|ABADDON The angel of the bottopless pit, as named in the Hebrew; in Greek he is called Appolyon. Abaddon is named specifically in the book of Revelation as the leader of the terrible locust like beings sent from the abyss to torment the unbelievers. In the same sources, Abaddon binds Satan for a thousand years. Other identifications of Abaddon in lore include him as an angel of death and a dark angel, or even as a demon, serving in the abyss, perhaps to be considered Satan himself. Another use of his name is to denote not an angel, but a place, synonymous with the abyss itself, or hell.
ABALIM The name used in the Hebrew for the corresponding choir of angels in Christian lore called the thrones. Abalim means "great angels." They are also known as the arelim.
ABATHAR MUZANIA An angel-like being found among the Mandaeans, a sect of Gnostics that flourished in the first to second centuries A.D. in modern-day Iraq. This angel is responsible in their lore for weighing the souls of the deceased to determine their worthiness. For this task he uses a set of scales. He is also called the angel of the North Star.
ABBATON Abbaton is supposedly a powerful angel of God himself, appplied to the conjuring of demons and forcing them to perform various deeds.
ABDALS-A group of mysterious beings who figure in Islamic lore. Said to number seventy, the abdals (meaning substitutes) are known only to God and fulfill the essential task of permitting the world to continue in existence. Similar to the Just in Jewish lore, the abdals are spiritual (or perhaps angelic) caretakers of the earth. They are not immortal, however, and when one of them dies their number is kept constant by God, who secretly appoints a replacement.
ABDIEL-An inportant and valiant angel who plays a leading role in Milton's Paradise Lost in standing firm against the call of Satan to the angels revolt against God. A member of the angelic choir of the seraphim. Abdiel is described by Milton as the "flaming seraph." His great moment comes during the first day of fighting in the war in heaven. He routs the rebellious fallen angels Ramiel, Arioch, and Ariel, and even Satan himself is driven back by the "mighty sword stroke" of the seraph.There has been some question over the years as to whether Abdiel has any roots in Jewish or Christian legend or lore or was merely a creation of Milton.
ABRACADABRA-One of the most ancient of all charms, used to protect the user (or wearer, when adapted as a amulet) from disease, toothache, and spiritual assault. Meaning "I bless the dead," Abracadabra was said to have originated in one of two ways. It was perhaps formed from the Hebrew declaration he brachah dabarah (speak the blessing) or from the Hebrew words Ab (Father), Ben (Son), and Ruch a Cadsch (Holy Spirit). Its association to angelology stems from its use in summoning an angel to provide assistance.
ABRAHAM- The honored and so-called Father of the Jewish People, one of the greatest patriarchs of the Old testament, and a figure known in the Muslim faith as the "friend of God." Abraham is also connected to angel lore in several ways that go beyond scripture. By custop, for example, he was even accompanied by his own special guardian or guiding angel. The name of this angel is given as Zadkiel, the angel appearing in Jewish lore as the master of mercy and compassion. it is thus Zadiel who is thought in some sources to have stayed the hand of Abraham on Mount Moriah, although that act has also been attributed to Michael. In an even more interesting tradition, consistent often with the other great patriarchs of the Old Testament, Abraham was taken to heaven and, like Enoch and others, was transformed by the will of God into an angel. (See also Bible and Old Testament)
ABRAXAS-In the teachings of the Gnostics, the name used for the Supreme Being, the source of the devine emanations through which all things were created. Included in the emanations are 365 spirits, thought to have their own heavens. Interestingly, the sum of number 365 is said to equal or correspond to the numerical value of the seven Greek letters used to spell "Abraxas." These seven numbers also served as a mystery symbol of God. As Gnostic thinking developed, Abraxas became the creator and leader-or prince-of the aeons, the eternal beings or divine manifestations that emanated from God. Abraxas was ruler of their 365 heavens and helped to perform a kind of intermediary role between the Supreme Being and those who exist on the earth. The name Abraxas was intended to provide divine protection and blessing. (See also Aeon.)
ABYSS, ANGEL OF THE-The angel with authority over the nearly endlessly deep place, considered another name for hell and also termed the "Bottopless Pit." The Abyss is the abode of Satan and his legions of fallen angels; it is additionally the place to which the souls of the condemned are cosigned for an eternity of punishment and torment.
