The Story of the Heavenly Guardian
»As I look up and my eyes make contact with its delicate feathers, prisms and pearls, I feel my heartbeat slowing down. I suddenly feel at ease and allow myself to lean into its unassuming beauty and presence. With its carefully chosen ornaments, this gentle being makes its subtle dance above my head, and reminds me of a graceful ballerina floating in the sky. Like an angel watching over me, it is letting me know that all is well, and I notice how everything around me, inside me, turns into peaceful stillness. Little rainbows appear on the wall behind it as the morning sunlight enters and leaves one of the prisms, and right there in that moment, my heart is wide open to receive the effortless magic I know that life has to offer...but that I sometimes forget exists. Right there in that sacred moment, shared in reverence with my little, secret guardian from above, I feel looked after, safe to take on the world.
As evening falls and summons me to bed, my Heavenly Guardian is still there with me. This time, no rainbows appear on the wall. Instead, barely lit to a point of being almost invisible, the angelic prism ballerinas quietly tell me to rest in the knowing that I’m held through the night, free to explore the land of dreams awaiting me; that whatever filled my day will be looked after, healed and nurtured. It lets me know that I can let go of any worries, doubts and fears that have cast a shade in my mind, and surrender to the knowing that I’m loved. It tells me wonderful goodnight stories and fairytales about my world, my everyday human world, and the world that I know as a soul. The world in which I’m life and death, and everything in between – the world beyond, in which I’m eternal.
Without even trying, the Heavenly Guardian connects me with a deep sense of remembrance of everything magical, beautiful, timeless and soulful – with the very wisdom of my soul. It connects me with faith and trust, in life and myself, and with my innermost hopes and wishes. And finally, it connects me with the Great Love that breathes from within my body – and thus, I feel, it connects me to you, to God and to the incredible journey we call life, from here on and to eternity.«
One of a kind
Channeled by creator and designer, Lilan Kops, in 2013, The Heavenly Guardian is truly one of a kind; every little piece is carefully chosen to match its unique recipient’s soul journey. Whenever working on a piece, Ms. Kops enters into her sacred, clairvoyant space of creation, feeling into the energy that the Heavenly Guardian in question is to hold. She is guided into knowing whether or not a certain ornament brings out the exact vibration needed, as well as into channeling the three keywords that follow every Heavenly Guardian. These words denote essential energies in the recipient’s life, and serve as a reminder and balancing anchor of his or her most fundamental, inner resources.
Thus, with its delicate combination of prisms, feathers, pearls and shells, this mobile art piece is just as much a deeply personal, floating altar and portal to the eternity of the soul, as it is ‘simply’ beautiful and decorative. Apart from raising the energy of its surroundings, the Heavenly Guardian tells us a story of our personal angels, who watch over our soul’s peace and brightest dreams – and of the eternal love that connects life with death in one continuous, effortless cycle of magical creation. With its gentle presence, it becomes a symbol of tenderness, hope, compassion and companionship, supporting us in partaking in that cycle with ease and trust.
With its four ‘arms’, the Heavenly Guardian is structured around two beautifully weathered branches, tied together at the center with a piece of hemp twine to form a cross. From these arms hang the practically invisible fishlines, ornamented with items that Ms. Kops has either found in nature or collected in little vintage stores and on local markets. Collectively, the four arms represent the wheel of life, through which we move from birth into childhood, adulthood into old age and death. The sturdy center, around which the wheel revolves, is the symbolic dwelling of the soul.
The Heavenly Guardian comes in a single version with just one string of ornaments hanging from each arm, in a double version with two strings from each arm, or in a big version with 3 strings from each arm. Ms. Kops creates her exceptional pieces for individuals – children and grownups alike – couples and families, as well as institutions and organizations. In describing her work, she emphasizes the fact that one does not need to be particularly spiritual to enjoy the Heavenly Guardian – it can easily be appreciated for its sheer beauty. However, for the openminded, the opportunity to receive a deeper, personal message and guidance most definitely exists.
Personal interview with creator Lilan Kops about the Heavenly Guardian, its magic and messages to its recipients.
By Kristine Skjoldborg Stammer
At one point in sharing about the Heavenly Guardian, you mention it was channeled to you. How did that come about – what happened?
The moment we receive the gift of life, we also receive the gift of death
»In Denmark, we have the notion of a vågekone. Essentially, it is a woman who sits with a person who’s dying, getting ready to transition to the other side. Her role is to offer consolation and comfort in what to most people is a very vulnerable situation. At least in our part of the world, we fear death, we fight getting old and dying like there’s no tomorrow, myself included. I feel it has to do with the fact that we know so little about death and rarely talk about it, let alone celebrate it as a natural part of life. It seems difficult for our minds to completely comprehend, even though deep down, we may know it’s not that dangerous, or that in fact, it’s a necessary phase we need to go through in order for us to continue our soul journey. Instead, however, we often associate death with something awful and incredibly sad, and in doing so, tend to forget that it’s an inevitable and maybe even beautiful part of life. Whether we want it or not, the very moment we receive the gift of life, we also receive the gift of death.
