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RA'AMIEL-The angel who is in charge of thunder. He is one of several angels with the task of monitoring or controlling the natural elements. He works closely with the angel Matatiel, the patron of rain.

RA'ASIEL-The angel who is in charge of all earthquakes.

RABDOS-A one time angel who possessed the ability to stop the very stars in their celestial path. He apparently fell from grace, for he is now ranked among fallen angels. His specialty among the legions of the netherworld is to strangle his victims.

RADWERIEL-Also Radueriel, the archivist (a job also attributed to Metatron) of the heavenly host who is ranked among the high angelic personages in the divine court. He is said in the Third Book of Enoch, that helpful source on angels, to be a prince, more highly honored than all the other princes, and to be in charge of the archives of the Lord. He maintains all of the scrolls and records of heaven, bringing forth for the Lord's consideration all relevant documents and accounting that might be needed in the resolutions of each case brought before the throne of God.

RAGUEL-An angel whose name means "friend of God" and who has the difficult task of maintaining discipline among the angels in heaven, described in the First Book of Enoch as the angel who takes vengeance for the world and for luminaries. He is also in charge of second heaven and is listed in traditions related to the famed patriarch Enoch as having been responsible for translating Enoch to heaven; this event is referred to in the Old Testament Book of Genesis, although there is nothing in that account concerning Raguel (the other angel regularly thought possibly to have been the transporting agent is Anafiel).

RAHAB-The so-called Angel of Violence, also called the angel of the sea and an angel who suffered from an unbelievable pride. According to legends surrounding Rahab, he was around at the very Creation of the world, with powers over the seas. He is also mention in the Book of Job. He is at times identified with the fallen angels (or devils) Leviathan and Behemoth, two dreadful beings of the sea. Rahab is also considered responsible for rescuing from the waters the Book of Angel Raziel, which had been given to Adam by Raziel and then stolen by envious angels who threw it into the ocean to keep Adam from reading its secrets.

RAHATIEL-An angel mentioned in the Third Book of Enoch as the prince of the constellations. He thus has authority over the stars in the heavens, making the constellations pass across the sky each night. He is assisted in his labors by a group of seventy-two angels, "great and honored."

RAHMIEL-Also Rahamiel, the so-called Angel of Mercy, who helps to promote compassion and mercy among all peoples. One of the other names for this angel is Rhamiel.

RAIN, ANGEL OF-A title given to several angels, including Matariel, who is credited with the post in the Third Book of Enoch.

RAMIEL-Also Ramael and Remiel, an angel whose main claim to fame is assisting Baruch in the Apocalypse of Baruch with the interpretation of his visions; in the work, Ramiel gives an announcement of the impending arrival of the Messiah. The angel also appears in the First Book of Enoch, described in the same work as both good and a bad angel.

RAPHAEL-One of the seven archangels and one of the best loved of all angels. Raphael is honored as the regent of the sun, the angel of healing, the angel of science, the angel of knowledge, head of the guardian angels, and chief of the angelic orders of virtues, although he is also a member of the seraphim, the dominations, and the cherubim. Raphael, whose name means "God has healed," is best known for his appearance in the Book of Tobit. Raphael is said to possess the happiest disposition of any of the angels, having as well the best sense of humor. This may well be a result of his close relationship with the sun; he is, after all, regent of the orb and was called by the poet Longfellow the angel of the sun. He delights in bringing health, happiness, and joy everywhere he goes and encourages the guardian angels in their work.

RASH-Also Rashnu and Rashin, an angel in the religion of the Zoroastrians (which dominated the Persian empire) who had the duty of judging the souls of all who had died.

RAZIEL-An angel, called the angel of mysteries, who is the possessor of a staggering amount of information on all matters secret, arcane, and mysterious; his knowledge stems from the fact that he traditionally stands at the very curtains separating God from the rest of Creation and hears and notes everything that is said or done around the throne of the Lord. The angel supposedly wrote down much of this incomparably valuable information in the famous tope called the Book of the Angel Raziel. This grimoire (a type of book said to contain occult and arcane knowledge related to spells and sorcery) was probably written during the middle ages by one of the Jewish scholars-such as Isaac the Blind or Eleazar of Worms-but this did not keep it from becoming surrounded by a host of legends and tales. The most notable story is the one that has Raziel actually giving the book to Adam. The Book of the Angel Raziel is reputed to contain the 1,500 keys to the mysteries of the universe. Unfortunately these are written in a language so arcane and impossible to decipher (without presumably the aid of Raziel) that not even the greatest angels of heaven are able to figure it out. He is additionally the reputed chief or prince of the order of the erelim, the Hebrew understanding of what was later called the order of thrones. For his compassion and concern for Adam, Raziel is ranked as the special patron for the first human.

REAPER, GRIM-A nickname for the angel of death, most often identified as Azrael.

RECORDING ANGELS-Those angels who are charged with the important task of writing down every human act, both good and evil; these are then used either at the death of each person to determine his (her) worthiness to enter heaven or at the end of time, when every moment of history is laid bare before God (or Christ) for the final and terrible judgment.

REMIEL-Another name for the angel Ramiel.

RESSURECTION, ANGEL OF-The otherwise unnamed angel who appeared at the topb of Jesus after his resurrection. There is a tradition that the angel of the Resurrection was Gabriel.

RIDWAN-The angel on Islamic lore who is said to be the guardian of the gates of the earthly Paradise.

RIKBIEL YHWH-A great angel who is the princely chief of the gallim, the "wheels," who are to be equated in later angel lore with the cherubim Rikbeil is one of the highest ranking of all angels in the heavenly host, said to be superior even to such a grand angel as Metatron. In the lore of the Merkabah as reported in the Third Book of Enoch, Rikbiel has charge over the wheels of the chariot upon which the throne of God is situated. There are eight wheels, two for each direction, with rivers of fire pouring out from under them.

RUHIEL-The angel who has authority over the wind.

RULERS-An alternate name used for the angelic choir or order of the dominations.

RUMAN-An angel in Islamic lore who works with the two angels Munkar and Nakir. Ruman serves in the infernal regions, greeting each condemned soul that is sent to him and forcing it to sit down and write out each and every evil deed committed while on the earth. In some cases, of course, the writing takes nearly forever, as Ruman is aware of every wicked act, from the smallest to the largest, and waits impatiently and cruelly, while the sinner scribbles them down. Once they are finished, the poor souls are handed over to Munkar and Nakir for the inflicting of eternal punishment.

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