Member of BannerPower Rotation System

The day may come, though I hope not soon, when you will receive a visit from the spirit who is charged with removing you to the existence after life. Some students of the occult believe that by knowing the name of the spirit, you will have power over it. In any case, it may be nice to be on a first name basis.

As a species of supernatural "life", angels are found in many religions. Our Western ideas about them come from Middle Eastern monotheistic religions, which in turn drew them from Babylonian, Egyptian, and earlier polytheistic sources. The first angels appear to have been chimeras of bearded human, eagle, and lion parts. Over time, the lion body disappeared, and angels began to shave and to walk upright, appearing pretty much as we know them today.

Angels fill many roles: harvesting the dead and managing the Apolcalypse are but a few of the tasks to which they are assigned. Our relationship with those specifically charged with death has been ambiguous: we can't seem to decide whether they are good because they take us to a better life or evil because they destroy this one. There's a tension between Zoroastrian dualism with its adversarial spirits and early Judaic monotheism where everything, including evil, comes from God and fills a purpose. For this reason, accounts of angels such as Sammael, who probably deserves the title "Angel of Death" more than any other, come across confused and muddled. If Sammael resides both in Heaven and Hell, what is he?: Good or evil?

Perhaps this question is best taken up in the prayers and meditations of the faithful.

The following list is not quite comprehensive. Descriptions of some of the more important angels can be found in The Gods of Death. A list of mortals who became angels may be found in Spirits of the Dead.

A'albiel * Abbadon/Apollyon * Abathur Musania * Abel * Aciel * Adriel * Af * Ahriman * Alad
Alaliyah * Archistratege * Arfiel * Arakrel * Airle * Ashriel * Atatiyah * Azrael * Azrel
Ba-En-Kekan * Barbiel * Beshter * Dabriel * Dalkiel * Dumah/Douma * Elijah * Emekmiyaho
Enoch * Eremiel * Estes * Exterminans * Eremiel * Estes * Euronymous * Focalor * Gale Reziyah
Galiel * Halwaya * Hashesiyah * Hasmed * Hemah * Houeh Hayah * Itmon * Izrael * Jacob
Jeremiel * Joel * Katziel * Kezef * Kimos * Kurgai * Lad * Mahariel * Malach-ha-Mavet
Malah-ha-Sopher * Malach Memune * Malaku 'l-Maut * Margash * Margesiel * Mashit * Mavet
Meshabber * Metaron * Michael * Mihr * Mordad * Onayepheton (Oneipheton) * Paraqlitos * Pravuil
Rahab * Railoreriel * Ramiel * Raphael * Rhamiel * Sabtabiel * Saktas * Sammael * Sandalphon
Sargiel * Sauriel * Segef * Semalion * Senciner * Seref * Shaftiel * Simkiel * Smal * Sofriel * Sorush
Suriel * Tamtemiyah * Tartaruchus * Temeluch * Tishbash * Tishgash * Titmon * Uriel * Uriron
Vretil * Yahsiyah * Yehudiah * Zazel * Zethar

Questions or Comments?

Return to Mythology and Folklore

Photo: Copyright 1995, 2001 by Joel GAzis-SAx