ACCUSING ANGEL, THE-The name given to the angel who "accuses" the sinner of the action; it is also applied to Satan, who, in the role of "the accuser," tests all humanity in its faithfulness toward God. The most famous incident involving Satan as the accusing angel is recounted in the Old Testament tale of Job. It is also used as a name for Samael.
ADABIEL-Adabiel is one of the seven archangels, with authority over Jupiter or Mars. It is thought that his name might be a version or variation of Abdiel.
ADIMUS-An angel who was long venerated by the Christian Church, but in 745 was included in a list of angelic servants declared by Church officials to be henceforth ineligible for honor by the faithful. The cause of this decision was the paucity of scriptual evidence for his existence and works. He was one of a number of angels, including, the famed Uriel, who were removed from the angels to be venerated, the decision formally undertaken by a Council of Rome.
ADIRIRION-An angel found in Jewish mystical traditions. Adiririon is a powerful servant of the Lord, ranked as a chief among the angelic orders. His name, however, is also connected with the name of God, and it was used on amulets as a preventive for the evil eye.
ADOIL-An angel-like being mentioned in the apocryphal Second Book of Enoch. Adoil was actually a kind of explosive emanation or spiritual essence created by God. Out of this unique being God brought into existence all material things descend visibly!
ADONAI-The term or name used since an early time by the Hebrews as a substitute for the sacred name of God Jehovah (Yahweh), which was ineffable and incommunicable. In most translations of the Bible, Adonai is expressed as Lord.
AEON-In the original Greek sense, a great period of time, normally considered infinite or indefinite; over a time, aeon became associated in the teachings of Gnosticisms with an order of spirits or angelic beings who exist eternally and are emanations of the Godhead. Some Gnostics taught that the head of the aeons, their prince or ruler, was Abraxas. There was also to be found two important aeons: Pistis Sophia, the female personification or embodiment of wisdom, and Dynamis, the male personification of power. The exact number of Aeons is varying, but the most common number given is 365.
AHIAH-A half angel mentioned in the famed collection by Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews. Ahiah is the son of fallen angel Semyaza, the overtime seraph who descsnded to the earth and cohabited with a human woman. (See also Semyaza.)
AKATHRIELAH YELOD SABAOTH-In Jewish lore, a truly powerful angelic being, so formidable that his name (meaning "Akathrielah, lord of hosts") was used for God. His place in the heavenly order is to stand above the other angels in judgment.
AKHAZRIEL-An angel mentioned in Louis Ginzberg's The Legends of the Jews. Akhazriel is ranked, as his name decrees, as the "herald of God," and he is used by the Lord to give declarations and divine pronouncements. Thus he was dispatched to inform Moses, the great Lawgiver, that Moses prayer to have a longer time was not to be granted; Moses' death had been declared as arriving, and Akhazriel was charged with telling him that.
AL-ZABAMIYAH-A group of nineteen angels who were mentioned in the Qur'an. Their task is to act as divine guards in the Islamic view of hell.
AMESHA SPENTAS-Called also the amshaspendas, the amesha spentas were the holy immortals, the six or seven spirits created by the great god Ahura Mazda in the Zoroastrian religion to assist him in the ordering of the universe. They were given various qualities and ultimately received exceedingly personalized attributes: truth (Vohu Manah); immortality (Ameretat); salvation (Haurvatat); desirable realm or dominion (Ksathiara); highest righteousness (Asha Vahista); and pious devotion (Spenta Aramiti). These seven evil attributes eventually came to represent the famous seven deadly sins, while the amesha spentas served as the foundation of the seven virtures. (See also Ahura Mazda and Zoroastrianism.)
ANABONA-He is described as the angel by whom (or through whom) God created the world. According to Hebrew legend, the name Anabona was heard by Moses when the Lawgiver was given the Ten Commandments.
ANAFIEL-Also called Anaphiel, he is the leader of the eight superior angels of the Merkabah, the mystical Jewish conception of ascending heavens. In this role, Anafiel has the high honorific role of serving as chief bearer of the seal and the keeper of the key to heaven's halls. According to the third book of Enoch, it was this angel who carried the great patriarch Enoch to heaven, where the latter was turned into the all-powerful angel Metatron. Jewish legend tells of his performing the unpleasant task of punishing Metatron for some transgression; he whipped Metatron sixty times with tongues of fire. He is described in the Book of Enoch as "the honored, glorified, beloved, wonderful, terrible, and dreadful Prince."
ANAHITA-A female angel found in Zoroastrian teachings, the ancient religion of persia, Anahita is ranked high among the angelic beings.
ANGEL (Choir)-The ninth and final order of angels according to the organization of the celestial hierarchy as created by the sixth-century theologian Dionysius the Areopagite; the angels belong to the third and final triad of choirs, with the archangels and principalities, the primary focus of their existence being the caretakership of humanity and the world. While the lowest rank of all angelic beings-if one accepts the idea of a regulated angelic organization-angels are nevertheless members of the heavenly host and thus possess the profound and beautiful attributes given to them by their Creator. They are beings of pure spirituality and exist to fulfill the tasks given to them by God. Chief among these are to act as messengers of the Lord to the earth and guardians of the human soul.
ANGEL WRAPPED IN A CLOUD-A "mighty angel" described by St. John in the Book of Revelation. This unnamed angel came down from heaven "wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll opened in his hand." The scroll he would later give to John, commanding him to eat it.
ANNUNCIATION, ANGEL OF THE- The traditional title given to the archangel Gabriel in his role as messenger of God to the Virgin Mary to announce the incarnation of Christ. As was recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Gabriel also prophesied the conception of St. John the Baptist by Mary's kinswoman Elizabeth.
APOCALYPSE, ANGEL OF THE-The title given to a number of angels. The angel of the apocalypse is looked upon as an angel who brings tidings of the impending end of the world and imminent judgment of the human race. Among the angels who are suggested in this role are Michael, Gabriel, Orifiel, Raphael, and Haniel.
APOLLION-Another name for the angel Abaddon, the angel of the bottopless pit.
APUTEL-An angel greatly respected by the Hebrews. The priests who entered the "holy of holies" in the tabernacle of the Great Temple of Jerusalem wore a plaque on their breasts that bore his name. By using his name, a trained and powerful sorcerer was reputed to be able to raise the dead.
ARAQIEL-Also called Arkiel and Saraquael, an angel mentioned in the first book of Enoch as being ranked among the infamous two hundred fallen angels who taught humanity certain kinds of knowledge. Although arrayed with the evil angels in this account, Araqiel is also considered a good angel in other sources, such as the Sibylline Oracles. For example, he is credited in some accounts as one of the angels who carry the souls of Deceased persons to heaven and before the throne of God for judgment.
ARARIEL-An angel of the waters, Arariel was recognized as having authority over the oceans, and as such he was asked for help by fisherman in catching fish large enough to tell a tale. There is also a tradition that Arariel would cure stupidity.
ARCHANGEL (Choir)-One of the accepted choirs of angels as established by the sixth-century theologian Dionysius the Areopagite; the archangels are ranked eighth in the nine choirs, above angels and below principalities. The chiefs of the choir are given as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Metatron, Barachiel, and Barbiel, although of them Michael is most commonly mentioned as leader.
ARCHONS-Eminently powerful spiritual beings, said to be equated with the aeons and also with the archangels. The archons were created in the teachings of the Gnostics (the early heretical movement in Christianity) and were said to have been born by the will of the Gnostic deity Demiurge. In the dualistic thinking of the Gnostics-in which the material world is considered evil- the archons were equated with beings of evil, in large part because they had the duty of governing the running of the world, a place of inherent wickedness. Their other terrible purpose was to imprison the souls of humans in the sin-racked material bodies and so leave them trapped in the wicked realm of the world, unable to free themselves and pass upward into the divine light.
ARIEL-There are several uses of the name in the Old Testament, namely in Isaiah, where it denotes the city of Jerusalem; and in Ezra, where it is the name of a man. There is also a long-standing tradition that Ariel is an angel, the name meaning "lion of God"; although he is variously described as a member of the angelic hierarchy, he is also at times placed among the evil angels. He is thus, variously, an angel companion of Raphael in his efforts to assist humanity and, in John Milton's Paradise Lost, one of the fallen angels who is routed by the stern and obedient seraph Abdiel during the war in heaven.
ARIOCH-A onetime angel who fell and joined Satan in his war with heaven. In other custops Arioch became a dreadful demon of vengeance.
ARMISAEL-An angel who should be called upon to assist in easy childbirth. According to the teachings of the talmud, a woman could improve giving birth by reciting nine times Psalm 20.
ARSYALALYUR-Also Asuryal, an angel mentioned in the apocryphal First Book of Enoch. He was said to have been sent to Noah, son of Lamech, with the famed warning.
ASAPH-The angel who is said to have made a direct contribution to the Bible by authoring twelve of the Psalms of the Old Testament. The Psalms were number 50 and from 73 to 83. His skill in composing hymns to the Lord apparently earned him the honorific post of God; his authority, however, extends only over the night, the songs of the choir under the command of the angel Jeduthun.
ASCENSION, ANGELS OF- The two angels mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as appearing to the apostles at the moment of Christ's Ascension into heaven.
AT-TAUM-An angel whose name means"the twin" who is credited in the lore of the Manichaeans with giving the religious leader Mani the revelations that were to form the foundation for his subsequent teachings.
AUPIEL-Another name used for the angel Anafiel (See Anafiel)
AUZA-One of the so-called sons of God, also called Oza, who fell from heaven and journeyed to earth to engage in carnal union with mortal women. This event, touched upon the Book of Genesis, resulted in the birth of the anakim, also known as the nephilim.
AVATAR-Ten angel-like beings who appear in Hindu lore and are the human or animal incarnation of a diety, taking such a form in order to combat evil or perform some significant act of goodness. The most famous of the avatars is Krishna (Krsna), the divine cowherd. Kalki (or Kalkin) is an avatar still to come, supposedly riding a white horse with wings to destroy the world at the end of the four ages. The other avatars are Buddha, Matsga, Narasimha, Varaha, Kurma, Parasurana, Vamana, and Rama. Krishna, in some regions, is actually considered a god, his brother Balarama serving as an avatar. The avatar demonstrate the worldwide prevalence of angelic beings intervening in the affairs of humanity.
AZAZEL- One of the fallen angels, also known as Iblis. (For the list of fallen angels, see under Fallen Angels.)
AZAZIEL-A seraph who figured in Lord Byron's poem "Heaven and Earth." Azaziel fell in love with Anah, granddaughter of Cain. To save her from the coming of the Great Flood, which covered the earth, the angel snatched her up and, tucking her beneath her wings, carried her to safety on another planet.
AZBUGA YHWH-Also Asbogha, a prominent angel in Hebrew lore, ranked as one of the eight princes of the throne of judgment. He is even more powerful than the dread angel Metatron. According to some Jewish legends, Azbuga has the task of welcoming the truly worthy into heaven (some being considerably more worthy than others) and covering them with righteousness.
AZRAEL-The much feared angel of death in both Islamic and Hebrew lore, whose name means "whom God helps." Among the Muslims, Azrael possesses four thousand wings and seventy thousand feet. Most important, he was given a supply of eyes and tongues exactly equal to the number of people inhabiting the world. Each time Azrael blinks one of his eyes, it signifies that another person has died. He came to the task by virtue of a surprisingly difficult job given to the angel of God. the Lord commanded that Michael, Gabriel, and Israfel journey to the earth and return with seven handfuls of dirt with which God planned to create Adam. The earth, however, refused to give up its treasure, moaning that mankind should not be created because they would turn against God and bring only sadness. As the three angels returned empty-handed, the Lord chose a fourth, Azrael. Far more determined, Azrael wrenched from the earth the dirt and brought it before the heavenly throne. As a reward, God made Azrael the angel responsible for separating the human soul from the body at the moment of death. Aside from his blinking eyes, Azrael also keeps track of the dying by scribbling ceaselessly into a mighty book. He writes into the book the births of the living and just as often erases other names-those who have died. Azrael is actually to be identified with Raphael, the archangel most closely associated with the life of humanity. (See also Death, Angel of.)
AZZA-A fallen angel who is condemned to suffer a unique punishment for his sins. Accordining to Jewish lore, Azza was bitterly opposed to God's plan to reward the patriarch Enoch with elevation to angelic status. (Enoch was transformed into the angel prince Metatron). Expelled from heaven, Azza was hung upside down between earth and paradise. Ever plunging but never actually crashing, he is forced uncontrollably to open one eye so that the full horror of his predicament is driven home. Prior to his fall, Azza was listed as a ministering angel (in the third book of Enoch) and is said to have been responsible for teaching the famed King Solomon many secrets of heaven.