How is the hierarchy of angels according to Christianity?
The angel archetype is inserted in different cultures and religions, being for Christianity a direct link with the Sacred, called God. According to this tradition, they are like agents of the divine and work under a certain hierarchy.
If you notice, the hierarchy of angels works like a company, with a vertical org chart. In other words, orders and benefits come from the highest to the base. In this case, God is at the top, running everything, and his angels are his hardest workers, making everything work as smoothly as possible.
Of course, with the interference of malefic forces, whether they have a spiritual origin or in human actions, it may not be the simplest task to keep everything in order on earth. But with discipline and will, the holy angels can maintain balance, whether by strength, inspiration or even directions.
Understand better what angels are and how they are related, according to Christian doctrine.
Fundamentals of the hierarchy of angels
According to Christianity, some foundations form the basis of the doctrine, being based on biblical passages, whose combination of different sources leads to the human definition of what could come to be the hierarchy of angels. Understand better what angels are according to Christians, the sources that deal with the topic, how the relationship with God and his organization is.
■ Angels in Christianity
Traditionally, angels are celestial creatures, devoid of gender and with a beauty that goes beyond the human capacity of understanding, being interpreted as pure and delicate. Therefore, they are often associated with children.
The name Angel comes from the Greek Ággelos, which means messenger. This is because they have the main function of serving as the link between humans and God. Intelligent, they are able to understand and interpret human needs and take them to the sacred.
They are pure and interact with each other in a hierarchical way, so that you can contact the different energy levels. In this way, they are able to convey messages, inspire and protect, even if they are not noticed most of the time.
■ Primary sources
For Christians, the main source of information about angels is the Bible. However, the Jews already dealt with the subject long before, as well as other pagan philosophies. In the Bible, the first account that is associated with angels is in Genesis 6:1, with Abraham and Sarah. Then they were cited by Isaiah 6:2 and in the very announcement of the coming of Jesus the Christian to earth.
■ How do angels relate to God?
Angels and God have a relationship, whose objective is to translate and send messages to their children, the men and women who follow his doctrine – the saved. Likewise, they also have the role of protecting against the temptation to sin and bringing deliverance for those who follow the words of the holy book.
■ How are angels organised?
In order to be able to divide the tasks by energy level and adequate attributions, God created a hierarchy of angels, making each one have its function. In this way, harmony and balance between good and evil will prevail and humanity will be saved and guided by divine hands, under the intermediation of angels.
The bible makes it clear that there are levels of power among angels, with Gabriel being the most mentioned, having participated in several events. In this hierarchy, one can observe three main triads, dividing angels into different roles, appearances, and other attributes. Get to know each one of them and better understand how it is described by Christians.
First triad of angels: the Seraphim
According to Christian tradition, angels are divided into nine choirs (groups), three in the first, three in the second and the same in the third. In this first triad, there are seraphim, cherubim and thrones. See more details of each one of them and get to know the seraph Metatron better.
■ Who are they?
Seraphim are at the top of the hierarchy of angels, having more contact with God, more directly. Also called holy angels, their name comes from the Hebrew and means ”to burn completely”.
The role of the Seraphim is to protect the throne of God by being its worshipers. Your love and the intensity of your dedication are so great that they burn in your presence. They have 6 wings, to fly and to cover their face and feet before God, being strong and mighty.
The great scribe Metatron is mentioned several times in the bible. It was he who led the Hebrews, showing the way across the Red Sea. Furthermore, it was he who did not allow Isaac to sacrifice himself for Abraham. He is also God’s mouthpiece during the apocalypse, being often associated with Jesus Christ himself.
It is his job to pass the direct orders of God to Gabriel and Samael, being also considered the angel of death. It was Metatron who created and delivered the tarot to humans in order to facilitate communication with God.
First triad of angels: the Cherubim
The wings of cherubim are covered with eyes and in their original version, they have four faces, which are human, an ox, an eagle and a lion. During the renaissance, they came to be portrayed as white and plump children, to create more proximity and strengthen the bonds of faith. Find out who they are, their roles and about their most famous representative: Lucifer.
■ Who are they?
Cherubim are powerful angels, close to God and have the power to interconnect the levels of the hierarchy, carrying the divine message to other spheres. Sometimes they also show themselves to humans or seek to inspire their actions.
The cherubim are in charge of looking after the gates of Eden, the tree of life and the writings. Messengers of God, they also have the function of being the ones who pass on the divine word, being mentioned more than 80 times in the Bible as such.
According to Christian tradition, Lucifer was the most enlightened cherub, so much so that his name means bearer of light. Powerful, he was one of God’s chief helpers. However, when he learned that He intended to father a child with a human, making her become the queen of the universe, Lucifer was furious.
How can a human be above angels? This is how he and other angels rebelled against God, starting a war that involved all the angels.
His brother, Michael, fought a battle against Lucifer, killing the dragon with a scale in his hand and finally bringing back balance to the world. Lucifer was then sent to hell, with the other angels, now called the fallen angels or demons.
Another line says that Lucifer was the most enlightened and powerful and, as such, believed that he could rule the heavens. He defended a theory called the science of good and evil, where qualities and defects would live in harmony. God did not support and Lucifer decided to start a war, with a third of the angels, in order to take the throne. It went wrong, as in the previous story and he was cast to hell.
First triad of angels: the Thrones
Also in the first triad, alongside the archangels and cherubim, are the thrones. Its name comes from the Greek, meaning ”elders”. They are also given other names, such as erelins, ofanins or dei thirsts. Find out more about who they are, their roles and meet the most famous angel in this choir, Tsaphkiel.
■ Who are they?
The angelic throne choir contains wise angels, who kneel and bow down before God. Once this is done, they throw their crowns to the Father, in a sign of humility and submission. This act also shows that they are humble, perfect and free from any and all evil in their hearts.
Despite being elderly, they present themselves as young and strong, who play instruments such as the harp, as they are fond of music. They are also represented around the world with spirals of intense light, without form and with a lot of power.
In addition to praising and glorifying God, the thrones have the function of commanding the choirs that are lower in the hierarchy of angels. They go over the daily missions and help eliminate some of the karma created by humanity to ensure greater peace.
■ Angel Tsaphkiel
Also called the prince of thrones, Tsaphkiel is the most human-connected of the first triad of the hierarchy of angels. Its name comes from the Hebrews and means angel of the night, giving the gift of prediction, contemplating what is to come.
Known for being the protector of the 12 tribes of Israel, the tradition tells that King David made the sung psalms in his honor. He is so attached to musicality that his home is called harmony. Therefore, many people are able to reconnect and get emotional when listening to music, and can even find peace.
Its main function, however, has nothing to do with musicality. He is the great reconciler, bringing enemies to understand each other and find harmony in the relationship. It also has the role of guiding the steps of those who are confused, showing the best way forward, according to the divine plans.
Second triad of angels: the Dominations
The second triad of the hierarchy of angels is called dominations. It is divided into three choirs, which are dominations, virtues and powers. They are usually the managers of the plane of wisdom, communicating directly with the choirs of the lower hierarchy. This triad was responsible for taking care of what is happening throughout the universe.
Dominations, powers and virtues have the same objective, which is to manage everything that involves the plan of eternal wisdom. However, each choir has its more specific characteristics and functions, explained succinctly below.
■ Who are they?
The choir of angels of the dominations is considered as one of the highest ranks within the hierarchy, being finally the high nobility. Powerful, they have a broad vision and are the ones sent by God when it comes to missions of great importance.
The chorus of dominations works in the main function of the Father’s minister. This is because they represent His word in the form of action, commanding the ranks of the angelic army. In other words, they are commanders and have other angels under their dominion.
■ Angel Tesadkiel
Another common name for the angel Tesadkiel is Zadiel, being known as the angel of freedom. His name, in Hebrew, represents the justice of the Lord, being benevolent and merciful. Associated with forgiveness, he is the great encourager of this action and its patron.
Associated with the color violet, Tesadkiel is one of the standards in the war, heading into battle right behind Michael. He helps to resolve conflicts peacefully, having the gift of communication. He is a peacemaker, but strong and resolute, always looking for a way to end the crisis.
Second triad of angels: the Virtues
In the hierarchy of angels, another important chorus of the second triad is that of the virtues. They work in the field of energies and remove any obstacles that oppose God’s plans. Understand the details of the choir virtues better, such as who they are, the roles they perform and who the angel Raphael is.
■ Who are they?
Very powerful, they are filled with divine energy and tend to distribute that same energy as they bless humanity. It is from this that miracles arise, being in reality chorus blessings and virtues.
They are responsible for maintaining the order of the universe, being pure and steadfast in their purpose. Likewise, they seek to transmit all the virtues to the angels under their command, also guiding the human being in their life missions.
■ Angel Raphael
In the hierarchy of angels, Raphael belongs to the chorus of virtues and is related to healing, which is the meaning of his name in Hebrew and Arabic. It is part of the Christian tradition, but also Jewish and Islamic. Its miracle healing power can involve physical, emotional and even spiritual aspects.
The angel Raphael is quoted directly, both in the Old Testament of the Bible, and in the book of Tobias. In one of the passages, he presents himself as one of the seven angels of the Lord and who has access to his greatness.
Second triad of angels: the Powers
The second triad of the hierarchy of angels ends with the presence of the powers, informally called the conductors of the sacred order. Understand better who they are and their roles. Also learn more about the angel Camael.
■ Who are they?
Another important characteristic is that they are mighty warriors, charged with divine power, storing, transmitting and executing God’s plan. The animals are his wards, being also the angels of life and death.
While other choirs are more related to commanding or sending messages, powers are executors. They are responsible for taking care of the action of great deeds for the universe, being also responsible for the collective unconscious, always related to higher thoughts about ethics, philosophy and related themes.
■ Angel Camael
Defender of those who are wronged, the angel Camael fights alongside Miguel to fight the bad energies and those who go against God’s plan. He appears in the Bible in contact with Jesus when he was arrested – after Judas’ betrayal. In Hebrew, its name means “divine help”, which is offered to Jesus in one of his most difficult moments.
He is the angel of the divine will, fighting any obstacle that opposes it. It inspires judgment without partiality, discipline and respect. In times of weakness, give courage to fight.
Third triad of angels: the Principalities
The last triad of the hierarchy of angels is initially composed of principalities, and thus the angels belonging to it are called princes.
The Principalities, from the Latin principatus, are the angels in charge of receiving the orders of the Dominations and Powers and transmitting them to the lower realms. Their position is represented by the crown and scepter they wear, and they also guard cities and countries and protect fauna and flora.
■ Who are they?
The name of the choir principalities comes from the Latin, principatus, meaning princes. They are God’s right hand to carry out His works on earth. They are also those responsible for presiding over the kingdoms, always focusing on the best for everyone.
Its main function is to transmit divine messages to the lower levels of the earth. They wear a crown and a scepter, but they humbly fulfill their mission to protect and communicate the ideas of God’s plan.
■ Angel Haniel
The angel Haniel is the most important among principalities, he being their leader. The meaning of his name is angel of love and he helps to keep the flame of universal love, the love of God, alive. It is through the messages sent and the fight against evil that it reaches the human heart, helping to materialize the divine plan.
Despite representing universal love, it is also an inspiration for couples. Its presence can even be felt when a couple who love each other have their first kiss. At this point, they can hear Haniel’s wingbeats and the resulting breeze touch their cheeks and hair.
Third triad of angels: the Archangels
The well-known archangels are part of the third triad in the hierarchy of angels, having as important members Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael. Learn more about who they are, their roles and the characteristics of each of these archangels.
■ Who are they?
In the hierarchy of angels, the archangels are one of the best known choirs, standing between principalities and angels. They deeply know God’s plan and will and fight for it. Many of the archangels are mentioned in the Bible at important and significant moments for Christians.
Archangels are chosen for the role of communicating revelations that are incomprehensible to the human mind. An example of this is when the Archangel Gabriel explained to Mary what was about to happen in her life. In addition, they are also charged with carrying out the most unusual missions, being fully trusted by God.
