Written by Asterion
Translated by Gabriel Anghelescu
We have seen the link between the two angels of fire and the attributions of Nuriel. But what do we know about Suriel? His name means „Take me (to You), Lord“, in Hebrew and due to the phonetic similarity, it has been often confused with Sariel. He is one of the archangels celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Church (Ethiopian) and his Holiday in the church calendar is in the 27th day of the month Tubah. He is one of the „elderly“ angels certified in document, besides the classics Mikael and Gabriel in the Essene Manuscripts from the Dead Sea. Together with Salathiel, he is mentioned in the apocryphal book „The Life of Adam and Eve“, being the ones who transport the two through air from atop of a high mountain.
According to certain traditions, Suriel is the one who brought the knowledge to Moses and also the one that took his soul after he died… He is also one of the 12 angels of the Divine Presence and one of the 7 angels that rule the world.
In the books of magic, he is assigned with ruling the angels of the month Tishri from the Hebrew calendar, being the first angel attributed to this month. He corresponds to Libra and in the lists of zodiacal angels, we often find Uriel and Zuriel. Not by chance, of course: both are associated with divine justice and the equilibrium. Justice, truth, rectitude, symbolized by the scale, are actually the applied equilibrium in the moment in which things divert from their normal sense.
Suriel is, by tradition, the instructor of Moses, but also the one that comes to take his soul after the promise made to him by the Lord. The Ethiopian and Arabic traditions have a very interesting legend according to which Suriel would be the Angel of Death. Nobody knows exactly how he died and where is his tomb located and this mystery seems to have been given birth to the myth according to which he was buried by angels.
The legend says that Moses, having reached an old age asks God to reveal the moment in which he will die, and the Lord fulfills only a half his wish: He tells him that he will die on a Friday. Moses begins to prepare for his death and every Friday he wears his death clothes, saying prayers and preparing for his end. But death does not come on the first Friday, neither on the second, neither on many other Fridays. And the prophet decides to forget about this. But on the promised Friday, while praying on Mount Sinai, he was disturbed by a young man that addresses to him the traditional greeting. Being scared of his appearance, he asked him who he is. His answer surprises him, finding out that he is Suriel, the Angel of Death. After being granted permission to say goodbye to his family, he gets out of the house. On the road, he met three angels of the Lord, which took the appearance of three young men who were digging a grave. „For who is this grave destined?“, asked him. They replied: „For the beloved of God“. „Then I will help you“. After finishing digging, the young men told him: „We don’t know if the grave is big enough. Don’t you wish to get inside it? Because the one who will be buried here is resembling you“. Once inside the grave, Suriel appeared before him: „Peace be upon you, Moses, son of Amran!“. With his last words, Moses replied: „Peace be upon you“ and closed his eyes.
The traditions consider him the gentle Angel of Death, or the angel of the end. We cannot be surprised of his role as a patron of the natural ends, since his name expresses man’s desire of ending his existence when he feels that his end is near: Take me to you, Lord…
As Nuriel knows all the conceptions and births in the world, so Suriel knows all deaths. Even if there are two different aspects of the same archangel, the souls that come to incarnation know him as Nuriel, and the ones who depart know him as Suriel.
Like Nuriel, Suriel is an angel of protection and we can call upon him while we feel threatened. We could address to God prayers for the departed, to guide them and protect them after death. His invocation is:
„By the name of God, The All-Powerful, Elohim-Gibor, I call you, shining and all-powerful archangel Suriel, to guide me in safety and protect me from the power of my enemy, Here and Now. Amen!“