Angel or Spirit Guide?
By Josie Varga

Angel encounters have been recorded since the beginning of time. There have been tons of stories by people who believe they were helped by an angel both in angelic or human form. For example, I recently read a story about a woman who was stranded on a dark highway with a flat tire and no jack. After praying, she turned to see a man holding a jack who offered to help her and changed her tire. She recalled that there was no other car anywhere and this good Samaritan appeared to have come out of nowhere. After he changed her tire, he asked her if she was OK, she said "Yes" and got back into her car. When she looked back as she drove away there was no one there.


Do I believe that the stranger in this case was an angel? Yes, I do. But what people often ask me is, "How do we know it's an angel and not a spirit guide? What is the difference?" I must admit I have asked myself these two questions many times.

Saint Augustine, the Catholic saint and mystic, repeatedly stressed that angels were spirits. "The angels are spirits but it is not because they are spirits that they are angels," said Saint Augustine.

"They become angels when they are sent, for the name angel refers to their office not to their nature. You ask the name of this nature, it is spirit; you ask its office, it is that of an angel. In as far as he exists, an angel is a spirit; in as far as he acts, he is an angel."

Angels - from wikipediaThe word angel is of Greek origin meaning messenger. So I find St. Augustine's explanation of angels to be very interesting. For one thing, we are all spirit. Spirit is our true nature; we are not the body. But St. Augustine pointed out that it is not this nature that makes them angels but their office, which is another way of saying what they do or the message they portray.


Personally, I take this to mean that a person is an angel because of their deeds and not their nature. Having said this, I believe that spirit guides are different levels of angels. You have the highest level, which includes the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, all the way to spirits who once walked among us on this earth and now work to help people still in human form.


I am one of the lucky ones who actually experienced the help of my spirit guide. This past Memorial Day, I went to a local Target to run some errands. After about an hour, I exited the store with my full cart and headed to my car. All of a sudden, I saw a vision in an instant of myself getting hit by a car and felt all of the emotions of my family and friends. I knew I was killed by this car though I didn't see myself dead. It was so powerful and immediate that I stopped in my tracks and sort of did a double take wondering what had just hit me. I stopped for about five seconds and then proceeded to push my cart to my car.


All of a sudden, a man driving a pickup truck backed up out of a spot directly in front of me without looking. He pulled out so fast that I quickly pulled my cart back. If I hadn't, he would have hit my cart full on. I stood there, out of breath, clutching my cart and staring at the man in the truck who looked at me in shock, knowing he had come so close to killing me. He looked at me apologetically, put his truck back in drive and pulled back into his spot. My heart was still racing as I watched him put his truck in park and then bury his face in his hands.


Looking back I don't know why I didn't go up to this man, perhaps it was the shock of the whole ordeal. As he sat there, I'm sure contemplating how he could have killed me, I was actually thinking, "OH MY GOD, I saw this happen before it happened." I felt no anger for this stranger only compassion sensing how bad he felt.


When I finally got back to my car and drove home, I was numb and shell-shocked wondering how I was going to tell my husband what had just happened. When I did, his eyes watered thinking of the unthinkable. But I couldn't help but wonder why this had happened to me. Why had I been shown this vision?


The following week, I was talking to a friend of mine (who is a medium) and told him what happened. "Josie," he said, "that was your spirit guide sending you that message. Had you not listened and stopped, you would have been killed. I am so glad you listened."


Yes, had I not listened, I would not be here today to share this story with you (at least not in the physical). But the truth is I would not be here even more so had it not been for the spirit who sent me that message or vision in the first place. My friend called this spirit a spirit guide. To me, in addition to being my spirit guide, this spirit was also an angel.


As I mentioned earlier, St. Augustine pointed out that it is not one's nature that makes them an angel but their actions or deeds.


New Book: Divine Visits
Have you ever had an angel or divine encounter? I'd love to hear your story for possible inclusion in an upcoming book called Divine Visits. To submit your experience for consideration, please email your account or questions to me at You can also visit my website at Thank you very much.


Josie Varga discovered her passion for writing as a little girl growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She went on to earn a degree in journalism and later became a successful communications consultant while authoring her first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Woman's Inspiring Journey to Happiness, which was published in 2004. Since then, she has become a motivational speaker for overcoming life's challenges and written several books including Make Up Your Mind to Be Happy: 105 Simple Tips. Her latest book, Visits to Heaven, published by 4th Dimension Press, is the long-awaited follow-up to her best-selling Visits from Heaven. Visit Josie's website .