An angel is an ethereal creature who assists and serves God or the gods of many religious traditions. In the Christian bible, angels are portrayed as powerful and dreadful, endowed with wisdom, correct in their judgment, holy, but not infallible. When their duties are not punitive, angels are beneficent to man. When their duties are punitive, they are known as avenging angels and are mentioned inverses such as II Sam. Xxiv. 15, in which an angel annihilates thousands on God's command. These avenging angels are used by God to punish men for their sins.
A supernatural being found in Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Angel comes from the Latin word angelus, which came from the Greek word, angelos, meaning "messenger". According to these religions Angels typically act as messengers from God.
Though superhuman, angels can assume human form and according to the Hebrew Bible, often appeared to people in the shape of humans of extraordinary beauty. They are also described as pure and bright and are said to be formed of fire, and encompassed by light. Angels are thought to posess wings, and are depicted that way in Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian art where they are also commonly depicted with halos.In the Bible, angels are a medium of God's power; they exist to execute God's will. Angels reveal themselves to individuals as well as to the whole nation, to announce events, either good or bad, affecting humans.
Never say never, (...) but in my mind, angels as supernatural beings do not exist. In my opinion there are forces of evil, but the forces of good are human. There might very well be a God, but if there is, he's working in mysterious ways through a band of very imperfect humans.
In 2.13 Houses of the Holy Sam and Dean investigate a series of murders in which the killers claim they were guided by an avenging angel, although it turns out to be the ghost of a dead priest. Dean is adamant that angels don't exist, while Sam tells Dean that he has faith in God, and prays. Dean reveals that their mother did too.
- Dean: I'll tell you who else had faith like that — Mom. She used to tell me when she tucked me in that angels were watching over us. In fact, that was the last thing she ever said to me.
Angels are collectively referred to as The Host of Heaven, and they dwell in a very hierarchical society. Much of it appears to operate like a military organization, broken down into smaller units called garrisons. According to Ash, angels currently run and manage Heaven and the people in it. This is due to God's absence. Heaven is ruled by a group of angels referred to as Senior Management. They are the caretakers and rulers of Heaven. One of these was an angel called Zachariah, and another is his superior, the Archangel Michael. Michael appears to have been the authority in Heaven for some time.
The Archangels, like Michael and Raphael, are the most powerful angels, although Joshua also has the ear of God. According to Castiel: "Archangels are fierce. They're absolute. They're Heaven's most terrifying weapon." Unquestioning obedience is expected of other members of the Host, and those who question orders may be tortured to enforce compliance as Anna and Castiel find out. Disobedience can be punished by death.
God appears to have been absent from Heaven for a long period.
Angels are divine beings created by God.
Zachariah: "This isn't the first planetary enema we've delivered."
According to an angel named Zachariah, God's angels were ordered to wipe an unknown civilization by brining on something similar to Earth's Apocalypse. When God commanded that angels should worship humanity, Lucifer refused and rebelled. God then cast him out of heaven forever. And after Lucifer created demons - humans stripped of their humanity - in defiance of God, Michael imprisoned him.
The angels decide to allow him to be freed so that Michael can finally kill him. To that end, after Dean in Hell has broken the first of the The 66 Seals on Lucifer's Cage, Castiel is sent to rescue dean so he will be available to Michael to use as his Vessel.
- Their divinity exists in the form of "grace", the absence of which renders them mortal. Anna voluntarily removed her grace in order to be reborn human.
- An angel's true form varies depending on the specie of the angel - Zachariah's angelic form has four faces and six wings, when spied upon, Castiel's angelic form can burn out a human's eyes and can also blind demons.
- Angelic powers can be limited by the hierarchy of The Host of Heaven. Castiel finds his abilities limited after he rebels and helps Dean: "I'm cut off from heaven and much of heaven's power. Certain things I can do. Certain things I can't."5.02 Good God Y'All. Castiel appears essentially mortal in the alternate future in 5.04 The End, after he reports Heaven has abandoned Earth. After he directly acts against Heaven in 5.18 Point Of No Return, Castiel returns almost mortal. He receives enhanced angelic powers from God in 5.22 Swan Song.
- They require a human Vessel in order to manifest on Earth. The person they possess must consent to this, as opposed to demonic possession which is non-consensual.
- They can only speak to humans in their dreams or from within the body of a Vessel. Their true voice and form are can be discerned by some "special" people, but to most it is "overwhelming" and painful to behold. Their true voice is discerned as an ear piercing, high pitched sound which can shatter glass and their true form as a brilliant light. Castiel tries to speak to Dean with his true voice in 4.01 Lazarus Rising, and is surprised when Dean cannot understand it. Pamela loses her sight when she psychically looks on Castiel's true form. Michael's voice and form prove fatal to the bar patrons in 5.18 Point Of No Return.
