The kingdom of angels: who are they, how many are they, how are they?

In many religious traditions, an angel is a spiritual being who assists and serves God (or the gods) or is at the service of man along the path of his spiritual progress and his earthly existence.
All the major monotheistic religions, for centuries, believe in the existence of a large hierarchy of angels rebels against the Creator God, commanded by Satan, founded on the Bible. These angels, without ever being able to change their minds, fell once and forever out of Paradise, due to their pride and infidelity, thus making themselves enemies of man and creation.

The word “angel” derives from the Latin angelus and originates from the Greek word ἄγγελος, translation of the Hebrew מלאך, mal’akh, which means “messenger”, “servant”. Attested in the Mycenaean dialect in the 14th / 12th century BC. as akero, with the meaning here also of envoy, messenger … and as messenger of the Gods, the term “angel” appears for the first time in the religious beliefs of classical civilization. Curious the connection between “angel” and “angaria”: before the angels were biblically divine messengers and, in a Christian way, they became the caretakers at the side of every baptized person, in the Persian empire the angaro was the messenger of the sovereign destined to carry everywhere his orders.
The ancient Greek term ánghelos (messenger) refers to the god Hermes considered the messenger of the gods. The same function is attributed to Iris both in the Iliad and in the Homeric hymns.

The cult of angels flourished in Egypt and Asia Minor between the second and third centuries AD. .
In this context, this figure was evoked by the theurgic rite and considered as man’s companion from the entrance to earthly existence, when his soul descended along the various influences of the celestial spheres that determined its personological characteristics, during life as it was they were guide and protection, and in the after-death, when the angels became responsible for his purification, having to sever the bonds of the soul of the deceased with the world of matter.
The “angels” play a fundamental role in the Zoroastrian religion.
Zoroastrianism (or Mazdeism) is the religion founded by the Iranian prophet Zarathuštra presumably between the tenth and eighth centuries BC. and which will have a significant influence on Judaism and Christianity itself. This religious faith presupposes the existence of a single God indicated by the name of Ahura Mazdā (He who creates with thought), wise, omniscient and supreme good who at the origin of time created two superior spirits (mainyu) plus a series of secondary spirits. After this creation, one of the two superior spirits, Angra Mainyu (Spirit of evil), rebelled against the one God by dragging with him a multitude of secondary celestial beings called Daēva, the other superior spirit Spenta Mainyu (Holy Spirit of good) together with other secondary spirits referred to as Ameša Spenta, instead remained faithful to Ahura Mazdā, initiating a cosmic clash between Good and Evil of which the creation of the material universe and of man will represent its central element.
The term “angel” is also used for the biblical Hebrew מלאך, mal’akh, always with the meaning of “sent”, “messenger”; also for אביר, abbir (lit. “powerful” or also “strong man, valiant”.
The biblical name for “angel”, מלאך (“malak”), acquires the later meaning of angel only in connection with the name of God, for example “angel of the Lord”, or “angel of God” (מַלְאָך יְהוָה, ke mal ‘ach Yahweh Zechariah 12: 8). Other expressions are “children of God”, (אֱלהִים בֵּן benei ha ‘Elohim Genesis 6: 4; Job 1: 6; Psalms 89: 6) and “His saints” (קדשים עמך kedoshim immach) (Zechariah 14: 5).
According to the interpretations of Judaism, the plural E-lohim (pluralis maiestatis sometimes used to indicate certainly the only true God) is sometimes used in reference to angels, called bnēi ‘Elohim or bnēi Elim even if on other occasions such expressions they are used to refer to the Judges.
The theme of the “angels” acquires a rather central role also in the Gnostic religious doctrines.
Contemporary to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the followers of Simone Mago (considered the first of the Samaritan heretics and proto-Gnostic by the Christian religions) also attributed to their “master” divine qualities, embodying the power of God descended to earth for restore order.
For Islam, the existence of angels (in Arabic: ملاك, malāk, pl. ملا ئكة, malāʾika) is an act of faith and whoever denies their existence is considered an “unfaithful”.
The angels, infinite in number, have the task of serving Allah, whose throne they sustain and whose praises and adorations they sing; created before man, they are made of light and also have the mission of leading men to God according to his will, also having the task of recording the human actions that will be weighed, when, themselves and on divine command, they will play the trumpet of the final judgment.

