When it comes to humans, God, and everything in-between. Many people hold a common misconception surrounding the angelic hierarchy. They believe that there are only three levels: God being at the top, angels being in the middle, and humans at the bottom. While this idea isn’t entirely inaccurate, understanding angels and the angel ranks is slightly more complex than three levels.
In this article, we will explore the angel ranks, examining the role of each level. In order to avoid any confusion, and because he is not an angel, we will not be including God in this hierarchy of angels. However, I’m sure it goes without saying that God would be above and beyond all others. So, let’s start off at the bottom and work our way up.
You may be surprised to hear that humanity is included in the angelic hierarchy at all. In truth, not every human is as capable or willing as others when it comes to spiritual endeavors. However, humanity as a whole is full of endless possibilities. We may be at the lowest point of this hierarchy of angels, but that just means we have everything to work for. Our ability to connect with higher versions of ourselves, and other spiritual beings, is what separates us from animals, which you’ll notice are not included in this list.
The term “angels” is slightly generic, particularly when you take the angelic hierarchy into consideration. Angels are the messengers of God and appear frequently within holy texts. We also have a more personal relationship with certain angels, and these are typically described as Guardian Angels, who watch over God’s world and help us follow our true path within it.
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The next level of the angelic hierarchy belongs to Archangels. There are typically considered to be between 7 and 12 Archangels, but the number varies depending on your source. The most common versions of scripture mention three by name: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. However, Jophiel, Ariel, Azrael, and Chamuel are also commonly accepted to be Archangels. Other sources include Zadkiel, Raziel, Metatron, Jeremiel, Raguel, Uriel, and Sandalphon as well.
These beings are spiritual overseers who have power over angels in order to help maintain order throughout God’s universe, and it is believed that these beings play a role in the formation of space. They represent large groups of people, with many serving roles in specific areas. For example, Gabriel is known for his role in communication while Raphael is known for healing.
As we move higher up the angelic hierarchy, we move further and further away from the idea of angels playing the role of messenger. The archai are known as the angels of time. Their role is a complex and confusing one, perhaps more so than any human mind can comprehend. They monitor and maintain the functionality of time itself, ensuring that everything advances in the correct manner, according to the laws of time as set out by God.
Number 6 within the angelic hierarchy is the Elohim, known as the angels of physicality. Similarly to the Archai, these beings play a deeper, hidden role within God’s universe. They maintain order within the substance that makes up the universe, from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy. Using their understanding of sacred geometry, they can manipulate seemingly natural processes in order to direct the universe to where it ought to be.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the Dynamis, they aren’t commonly discussed by humanity. These beings are responsible for further unseen processes that exist within God’s universe. For the Dynamis, this role is connected to motion: physical, mental, and spiritual. They can will things to behave a certain way: from stars to minds. Their influence isn’t forceful though, in fact, you might compare it to a nudge in the right direction.
Another level of the angelic hierarchy that is commonly unheard of is the Kyriotetes. These beings are sometimes referred to as “the Wise” or the “angels of wisdom”. These beings rarely interact with humanity. In truth, you would struggle to find a moment throughout all human history where the Kyriotetes have directly interacted with us. Usually, they delegate such tasks to the lower angel ranks.
The Kyriotetes are known as knowledgeable creatures but this is less to do with information and more to do with possibility. These beings can see along the branches of choice and decision, seeing the ripple effect of every action that may take place.
As we reach the final 3 levels of the angelic hierarchy, we come to the Thrones. You could consider these beings to be managerial, as their role is to maintain the responsibilities of those of the lower levels. They are responsible for sticking to the Divine Will, which is essentially God’s plan. They transmit this plan to the lower angel ranks and keep the gears turning so that everything remains in its proper place.
The 2nd highest rank within the angelic hierarchy belongs to the Cherubim. You may not have heard of some of the other levels we’ve covered but many people are familiar with the Cherubim. These beings are often depicted as being small and baby-faced. It’s possible that such depictions are purposeful, in order to reflect their role as the angels of Harmony.
To these angels, chaos and harmony have different meanings to our understanding of them. Harmony is the state whereby God’s work and plan follow their correct course. Chaos is when this plan is interacted with in some way by outside forces, usually those malevolent in nature.
If you’ve heard of the Cherubim, then it’s just as likely that you’ve heard of the Seraphim. These beings are said to have 6 wings, with body parts that resemble a multitude of different creatures. The true form of these creatures is not known to us, as it’s said that their faces are always covered by a pair of wings.
To sum up the Angelic Hierarchy
In reality, it’s likely that these beings are so close to God that humanity would be incapable of staring directly upon them. After all, they are also known as “the burning ones”. These beings are at the top of the angelic hierarchy and while you often hear mention of them circling God, crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy”, it’s likely that this is just a personification of their true role as 2nd in command to God.