities beneficial to know, or even as being benign and neutral. Enoch tells us in detail of these Fallen Angels who, for their own pleasures, decided to disobey Yahweh’s version of the Prime Directive (a Star Trek reference which basically prohibits sharing advanced knowledge with less advanced civilizations). These Fallen Angels shared hidden and secret advanced knowledge with humans, and infused their non-human DNA into human beings by mating with humans (the Nephilim are said by Enoch to be the dangerous hybrid offspring of that mating), changing humans to the point that Yahweh decided to wipe the slate clean through the Great Flood of the Bible in order to start over.
I wondered for a time why I would want to call such entities to my circle and offer them influence in my rituals and workings. I had to ponder a bit before I realized that even if this story was based on some real experience with Watchers (and not some propaganda to discourage humans from associating with Watchers), the Watchers in the story were only a segment of the species (about 200, according to Enoch), and condemning an entire species because of the ill-advised and unethical actions of a few is not right. After all, humans are known to perpetuate some horrific harms upon other species, our planet and each other, but we certainly don’t condemn all of humanity because of the actions of a few.
I do not see Watchers as Elementals, although they have a connection to Elementals. Watchers each rule a cardinal direction, a season, an astrological time and an astronomical event, as well as the correspondences to each of those concepts. The elements are listed among those correspondences, and thus, so are Elementals. Watchers are complicated and intelligent beings or entities (who may have originated as thoughtforms but who have been in existence long enough to attain a high level of independent awareness) consisting of pure energy, completely evolved, and who don’t need a physical vehicle in order to exist and function.
Like those highest and purest forms of sacred feminine and sacred masculine energy that are our Goddesses and Gods, part of the nature of Watchers causes them to respond to attempts to interact with them. When I cast a circle, I call the Watchers to each of the cardinal directions for several purposes. I call them to protect my circle in accordance with each of their “specialties.” I call them to ask for their support and guidance regarding a ritual of worship or magickal working, and their intervention in support of the ritual or working (or their nullification of it, if nullification is in my best interest), again in accordance with each of their specialties. The Watchers come when I call because it is of their nature to come, just as it is of my nature to desire their presence; I may in a sense “command” them, but I am no better than they are and I treat them with respect. I like to think that we all feel that any ritual or working is made more complete and perfect by the inclusion of each of our essences.
Watchers oversee the elements and their effects, among other things, but they would not replace the Elemental Guides who have come to me through my studies and degree training at Sacred Mists, and under most circumstances they would not dictate the contributions or actions of those Elemental Guides. Elemental Guides bring much to my efforts and insert their specific energies into my workings, my rituals and my sacred circle; of course, what they bring is completely connected with their individual element as it relates to our world. Plus, Elemental Guides help me within other focuses, such as in my chakra work.
Watchers, true to their names, watch both what is happening within my circle and what is happening outside of my circle. They can also have an effect on me directly because they are connected to times and seasons, astrology and astronomy. The presence of each of the Watchers’ stars, the Royal Stars of Persia, in my astrological sign can have a direct effect on me just as the presence of one of the planets in our solar system in my astrological sign can have a direct effect on me. Plus, Watchers guard powerful vortexes or portals (we call them Watchtowers) that connect to ancient knowledge, and cultivating a relationship with them might allow me to make use of the energies associated with those vortexes or portals. Watchers are also vast reservoirs of information concerning the development of our civilization; many believe that Watchers are tasked with teaching and guiding humans as we develop.
In the end, my efforts to increase my understanding of Watchers have brought new depth, flavor and texture to my rituals and workings, and to my own humanness and ability to experience life and living.
Sacred Mists Wiccan Degree Training Lessons
Progressive Magic Course with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone
Wikipedia (“Watchers,” “Angels,” “The Four Royal Stars of Persia”)
The Book of Enoch: Angels, Watchers and Nephilim, by Dr. A. Nyland
Return of the Angels, by Migine Gonzalez-Wippler
Gateway of the Gods: An Investigation of Fallen Angels, the Nephilim, Alchemy, Climate Change, and the Secret Destiny of the Human Race, by Craig Hines
The Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins and Teachings, by Raven Grimassi
The name Watcher, or Grigori, means "Those Who Watch", or "Those Who Are Awake", or "The Ones Who Never Sleep".
