Michael

All posts tagged Michael

The Battle of Heaven

Published August 15, 2013 by RowanMeir Films

You are my war club, my weapon for battle–with you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver. So will the rebellious ones sink to rise no more because of the disaster you will bring upon them. And these angels…will…fall. Michael rises, and behind the powerful archangel stand a mighty legion of warrior angels. Their eyes are afire, fueled by the flame of fury at the sight of Lucifer‘s rebel army rising up over the battlefield.

(Excerpt from The Father of Lights © Copyright 2013. Property of NeverMore Publications, LLC.)

The Morning Star - Artwork by Stefan Gutierrez. Property of RowanMeir Films.

The Morning Star – Artwork by Stefan Gutierrez. Property of RowanMeir Films.

The great irony in writing Archangels: Book I was that I was attempting to utilize many of the scenes written in the screenplay version–the most epic of which was the Battle of Heaven. After attempting various perspectives, subtext, narratives and the like, I finally came to the conclusion: it simply didn’t work. And of course, I chucked the whole adaptation of that one particular scene. Oh, how it haunted me as I entertained such various attempts to dismantle this roadblock and weave something fine, coming to it again and again. Until one day, a most outlandish thought crept into my mind, “Take it out.”

“But I can’t!” I said. “This scene is most beloved in my eyes, it HAS to be in there!”

“Take it out.”

And take it out I did. Once removed, the story worked and the book was done. BAM. Just like that. But now, as I come to Book II: The Father of Lights, the horror of former days haunts me once again as the realization of what is needed comes taunting me, “Put it back in.”

“But if I put it back into Book II, I’m still in the same boat as I was before…”

“Put it back in.”

And so I have.  For you see, The Father of Lights is more of a prequel than a sequel as it explores the idea and asks the question: who were the angels before the fallen ones...fell? Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Beelzebub, Lucifer. They were all together once, shrouded in God‘s light. What were they like before shadow crept into the hearts of the immortal beings? What led many into darkness? And what kept most in the light? There is no answer to such an inquiry, only clues to incorporate the nature of angels from the Old Testament and the New:

Revelation 12:9 – And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Mentions of the legend of the Nephilim that bore the Philistine giants:

Genesis 6:1-22 – And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them…

A glimpse into the great war in heaven:

Revelation 12:7-9 – And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels…

Tidbits of angels and their roles in such apocryphal books such as the Book of Jubilees:

And He said to the angel of the presence: Write for Moses from the beginning of creation till My sanctuary has been built among them for all eternity. (1:26)

What to discard? What to imagine? What to build upon? The book is nearly done–all except…that one particular scene. Odd how the beauty of the screenplay stumps me in the literary voice as I try to weave the virtues and the vices in the hearts of these angels. And with all the research done before for the screenplay, there is still so much more one can do in the book. The more one can do, the less of an excuse one can find in doing what couldn’t be done before–fix the Battle of Heaven scene. Oh, the irony indeed, for you see…

Artwork by Stefan Gutierrez. Property of RowanMeir Films.

Artwork by Stefan Gutierrez. Property of RowanMeir Films.

…it’s my favorite scene, and it shouldn’t be this hard.

Michael yells to the rebellious angels with of a voice of thunder,  “Bringer of the Seven! You come against us with sword, spear and javelin, but we come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the true armies of heaven, whom you have defied! At the end of this war, the Lord will place you in my power, Lucifer, and you will be struck down. All of heaven will know that there is only one God; for the battle is the Father’s, and He will give you and your army into our hands!”

 Lucifer gives Beelzebub his final command, “Let not the archer string his bow. Do not spare a single angel. Completely destroy their army.”

(Excerpt from The Father of Lights © Copyright 2013. Property of NeverMore Publications, LLC)

Written by: #CorinaMarie

(Corina Marie is an actress, producer and screenwriter.)

(Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

(Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

 

Legion

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The Archangel Raphael

Published July 1, 2013 by RowanMeir Films

Writing the character of Raphael in Archangels was one I looked forward to every time I picked up pen to paper. When I began the rigorous journey of conducting research on the nine divisions of angels written about, philosophized upon, and debated over and why, the ninth division of angels: the archangels–the warrior angels made up of seven Seraphim–didn’t have equal amount of information on all seven angels as I had originally thought would exist. Michael and Gabriel dominated the research I poured over through the three main religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Uriel was pretty dominant in Kaballa; Sariel, Raguel and Jeremiel had very little information; while Raphael, however, popped up solely in the Book of Tobit–one of the Deuterocanonical books that was originally in the official Greek translation of the Old Testament, but was eventually left out over time.

