Angels: An Overview
Judeo-Christian thought, particularly in the medieval era, has held that there is a hierarchy of nine choirs of angels with God at the center in the highest position.
The hierarchy consists of three descending levels, with each level having three ranks (or choirs):
The highest triad is made up of the Seraphim, the Cherubim, and the Thrones.
The second triad is composed of the Dominions, the Virtues, and the Powers.
The third triad consists of the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
Behold, the nine choirs of angels:
First Choir: Seraphim
The highest order of God's angelic servants.
In direct communication with God, they are ceaselessly celebrating beings of light, thought and love.
When visible to humans, their angelic form is as a six-winged and four-headed entity.
Second Choir: Cherubim
Guardians of the Tree of Life with an ever-turning flaming sword; charioteers leading the way for God.
Emanating vibrations of knowledge and wisdom.
When visible to humans, their form has four faces and four wings.
Third Choir: Thrones
They are the actual chariot or "wheels" of the celestial bodies, with an appearance similar to that of UFOs reported today.
Interestingly, during a time when the wheel was just coming into use, they were described in the form of images present in current technology.
Fourth Choir: Dominions
Regulators of angels' duties or they may be channels of mercy living within the second heaven.
Fifth Choir: Virtues
Possessing the grace to bestow blessings from on high, usually in the form of miracles.
Associated with those who struggle for good; they instill courage when it is most needed.
Sixth Choir: Powers
The first angels created by God.
Thought to be border patrol at the dangerous demarcation between the first and second heavens.
Seventh Choir: Principalities
In charge of nations and great cities on Earth.
Eighth Choir: Archangels
Messengers carrying the Divine Decrees.
Most important intercessionaries between God and humans.
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Metatron, Remiel, Sariel, Anael, Raguel, and Raziel.
Ninth Choir: Angels
The last order in the celestial hierarchy and the closest to humankind.
Guardian angels bringing messages of faith and hope.
source material: Angels: An Endangered Species by Malcom Godwin; illustration: Emma Thompson in Angels In America