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[also referred to as Dionysius the Areopagite or Denis]
In any "hierarchy" there are different "levels", in this case Angels that preside over certain assigned duties or tasks. These tiers have been described in many resources as a triad or sphere. Each triad or sphere has a purpose and is in harmony with each other. Working together from top to bottom and visa versa like a well-oiled machine. Without one, the others would cease to exist.
There have been many different Celestial Hierarchies throughout time based on different scriptural passages, ancient texts, "visitations" from the angels, etc. The triads/spheres have ranged from three to five - with the choirs ranging from seven to eleven. The most "popular" working theory that has stood the test of time was the one written by Pseudo-Dionysius.
Pseudo-Dionysius [also referred to as Dionysius the Areopagite or Denis] wrote Celestial Hierarchy, a highly influential outline that was later adopted by Thomas Aquinas [1225-1274] stating that the angels are arranged into nine choirs, which are grouped into three hierarchies, perhaps reflecting the Trinity.
Over time different authors and researchers have been able to add to this Hierarchal information. The Angelic Hierarchy will be an ever-increasing piece of work whose ideas and ideals will change as time changes
"Highest" Hierarchy ("On High" or 8th Dimension)
This is the "Highest" part of the hierarchy where the Divine presides over all other dimensions. This is the domain where the Divine's "throne" is - some references have said it is made of sea glass others of gold - even others say that it is the Throne angels themselves that hold the Divine on their wings. I am not a theology expert, so that part I leave to them. But, I do find it interesting that all the Angels that filter in and out of the "court" proceedings.
To set the scene, in a manner of speaking, I will quote from the book The Encyclopedia of Angels by Constance V. Briggs: "The seven archangels stand at the throne of God. Twenty-four Elders also stand at God's throne. The Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones encircle the throne of God. When the court convenes to judge the deeds of mankind, the angels of mercy stand to his right, the angels of peace to his left, while the angels of punishment stand in front of him waiting to do his bidding."
Also there should be mention of the High Order of Angels that presides with the Celestial Court. These Angels are only known as Scribes and "sit with God." Usually there are three Angels that are [have been] chosen for this position. The Scribes are tasked with the duty of writing down the deeds or experiences of mankind. These 'books" or as they are referenced as "The Books of Judgment", are then read aloud at the convening sessions of the Celestial Court.
In my research the only two references so far to "specific names" to two of these scribes are: "Scribe of the Knowledge of the Most High" and "Scribe of Righteousness [Enoch]." There have been nine Angels referred to as the "Scribe of Knowledge": Vretil, Enoch, Dabriel, Ezra, Pravuil, Uriel, Radueriel, Soferiel Memith, and Soferiel Mehayye.
Supreme Hierarchy (7th Dimension, 1st Triad, Sphere, Choir, Order)
The congregation or choir of the Supreme Hierarchy is the helper angels. These are the Angels that are closest to the Divine. Pseudo-Dionysius has also documented this order as the "celestial essences."
The primary purposes of the Seraphim are to encircle God's throne and unceasingly intone the trisagion ("holy, holy, holy"). They are also tasked with regulating movement of the heavens. Seraphim are called by the name "those who burn" and are the angels of light, love, and fire. Serapiel and the Archangel Uriel lead the order of Seraphim.
According to Enoch II, the Seraphim have 4 faces and 6 wings. It has been written that these six wings represent the six days of creation. Depicted in Middle Age writings, the Seraphim are described as being red in color and brandishing flaming swords.
Cherubim have the responsibility to oversee the path to the tree of life or Guardians of Terrestrial Paradise. They are the "messengers of knowledge and wisdom." The word, in Akkadian, is karibu and means "one who prays" or "one who intercedes." The Cherubim have also been called "God's record keepers" in some literature as well. Jophiel leads the order of Cherubim.
Here again in Middle Age writings, Cherubim were depicted as blue in color. Cherubim are usually depicted with the face of a human or lion, and the body of an eagle, bull, or sphinx. They are often mistaken for the "baby-like angels" that we refer to as Cherubs. Cherubs are known as "Putti" or "baby angels."
Thrones are the companion angels of the planets. They are also the "wheels" and are the transportation of God - better known as the "seat of God." They are said to have many eyes, but appeared to Ezekiel in 580BC as fiery wheels. Japhkiel leads the order of the Thrones.
Angels of the Throne: "the Hebrew equivalent of the order of the thrones is arelim or ophanim, according to The Book of the Angel Raziel: "there were seven who stand before the throne." However, according to a Jewish legend, there were [or are] 70. Among the chiefs of the order the following may be mentioned: Orifiel, Ophaniel [eponymous head of the ophanim], Raziel, Zabkiel, Jophiel, Ambriel, Tychagar, Barael, Quelamia, Paschar, Boel, Raum, and Murmur.
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