ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Angels and Archangels in Western Culture - A Short Guide

Updated on August 2, 2017
Source

Choirs of Angels

Angels have been with us for a long time. Historically, angelic type beings predate the concept of a benevolent, monotheistic God. They appear as winged deities in ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman culture. Angels as we know them are elements of Jewish, Islamic, Zoroastrian, and Christian faiths.

In the late 4th century AD, the Catholic Church categorized angels into groups called choirs and divided into triads:

Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones

Dominions, Virtues, Powers

Principalities, Archangels, Angels

Here, then, is a short guide to the categories of angels. The divisions are confusing, however, with many angels and their roles crossing over into other categories. Included are several archangels and their names.


THE CHOIRS OF ANGELS

Seraphim


Seraphim utter the song of creation, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His Glory!" Beings of pure light, seraphim appear in human like form showing 6 wings and occasionally 4 heads. They have appeared with 6 times 6 wings.

In Jewish angelic hierarchy, seraphim rank 5th of 10 ranks.

Seraphim are associated with the serpent, a symbol of the healing arts (because snakes shed their skin and become renewed). In modern medicine, two serpents twine around the 'caduceus,' a healing wand which, in ancient Greek mythology, was carried in the hand of Hermes, a winged messenger of the gods.

Sataniel, or the Adversary, the Morning Star, the most powerful of the Seraphim, became jealous of God's favorite creation, mankind, and so was denied Gods' most severe punishment by being denied God.



A Seraphim
A Seraphim | Source

Cherubim


In Hebrew and Christian lore, God stationed cherubim East of Eden to guard the Tree of Life. In Hebrew, 'Kerub,' means 'knowledge,' or, 'one who intercedes.'

Six thousand years ago, the Ka-ri-bu were the monstrous guardians of Babylonian temples. Appearing variously in Western cultures as winged beasts, and in human-like form with 4 wings, cherubim are the bearers of God's throne.

The origination of cherubim as cute little winged babies is a mystery.

Cherubim - also identified as a seraph, from a medieval manuscript (wikimedia commons)
Cherubim - also identified as a seraph, from a medieval manuscript (wikimedia commons)

Thrones

Thrones are the Chariots of God and have appeared as wheels of fire. Ezekiel (1:13 - 19) refers to thrones as being coals of fire in wheels with rims full of eyes. Thrones do not resemble people.

Some UFO buffs see a tie between thrones and sightings of extra terrestrial spacecraft and identify ancient depictions of fiery spheres in the sky with space ships.

Source

Second Triad

Dominions regulate angelic duties and are God's channels of mercy. They maintain order ion the universe.

Virtues are associated with grace and bestow blessings from the heavens. Virtues acted as midwives for Eve at the birth of Cain and appeared at the Ascension of Christ into heaven as His escorts. Virtues are also associated with heroic deeds and aid in the struggle for good against evil.

Powers are a sort of border guard and have acted in both good and evil roles in their effort to maintain balance. Druid lore features Camael as God of War, a commander of 144,000 Angels of Destruction and Vengeance. Powers also assist souls that have left the human body and lost their way. They defend the world against devils and guard the route from earth to heaven.

Mary, Jesus, and Angels
Mary, Jesus, and Angels | Source

Third Triad

Principalities are in charge of nations and protectors of religion. One prominent principality is Cervill who assisted David in the slaying of Goliath.

Archangels may be the best known of the heavenly host of angels. The Koran of Islam has four archangels including Michael and Jibril (Gabriel). Christian and Jewish faiths mention Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. Archangels are known as the messengers of God, issuing divine decrees. They command the legions of heaven.

Angels are the closest to humanity. In Persian, 'angaros' means messenger as in ancient Greek, 'angelos' means the same. It is this order that supplies people with their guardian angels.

Enoch's angels, or Grigori, also called 'watchers,' instructed mankind in agriculture, and the making of metal weaponry. Supposedly, some of these gigantic shining ones mated with human women (the daughters of Eve) and produced monstrous offspring. The angels who cohabitated with woman were punished by God and became fallen angels.(The Book of Enoch is an ancient religious text that is not canonical for the Jewish or Christian faiths, but is accepted by the Ethiopian Orthodox church)

Guardian angel
Guardian angel | Source

Archangels

Michael the Archangel

Michael the Archangel tramples the devil underfoot in a 1676 painting
Michael the Archangel tramples the devil underfoot in a 1676 painting | Source

Michael, the most famous of all angels, threw Satan from heaven. Michael has been called Dragon Slayer and associated with St. George. Michael appears in the Muslim tradition with wings of emerald green.

