Angel Wings in a Texas Tree

image A Texas woman thinks a pattern in the trunk of a tree in the parking lot of her local supermarket looks like a pair of angel wings. And, for good measure, she also thinks she might see Jesus there too. The woman, Gayle Griffin, says:

"I was drawn to this tree. Something compelled me to take pictures. Something kept telling me to go back." Maybe that something was her need to buy groceries.

So this is another tree to add to my growing list of images in trees. The wing pattern is quite easy to see, but does it count if the bark has been ripped off, as looks to be the case?

Interestingly, this Jesus/Angel Wing tree is located in the same area that the famous Screen Door Jesus appeared in, back in 1969. Screen Door Jesus recently became the title of a movie (though I don't think the movie is actually about the 1969 incident). There was also a recent movie called Tortilla Heaven inspired by the case of the face of Jesus supposedly visible on a corn tortilla.

Pareidolia Religion

Posted on Mon Aug 20, 2007


This is just getting mad now, I've seen plenty of patterns like this in trees before, it's like saying "That cloud looks like a big hand, that must be Gods Hand because that's where the heavens are."

People now see anything strange and they think it's eather a alians or something supernatural.
Posted by Nameless  in  London, marshmellow land  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  02:20 AM
Looks to me like the bark's been ripped off after a SUV crashed into it. Does that mean the idiot driver was divinly inspired to slam his vehicle into a tree?

The again - Lucifer, Prince of Darkness was an angel once ...maybe it's his wings... (funny how no-one ever thinks these images could be not from God/Jesus et al, but from The Other Guys)
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  06:11 AM
It looks to me as though the bark was CUT along the sides and across the tops of the "wings". The lines are to clean to have been "ripped" at those points. Call it what it is Gayle Griffin, a fabricated hoax - a cheezy art project at best.
Posted by Christopher  in  Joplin, Missouri  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  06:43 AM
I didn't know angels were asymmetrical.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  08:23 AM
In response to Nona's statement that perhaps the wings are Lucifer's - angels are supposed to be completely incoporeal and divine - with an unknown appearance. The Angel's wings are a part of the construction of angels invented by medieval artists who adapted their concept of what an angel would look like from imagery of the Greek god Eros (cupid) and other ancient forms. Angels don't have wings - for real!
Posted by Zonal  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  11:01 AM
You are aware that angels are fictitious beings in the first place, aren't you? So arguing the 'truth' about them is kind of like arguing the 'truth' about vampires. There isn't any, other than mythologically.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  01:48 PM
Contrary to popular belief, "mythological" and "fictitious" are not the same thing.

Anyway, Zonal makes an interesting point in that in the Bible, at least, nobody who sees angels talks about their wings. Medieval artists were (as far as I know -- my source is C.S. Lewis) the first ones to put wings on angels to symbolize their ability to travel quickly through space and because they are associated with Heaven which is thought of as being "up there" somewhere. Why that bit of symbolism became so firmly associated in people's minds with beings who, if they exist (which I think they do, but what do I know), are pure spirit is one of those little mysteries of the human psyche.

That said, the photo looks only vaguely angel-like to me, but then I often have a lot of difficulty seeing the various religious things in ordinary items that other people are always finding. And anyway, all that aside, what is the point? Aside from, you know, "Ooh, isn't that neat -- it looks kind of like an angel!" But then, I never get the point of the other religious things in ordinary items either.
Posted by Kathleen  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  03:30 PM
I see the wings of the Angel Iyiz, the wings of the Teyn Angel, the Angel Ka'ek, the Angel Hayr, and some parakeet named Tweet God Enuff Already
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  03:57 PM
Mythological means about myths, generally world creation stories and the like, but also life-lessons and teachings. Myths can be true or false, or anywhere in between. I never claimed that being myths meant angels were untrue, I made that claim under 'fictitious'.

Just as our modern images of angels, the Virgin, Christ, and so many other Biblical icons are based on the imaginings of artists hundreds of years, so are the writings and descriptions of the same based on the imaginings of story tellers and writers thousands of years ago. The Bible is just as much mythology as the stories of the ancient Greeks, Summerians, Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, sub-Saharan Africans, French, or native Americans. The difference is only in the numbers of people who believe them to be actual fact, and the number of people who believe something to be true has no bearing on the truthfulness of that belief.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  04:11 PM
I didn't say that it did, Charybdis. It is of course possible for jillions of people to believe something that is not true -- Snopes and the Museum of Hoaxes and my very own personal religion demonstrate that at times.

