Angelology: Definition And Types Of Angels
From a young age, we see pictures and hear stories about angels and archangels, some of whom are considered saints. Angels are spiritual creatures whose existence is narrated in many sacred texts of different religions. Therefore, angelology is the study of angels.
When it comes to Judaism, Christianity or Islam (and even to Zoroastrianism), angels are described in their religious texts as figures that establish a link between God and human beings in many different ways: either by helping when giving advice or by carrying messages, among others.
What is angelology?
As it was already explained, the shortest definition points out that angelology is the study of angels. It defines their names, their divine function as well as their place in the celestial hierarchy.
For example, angelology narrates that Lucifer, after rebelling against God and falling from Heaven, took a third of the angels with him to Hell, according to the interpretations of the Book of Revelation by St. John, the last Book of the Christian Bible. Actually, the prophetic book describes how the “enormous red dragon […] swept a third of the stars out of the sky” with his tail.
The angelology linked to the Kabbalah defines God as a total unity represented through 72 fields of consciousness called angels. Each one of them represents qualities, virtues and powers in their pure state.
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The traditional angelology shows that the purpose of the human being, the very reason of his incarnation on Earth, is to reactivate these fields of consciousness within his being so that he can express them in any situation.
However, the Bible points out that angels are very different from men, and that they have never been and will never be human. God created angels just as He created mankind. However, archangels such as Metatron and his brother Sandalphon are sometimes mentioned. They represent Enoch and Elijah’s rise to angelic status.
Therefore, according to the traditional angelology, an angel is a field of consciousness that lives in our minds in the form of divine potential. Angels are usually depicted as small children with wings to express what happens within our being when this celestial essence is reactivated: that we rediscover our heart and our childish nature, as well as a knowledge that allows us to travel freely and without restraint in the parallel dimensions of the Universe. Many suggest that there are 72 angels, and that they are the hidden treasure of the mysterious Ark of the Covenant.
The question of whether angels have gender is quite common, but the Bible does not specify it. However, the angels mentioned in the Scriptures usually have male names, such as Michael or Gabriel.
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Is angelology a religion?
Angeology is not a religion in itself, but a field of study in the theological science that focuses on angels. However, throughout history, there have been religious or sectarian movements focused on angels and archangels.
Accordingly, the cult of the Angels can be highlighted, since they worship the angels and believe that these should be imitated in life, for they are the utmost example of divine enlightenment.
Also, the community of the "Brethren of the Angelic Life" can be mentioned. This was a sect founded by Johann Georg Gichtel in the 17th century, which supported the idea of reaching the angelic life through mysticism. The followers of this sect refrained from marriage and all earthly activities.
Some religious scholars point out that angels, which are created like men, should not be worshipped or prayed to, because in this way they deprive God of the glory that only belongs to Him. According to this theory, it was God who sent his Son to die for the salvation of the world, who loves human beings and cares for them. Therefore, He is the only one worthy of any kind of worship, and not an angel.
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Types of angels according to the angel hierarchy
For Christians, angelology provides God’s perspective on angels. Angels are personal beings who worship and obey God and who are sometimes sent to mediate in human affairs. According to angelology, there are nine choirs divided into three orders of angels.
The first order includes those angels that have a direct contact with God, that is, the Seraphim (angels of light, love and fire that work for the purification and dissipation of darkness and doubt), the Cherubim (the angels that represent heavenly science and wisdom) and the Thrones (who bring divine justice and whose virtue is humility).
In the second order, there are the Dominions (who care for the lower angels and regulate their duties), the Virtues (who inspire humanity and rule over the natural laws), and the Powers (who protect consciousness and history, and guide souls to Heaven).
Finally, in the third order, there are the Principalities (who guide and enlighten angels and archangels), the Archangels (who are God’s special messengers to men), and the Angels (who are protectors and messengers of men).
As a fun fact, you may like to know that when it comes to black magic, there is talk of something that is the opposite of God’s Angelology: the Angelology of the Abyss, which is not divided into nine orders of angels but into nine legions.
These lower angels spread pain, grief and all the negative energies that afflict humanity. The name of the legions is related to one of the passages in the Bible which mentions a possessed man who says that he is haunted by a Legion of demons.
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