It was Michael who stayed the hand of Abraham as he was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac in a test of faith. Michael promised Daniel that when the world came into troubled times, a messiah would appear.

One of the Dead Sea Scrolls calls Michael the Prince of Light who leads the heavenly army against the Prince of Darkness.

Michael will be the Angel of the Last Judgement and has been associated with the weigher of souls, Anubis in the ancient Egyptian religion.

Michael is God's great champion and, in the Middle Ages, was depicted as a conductor of souls.

Gabriel

Gabriel
Gabriel | Source

Gabriel (or Jibril in the Islamic faith) is the Governor of Eden. Ancient Sumerian listed GBR as governor. Jibril dictated the Qu'ran to Mohammed and ushered Mohammed to heaven.

And it was Gabirel who announced the coming of Jesus to Mary and the coming of John the Baptist to his father, Zacharias.

Despite the popular concept that Gabriel will blow a trumpet at the end of the world, this is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, but may be taken from Norse beliefs.


Archangel Raphael

Source


Raphael is the Chief of the Order of Virtues and is associated with the serpent in a healing capacity. Raphael healed Abraham of the pain of circumcision and mended Jacob's disjointed leg after he wrestled with an angel. Raphael is said to have given Noah a medical book and instructions on how to build the arc. Raphael is known as the Angel of Science and Knowledge. Depicted in the painting at right with a fish, Raphael taught Tobias how to make ointments and balms from fish.

Uriel is both seraph and cherub and is known as the Angel of Repentance. He was, some say the angel who wrestled Jacob. Uriel has been identified as the Cherub who guards the Gates of Eden with a fiery sword. He is, as well, the angel who warned Noah of the coming of a Great Flood.

Remiel or Jeremiel is the Lord of Souls Awaiting Resurrection who leads souls to Judgement and presides over true visions.

Raziel is the Angel of Secret Regions, of the mysterious. Raziel presented the Book of Knowledge to Adam which was mentioned in the Book of Enoch. Raziel reveals the keys to the mysteries of the universe and is Chief of the Thrones, associated with a bright, white fire.

Metatron supplies a direct link between God and mankind, the celestial scribe who records earthly actions.  Metaron is a conundrum in that it was been postulated that the prophet Enoch became Metatron who later ordered horrific events to befall God's Chosen People. Some claim that Metatron is not a name but a title that first belonged to Satan (closest to the throne of God). When Satan was cast out of heaven, the title passed to Michael. 

Raquel has been called the Friend of God who watches over the behavior of angels. In 745 AD, Pope Zachary referred to Raquel as a demon. According to the Revelation of John, 'God shall send the Angel Raquel saying, "go sound the trumpet for the angels."'

Lucifer, Satan, the Prince of Darkness, also called Beelzebub, Beliel. there are several stories of Satan's separation form God which appear in may cultures going back many thousands of years. Variations in the tale subscribe Lucifer's fall as a result of jealousy, lust, or pride. Also called the Morning Star, Lucifer was one of God's best beloved of all the angels. After the creation of mankind, Lucifer objected to his low loss of status in comparison to God's favorite creation. As punishment, Lucifer was denied God, and that loss of connection threw him into darkness where he became known as The Adversary.



Angel - Cemetery Statue

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Angel in Cemetery

(photo by Dolores Monet)
(photo by Dolores Monet)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      brother - yes, there was a world that existed before the Bible was written. People lived in that world who were not mentioned in the Bible. They had belief systems. Of course they were not mentioned in the Bible because there are many things not mentioned in the Bible. It's not all about you and your religion. Other people believe in angels too.

    • profile image

      brotheryochanan 

      7 years ago

      a lot of unscriptural stuff in this. The list is so long i won't even begin. If you believe that gabriel dictated the qu'ran to mohammed you are in trouble.

      I was actually saddened to read this drivel.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)