Okay peoples, so I've learned a lot while researching for a novel about secret agent priests that police monsters and ghosts. Sometimes they're about cars. Sometimes they're about Icelandic mythologies. Sometimes they're about Boo Berry. Today I'm sharing with you a brief sample of what I learn about angels.
Now the tricky thing is that Christian and Hebrew mythos has been so altered and twisted around since inception that today's views are nowhere near where they sources started them. For instance, the word angel itself is tricky, because it both refers to the servants of God in general AND a specific rank amongst the choirs of Heaven. So let me give you a little primer on angels, starting with the most misconstrued and my personal favorite.
You know what those are? Someone out there is bound to say Cherub. Or Cherubs. Or Cherubim. Congratulations on knowing the name, but that's not what these are. These, my friend, are putto (be careful how you pronounce that around my Mexican family). You want to know what a Cherub looks like? Well... let's see. They have the face of a man... and an ox... and an eagle... and a lion... and wings covered in eyes... and... well, let's just take a look at this nightmare fuel.
Four heads, several pairs of wings, straight legs and feet like bulls. One (or more) of these things guarded the gates of the Garden of Eden. They're nothing to mess around with. And they're not even the top of the Heavenly Choir.
The top three are, the aforementioned Cherubim, along with Thrones below them, and Seraphim above.
Thrones were occasionally called Ophanim or Erelim and, just as weird looking as Cherubim. Imagine a wheel off a carriage. Now put that inside another wheel. Now put eyes all over the wheels. Truth be told, I'm going with the weirdest interpretation, because there is a (boring) version that has them just appear like old men, but this is one I'm sharing.
Incidentally, the game Bayonetta has really interesting take on these guys. But, I digress. The blog is getting long and I still have the rest of the choir to get to.
Ah, the Seraphim. Highest choir of angels. Six wings: two to cover their faces, two to cover their bodies, and two to fly. Caretaker's of God's throne. You've likely seen them. Probably heard of them. After the other two, they're not that impressive looking, but they're certainly intriguing. I highly recommend checking out Devil May Cry's interpretation. Creepy as all get out.
The rest of the choir goes down from there. Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and then Angels. None of them really look all that cool, they're all pretty much like you expect, but they do have interesting duties.
Dominions lead over the lower angels and have glowing orbs on their scepters or swords. Virtues present signs and miracles to the world. Powers ensure the movies of the cosmos remain orderly. Principalities guide and protect nations.
Archangels are weird. Sometimes they refer to the second-lowest order of angels, and sometimes to the highest. Michael is both a Seraph and an Archangel. So, with a lowercase "a," archangel is simply a stronger angel, where uppercase "A," is the highest choir of angels, including Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and a few others.
And... it kind of feels anticlimactic, but the final and lowest order is simply Angel. They work with people. The show up all the time in Biblical lore. Nothing too special. They're kind of what you think of.
Well, that was a whole lot of lore dropped all at once. I hope it helps or at least entertains someone out there. Until tomorrow...
Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.