- They do have wings
- "Angels don't sleep" 5.22 Swan Song
- They have super strength
- Can transport themselves, and also humans. This process results in constipation in humans according to Dean5.03 Free To Be You And Me . Dean Winchester refers to teleportation as "beaming" and on some occasions he referred to teleportation as "zapping".
- By placing two fingers on a person's forehead they can render someone unconscious or change their memories
- Have the ability to bend time, allowing them to send someone or go themselves to the past.
- Have the power to exorcise demons from humans by touching them
- Can see Reapers
- Have the ability to inflict grave harm on humans such as when Zachariah gives Dean stomach cancer 5.01 Sympathy For The Devil or injuring Sam and Adam 5.18 Point Of No Return. They can also heal humans.
- Can resurrect humans. Gabriel resurrects Dean 3.11 Mystery Spot; Joshua resurrects Sam and Dean 5.16 Dark Side Of The Moon; Zachariah resurrects Adam5.18 Point Of No Return; Castiel resurrects Bobby 5.22 Swan Song
- Can move objects telekinetically.
- Able to implant Prophetic visions into a prophet’s mind, as demonstrated when Zachariah uses Chuck5.01 Sympathy For The Devil
- Can rescue people from Hell
- Certain types of angels (Cherubs) can bring couples together
- They can maintain their Vessels after they are injured
- Holy Oil - a flaming cricle of the Oil can be used to trap an Angel. Castiel uses a molotov cocktail of Holy Oil to temporarily banish Michael at Stull Cemetery5.22 Swan Song
- Angel Banishing Sigil - when blood is placed on the sigil, angels are temporarily banished from where they are. Castiel uses an extreme form of this when he carves the sigil into his Vessel.5.18 Point Of No ReturnCan be used by humans and angels.
- Angel Killing Sword - a short blade that can be used by humans and angels.
- Death's Scythe can kill angels and even archangels according to Crowley5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight
- Jesse - a Cambion - has the power to transform Castiel into a toy. Castiel says that he could "destroy the Host of Heaven."
- The Colt - unclear of its power against angels. It was ineffective against Lucifer.
- Enochian Sigils - These sigils can be inscribed onto human ribs which renders them invisible to all angels. Enochian sigils can also be used to keep angels from entering a building 4.16 On The Head Of A Pin5.10 Abandon All Hope
The following are the major angelic characters. Many minor angels appear as "henchmen".
Michael is an archangel. He is the most powerful angel in Heaven. It was God who ordered Michael to banish Lucifer down into the depths of Hell (although he professes great love for his younger "brother", as he refers to him.) It was Michael who engineers the plan for Lucifer to be released so Michael can kill him.
Michael seemingly has a telepathic link with Zachariah from whom he gives orders.
Lucifer is an archangel. He was expelled from Heaven after he refused to bow before humans. After Lucifer created Lilith as the first demon in defiance of God, he was imprisoned by Michael and bound by a series of seals.Lucifer becomes the deity for demons, although none have seen him3.04 Sin City.
Lucifer is freed from his cage when Sam kills Lilith - her death breaks the final seal. Once on Earth, Lucifer possesses the body of a man called Nick, although his true Vessel is Sam. He starts to bring about chaos on Earth in the form of epidemics and natural disasters, and he binds Death with a spell to force him to help bring on the Apocalypse.
After Sam assents to being his Vessel, in a ruse to trap Lucifer that fails, Lucifer faces Michael. He argue that they do not need to fight, but Michael says that he must be destroyed. A moment of connection with Dean allows Sam manages to wrestle control back and fling Lucifer, and Michael, into the the cage opened by the Horsemen's Rings.
Gabriel is an archangel. He is the youngest brother of Michael, Lucifer and Raphael. Gabriel loves his family (God, Michael, Lucifer and Raphael) deeply. When asked to harm one of his archangel brothers, he will hesitate and will not be easily swayed. Gabriel finds it very difficult to harm any one of his archangel brothers. Both Michael and Gabriel have stated that in the midst of everything they still love Lucifer even after what he's done to their family.
Tired of the conflict between Angels and God - his family - Gabriel the Archangel has been on Earth disguised as a Trickster. In this role he goes about giving people their "just desserts" - punishing people in a way that ironically fits what he sees as their 'crime' possibly inspired by his former position as the Archangel of judgment. He likes the good life - wine, women and is known to have a sweet tooth.