The mysterious eighth order of angels, the gentle Grigori were created by God to be Earthly shepherds of the first humans. The Grigori were both physically and spiritually gigantic, at least by the standards of the people who later wrote about them. They served early humanity as vast reservoirs of information concerning the finer points of civilization, and their selflessness was beyond compare. They were also called the Watchers, as it was their job to observe humanity, lending a helping hand when necessary but not interfering in the course of human development.
In the Book Of Enoch, it describes that God had sent a legion of angels to earth in order to watch over and assist man during the beginning of civilization. These angels taught man sciences which were forbidden by God such as the magick in herbs, reading the stars, divination and sorcery. Enoch goes on to say "...but they chose husbands and wives from among the humans and led greatly debauched lives, neglecting their heavenly duties..." This angered God greatly and he banished the "fallen".
Among the Strega the Watchers are called the Grigori. Originally there were 4 royal stars or Lords and they were called the Watchers. Each of these Lords ruled over one of the 4 cardinal points...North, South, East, West.
North - Formalhaut - who marked Winter Solstice
South - Regulus - who marked Summer Solstice
East - Aldebaran - who marked the Vernal Equinox
West - Antares - who marked Autumn Equinox
In the Strega Mythos, the Watchers were Gods who guarded the Heavens and Earth. Over time the Greeks made them Gods of the 4 winds, and the Christians made them creatures of the Air. In Stregheria we call the elements from the altar. The Grigori are of a "higher" realm and guard the portals to the gods.
The witch is watched and aided by the Grigori. Every act of magick is seen and noted by the Grigori. This does not mean that the Grigori will stop a working, we are each responsible for our actions. Just that all workings are noted and we all need to think about what we do - before - we do it. I personally view the Grigori as a sort of 'conscienceness' whereby I weigh the aspects for what I wish to do and the consequences thereof.. Our first encounter is when we cast the circle. We call forth the Watchers to 'watch' or oversee the ritual and whatever workings we may be doing.
In 'A Dictionary of Angels' by Gustav Davidson, the Watchers are portrayed as a high order of Angels, (Archangels), also known as Grigori or Irin.
Not all the Watchers descended: those that remained are the holy Watchers, and they reside in the 5th Heaven. The evil Watchers dwell either in the 3rd Heaven or in Hell.
1. Armaros: Taught men the resolving of enchantments
2. Araquiel: Taught men the signs of the earth
3. Azazel: Taught men to make knives, swords, and shields, and to devise ornaments and cosmetics.
4. Baraqijal: Taught men astrology
5. Ezequeel: Taught men the knowledge of the clouds.
6. Gadreel: Introduced weapons of war
7. Kokabel: Taught the science of constellations
8. Penemue: Instructed mankind in writing and taught children the bitter and sweet, and the secrets of wisdom.
9. Sariel: Taught men the course of the moon.
10. Semjaza: Taught men enchantments, root-cutting etc.
11. Shamshiel: Taught men the signs of the sun.
Taken in part from
Archangels Mailing List
The Book of Enoch
The Book of Jubilees
A Dictionary of Angels' by Gustav Davidson
THE WOMAN AND THE ANGEL
An angel was tired of heaven, as he lounged in the golden street;
His halo was tilted sideways, and his harp lay mute at his feet;
So the Master stooped, in His pity, and gave him a pass to go,
For the space of a moon, to the earth-world, to mix with the men below.
He doffed his celestial garments, scarce waiting to lay them straight;
He bade goodby to Peter, who stood by the golden gate;
The sexless singers of heaven chanted a fond farewell,
And the imps looked up as they pattered on the red-hot flags of hell.
