The Angels are similar to Souls in their origin, but are actually not native to the Void. The Angels are invasive species, having formed from concentrated psychic energy or worship, and having the ability to manifest themselves in both physical and ethereal realms. Angels come in many ranks and may have many different powers, depending on the realm from which they originate. Angels may also go by different names. Some presume to call themselves gods and are typically known as Pagans while others pledge their service to a higher authority.
Angels became affiliated with the Presence of the Silver City, who took these new, less powerful beings into their care and made them the Divine Messengers we know today (the word "angel" is even derived from the Latin "angelus" meaning "messenger").
The Seven Castes of Heaven
The Archangels were the seven original angels, directly created by the Presence and whose form the Void attempts to emulate with the creation of the lesser angels. These beings are remarkably resilient and are believed to be truly immortal. It is said that they are even beyond the reach of Death herself. Though just because they cannot be truly killed does mean they are above injury or defeat. Notably the eldest archangel Samael (now called Lucifer) bears a signature scar across his face and had his own wings cut from his body as an act of defiance against the Presence; and the youngest of the archangels, Raguel, had his physical form torn asunder by Samael during a past conflict, an injury which the vengeful Raguel has yet to recover from.
Creation of the Archangels
The creation of the archangels was as follows, according to ancient lore and tradition:
On the first "day" of creation, the Presence said "Let there be light," and so Samael, the Lightbringer, was born.
On the second "day," the Presence said "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters," and so was born Michael, master of the Heavens.
On this third "day," the Presence spoke and said "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear," and so was born Uriel, Archangel of stone and soil.
On the fourth "day," the Presence proclaimed "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years," and so was born Raphael, the eternal watcher of time and keeper of divine laws.
On the fifth "day," the Presence declared "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens," and so was born Saraquael, the radiant and merciful replenisher.
On the sixth "day," the Presence was heard saying "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth," and so was born Gabriel, the archangel of humanity, art, and language.
Then on the seventh "day," the Presence said nothing and only wished to rest, and so was born Raguel, to keep order as his Creator reflected on all that was done.
- All of the original seven archangels are worth noting.
- Samael rebelled against the Presence and upon his defeat was exiled. Samael did away with his Heavenly name and took to calling himself Lucifer (from the Latin for "Lightbringer") to mark his own accomplishments and forged a kingdom in an empty expanse of the Void he named "Hell." Once established as the King of Hell, Lucifer then began to directly compete with Heaven for the Souls of Humanity.
- Michael, commonly called the Demiurge or Michael Demiurgos since the exile of Lucifer, is the most senior archangel and is the de facto commander of the Heavenly Host in the Presence's absence. Michael is also the only archangel to father another archangel, having fathered a daughter: Elaine Belloc.
- Uriel is the eldest daughter of Heaven. She created the Garden of Eden, taught agriculture to Adam and Eve, and protected the Garden with her flaming sword. Even today, when she is not on assignment fulfilling the duties of Heaven, she is often to be found in the same paradisiacal pocket dimension.
- Raphael is known for his brilliant green wings, his stern demeanor, and his healing abilities (which are legendary even among angels). Though once a gracious and loving angel, Raphael has lost his faith in the experiment known as Humanity and has turned his focus inward to improving the Heavenly Host and his own station. As the Keeper of Laws, he is often considered to be the third in Heaven's chain of command, beneath the Presence and Michael. Raphael once held the title of Metatron, over two thousand years ago, and longs for the day he might be restored to that title.
- Saraquael is a meek and quiet angel who's known to be a patient listener and wise adviser. Saraquael rarely leaves the Silver City as she is kept busy overseeing the logistics of Heaven, its intake of Souls, and acting as arbiter in disputes among her siblings.
- Gabriel, more than any of his brethren, loves humanity and the cultures of Earth. Gabriel may be regarded as one of the least among his peers in terms of raw power, but he is often regarded as being as cunning as Lucifer, only with a heart of gold. Until recently, Gabriel was the Metatron of Heaven, serving as the Presence's most holy messenger, but then Gabriel decides to leave Heaven on a journey of self-discovery and has left the title to his Ariel Apprentice.
- Raguel was slain by Lucifer. He lost his physical form but his immense spirit did not pass on; instead, it was preserved by the Presence until it was loosed to seek out a host body and become the manifestation of Divine Vengeance under a new name "Aztar." Only in recent years have Raguel and his siblings learned of the true identity of Aztar. Technically, Raguel is no longer an archangel as he is without his own physical form.
- Elaine Belloc is only new archangel born of a mortal woman and the only new one created since the creation. She is the daughter of Michael but lives on Earth and is under the tutelage and protection of Lucifer Morningstar.
Commanders of Pax Dei
Thrones are usually considered to be the most powerful angels beneath the archangels. There are but four Thrones, each sitting at the head of a wing of the Pax Dei. The Presence founded the Pax Dei to maintain the peace - hence its name literally meaning "the Peace of God" and act as the lieutenants of Raguel. After Raguel's disembodiment, the four wings of the Pax Dei were broken up to report to four different archangels but were generally left were much greater autonomy than they had under Raguel.
The Pax Dei's four orders are the Eagle Host which reports to Michael, charged with carrying out the most important missions of Heaven, wherever they might be; the Bull Host which reports to Raphael, charged with maintaining discipline and security in Heaven; the Lion Host, the largest unit of Pax Dei, which reports to Uriel, guards the buffer between Heaven and Hell, and is poised to defend or attack Heaven's enemies; and finally, the Spirit Host which traditionally serves under Gabriel, is where muses and guardian angels are housed, tasked with defending Heaven's most important resources: the Souls of Humanity on Earth.
Thrones were created as such, though of note is that the new Metatron (the Voice of the Presence) is considered to hold the equivalent rank of Throne, though is never addressed as such.
- Prince Heraphon, Commander of the Eagle Host, child of Michael
- Prince Asmodel, Commander of the Bull Host, child of Raphael
- Princess Rrall, Commander of the Lion Host, child of Uriel
- Princess Imogen, Commander of the Spirit Host, child of Gabriel
- Prince Senael, self-exiled to Hell, Prince of Melothm, child of Saraquael
- Princess Lladiz, self-exiled to parts unknown, daughter of Raguel
- Aradia, daughter of Lucifer - born as a pride devil, but should she 'redeem' herself with supernal essence, she would become a Throne
The Principalities are another powerful class of angel. They are far more numerous than Archangels (which number seven) and Thrones (which number four), numbering into the thousands. Principalities are also known as the Lords of Heaven, Dominions, or Divine Princes. Though some Principalities serve vital roles in the Silver City or among the Heavenly Host, most oversee the various districts of Heaven known as Denominations.
Denominations are the settlements built up around Heaven's many Ascension Chains. The architecture in each denomination usually reflects the culture tied to the particular Chain. So a denomination for Southern Baptists is different than Eastern European Orthodox and so forth.
Though many principalities are "created" as there is a need, some have risen to this stature from lower ranks. Usually, given enough time to absorb the different essence, a promoted Principality is indistinguishable from a naturally created one. In theory, it is possible for a lower class angel to rise to a Throne but no such promotion has yet occurred.
- Amenadiel, "Brother's Keeper" (designated warden of Lucifer's exile)
- Sandalphon, "Keeper of Forbidden Lore"
- Zachariah, Overseer of the Erelim
4. The Virtues
If Principalities number into the thousands, Virtues number into the tens of thousands. These angels are the more experienced or capable angels of heaven, serving as trusty lieutenants to Thrones and Principalities, agents of the Metatron, or sentinels of the Silver City.
Virtues are the only caste which are never directly created as such and only rise to such stature through experience or circumstance.
These fiery angels are the frontline soldiers of the Pax Dei. They are the most powerful of the three basic breeds of angels, but also the most emotional and dim-witted. They make for good warriors and guards, but are kept out of the Silver City for good reason, usually found only in the Pax Dei camps and barracks around Heaven.
These beings are a modest sort. They make for quiet guides, muses, and guardian angels. They are the most human in their mentality and usually prefer to spend most of their time outside of Heaven, accompanying mortals either walking among them in disguise or shielded from detection in the astral plane.
- Leonardo, "the meager," an Ariel who was forcibly removed from service in the Spirit Host for becoming too invested in his human charges. He was tortured by Asmodel in an attempt to convert him into an obedient Seraphim, but resisted. Considered to be an "odd egg," by many of his siblings.
- Donatella, "the rich," an Ariel born of the same crystalline shard as Leonardo. Was recognized to be the more powerful of the two Ariels and was sent to train under Gabriel, soon becoming the new Metatron when Gabriel took an unexpected leave of absence.
The lowliest angels are these beings who resemble recently hatched angels of other classes, but usually never seem to reach maturity. Mischievous and yet still innocent, these small beings remain childlike in their demeanor and rarely amount to much stature among the Heavenly Host. They are often found playing with Souls, carrying out menial duties for the Pax Dei, or accompanying an Ariel as a travelling companion.
Cherubs are the Heavenly equivalent of the infernal imp.
An Eighth Caste?
While not actually a true caste in and of angel itself, the offspring of angel (or devil) and a mortal (usually human) is formally known as a Nephil and part of the Nephilim Caste. Though usually not as powerful as their angelic parents (at least in their youth), Nephilim can be quite a force to be reckoned with as they have both a mortal soul and an immortal grace. The children of Nephilim and a mortal partner will also be Nephilim, who usually remain at least genetically half-angel thanks to possessing a supernal grace.
While both angels and devils can create Nephilim offspring, infernal nephilim are much more prevalent than their supernal cousins. This is quite often due to the stigma associated with siring/birthing an unauthorized Nephilim. Still, not even the archangels themselves are immune to the temptation of taking mortal lovers and therefore supernal nephilim are not just the stuff of legends and myth.
Trivia and Notes
- The language Angels speak is Enochian.
- Other known angels include Araquel, Duma, Remiel, and Suriel.
- The "Divine Days" when archangels were born are long eras of time. Castiel was born during the Divine Saturday.
- Amenadiel is the first Principality to be born.
- Archangels are a result of copulation between the Presence and his wife Eden.
- Food consumed by angels is rapidly converted into essence stores. Consumption of food is not required for their survival.
- Erelim are angels produced by supernal conversion and having hatched from a supernal crystal after metamorphosis.
- In the Supernatural TV show Castiel was the "Angel of Thursday"