“So the prayers of them both [Sara and Tobit] were heard before the majesty of the great God…and Raphael was sent to heal them both, that is, to scale away the whiteness of Tobit’s eyes [for he was blind], and to give Sara the daughter of Raguel for a wife to Tobias the son of Tobit, and to bind Asmodeus the evil spirit….”

– Book of Tobit (3:16-17)

While reading the Book of Tobit, I quickly jotted down notes as to how to utilize the tidbits of information revealed about Raphael and how he could be recreated in both the screenplay (and later the book) to be someone “relate-able.” I didn’t have to dig too deep since Raphael made himself relate-able to mankind in this book by transforming himself into human form:

“And Tobias left and ‘went to seek a man, he found Raphael that was an angel, but he knew not.'”

– Book of Tobit (5:4-5)

The passage goes on to describe how Raphael appeared to Tobias in the form of a man named Azarias. He travels with Tobias to a town where he meets Sara, his future wife, who had “been married to seven husbands whom Asmodeus the evil spirit had killed, before they had lain with her” (Book of Tobit 3:8). Raphael advises Tobias on how to rid Asmodeus from strangling him on his wedding night, and once he follows Raphael’s instructions:

“Asmodeus fled into the utmost parts of Egypt and the angel [Raphael] bound him.” 

-Book of Tobit (8:3)

Image(Property of RowanMeir Films. Artwork of Asmodeus by Stefan Gutierrez)

So I thought Raphael, who seems to like transforming into human form to perform works for God, could easily do it again. In Archangels, Raphael is a professor in linguistics at Oxford University, conducting research alongside one of the main characters in the story–Rachel Devereaux:

Both Raphael and Rachel share the moderate-sized office at the university, for they are colleagues—professors in linguistics—working jointly on researching the evolution of language amongst common species. He is an extremely handsome man in the classical sense: a paradox of beauty marred by an overly analytical brain that gives him an air of intimidation. And Rachel might have been attracted to him if it weren’t for the fact that his obsessive-compulsive behavior regarding tidiness, efficiency, and his incessant need to organize everything his eyes fell upon, didn’t drive her insane. The current look of horror on his face as he looks around the current state the office is in is confirmation that a love between these two will never be.

(Excerpt from Archangels: Book I © Copyright 2013)

As the friendship between Raphael and Rachel progresses throughout the story, there was a line in the Book of Tobit that was essential to the “great reveal” when Rachel soon discovers that her best friend is not as mortal as she thinks he is:

“I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.”

– Book of Tobit (12:14-15)

Image

(Property of RowanMeir Films. Artwork of Raphael by Stefan Gutierrez.)

I referenced that line as well when Rachel’s eyes are opened to who Raphael truly is:

“How? How can you possibly read this? You fought that thing. It knew your name!”“No, wait! Wait…you said the scroll was written in angelic language. Yet, somehow, you can read this.” Rachel starts to back away from him until she is at the opposite end of the office from where Raphael stands. Rachel can barely speak. Read the rest of this entry →

He Who Is Like God

Published June 19, 2013 by RowanMeir Films

Moloch’s red beady eyes narrow in lustful desire of what he will do to these humans once their souls come to his lair. For he hates. He hates. He hates. He hates them. It is then that he feels the cold wind blow through the street as his master whispers to him a name—a name that means warning, “Michael…Michael…”

Michael in the alley

Graphic Novel Design by Scott Edward

   Moloch whips his sword from his sheath and caws loudly to his brood. The fallen angels go silent; they quickly reach for their weapons. Their goat-like eyes search the sky, the shadows, the rubble.

   Michael.

   It was bad enough when Gabriel was here, but Michael…Michael will annihilate them with a single swipe of his adamantine sword. But why this street? Moloch continues to search the landscape for the archangel. “We feel him…we curse him…we know…”

   He does not call out to Michael, for to speak his name is a battle cry in the name of God. And no fallen angel would want him here. This can only mean one thing…someone here did.