Never was seen such an angel - eyes of heavenly blue,
Features that shamed Apollo, hair of a golden hue;
The women simply adored him; his lips were a Cupid's bow;
But he never ventured to use them - and so they voted him slow.
Till at last there came One Woman, a marvel of loveliness,
And she whispered to him, "Do you love me?" And he answered that woman, "Yes"
And she said: "Put your arms around me, and kiss me, and hold me - so -"
But fiercely he drew back, saying: "This thing is wrong, and I know."
Then sweetly she mocked his scruples, and softly she him beguiled:
"You, who are verily man among men, speak with the tongue of a child.
We have outlived the old standards; we have burst, like an overtight thong,
The ancient, outworn, Puritanic traditions of Right and Wrong."
Then the Master feared for His angel, and called him again to His side,
For oh, the woman was wondrous, and oh, the angel was tried!
And deep in his hell sang the devil, and this was the strain of his song:
"The ancient, outworn, Puritanic traditions of Right and Wrong."
There is an ancient legend about the "Watchers".
The story goes....(remember this is not Scripture)...
God formed a tenth choir of angels....he called them the "Watchers" and charged them with the responsibility of watching mankind develop and to be sure the development was going as God intended.
This task the Grigori (another name for these angels who were very big angels) accepted and watched man for many centuries.
The angels began to wonder about the sensations of the flesh. They longed to know the taste of food, the feel of air on their skin, the sensation of an embrace.
And they were enchanted by the daughters of man!
One day, when they could stand it no longer, they made a pact, all two hundred of them, that they would go down to earth and experience these things.
When the angels came to earth and saw the daughters of man they were awed by their beauty and could not resist wanting them.
So the angels, forsaking Heaven, took the daughters of man as wives and had children with them.
These children, all sons, of the angels and the women were beautiful and bright and strong and healthy. They had none of the characteristics of the angels. They were completely human.
The villagers loved these miraculous children and doted on them. They watched with great admiration as the children grew, and grew, and grew.
The children, called the NEPHILIM, grew into giants.
The people toiled endlessly to supply enough food for these giants but were finally unable to produce enough.
When the giants found they had no food to eat they began to eat the people.
And then there arose from earth a mournful cry from the people, begging God to save them from the giants.
When God saw what had happened He was angry!
He was most displeased with his angels, the Watchers. These angels he banished to a part of Heaven called Tartarus; a place worse than any Hell. There the Watchers would await God's judgment at the end of time. They would wait in abject misery, never knowing what became of their wives or their children.
God punished the people by sending the Great Flood to cover the earth and rid the world of the giants.
That's the end of the legend....but there are many love stories of the angels and people that have not been told.
Nathaneal saved his beloved Sarah by tucking her under his mighty wings and flying to another planet where it is said they live to this day.
Lea Docken is writing the first story....of Sarah and Natheneal.
The Fallen Watchers - Grigori
The name Watcher, or Grigori, means "Those Who Watch", or "Those Who Are Awake",
The Old Testament does not mention the notion of the fallen angels whatsoever. The actual first reference to a fallen angel/s does not show up until the New Testament, specifically Revelation 12 --
In the writings of Enoch 1, there seems to be about 200 that fell ( a very small number I would say), naming about 19 (spelling variations observed) and listing the most prominent among them.
Enoch goes on to say:
This angered God greatly and he banished the "fallen".
Sadly these angels were not suited to this job and instead of playing a positive role they began to teach man sciences that God had deemed to be forbidden.
This kind of bad angelic behavior could not be tolerated and as a result the Grigori were taken from their posts and imprisoned in a layer of heaven. Although they appealed to Enoch to speak on their behalf to God, they remained bound for 70 generations. As for the Nephilim, it has been suggested that one of the main reasons for the great flood, was not only to punish man, but to cleanse the earth of the half-bred creatures created from the union of fallen spirit and flesh.
In "A Dictionary of Angels" by Gustav Davidson, the good Watchers are portrayed as a high order of Angels, (Archangels), also known as Grigori or Irin.
Chief of the Good Grigori are Archangels: