2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Magic Thursday: Mythical Creatures ~ Angels

We continue our posts on Mythical beings and creatures, as C.T Green brings you a bit of a tongue-in-cheek look at Angels. So for those who are deeply religious or think that would be offensive, look away now. 

Over to C.T.

I wasn’t very interested in angels when I started writing paranormal.  After all, what was so fascinating about a harp playing good guy?  But, about a year ago, finding my vampires were being less than co-operative, I began researching these heavenly beings. 

I started with pictures and found there is no limit to what people have conceptualised when it comes to angels.  From fat cherubs to lean, mean, dangerous machines, pictures and images ran the gamut.

Not another solar eclipse. I did one last week!
Feeling a little more encouraged that I didn’t have to try and make a fat cherub seem capable of anything more than looking, ah, fat and cherubic.  I started serious research (no, not more pictures – actual research research).  And came to a screeching halt.

Angels, traditionally, aren’t sexy do-gooders or even toga wearing harp players.  No, they can actually be quite vengeful and rather um, disconcerting when it comes to physical descriptions.

I discovered was that there were three spheres of angels, which make up the heavenly choirs (hasn’t got as much to do with singing as you’d think).  They are listed as follows (in descending order):

First Sphere

These guys are the caretakers of God’s throne (no, they don’t do the dusting).  They continuously shout praises about God – which I reckon could get kind of tiring.  Seraphim means ‘the burning ones’ and they have six wings.  Which frankly boggles the mind.

Ah, here we are, plump babies.  No.  Cherubim have four faces: a man, ox, lion and griffon vulture.  They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, a lion’s body and an ox’s feet.  Well.  Cherubim guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.

Now here’s were the confusion arises.  In modern times we’ve blurred the distinction between Cherubim and Putti (which are the fat baby type angels that tend to appear in art).  So when you think of cherubs, picture something out of a Stephen King nightmare – no chubby cheeks here thank you.

Thrones (Ophanim)
The Thrones are also known as the Elders, Erelim or Ophanim.  They are the living symbols of God’s justice and authority and one of their symbols, unsurprisingly enough is the throne.

Okay – so, sexy, hawt, well-muscled angel bearing sword of justice is swirling in your mind right now.  Nope, Thrones are wheels.  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  They are wheels within wheels and the rims of those wheels are covered in hundreds of eyes.  Oh, it’s not all weird.  They’re a nice beryl colour and they’re BFF with Cherubims.

Naughty Angel - not popular in Heaven...

Second Sphere

Are also known as Lordships or Hashmallim.  They regulate the duties of the lower angels.  Not content with throwing their weight around heaven, they also preside over nations and make the odd appearance to humans.

Now here’s the surprise. Dominions are supposed to look like divinely beautiful humans.  Except with a pair of wings.  You can tell a Dominion from your every day garden angel, because they wield orbs of light fastened to the heads of their sceptres or the pommel of their swords.  And ah, they don’t look like wheels.

Also have another name: Strongholds.  Their major role is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies in order to ensure the cosmos remains in order.  So, if a nearby sun goes supernova, you know who hasn’t been doing their job.  Haven’t the faintest idea what they look like, but when the big bang happened you can bet it was ‘guilty’.

Powers (Authorities)
Work with the Principalities (Rulers) – yes they can’t just seem to stick to one name, which starts to get confusing. 

Powers are the keepers of history and bearers of conscience.  They are also warrior angels created to be completely loyal to God (which gives the impression that everyone else has a loophole – I thought angels were just automatically loyal).

It is said that no Power has ever fallen from grace.  It is also said that Satan was the Chief of Powers before he fell and took up another line of work.

Powers also oversee the distribution of power among humankind (hence the name).

I'm telling you dudes, flying is not as easy as it looks...

Third Sphere

Principalities or Rulers
Are shown wearing a crown and carrying a sceptre, so we can assume they have the other usual angelic attributes – arms, legs, wings, harp…

They carry out orders given by the Dominions and bequeath blessings to the material world.  They oversee groups of people (except during work functions) and are the educators and guards of earth.  They also inspire people when it comes to art and science (possibly why no one ever came up with the Theory of Relativity during the office Christmas party).

Yes, I too thought these guys were top of the food chain.  But no – they’re only one step ahead of your ordinary angel.  There are also supposedly only seven of them.  They are the guardian angels of nations and countries and so are concerned with the issues and events of the country under their watch.  These include politics, commerce, trade and military matters.  So, when there’s trouble abroad, you can tell someone’s called in sick for the day or is just feeling tetchy.

Are the lowest order of angels and of course the most recognisable (because they generally appear as pretty human, but with wings).  They are the messengers to mankind (kind of like the guy who delivers the mail in a big corporation).  This is a good thing because they worry most about what happens around here and have different kinds with different functions.  What I want to know is: Where is The Angel of Who Does the Dishes?

Damn! I should have gone for pants...

So there you have it.   I hope you enjoyed this post and next time you see a wheel covered in eyes, be nice – you’re talking to an angel.  Or hallucinating.

Why can't I go swimming?


  1. These angels are stunning. I also second the question of the angels who does dishes =)

  2. Could you imagine a combo of these? - a six winged, four faced, wheel with eyes? Yeah, not really for a romance novel, eh? Though Mr Naughty would do nicely, I think. Thanks C.T. for the great post.

  3. What an amazing post. Thanks, CT. I never knew there were so many layers of Angels, nor so much information about them!

    As for the dishes - my Grandma used to say if you went to pergatory you did dishes and peeled vegies for the rest of eternity. She was hoping not to end there! :)


  4. O.M.G. And that's NOT a pun. I knew there were a few levels, but THAT many??? Sheesh. Confusion much?

    I love the wheel one, that's just creepy. And I, also, thought Archangels were The Head Cheez. The things you learn!

    Thanks, CT, for an informative (and scrummy!) post. Loved it. Gives me a better insight into certain, ah, ideas. Tell me, is this a Catholic ranking of heirarchy?


    PS - speaking of angels... *raises eyebrow at CT*

  5. C.T. you crack me up :) Witty and informative as ever. Thanks for an *enlightening* post. :)

  6. Love this post, C.T. :-) I'm neck deep in revisions on my archangel book and your gorgeous pics (especially the first one!) have inspired my muse!

  7. Nice post Cass! And those pics are sublime! =)

  8. Hey everyone!

    Glad you enjoyed the post and the pictures. Just goes to show, you can never have too much 'research' alongside finding out information *wink*.
    I suspect that an absence of Angelic dishwashers goes to show that NO ONE likes doing the dishes! : )