At the risk of seeming to do something that I've promised myself I won't do, particularly not to you, of all people, I'd just like to point out that I am not for one moment attempting to convince anybody that angels, winged or not, exist. I am merely disagreeing with your contention that their nature is therefore automatically unworthy of discussion, which seem to clearly be the intent of your earlier post. (If it isn't, I apologize, but I do think this is a valid interpretation.) All other considerations aside...the picture shows what is supposed to be a winged figure that some people claim is an angel. So how can it *not* be germane to talk about whether angels have wings?
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  05:27 PM
Lokks to me more like the head of a croc comeing from the ground.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Mon Aug 20, 2007  at  11:14 PM
Pictures in clouds, man on the moon, grilled cheese image of Virgin Mary, etc. all ridiculous.
If you want to believe in something then believe in yourself because that's the only one who is going to help you when you need help. As someone said, can't remember who, when you pray all you're doing is talking to yourself.
Posted by Joe  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  07:29 AM
I never intended to convey that discussing angels and their characteristics was meaningless, though I see that's more or less how it came out. Rather I wanted to get across the point that there is no definitive or true source of information on angels. Medieval artists had just as much authority as the writers of the Bible in depicting angels, or anything else from the Bible. The same is still true today.

The Bible wasn't written by one person, at one moment in time. It took over a thousand years to bring the books to their present forms, and even now there are variations among Christian denominations. Who's to say that a thousand years from now some medieval interpretations won't be considered canon by many people?

Lastly, I leave you with Isaiah 6:2 KJV (though I haven't yet found one that differs in the one critical aspect)

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  09:27 AM
Ooh, good Isaiah reference. I will leave aside the question of whether there is a difference between angels and seraphims, mostly because I don't know (nor care, to be honest, at least not right now) what that might be, but I did want to point out that there are references to angels that make no mention of wings at all, including in Luke where the women go to the tomb and find Jesus' body gone and beings in "dazzling clothes" who tell them that Jesus is no longer among the dead. Maybe those weren't angels, but maybe they were. The writer of Luke doesn't say, and I don't think we can either.

But yes, it is true that there is most certainly no definitive source on angels. Which is yet another reason why it's odd that so many people seem to firmly believe in those wings. They must be symbolically important, I guess.

As for whether "Medieval artists had just as much authority as the writers of the Bible in depicting angels," well, that depends, doesn't it, on the sources the writers of the Bible used as well as the sources the Medieval artists used? Did they just used their imaginations or (as might be the case with some of the Gospels -- Mark, for example, was apparently written very shortly after the deaths of the some of the apostles) did they incorporate eyewitness accounts? Yes, yes, I know eyewitness accounts have their little and not-so-little problems, but still, the value of an eyewitness account depends on the eyewitness. And the value of an imagined something-or-other depends on the person who imagined it.
Posted by Kathleen  in  Indiana, USA  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  11:22 AM
Angels fly, and they descend from Heaven. It only makes sense that they can have wings (rocket packs would have been far cooler), though it seems apparent they come in many different flavors.

I think the point is that stories, even ones based on actual occurrences, have a habit of being embellished. As far as the Old Testament goes you have stories passing verbally through hundreds of people before being written down, and even after that they were often changed for various reasons - both accidental and intentional.

I believe most of the references to actual angelic appearances occurred io the OT, the NT seems to restrict them mostly to dreams (not really very reliable). They're mentioned other places lots of times, but it's usually along the lines of "the angels did this, the angels will do that". So you're dealing with descriptions that may have been passed around verbally for a thousand years before ever being written down. Not very definitive sounding to me. This is why I don't have a problem with more modern interpretations. As far as we know they're as close to the actual truth, if there is one, as anything else.

As for seraphim being angels? The Bible lists lots of Heavenly entities yet never bothers to distinguish between them. It's possible they're all part of the same host just going by different names, or they may all be distinctly separate beings. It seems very apparent that many were based on the gods and mythical (there's that word again) beasts of neighboring religions, but what they were actually intended to refer to is obscured at this late date. That's why it's an 'anything goes' atmosphere, there isn't an real explanation.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  02:20 PM
Seraphim are said to be the highest rank of angel (there's supposed to be like 9 classes/choirs/ranks of angels), with the Seraphim and Cherubium being the closest to God, and Angels being the lowest class and closer to humans.

So Seraphim are said to look different than Cherubs (who by the way, AREN'T little fat babies with wings). In fact, if I remember correctly, it was Cherubium that stood and blocked Adam and Eve from ever returning to Eden after their expulsion. (can't say a chunky little baby would intimidate me, lol)

If you want more info on the classes, check out this wikipedia link.
Posted by Josh  in  Texas  on  Tue Aug 21, 2007  at  07:57 PM
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