Angel Lore: The Choirs
There has been some recent interest in Angel Lore, so I thought I would share some from my own original story, Trinity. This lore is the amalgamation of more than a decade of research into the stories. I’ve drawn influence from Dante’s Devine Comedy, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the Bible (including the apocryphal Book of Enoch) and many other sources. There is some of my own flair added to it, for story, character and a cohesive mythology.
What you are about to read is not the entirety of the lore, but a lot of it. Somethings I’ve decided to hold back because they are spoilers for later stories.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!
Angels are divided into three spheres which are, in turn, divided into three choirs for a total of nine choirs. The upper sphere manages Heaven the middle sphere manages the universe and the lowest sphere manages the inhabitants of the universe. The seven upper choirs each have a Ruling Prince. These Princes are also the seven Archangels.
The highest choir of angels, the name literally means “burning ones”. They are the caretakers of the Throne and, with the exception of their Archangel, remain close to the Temple of the Tetragrammaton. They have six wings, two from their back, two on their waist and one of each wrist. Tall and made of light and fire, they are both beautiful and terrible. With a few exceptions, any human that looks upon them would go mad and never recover.
The guardians of knowledge, these creatures are not the small childlike creatures one typically expects. Cherubs are massive, hulking creatures with more similarities to a griffin than a toddler. With the head of an eagle, the mane of a lion, the body of a man and the legs of a bull, Cherubs are anything but cute. They have four wings, two from the back and two from the waste. Several sit as guards to sacred places, including Eden, the Pearly Gates and Temple of the Tetragrammaton. The rest manage the Library, where all thought has been recorded and managed.
Sometimes described as the Chariot of God, this is slightly incorrect. The majority of Ophanim appear as great horses with the proportions of a clydesdale. Their mane, feet and tail burn with the light and fire of creation. Great wings emerge from their back, allowing them to fly. They pull the Chariot of God and, during the War, acted as mounts to the Archangels.
A subset of Ophanim, these beings are the Chrariots of God. They appear similar to atomic structure, with several wheels wrapped around a single core. The outside of each wheel is covered with what are thought to be eyes, but are in fact the Symbol of Heaven, a black dot within a white sphere.
The Dominions manage the physical universe. They enforce the Laws of Physics and keep the universe from falling into entropy and going cold. They rarely make themselves known to humans and often work in secret. These angels, like all the choirs below, appear more or less like winged humans, although Dominion long ears with diamond tips.
The Virtues manage life. They bring it to fruition, manage evolution, oversees habitats and collect the souls of the dead. The will often only appear to humans in their duties of psychopomps, usually hooded and with a small reaping blade. They have long, pointed chins and long, pointed ears, giving them an elvish appearance.
The Powers are perhaps the most mysterious of the choirs. Some say they are just the enforcers of the the two previous choirs. Others say they are soldiers in Heaven’s army. Some say that they are fiercely loyal to God and none have ever fallen. Some say that the largest portion of fallen angels came from this choir. These short, stocky angels certainly appear like fierce warriors, always armored, carrying shields and short broad swords. But their true task if known only to Archangels.
Simply put, these guys are the middle management of Heaven. They take orders from the upper choirs and pass them to the lower. They pass reports upwards and they ensure everyone is doing their jobs correctly. In many ways, they are bureaucrats, being meticulously organized and thorough. It isn’t a glamorous job, but they do it.
Don’t let their low rank on this list fool you, the Archangels are the most powerful of all the angelic choirs. Consisting of the seven Ruling Princes of the previous seven choirs, the Archangels are often called upon to interact directly with the physical world in errands and missions too important of complex for anyone else. Ruled by the Metatron, the viceroy of Heaven who belongs in no choir, the Archangels consist of Micha-el, Gabri-el, Rapha-el, Uri-el, Azra-el, Sari-el and Remi-el.
The lowest but not the least important. They are the Messengers of God and interact the most with the Physical World with some Angels never returning to Heaven for several long centuries.
Guardian Angels interact with humans on a regular basis, although we often don’t know it. They can’t interfere with our freewill, but can do small things to guide us towards to the right decision or away from danger.
Don’t let their toddler like appearance fool you, Putti are beings of love and passion. Not simply romantic love, they can inspire your feelings of passion in your work and subject matter.
Also known as the Watchers, the Grigori observe the natural world. The closest to humans, they have no wings and appear as large, bearded men. They even have functioning reproductive organs as several mated with human women, spawning the Nephilim, a race of giants also called Titans. These beasts ruled the Earth until their own offspring, the Olympians, threw them down.
So this is it for Angel Lore for right now. If this is popular, I’ll do more parts discussing the specific Archangels, the Hierarchy of Hell and even the realms of Otherworld. I’ll also be posting more artwork of the different choirs and characters. I have some stuff that’s a couple years old now that I need to update. As I do, I’ll post it here.