What do angels look like? They are usually described as androgynous beings of great beauty, with thick blond hair. Most of the time they wear long robes or large tunics, sometimes shiny armor – this is the case of warrior anieli, like Michele – and are usually equipped with wings.

These representations, in reality, are not attested by sacred texts, but descend from a long artistic tradition. It was above all the painters of the Renaissance who gave the angels the aesthetic characteristics in vogue in their time. Even religious canons have exerted their influence …

Nowadays, the New Age thought, which often speaks of angels in books and records inspired by this philosophy, very often attributes a female image to it. The “woman” angels therefore appear more reassuring, but also more seductive, so to speak, than their much more austere predecessors of the early centuries of the Church.
In fact, if angels do not enjoy a physical representation, there is a good reason, and that is that they do not have a body in flesh and bones. At most, the sacred texts describe them as flames, lights or, in the case of the Seraphim, fire creatures (of which often only the face is depicted) with six wings: two to hide the eyes, two to conceal the feet and two to fly.

Even the wings of angels are the result of the inventiveness of the artists, justified by the fact that these beings live in Heaven. But just as fairies don’t need magic wands to exercise their powers, so angels don’t need wings to fly to the rescue of their proteges.

Angels are purely spiritual entities, created by God, they are not imaginations or pure literary symbols or expressions. They are inferior to God as his creatures, but at the same time superior to men in their degree of spiritual entities, while man, as we know, is composed of spirit and matter, soul and body. Being pure spirits, they cannot be seen with physical eyes nor can they be identified as corporeal beings. However, they manifest in a twofold way: one is the spiritual one and they appear as luminous and radiant beings, rich in divine glory. This vision is given in particular to some people deeply immersed in divine light, such as the mystics or some subjects sensitive to spiritual movements, as was the case for St. Padre Pio. The other way is given by their human representations, in that they dress themselves in an apparent body only to facilitate their work of service to human creatures, but it is only a momentary aspect, as stated in the book of Tobias of the Old Testament. The wings express their spiritual dynamism, their fast movement, their presence anywhere and anytime.

In the Scripture and Tradition of the Church and in her magisterial documents, it is stated that the angels, divided into the nine choirs, have precise tasks both at the cosmic level to regulate the changes and impetuous movements on earth and at the national level, where each country has a protector of his as the angel said in Fatima: I am the angel of Portugal; in ancient times Michael was the protector of the Jewish people. It can also be said that there is the angel of the family, of the school, of the military forces, of the political trend. If we had more faith in them, social events would also go in the right direction, for the common good and not in exploitation and corruption and disorder.

In the Old Testament and in the Apocalypse, angels sometimes have a human form, sometimes the appearance of imaginary animals or a meteor … You see them on foot, on horseback, you see them chased by wheels covered with eyes. Tobit’s angel has a waist belt; those of Heliodorus wear rich golden armor. One plays a trumpet, another shakes a chalice and scatters the poison it contains. If they have a human body, it is youthful; if they materialize in any object, it is of fire. (As in the Book of Ezekiel, and in the Apocalypse.)

In Christian art, the model of the young person was generally chosen to portray celestial spirits. “In Christian antiquity and during the Middle Ages, male beauty in bloom breathes on the face of angels; in them grace without softness is combined with vigor without roughness. An eternal adolescence shines on those heavenly faces: never were they children, never will they be vigilant “Joseph de Maistre).

The number of angels

How many exactly are angels? Do their quantities differ according to theological sources and traditions? Is their number large or small? Is it fixed and established forever or in perpetual mutation? Can the human intellect be able to conceive it?

In reality, the number of angels created is indeterminate, but most theologians agree that it is very large, almost infinite …
A vision of San Daniele describes a million angels at the feet of the Eternal, waiting to serve him.

St. John in ecstasy saw thousands of thousands of myriads of angels who worshiped the Lamb. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite states that the multitude of angels goes far beyond the mediocrity of human numbers and exceeds the totality of creatures that have been, are and will be. For his part, St. Thomas claims that there are more beings in Heaven than grains of sand on the beach, or drops of water in the ocean. A kabbalistic treatise specifies that the celestial family is as complete as the terrestrial one, and the world of spirits is even more crowded than that of bodies!

