Nearly a decade ago when
Archangel Raphael in the guise of a persistent muse suggested I write a
book on spirituality, I sardonically teased, “You wanna
narrow down the subject a bit?” A few years later, he
commissioned that I write a book on angels. I scoffed at the idea and
mumbled, “The world already thinks it knows all there is to
know about angels. Why repeat information that’s been handed
down through the ages?”
I didn’t give the
muse a chance to respond. I simply rolled over in bed and went to sleep.
A year later, I found myself
standing at a spiritual crossroads. My spiritual mentor had just passed
away. She was the first person, other than my mother, to recognize my
gift of connecting with the spirit realm and much like Mr. Miyagi and
Daniel of the Karate Kid, she and I spent
afternoons together at her teashop discussing spirituality and honing
my skills. After she passed away of cancer—just a couple
years after my mother passed away of cancer—I literally found
myself standing alone in the night with no sense of direction in my
It was raining that evening
and I was standing before a fifty-six-foot tall crucifix that loomed
over the border between Detroit and the northern suburbs.
asked you once, Lord, I’ve asked you a hundred times. What do
you want from me?” Naturally, the stone crucifix stood silent
like a sentinel at the gates of Heaven. Thunder rolled overhead, but
instead of it having its usual calming effects on me, I grew angrier. I
was in this world completely alone now. Mom and Dad had both passed on
and I was the only child between them.
I had no one.
I’ve done nothing but put you at the fore of my heart and
this is where it’s brought me.” The downpour
came—tears and rain.
me,” a feminine voice came out of the darkness. “Do
you go to this church?”
I dried my tears and
clutched my car keys, ready to defend myself from a mugging. I was,
after all, alone in an empty churchyard at ten o’clock at
night—on the outskirts of Detroit. I turned to see the source
of the voice, and emerging from the shadows was a young girl, about
sixteen or so. For safety, I moved to stand in one of the spotlights
illuminating the crucifix, but I felt nothing but love radiating from
this beautiful soul. She was dressed in a white tank top, jeans, and
flip-flops. Her skin was a dusky olive and she had the most radiant
brown eyes I’d ever seen. Dark brown, nearly black from the
rain, curls framed her face and she smiled at me.
“Um, no. I just
come here to visit Him from time to time.” I thumbed over my
shoulder at the crucifix.
“Did He say anything good?” she beamed as she gazed
skyward. I couldn’t help but notice a foreign lilt in her
voice that I couldn’t quite place.
“Not to me, at
least. I think I’m getting the cold shoulder,” I
replied, half joking, half wounded.
“Do not say that.
He always answers. The trick is in the listening.” She tucked
her hands in her back pockets and rocked heel to toe. “I go
here to this church. I was just about to go inside to pray when I saw
you standing up here. Well, I’ll leave you to your
She handed me a pamphlet on the church and inclined her head
respectfully. I looked down at the pamphlet, not seeing anything all
that special about it—just visitor information.
I lifted my head. She was gone. Baffled, I turned around several times
and then ran down the stairs to the parking lot. There was no sign of
the young lady. I then went to try the chapel doors—I needed
a moment of peace and candlelight anyhow--but they were locked. I stood
on the dark sidewalk as traffic whizzed by in a blur, and I took one
last look over my shoulder at the monument. Thunder rumbled again. A
bit unnerved, I then thought it best to make a disappearing act of my
It wasn’t until I
got home that it dawned on me that God’s answer was in the
pamphlet all along. It reminded me of a promise I made to my spiritual
mentor while she was on her death bed. She had asked me to help her
business partner keep her teashop open. And like the loyal student I
was, I promised to do just that. So, what about the pamphlet reminded
me of that promise? It was about the patron saint of the church, Saint
Thérèse of Lisieux, who was quoted as saying on
her deathbed that she would spend her time in Heaven “doing
good on Earth,” and that she would let fall from Heaven,
“a shower of roses.” The name of the teashop was
The Velvet Rose. And it was there while keeping my promise and
interacting with its customers that I would eventually learn more about
the angels than I could ever imagine.
But long before I could find
to take up my station at the teahouse, my mundane life was choking my
spiritual life like weeds infiltrating a rosebush. I sat at my home
altar every night, sobbing because I felt I had made the biggest
mistake of my life. I had quit my job of nearly a decade, and I had
done it all on the words of my spiritual mentor from the teashop, my
spirit guide—Jake—and a few
“signs” given to me
by Archangel Gabriel.
Desperate and at
wit’s end, I went
into a long, involved meditation seeking guidance. It was there that
the Archangel Gabriel and I made a deal—he’d help
bills paid if I stopped fretting over unemployment. Needless to say, he
kept his end of the deal.
I, however, didn’t.
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An Interview with
Chantel Lysette, author of Azrael Loves Chocolate, Michael's
Most people perceive angels as being a bit esoteric, directing our
lives from above. You feel differently. Why is that?
As a child, I, too, believed
that angels were enigmatic creatures that lurked among the clouds, but
when I first began working with the Archangel Gabriel several years
ago, I learned that the angels walk among us humans and are more than
willing to directly interact with those who are receptive to their
presence and instruction. When the angels first came to me, I was very
much a doubting Thomas, thinking at first my sanity was somehow being
compromised. But then I became a first-hand witness to their divine
work and guidance, and not only saw how they were impacting my life,
but the lives of my friends and then later my clients.
