The word angel in English is a fusion of the Old English word engel (with a hard g) and the Old French angele. Both derive from the Latinangelus which in turn is the romanization of the ancient Greek ἄγγελος (angelos), "messenger".
Angels. Something so wonderful comes from such a simple word. We all believe in the Divine [a majority - I hope], and the good nature that Angelic entities possess. I enjoy writing about angels, I love incorporating them within the plots of my stories, and sometimes they can take precedence over my other more 'dark' characters.
But, like always, I am a keen learner and just had to delve into the world of Angelology, just to put to rest my own ideas about Heaven and the Divinity.
Here is what I found.
To my disbelief, I found out that there were in fact Seven Heavens and Seven Earths. How intriguing, don't you agree?
The First Heaven
Shamayim or Shamain
The 1st heaven, Shamayim borders the Earth and is ruled by Archangel Gabriel.
The First Earth
The inhabitants of this world are the descendants of Adam. It was said to be dull and cheerless but little is known about it.
The Second Heaven
Raquia or Raqia
The 2nd heaven Raquia is ruled by the Archangels Raphael and Zachariel, and, according to Enoch, it is within this heaven that the fallen angels are imprisoned waiting final judgment in complete darkness. This was at one time suppose to be the dwelling place of John the Baptist.
The Second Earth
The people of this world, also descendants of Adam, were hunters and cultivators. The were cursed with almost constant sadness. When not sad they were at war. It was also believed that visitors here came in with a memory and left with no recall of prior events.
The Third Heaven
Sagun or Shehaquim
The 3rd heaven is unique for many reasons. According to Enoch, hell lies within the northern boundaries of the third heaven. Sagun (or Shehaqim) is ruled over by Archangel Anahel and three subordinate saraim: Jagniel, Rabacyel, and Dalquiel, and is the residence for Archangel Azrael, the Islamic Angel of death.
The Third Earth
Although this world was one of shadows it also had woods, jungles, forests and orchards. The inhabitants lived off the fruit of the trees.
The Fourth Heaven
Machanon or Machen
The 4th heaven Machanon it is ruled by Archangel Michael, "Is the site of the heavenly Jerusalem, the holy Temple and its Altar" (Godwin, p. 122). It is here that, according to Enoch, that the Garden of Eden is actually housed, not in the third heaven.
The Forth Earth
This world has two suns and is very dry. The cities here were rich and wondrous, but the dwellers were constantly looking for a source of underground water.
The Fifth Heaven
Mathey or Machon
The 5th heaven Mathey is the seat/home of God, Aaron, and the Avenging Angels.
The Fifth Earth
The people here live off the land and seem to be a bit simple minded. There world has a red sun and is very dry.
The Sixth Heaven
The 6th heaven Zebul is ruled by Archangel Zachiel (Sachiel) and his subordinate princes Zebul (during the day) and Sabath (during the night).
The Sixth Earth
Here the seasons are very long. These inhabitants can travel from earth to earth and are credited with being able to speak all languages. This earth is said to be the place where Hell can be found, all seven layers of it one on top of another. The topmost layer being Sheol followed by, perdition, the gates of death, the gates of the shadow of death, silence, the bilge and the lowest pit.
The Seventh Heaven
The 7th heaven is the holiest of the holy heavens. Araboth is ruled by Archangel Cassiel and is home to God and his Divine Throne it is also the abode of human souls waiting to be born.
The Seventh Earth
This world's form is very much like that of Earth's, having hills, mountains, valleys and flatlands. Here lies 365 different types of bizarre creatures. These creatures range from having two heads, to having multiple bodies, but are considered to be righteous. They are considered quite superior and live off the aquatic life found there. They have the unique ability to prolong life or bring the dead back to life.
Now doesn't that leave you with a lot to think about? If this is true, what does this mean for us as mortals?
I find the whole thing pretty incredible, and like The Nine Levels of Hell, it brings an awful lot of questions about our mortality to light.
These ideas have to come from somewhere, and not just made up by some random peasant 'many moons' ago. There has to be a significant reason why these beliefs exist - Heaven, Hell and Angels, and not just the Fallen. To me as a writer, I love the boundaries that we are tempted to cross, who is to say we should not seek answers to some of the toughest questions known to man.
Just a thought! ;)