Finally Gabriel chooses to fight for humanity against Lucifer, claiming that God was right and humans are better than angels. He dies providing Sam and Dean the chance to escape as well as the knowledge of how to use the Horsemen's Rings to imprison Lucifer and stop the apocalypse.
Raphael is an archangel. He was the one responsible for destroying Castiel. It is uncertain as to whether Raphael was the Archangel who was also protecting the Prophet Chuck Shurley, but he found and destroyed Castiel while in Chuck's presence. Castiel and Dean Winchester trap him in a circle of Holy Oil, but he denies knowing the whereabouts of God. Raphael tells Dean that he is more powerful than Zachariah and that he is more than capable of doing things that Zachariah could never dream of doing, this suggests that Zachariah is not an Archangel.
Zachariah is an angel of Heaven. Zachariah is an extremely powerful Angel. He is a majestic celestial being with four faces and six wings. He has a lot of authority over other angels. Zachariah has superiority over Castiel and Joshua. Joshua even acknowledged the fact that Zachariah holds more authority then him.
Zachariah plays a major role in the plan to allow Lucifer to be released so that Michael can kill him. Once Lucifer is freed, Zachariah takes increasingly aggressive actions to force Dean to consent to being Michael's Vessel. Zachariah is extremely powerful not to mention dangerous? According to him, he was greatly respected by all of his angel colleges. He implied the reason for his great reputation was due to his consistent successes when he finished his missions/duties. But then he was given the task of the Millennium. This task was having Dean Winchester consent to Michael. When he failed to do so, his reputation decreased dramatically. He said that his colleges were drawn to his failure and laughing at him. He even admitted that they were right to do so. Michael then gave Zachariah one more chance at his job. But, he was ultimately killed by Dean; following another failure with Dean, this time in Heaven, he is sidelined by Michael. Michael then allows him a final chance to recruit dean using Adam, but during this plan Dean kills him using a Angel Killing Sword .
Zachariah seemingly has a telepathic link with the archangel Michael from whom he receives his orders from.
Uriel was an angel of Heaven. Uriel is introduced as a "specialist" who is part of Castiel's garrison. He exhibits disdain for humanity and demons. By 4.16 On The Head Of A Pin, he has been made Castiel's superior. He plots to release Alastair and have him kill Dean, as he is one contender of this rebellious group of angels who support the release of Lucifer. He has been trying to recruit angels to the cause and killing those who refuse. He eventually reveals his plans to Castiel, and they fight. When Uriel gets the upper hand over Castiel, getting ready to kill him, Anna kills him.
Castiel is the Angel who saved Dean from Hell. Since that contact he started to develop empathy for humans, which lead to his demotion 4.16 On The Head Of A Pin. He is removed from his vessel Jimmy Novak and sent back to Heaven where it is impressed on him, under torture, that he must follow angelic orders 4.20 The Rapture. Ultimately, he does disobey and acts to help Dean escape Zachariah, in order that he can try and stop Sam.4.22 Lucifer Rising.
In doing so he is killed, but resurrected by God. He then embarks on a mission to find God in order to stop Lucifer. He becomes disillusioned after Joshua reveals God has become disinterested in humanity. After he directly acts against Heaven in 5.18 Point Of No Return, Castiel with his angelic powers almost gone. After being killed by Lucifer in the confrontation at Stull Cemetery, he is resurrected by God with enhanced powers.
Castiel returns to heaven to restore order in Heaven.
Anna was originally Castiel and Uriel's superior, but she chose to remove her Grace to become human. When Dean is saved, she begins hearing the angels speaking. Alastair wants to capture her in order to find out what the angels are doing. Dean and Sam rescue her, and Pamela Barnes helps her regain her memory that she was once an angel. She is under a death sentence for disobedience, but she is able to regain her Grace from Uriel and becomes and angel again.
When Anna returns in 5.13 The Song Remains The Same she travels back in time to kill Sam's parents preventing his birth - in order to stop Lucifer possessing him.
Michael disintegrates Anna with a touch for interfering with Heavens plan.
Zachariah has a lot of authority over these angels. They follow his every order and command. This was proven when we as the audience witness several arrivals of Zachariah who arrived with these "angel henchmen" who stood obediently at his side. Castiel killed two angel henchmen in Sympathy For The Devil. He then had to fend off against a battalion of angel henchmen in Point of No Return. They appeared in the following episodes: 5.01 Sympathy For The Devil, 5.16 Dark Side Of The Moon and 5.18 Point of No Return.
Angels in Lore
Angels or divine beings described as meesenegers of God, or guadians of souls occur in many religious traditions.