That’s where the story of the Heavenly Guardian begins: With me wanting to be a vågekone. Having had painful experiences with death myself, I thought it would be beautiful to participate in the effort to nourish a gentler relationship with death – especially in the moment we come face to face with it. I think I wanted to somehow help instill an inner knowing that death is a just another and completely natural chapter in our lives, a transition ritual into something new and exciting. I love the feeling that comes from believing that just because we die, we’ll never be alone, we’ll never be abandoned or left behind – and consequently, never leave anyone else behind. We are taken care of, no matter what. In a vulnerable situation, when we’re faced with the unknown and feeling scared, that belief, that feeling of security, becomes an incredibly powerful anchor of comfort. What’s so interesting about this is that in simply living life, we come up against the unknown and the process of death in a symbolic way, all the time. Whenever a part of our lives withers away, we have the opportunity to anchor our hearts and minds in the belief that we are taken care of, and that the road is being paved for something new and wonderful to come along. However, that’s only something that became clear to me later on, and my initial intention was to simply be a vågekone. To create a loving, beautiful space for the man or woman dying, making death as gentle and fear-free an experience as humanly possible.
The heavenly Guardian: A doorway to the soul
»However, before I ever got to be a vågekone, the word “Heavenly Guardian” came to me out of nowhere, and I instinctively knew it came from a higher place – from my soul. immediately, my curiosity was sparked, and when I entered into my creative space to explore it, this incredibly soft and wonderful being appeared before me. And I call it a being because I feel that each individual Guardian has a life, an essence of its own. It’s beautiful, of course, and can easily be appreciated ‘just’ for its beauty – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It requires no understanding or belief as such to love it. However, the opportunity does exist to connect with it in a deeper way, to follow its unique guidance into the wisdom of one’s soul. Every time I begin the creative process of designing a new Guardian, I almost feel like I’m being taken over by a higher power. I’m being guided to pick exactly which elements go where and in which order. To me, it very much feels like the soul of the recipient showing me the way, letting me know exactly what it needs at this point in its journey. It’s a very humbling and beautiful experience every time, and I truly feel honored that I get to be the conduit of this energy.«
You previously mentioned something about “the way being paved for us” – that something better is waiting for us on the other side of death, physical or symbolic. Could you elaborate on that?
Death as a transition ritual opens the door to our dreams
»After creating my first ever Heavenly Guardian, I began to understand that I, Lilan, didn’t have to be present right there in the room with the dying man or woman – it wasn’t about me as a person, but rather about creating a very specific kind of energy. The feeling of a steady, calm and loving presence, a healing hand supporting that person in crossing the threshold between life and death is what mattered. I realized that the Heavenly Guardian, with its gentle beauty and feather-like lightness creates exactly that energy, and right then in that moment, it clicked in!
All of a sudden it became crystal clear to me that we are faced with death, not only when our last breath leaves our body, but also at every new turn we take in life. Whenever we’re faced with change, it inevitably means that something that used to be, no longer can be. It has to dissolve – it has to die away from life as we know it. To me, this symbolic death becomes an amazing ritual of transition, helping us say goodbye to the aspects of life that no longer serve us, and as a consequence of their ‘passing’, create a wonderful void for the new to enter. It doesn’t mean it can’t be scary, I certainly know that from my own life. Having to say goodbye to something or someone who for some reason isn’t meant to continue as a traveling companion can feel so very vulnerable. It can bring up all kinds of feelings, like anger, despair, even sorrow, essentially because it feels like part of me is dying away. Man, it can be so incredibly sensitive and at times, very challenging. At the same time, however, just like with the physical death, the symbolic one to me feels both natural and necessary – and like a beautiful gateway into the fulfillment of our dreams.«
»Essentially, the symbolic death feels to me like life’s way of nudging us in the direction of our soul, and with that, the experiences we long for and dream about on a soul level…with necessarily knowing exactly what they are with our minds. Of course, we can be stubborn and resist, but in my experience, that just prolongs the transition period and extends the pain. To me, our most beautiful and vibrant dreams are contained in the soul, and when we allow the natural process of death to occur, we gain access to this incredible catalyzing power that so beautifully bridges what we know on a soul level but are yet to acknowledge in our minds.«
How do you see that tying in with your intentions for the Heavenly Guardian and its purpose?
A faithful companion on the path to magic
»Well, as you know, the Heavenly Guardian came to me when I set out to become a vågekone – a loving guide through death. Recognizing that death is so much more than the isolated moment we leave this physical life, I suddenly saw the Guardian’s real purpose, realizing that it too covers a much larger energetic field than I had initially been conscious of. In that moment, I knew that it is here to serve as a loyal companion through life for those who want it, protecting all the beauty, love and grace stored in our soul. It is here to guard our dreams and hopes in the most careful, compassionate and loving way, making our transition through whatever we need to leave behind in order to feel more magic, as gentle as humanly possible. It makes itself available to us, every time we go on these butterfly journeys of death and rebirth into a greater sense of connectedness with our soul.
That just blew my mind. Still does, to be honest. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel to be given the opportunity to channel this wonderful, gentle being and its messages of trust, hope and love – of the magic of the soul. I feel it’s one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received, and my innermost wish is for others to feel its love and take in its beauty. That would be a dream come true.«
By Kristine Skjoldborg Stammer