The legions of angels are they really supernatural, or is it a squad of astronauts wearing antigravity suits?
Moses Maimonides1138-1204 considers the angels in Plato’s way: distant sources of energy more powerful than men. But he was still influenced by the ancient tradition: his belief in angels, common to Jews and Christians, has its origin in Persian and Indian traditions, teaching that all the angels are not immortal. Aside of “permanent” angels, as the archangels, there are “perishable” angels, ie mortal. (source)Maimonides Does it mean that angels are not divine? Divinity appeared to be a status with different degrees.
Are the angels human? Traditions frankly denies. In any case, they look smarter than us. They have the intelligence of the nagual, they use the full range of powers of the mind. Thus Maimonides called them Intelligences. Pure spirits without bodies, they are invisible. If they lend a human form, it is by “accommodation to the weakness of average intelligence.” Maimonides adds: “Whenever the spirits come to earth, they dress tangible assets and appear to men in human form.” (source)Zohar, Vayera 101a
In accordance with ancient tradition, Maimonides sees angels as fragile, not physical entities: “They were given wings, because flying is the most perfect and most noble of local movements of animal, which allows to approach and depart in the blink of an eye.” And at the same time it sees a human eye, too much human: “The divine army consists of ten levels of angels under the command of Deus Sabaoth, the God of Hosts.” (source)Maimonides But this ambiguity goes back to the origins of the myth.
These angels of God who are fighting in cohorts rows remind us these soldiers monks who killed for the love of Christ. A strange contradiction. How this Yahveh can be both god of love and Sabaoth, god of armies? God only knows.
Anyway, the track of angels is much older than Judaism. They are already present in Zoroastrianism. According to the Zend-Avesta, a hierarchy of angels forms the invisible backbone of the universe. High up near Ahura Mazda, come the seven immortal saints, kind of super archangels with super powers. Then come different categories of Yazatas: angels, executors, subtle world entities, which correspond to the elemental beings of the Old Religion.
Angels might well be the missing link between paganism and monotheism. You wouldn’t think it, but those intangible and terrible beings are rooted in the unconscious of Jews and Christians. Both charming and frightening, helpful and vengeful, they’re fresh air circulating in churches, temples and synagogues. The angels have a secret, but sensitive relationship with the period of Middle-Ages we call the spring of cathedrals, this magical reunion with the ancient science of sacred building.
The angels of Jewish tradition are at the root of the Christian tradition. The seven archangels are common, including three under the same name, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Each has his office: Michael, winner of the dragon, guards and rekindles the sacred fire in the hearts of men. Gabriel, archangel of humility, gives us the strength and courage in fighting against the destructive pride and advances of the devil. Raphael, the healer in God takes care of our physical and spiritual health. Besides the biblical archangels, the Qabalah lists 72 angels or genii that govern Zodiac 360: Faheriel, Adariel, Kadochiel, Rehuniel, Daliel, Charoel, Suriel.
Looks like another version of the Hindu pantheon or Greek mythology!
The origin of angels is confused with the old religion, paganism of the great goddess who has long reigned over the East as in the West.
However, one can not omit the connection between the angels and the giants. The angels like the giants are the servants of the former gods. If Yahweh is always escorted by legions of angels, Persian god Ahura Mazda is accompanied by an army of flying giants. But to conclude that angels and giants are one people, there is not one that I passed because I found that the French word angel and the giant word are one and the same word in backwards. In the Bible, angels are rare events. This is not an angel but YHVH who fired Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
Right away, Heaven became forever inaccessible to men, for its door is guarded by two cherubim. No pink and chubby cherubs, oh no. The cherubim are formidable warriors armed with flaming sword: that mysterious sword is the weapon of Lugh, the father of Cuchulainn. Some authors have identified him with lightning.
Since then, only a select few have interacted with the angels. In the Gospel, is Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation, which appears to Zechariah in the Temple, then to the Virgin Mary, entering her home and welcoming her “full of grace”. (Source)Announcement to Mary, Gospel of Luke At the birth of Jesus, the shepherds have a vision of legions of angels celebrating. Jesus often speak of angels, in accordance with the tradition that makes real people and very powerful. At his command, Jesus had twelve legions of angels … that he never used. Bible said the angels are multitudes: “Their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.”
The hierarchy has seven angelic choirs of different nature which rise gradually from man to God. First the chorus of angels, then that of the archangels, principalities, powers, virtues and dominations.
The seventh and last chorus is Trinitarian, consisting of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. The Deity is located beyond itself is Trinitarian. (source)Denys the Areopagite