A Kabbalah specialist adds that every individual has his angel, as does every people.
According to the Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, there are nine orders of strictly hierarchical angels, within which each has his place. Starting from the top is the order of the Seraphim, then those of the Cherubim, the Thrones, the Dominions, the Powers, the Virtues, the Principalities, the Archangels and finally the Angels proper.
Each of these orders includes eight angels, which implies a total of 72 angels, corresponding to the seventy-two genes of Kabbalah, the esoteric doctrine inspired by Jewish mysticism. It is a magical figure that expresses a totality, a fulfillment. Seventy-two, like the steps of Jacob’s ladder. Seventy-two, like the average number per minute of pulsations in the human heart. Our heart beats to the rhythm of the heart of the angels …
The angels are at the same time seventy-two and myriads, two data that are by no means incompatible in celestial arithmetic. The arrhythmia has made it possible to identify several series of seventy-two angels. It is also possible to draw seventy-two three-letter words from the alphabet, or trilittere, which taken together form the name of God. The mathematical and mystical combinations of the number seventy-two therefore lead to the divine totality. Likewise, the seventy-two angels keep watch over the seventy-two quinari of Heaven. Seventy-two multiplied by five results in three hundred and sixty, which corresponds to the number of days of the year on which the seventy-two angels watch, or five days each angel. Since the year is 365 days, there remain five days on which no angel watches, and which are consecrated to God and the four elements.

The number of angels

How many exactly are angels? Do their quantities differ according to theological sources and traditions? Is their number large or small? Is it fixed and established forever or in perpetual mutation? Can the human intellect be able to conceive it?

In reality, the number of created angels is indeterminate, but most theologians agree that it is very large, almost infinite …
A vision of San Daniele describes a million angels at the feet of the Eternal, waiting to serve him.

St. John in ecstasy saw thousands of thousands of myriads of angels who worshiped the Lamb. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite states that the multitude of angels goes far beyond the mediocrity of human numbers and exceeds the totality of creatures that have been, are and will be. For his part, St. Thomas claims that there are more beings in Heaven than grains of sand on the beach, or drops of water in the ocean. A kabbalistic treatise specifies that the celestial family is as complete as the terrestrial one, and the world of spirits is even more crowded than that of bodies!

A Kabbalah specialist adds that every individual has his angel, as does every people.
According to the Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, there are nine orders of strictly hierarchical angels, within which each has his place. Starting from the top is the order of the Seraphim, then those of the Cherubim, the Thrones, the Dominions, the Powers, the Virtues, the Principalities, the Archangels and finally the Angels proper.
Each of these orders includes eight angels, which implies a total of 72 angels, corresponding to the seventy-two genes of Kabbalah, the esoteric doctrine inspired by Jewish mysticism. It is a magical figure that expresses a totality, a fulfillment. Seventy-two, like the steps of Jacob’s ladder. Seventy-two, like the average number per minute of pulsations in the human heart. Our heart beats to the rhythm of the heart of the angels …
The angels are at the same time seventy-two and myriads, two data that are by no means incompatible in celestial arithmetic. The arrhythmia has made it possible to identify several series of seventy-two angels. It is also possible to draw seventy-two three-letter words from the alphabet, or trilittere, which taken together form the name of God. The mathematical and mystical combinations of the number seventy-two therefore lead to the divine totality. Likewise, the seventy-two angels keep watch over the seventy-two quinari of Heaven. Seventy-two multiplied by five results in three hundred and sixty, which corresponds to the number of days of the year on which the seventy-two angels watch, or five days each angel. Since the year is 365 days, there remain five days on which no angel watches, and which are consecrated to God and the four elements.

The Angels are grouped into hierarchies or vibrations called ‘Choruses’.

They are called Choirs, as their voices sing praises to Creation and these praises make up the music of the spheres also defined as “basic vibration of the Universe”. The primordial vibration of pure love is that which gives rise to life. This is the resonance represented by the angelic voices who sing in unison, celebrating Creation.

