Exploring the Angelic Hierarchies Across Religions
I’m starting here, because this is where we pick up the beginning of the Angelic Thread.
Delving into the realm of angelic hierarchies is a captivating journey. Let’s begin at the genesis of these beliefs. Across various faiths like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Zoroastrianism, distinct orders of angels exist, each contributing to a rich tapestry of spiritual thought.
The origins of the concept of angels can be traced back to Zoroastrianism. This ancient faith had a profound impact on the development of angelology and demonology within Hebrew scriptures and the Apocrypha. This, in turn, left an indelible mark on the beliefs of subsequent religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
In Judaism, a significant adoption of Zoroastrian concepts occurred with the division of the universe into three distinct realms: heaven, earth, and hell. Heaven, the celestial realm, is inhabited by God and His celestial beings – the angels. Earth symbolizes the tangible world of humanity. In this framework, angels are assigned the pivotal role of bridging the cosmic gap that separates God from humanity. This idea mirrors the Zoroastrian belief where a primordial clash among gods left humanity marooned in an unfamiliar world.
In the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the separation between God and humanity is attributed to the fall of mankind due to sin. Consequently, humans have become estranged, unable to fully comprehend their relationship with their Creator or the purpose of their existence. However, angels, possessing the unique ability to assume human form, serve as intermediaries, conveying the divine plan, will, and law to humanity. This emphasis on angels as messengers resonates with the influence of Zoroastrianism. In Zoroastrian belief, Vohu Manah, also known as the “good mind,” one of the holy immortals called Amesha Spentas, appeared to Zarathushtra, unveiling the true nature of God and His covenant with humanity.
Zoroastrianism, despite being one of the oldest organized belief systems, is often overlooked in contemporary discussions. Nevertheless, its profound influence on the angelology and beliefs of subsequent religions is undeniable, weaving a common thread through the spiritual tapestry of humanity.