(Excerpt from Archangels: Book I © Copyright 2013)

Moloch

 Moloch Artwork by Scott Edward

When I was first writing the character of the Archangel Michael in the screenplay—followed by the book adaptation—I often wondered if Homer was thinking of Michael when imagining his mortal Achilles. I mean that in the warrior sense, not the core character of the person for that matter—an unbeatable champion…but without a weakness. For I find that in writing about the archangel himself, there is no flaw—not even to curse the very presence of evil:

“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”

– (Jude 1: 9-10)

A being where there is no imperfection; no ounce of pride, only humility:

I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing [the visions] to me, But he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

– (Revelation 22 8-10]

A being where there is no compromise on the will of God—only duty and purpose offered by Him to carry His messages on the wings of eagles:

“Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…’Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.’”

– (Daniel 10; 13-14)

A being whose moral compass is so firmly rooted in power and strength under the reign of God, that his sole purpose is to protect mankind from evil suffrage:

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will rise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.”

– (Daniel 12: 1-2)

Michael 2

As part of my research, I poured over scripture stemming from Judaism to Christianity to Islam to Kabala. And the one single thread that connected all mentions of the powerful archangel together was simply this: he is the champion of the people. His name is a battle cry in the name of God, for his name means “He Who is Like God.” Even various art pieces depict the inscription of his shield bearing the words, Quis ut Deus, bearing the brand of his very name. And with every mentioning, there came a sort of peace in the understanding of what this being exists for and fights over. There is a great comfort to it—if you believe in that sort of thing—which I do. So how does one begin to write a character such as this and incorporate the spiritual essence of such a being in order to force a moment of change—especially when there is no story that lacks a hint of triumph? For the archangel Michael is the moral compass in spiritual form.

So I thought of all the reasoning and arguments that deter people away from their destined paths, their religion, their families, their friends. They don’t feel welcome. They feel judged. They’re misunderstood, etc. Most (but not all) of the time hurt feelings, fear and anger are felt because one is speaking the words of their story and the other is not listening to the footsteps of the other’s paths—or so they believe, and on and on it goes. There is a lack of understanding, often at the fault of stubborn will, pride, denial, or perhaps merely a firm disagreement in the other’s actions. Or perhaps—someone isn’t really listening. Both feel they are right in their reasoning. One could be wrong. But who’s to say who should compromise or if something comparable should be considered? Each person has their own version of their kind of truth—often called perspective—that in either agreement or disagreement of that version, understanding or lack thereof, keep people apart. Whatever that argument or reason may be, throw that deterrence into the lap of the archangel Michael and a connection to the character can be made. Thus, take the black and white and hurl it into gray:

    As he caresses the feather between his fingers, he searches for the answers to his questions as to how her feather came to be there and why. From the far recesses of his mind a memory comes forth. A memory so long forgotten that Michael’s breath quickens at the suddenness to which it has revealed itself—as if this memory alone wanted to be remembered, shouting that it should never have been forgotten. And it is of Gabriel.  As soon as he remembers it, a feeling of dread consumes him. There were demons on this street when he arrived. Had Gabriel been here, that would not be. The people here were defenseless when he stepped out of the alley and onto the street. Had Gabriel been here, that could not be for she would have summoned a squadron of angels here to protect the humans as she has always done since the birth of mankind. But she knows…and the evidence that she knows is like a slap in the face that she had been here and done…nothing.

    Looking at the fire raining down around him, gripping her feather in his hand, Michael fights the thoughts, would she help him? Would she do this? But the answer does not come. Tightening his fist around her feather, he forces the doubt from his mind. No, she would not do it. Not for him. Not after that moment. Not after what Lucifer had done, for Michael remembers it. But then, in the remembering he thinks on the things that once were before they turned into the things they had become. Therein lies the doubt and the thoughts come again. Has she helped him when she should not? Has she broken the chain of command and sought escape in the shadow, away from God’s light?

    “To entertain the idea, Gabriel, of going against God’s plans is an abomination and disgrace to the word ‘angel’.”         

    Michael looks at the bloodied ground scorched in fire. Feeling the coarseness of Gabriel’s feather between his fingertips, he closes his amber eyes and breathes in long and deep. There is only one way to know the answer.

(Excerpt from Archangels: Book I © Copyright 2013)

 Graphic Novel

Graphic Novel Panel by Scott Edward

What is one to believe? What is one to know? What is an archangel to do when his second-in-command does not reveal the reason for their action and throws the world into chaos allowing the doorway of hell an opportunity to pass through? Thus lies the conflict created for the archangel Michael in this screenplay and in this book. For even in the perspective, there in only one truth–and He Who Is Like God is the one who will see the light in the darkness, see the purpose, and see it through till the end.

-Written by: #CorinaMarie

(Corina Marie is an actress, producer and screenwriter.)

Michael 1

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