The Angelic hierarchies are made up of 9 Choirs (in descending order) divided as follows:

Seraphim – Cherubim – Thrones

Dominions – Virtues – Powers

Principalities – Archangels – Angels

FEATURES OF THE TRIADS:

The first triad, composed of Seraphim – Cherubim – Thrones, is the highest triad and they receive its illumination directly from God. The second triad, composed of Dominions – Virtues – Powers, receive the illumination of God from the upper choirs, and in turn transmit them to the third triad made up of Principalities, Archangels and Angels.

The first Choir belongs to the Father’s Aegis, the second belongs to the Son’s Aegis while the third belongs to the Holy Spirit’s Aegis.

The elevation of the triads is not based on the materialization of divine energy, the higher the choirs are, the thinner this energy is.

The energy emanating from God is pure energy, as it descends it changes its vibration, from the state of light to that of heat and finally condenses on the matter.

The first triad vibrates in frequency of purity and very high light. The Seraphim has a very high vibration, the Cherubim slightly decreases its frequency, while starting from the Thrones the composition of the material appears, albeit in a very subtle way. This does not prevent any Angel from being able to penetrate the earthly dimension by dressing in matter. All angels have this faculty.

The third triad, the last order of the hierarchy of Heaven, is the one that is closest to the human species in terms of vibrations and affinities. A well-known order in popular culture of facts are the Guardian Angels.

The Seraphim:

(Dragons or winged Serpents) are, as we have said, of the highest order, they are depicted with six wings and surround the throne of God, singing the Holy, Holy, Holy ceaselessly. They are Angels made of love, light and fire. They manifest the glory of God by expressing it in pure light that spreads as the principle of life to the whole universe. They purify and illuminate everything that is close to them, which is why they are the custodians of sacred places. These angels are in direct contact with God, they are represented as beings with six wings: with 2 they cover the face, with two the feet and two are used to fly. The wings that cover the face and body of the Seraphim protect them from the intense radiance that God emits.

The Cherubim:

(Winged bulls) are the guardians of the fixed stars, custodians of the heavenly memories and of the Ark of the Covenant. They are the dispensers of wisdom. Before the fall, their leader was Satan. They manifest the wisdom of God and are responsible for the order of the universal case. They are the guardians of supreme knowledge and they spread the Law of Love, the wisdom of God. They are the bearers of the gift of happiness and are represented as winged children.

The Thrones:

(The Manifest Word) are those who bring us the righteousness of God. Sometimes called wheels, in Jewish Kabbalah they are called Triumphal Chariots or Merkabah. They manifest union with God, they are called Thrones because they are the Angels who according to traditions, ‘claim’ God, are his throne in the Universe. They are represented as immense beings with circular wings illuminated with the colors of the rainbow. They are the bearers of the gift of perseverance.

Dominions:

(Lordships) regulate the Angelic duties, they are the lords of order and randomness and manifest the Majesty of God. They are depicted holding a globe or scepter in hand as a sign of authority. The Angels of Dominations manifest the supremacy of God and are therefore represented with scepter and sword, symbol of Divine Power over all Creation. They awaken the strength in man to defeat the inner enemies, and establish the supremacy of God over all darkness. Being the diseases manifestations of these internal enemies, the Dominations, they are carriers of healing, in fact they are called healing Angels, therefore they can help us overcome them.

Virtues:

they are Nature in its highest expression, they dispense grace and value. These angels manifest the will of God, and are represented as children with wings and without bodies. This symbolizes the speed with which the will of God reaches the ends of the universe. They are responsible for miracles, one of the ways in which the human being experiences the direct intervention of divine energy in his life, magically solving a problem or bringing a gift, an unexpected gift.

Powers:

begin the Man in the Great Mysteries. They are the building blocks of the upper Mind of man from which the Muses are born. The Angels of this Choir manifest the power of God, that is, the strength of the Light. They are responsible for restoring order throughout his kingdom, eliminating evil. They protect humanity from all external and internal enemies; for this they are called the armies of God. They are represented with helmets, armor and flaming swords. They are protector angels and warriors.

The Principalities:

they are the archetypal Princes, they protect religions. They manifest God’s dominion over nature and their main mission is to deal with the harmony between the four elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Air. Within the natural order, they are responsible for the plant kingdom. They are represented with scepters and crosses and are the bearers of the gift of balance.

