The Guardian Angel in a famous and much-loved painting by Lindberg
The idea of a Guardian Angel is a very old one, mentioned by the ancient Greeks and according to some, hearkening all the way back to the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. In the Tanakh or Jewish Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament) the Books of Job and Daniel both present beliefs based on the idea of a personal Guardian Angel. In the Christian New Testament the books of Matthew and Acts also allude to the belief in a Guardian Angel. Throughout the ages stories have been told of individuals who reported interaction with their Guardian Angels. In some cases people believe that their Guardian Angel steers them away from dangerous or life-threatening situations and in others they have perceived to feel comfort, hope, or renewed strength during times of sorrow and trouble. Many people believe that one's Guardian Angel will appear near the time of death; this idea of a messenger who guides one during death is quite ancient.
Although Angels are generally thought of as not having a gender, it is common practice in the Americas and Europe to depict Guardian Angels as women who watch over their charges with the tender care of loving young mothers. Often they will be shown with white feathered wings and in white or glowing robes. Hoodoo root doctors, as well as practitioners working within Spiritualist or New Thought traditions, often keep a statue of the Guardian Angel on any altar where work is being performed for the blessing, cleansing, healing or protection of clients.