You will notice that I am hesitant to call angels ‘mythological creatures.’ This is mostly because of my christian belief… so I do actually think they truly exist.
What is an angel?
Simply put, an often-winged creature that is a servant of a God. Their jobs include messenger, voice, soldier, guide, and many more. Unfortunately, most depictions of angels are not accurate per the original descriptions. The angels we see depicted in paintings that look like human adults or babies… with the exception perhaps of the archangels, this is pure fantasy. (I know… I know… I’m criticizing my own writings on angels, I’ll get to that below, I promise.)
So then what do they look like? Well in some accounts, just like humans. In others… um… they’re actually kind of scary.
In Daniel 10:5-6 there is a clear description of a more ‘human’ nature.
“I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.”
Other descriptions vary, giving credence to a variety of difference species perhaps?
For example you have the Cherubs:
“(Ezekiel 1:5) Each of them had four faces and four wings, with straight feet with a sole like the sole of a calf’s foot, and “hands of a man” under their wings. Each had four faces: the face of a man, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle.”
Then you have the Seraphs:
These ones are a little bit harder to classify, so I’ll give you the consistencies… They each appear to have four to six wings; with two covering their faces, and with two covering their feet. The ones with six used the remaining two for flight… yeah weird…
Other descriptions include multiple heads, weird creatures covered in eyes… I could go on all day, but I’m not writing horror novels. At least not yet.
All right, so with all that in mind, where does my story fit in? Well to be honest… I like the fantasy, and since I’m a fantasy writer, that’s sort of what I went with… sort of. My angels are not androgynous, though now that I think about it, giving them sexes is somewhat pointless given that they can’t reproduce. Still, one could argue that giving them human characteristics would make them more sympathetic to humans, and easier for the Most High to deal with as they are close to his own image.
Angels in my stories live in a cast system, so let’s explore each one, what they do, and what they look like, starting from the top:
Archangels: Direct servants to the Most High. They include his voice, the general of his army, his direct messenger, etc. Their word is above reproach and they are unquestionably respected by all others. They appear in red and brown garments with armor as shiny as silver over them. Their two wings sparkle as though their feathers had been polished. They look like humans.
Seraphs: So far, of the Choirs of Angels, this is the only one in my story that really get’s a physical description, though other angels in my story are mentioned and described, I never really assign them a choir, so take that as you will. Seraphs have four red, fiery wings that are on their backs. They are capable of speeds greater than any other angel, even that of archangels. Their skin glows like gold shining on the sun. They are considered among the highest ranking angels below the archangels.
Duty Angels: Yes even among angels, there is a ‘working class.’ These angels are assigned behind the scenes duties. Among those duties are being the guiding light to souls destined either to Heaven or the underworld, some are servants to the Most High, others are soldiers. They have two large white wings each and appear as normal humans. However, the ones that serve as guiding lights may appear in any form they wish. This is especially useful should a wayward spirit need ‘convincing’ to go to the afterlife he or she has earned.
So I guess one could say that my description doesn’t fray too far as the angels that can appear in other forms could feasibly appear in the very forms listed in the Bible… so I don’t know. Take that as you want.
Dark Angels: These angels fall outside of the angel cast system. Some might say they are demons, but I prefer to keep demons in a separate category, giving them more of an impish appearance. Dark angels are angels that, during the Celestial Wars, sided with Lucifer in his attempt to overthrown the Most High. They believe that their service to the Most High is nothing short of slavery and that they deserved the world that was given to humanity. Their wings are black, indicating that they have been cursed with a heavy burden. This makes it impossible for them to ever return to the Celestial Realm, as to do so would result in them being crushed under the weight of their wings and unable to fly. The more powerful ones have dark eyes and pointed ears. They retain their immortality and divinity, but it has been greatly corrupted.
Though these ones are forbidden to leave the underworld, one or two has been known to make its way into the mortal world and either attempt to hide or wreak havoc on the people.
Anyway, let me know what you think. Feedback is, as always, welcomed and appreciated!
Catch you on the flip side,