The Archangels:

they are seven hosts, of which three are major and four are minor. Through them the “Holy Spirit” works. These are their names:

  • Major archangels: Michele, Gabriele, Raffaele.
  • Minor archangels: Anaele, Azaziele, Ezechiele, Uriele.

They manifest the hegemony of God and are the commanders of the legions of Angels, who answer to their authority. They also command over planetary spirits, just as they are responsible for the animal kingdom. They are representatives as beautiful and majestic Beings and they are those who directly transmit the announcements of God to men.

The Angels:

they are the custodians of people and physical things. Angels are pure intelligence, but not “conscious” like man. While man sets an end and works to achieve his goal, the Angels are part of the rhythm and its movement. They manifest the protection of God over all his creatures. Within this Choir are the Guardian Angels, who deal with the spiritual evolution and the protection of human beings from all the dangers that threaten them, permanently protecting them. Every human being, at birth, is ‘welded’, united to a Guardian Angel who will accompany him throughout his earthly journey, showing him at every step the existence of divine protection in his life.

ANGELIC HIERARCHIES
~
The hierarchy of the nine angelic choirs according to Dionigi the Aeropagita
~
For each angelic choir, the Kabbalah lists the names of eight angels and provides the name of the archangel who rules it. It should be noted that these “archangels” should not be confused with the eighth angelic choir, which is precisely that of the Archangels.

1.SERAPHIM
Ruled by Metatron
Vehuiah, Jeliel, Sitael, Elemiah, Mahasiah, Lelahel, Achaiah, Cahetel.
2.CHERUBIM
Ruled by Jophiel
Haziel, Aladiah, Lauviah, Hahaiah, lezalel, Mebahel, Hariel, Hekamiah.
3.THRONES
Ruled by Binael
Lauviah, Caliel, Leuviah, Pahaliah, Nelchael, Yeiayel, Melahel, Haheuiah.
4.DOMINIONS
Ruled by Zadkiel
Nithaiah, Ahayah, Yeratel, Seheiah, Reiyel, Omael, Lecabel, Vasariah.
5.POWERS
Ruled by Camael or Uriel
Yehuiah, Lehahiah, Chavaquiah, Menadel, Aniel, Haamiah, Rehael, Yeiazel.
6.VIRTUES
Ruled by Raffaele
Hehahel, Mikael, Veuliah, Yelahiah, Sehaliah, Ariel, Asaliah, Mihael.
7.PRINCIPALITIES
Ruled by Haniel
Vehuel, Daniel, Hahasiah, Imamiah, Nanael, Nithael, Mebahiah, Poyel.
8.ARCHANGELS
Ruled by Michele
Nemamiah, Yeialel, Harael, Mitzrael, Umabel, Iahhel, Anauel, Mehiel.
9.ANGELS
Ruled by Gabriele
Damabiah, Manakel, Eyael, Habuhiah, Rochel, Jabamiah, Haiaiel, Mumiah.

The function of the guardian angel is described in Psalm 91: “For he will command his angels to protect you in all your ways.” For his part, Saint Jerome says: “And the dignity of souls must be great for each one to have an angel in charge of his custody from birth.”
St. Basil adds: “No one can deny that an Angel assists every single believer”. The existence of the guardian angels is proclaimed by the Church itself, which celebrates the “feast of the guardian angel” on October 2.
In old catechisms it was said that the guardian angel’s job was to protect young children.
The function of the angel was believed to be much more important for children under the age of seven, as they need special supervision. That’s why kids are able to see angels and talk to them, just as they do with fairies …
Seven years correspond to the age of reason. In fact, the cycles of human life are related to the number 7 and its multiples. At seven, the child begins to develop his intellectual qualities.
At fourteen, he went through the adolescent crisis. At twenty-one he becomes an adult. At twenty eight he makes lifestyle choices, he forms a family. At thirty-five, he generally faces an existential crisis, the “midlife crisis”. At forty-two, he distances himself a bit from his life, “quarantines”. At forty-nine his body changes, and also his gaze on the world; is affected by presbyopia, andropause, menopause and so on.
This does not mean that the guardian angel leaves his protege when he turns seven, on the contrary. It’s just that it becomes “invisible”, which explains why men tend to forget it, if not actually deny its existence …

Rispondi

Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Google photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: