Powers and Abilities
In terms of powers, an Angel's capabilities are said to be limitless, as they are not merely celestial beings, but also an extension of God's will.
OrganisationIn Christian dogma, the Angels were grouped into three Spheres which were further divided into three Choirs each, for a total of nine Choirs.
The First Sphere
The Choirs of the First Sphere are the direct servants of God in Heaven.
- Seraphim are the highest choir of angels, the caretakers of God's throne and are tasked with continually singing His prayers. Flaming beings with six wings, they use one pair to cover their faces, another to cover their feet, and the last to fly.
- The Cherubim are the guardians of both the entry to God's throne and the Garden of Life. They have a pair of twin wings, body of a lion, feet of an oxen, and four faces - one of a lion, one of a man, one of an eagle, and one of an ox.
- The living embodiments of Heaven's justice and authority, the Thrones are described as elder men who interpret the will of God and present Him with the prayers of men.
The Second SphereThe Angels included in the Second Sphere are responsible for governance of all of creation.
- The Dominions, variously known as Lordships or Dominations, are charged with the organisation of the lesser angels' duties. Dominions are the pinnacle of the angel archetype, divinely beautiful humans with great feathered wings. They frequently bear sceptres or swords which incorporate glowing balls of light to distinguish themselves from the other Choirs.
- The Virtues, also known as Strongholds, are the Choir responsible for the manifestation of signs and miracles.
- The Powers, sometimes Authorities, are warrior angels responsible for the upkeep of the heavenly bodies and the smooth running of the cosmos. Also charged with confronting evil spirits, the Powers are Heaven's conscience and the keepers of history. Comprising God's warrior legions, this Choir is usually depicted sporting armour, shields and various weapons.
The Third Sphere
The angels most commonly encountered by mortals, the Choirs of the Third Sphere act as guides, protectors and messengers to mankind.
- The Principalities, also Princedoms or Rulers, are tasked with the protection of the Church, nations and groups of people: Also, they are to protect, educate and inspire the people of earth. Principalities wear golden crowns and carry sceptres as symbols of their office.
- Archangels are tasked with the guardianship of individual countries or nations, and all that goes with them, including conflict, politics and commerce.
- The Angels are the lowliest and most numerous of the Choirs of angels, performing a variety of tasks, including passing messages to mortals, settling disputes and performing guardian angel duties.
Angels of NoteThe religions of the world give different testimonies of the various angels as well as their roles and mythologies. Some of the most famous - and infamous - are listed below.
- Michael - The Archangel Michael is the mightiest of God's angels. His name means "He who is like God". According to the Christian account, it was Michael who cast Lucifer and his followers to Earth for their rebellion.
- Lucifer - The Archangel Lucifer is the most infamous of all angels. His name means "The Morning Star" or "Light Bringer". According to the Jewish account, Lucifer was the bringer of God's wrath and authority, the accuser and punisher of the wicked. However, according to the Christian account, when God created Man and commanded His angels to bow down to and love them more than He, the jealous and prideful Lucifer refused and rebelled. He, along with the one-third of Heaven's angels under his command, fought against the Archangel Michael, but were defeated and cast down to Earth. In his exile, Lucifer became known as the Devil or Satan and has since planned to tempt Mankind to sin and destruction.
- Samyaza - Samyaza was the leader of the band of fallen angels known as the Watchers, and father of the race of giants referred to in the Book of Genesis as the Nephilim. God had Gabriel cast him and his followers down to Hell for defiling human women.
- Azazel - Azazel is an angel who features in certain Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts. In the Christian texts, Azazel is sometimes a companion of Samyaza.