■ Saint Michael
In Jude 9, Archangel Michael is mentioned as belonging to this choir in the hierarchy. He is a commander of the army of God, characterized as a haughty and imposing figure. With golden hair and deep blue eyes, he carries a sword with which he eliminates evil from the world. His name is interpreted as ‘in the likeness of God’, and he is considered the protector and defense advocate of the Jews.
During the sky war, Michael is the commander who triumphs under Lucifer, defeating the dragon, with a sword in one hand and a scale in the other. Since then, he and his army of angels have kept fallen angels trapped inside the earth. He is called in Catholicism as Saint Michael the Archangel or Supreme Commander of the Heavenly Hosts.
He has the role of leading the army against evil, being an angelic role model, taking the souls of the dead to heaven – giving them a chance to redeem themselves – and measuring the souls so that he can know if he had more behavior. good or bad. Furthermore, he is regarded as the great guardian of the Church, being revered by both military and pacifists.
■ Saint Gabriel
Among the Archangels, St. Gabriel is probably the best known. He was responsible for notifying about the birth of Jesus, as well as telling Zechariah that he and Elizabeth would have a child. His name means ’emissary of the Lord or man of God’, being an archangel whose hierarchy of angels allows for greater proximity.
It was also Archangel Gabriel who was responsible for revealing the Koran to Muhammad while he prayed in Mecca. For them, the angel is a spirit-filled with faith, while for Christianity, he is the intermediary of the divine word, being just and fraternal and bringing the love and truth of God to the whole world.
■ San Rafael
Known as the angel of health, Saint Raphael or Archangel Raphael is recognized by Christianity, Islam and Judaism as such. He treats pain and illness, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. He is also responsible for the passage from the body to the spirit, being a physician and guide.
Among all those present anywhere in the hierarchy of angels, Raphael was the only one to take human form and live among mortals for months. His goal was – and still is – to lead humanity to a healthier life, teaching to defend themselves from physical and spiritual attacks, carried out by fallen angels and other malevolent sources.
Third triad of angels: Angels
The last choir of the last triad of the hierarchy of angels are the angels themselves. The holy angels speak to humanity silently, mainly through inspiration or other forms of messages, such as oracles for example. Of course, one cannot fail to mention the guardian angel, who protects and leads your way towards the greater good.
■ Who are they?
Enlightened creatures, angels have contact with the divine and the material, being intermediaries in this communication. Furthermore, they can influence human actions, if the person is in tune and open to listening to the advice and warnings given by the angels.
They are responsible for carrying out the orders given by God and transmitted by the other hierarchies. In other words, angels have a very direct and close contact with humanity. They are also guides and protectors, helping the person to have a fuller, happier and more aligned life with God’s plan.
■ Guardian Angels
Guardian angels are human beings’ closest companions, following their steps from birth. They inspire, protect and direct your actions towards the good, also avoiding the attacks of malevolent forces. They are even quoted in Exodus, in the Bible:
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to guard thee by the way and lead thee to the place I have prepared for thee. Respect his presence and observe his voice, and do not be rebellious to him, for he will not forgive your transgression, for in him is My Name; But if you faithfully listen to his voice and do what he tells you, then I will be an enemy of your enemies and an enemy of your opponents”.
Does the hierarchy of angels trace the path between heaven and earth?
It can be said that yes, the hierarchy of angels, from the highest choirs, with seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, virtues and powers, to those closest to human beings, such as principalities, archangels and angels, help establish a bridge between heaven and earth, facilitating the communication of the Sacred with the carnal.
Of course, this will depend on the quality of your connection with the divine, since it’s no use talking to someone who doesn’t want to listen. Therefore, it is important to always try to be in connection with your deity, to hear what your guardian angel has to say. It is an important message, which came from God, passed through several choirs until it reached your ears.
For that, you can simply pray, light a candle to God asking for more tranquility and openness to His words. You can also try to slow down your mind and try to reconnect with your Self, in silence, to hear what your guardian angel has to say.
If you don’t like to pray, mindful breathing and meditation are great options. In any case, sometimes what you really need is to stay silent, amidst nature – divine creation and holder of all strength – and try to feel the gentle breeze on your face, the touch of the earth on your feet, the smell of the plants, lands and beings of the place… connect with your essence and leave your mind open and free to the words of God, through your angel.