After all the years of working with the angels, I am still awed by
them. In the beginning when I first began formally connecting with them
through the help and guidance of my spiritual mentor, there was no
bigger skeptic than I. But time and time again, the angels have proven
themselves to me through their wisdom and accuracy of their
proclamations. In the beginning, I didn't believe they existed, and I
certainly didn't believe in my gift. But I know now that they are very
real and I couldn't imagine my life without them. My hope and purpose
is to bring others into the awareness of the spiritual world around us
and into the realization that Creation is not separate from the
Creator. There is no point where one ends and the other begins. We
humans are a part of that Creation and very much immersed in the
Creator's plans and engineering. As the Conductors of the Cosmos, the
angels are right beside us, guiding our every step.
2. How long have you been working
with angels? When did you first realize you had the gift of angel
If you had asked me that
question about a year ago, I would have said eight years. But before
connecting with what I knew to be the Archangels, I was working with my
beloved spirit guide, Jake, who first appeared in my life in
1994—though I really didn’t accept his presence
until around 1997, and even then I was still skeptical. Before that, in
1993, I had my first contact with Jesus. I say
“contact” because I’m not really sure
what else to call it. I have always been a spiritual person, and as a
child I was fervently religious with prayer being a big part of my
life. It just so happens that one summer night in 1993—after
about six years of being a rebellious teenager—I was in deep
prayer when it suddenly became a two-way conversation with Jesus. (I
prefer to call him J.C.) Before my connection with Him, I was
beleaguered by ghosts, premonitions, and underdeveloped gifts of ESP.
So, I’ve been connecting with the spiritual world since
birth, most likely. I would imagine that the angels have been there the
whole time. But I would have to say that I really didn’t
become aware of them until Jake, who was at the time learning to be a
spirit guide under the instruction of Archangel Cassiel.
Is communication with angels something anyone can do?
I believe that everyone can
connect with the angels. The crux of it is figuring out how that person
can connect. Everyone is different. While a person might not connect
with the angels through clairaudience and clairvoyance as I do, she may
be proficient in dreams and premonitions. I tend to shy away from using
the word “communicate,” instead preferring to use
the word “connect.” When we say
“communicate,” it usually evokes a mental picture
of one talking directly to the angels. In that respect, I would have to
say that not everyone may be able to communicate with the angels, but
everyone can definitely connect with them. The fact that I talk with
them does not in any way give me bragging rights. It basically
illustrates how my nagging skepticism fuels my constant need to see,
hear, and feel the angels to be receptive. Another person, more
accepting of her connections, may not need all that and will be content
with connecting in simpler ways—such as old-fashioned
Your new book, Azrael Loves Chocoloate, Michael’s
A Jock, takes a humorous (some might even say irreverent)
approach to angels. What is your response to those who might feel that
this approach is a bit too casual?
Blame Archangel Michael. No,
I’m just kidding. As my relationship with the angels has
grown over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the reasons
I’m so receptive to them is because they connect with me in a
way that I’m comfortable with. I may not like what they tell
me or feel comfortable with their guidance—it’s a
human thing—but they are my family.
boys,” as my clients often refer to Michael,
Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, feel like my big brothers. The first
Archangel that I began working directly with was Gabriel, and he tends
to fit the archetype that the Bible sets for angels—very
formal, regal, and commanding. Needless to say, Gabriel’s
instruction and guidance felt constricting, with more discipline than I
was ever used to growing up with my parents. In that, I fought with
Gabriel every step of the way. If he said “go
left,” I’d go right. His rigorous testing of my
faith left me heaving in sobs of frustration. Working with him was very
difficult because I hadn’t worked with an Archangel
before—well, to my knowledge at the time. Gabriel did
announce messages of news and blessings, but I was so distraught over
his militant ways that a lot of the messages fell upon deaf ears.
Raphael came into my life a
little bit later and I found his approach
vastly different from Gabriel’s. Raphael was very tender and
nurturing, while Gabriel’s attitude was basically,
“Suck it up, soldier.” After Raphael came Michael,
whose jovial, fun-loving spirit made me realize that the angels all
have very different personalities just like we humans do. And I say
now, after enduring Gabriel, that nothing makes me laugh harder than
hearing Michael tease him about being so serious all the time.
I won’t apologize
for being “too casual,”
and my clients and colleagues have been calling me
“irreverent” since Day One—it’s
practically my middle name now. But the angels have yet to yell at me
about it…much. There has been a time or two when
I’ve overstepped my boundaries. I was gently put back in my
place. That was years ago, though, when I was still learning about
these beautiful beings of Light.
Despite my casual approach,
despite my sassiness, I still love the
angels with all I am and they’re too awesome of a bunch to
keep to myself. I want to share them with everyone and spread the
wonderful feeling of what it’s like to be embraced by these
divine creatures. There’s no pomp, no pretense, or Old
English to tread through, just God’s simple way of being
present in our lives every day.
Why is it important for us to establish a connection with angels?
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