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Understanding the Hierarchy of Angels

Angels are spiritual beings that have been described in the Bible and other religious texts for centuries. Angels are part of a heavenly hierarchy that serves God, and they can influence our lives and provide guidance. Understanding the hierarchy of angels is essential to interpreting messages they may send us. Different traditions have unique views on what the hierarchy looks like.

Today we’re gonna look at the Catholic hierarchy put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 5th century.

Types of Angels

Here the angels are presented in hierarchical order. Note that guardian angels are also often called just angels.

Angelic OrderCharacteristicsRankPurpose
SeraphimUnconditional love for all1stOffering unconditional praise to God through hymns and mantras.
Cherubim4 faces2ndProtecting sacred places and providing prophecies/protection.
Thrones  Power of judgment                     3rdInterpreting and carrying out divine law, as well as punishing the wicked.
DominionsLeadership capabilities4thImparting universal wisdom, authority, and understanding of all that is.
VirtuesControls the elements5thMiraculous abilities.
PowersCan conquer evil.6thControl cosmic forces.
PrincipalitiesProtectors.7thGuardianship over nations.
ArchangelsMessengers8thDelivering God’s will to humans, offering guidance and wisdom.
AngelsClosest to human life.9thPersonal messengers.       


Seraphim are the closest angels to God, so they are powerful and wise beings who serve as heavenly teachers. They can provide insights into difficult situations that may otherwise be hard to understand or interpret.


These are the guardians of God’s mercy and grace, providing comfort, solace, hope, and divine love to those who need it most. Cherubim may also appear in dreams or visions, offering messages of encouragement or warning about potential dangers ahead.

Thrones and Dominions

Thrones and dominions lay the foundation for angelic activities on Earth by helping to create order out of chaos. They act as intermediaries between higher powers like archangels and humans.


Virtues are messengers of faith and miracles, providing guidance to those who seek it. They can also be helpful in understanding the divine mystery and transcending difficult situations.


Powers are the messengers from God and can provide guidance in difficult times. They often appear in dreams and visions offering insight, comfort, and protection to those who need it.

Principalities and Powers

Church out in nature. Mountains surround it and cloudy weather. Principalities are the type of angels that protect churches.

These angels are responsible for overseeing human realms such as governments, churches, and organizations. They provide guidance to those in power and can be an important source of spiritual insight.


Archangels are God’s messengers and protectors. They can provide guidance, insight, and strength to those who seek it. The most well-known archangel is Michael.

MichaelStrength, courage and protection
GabrielMessenger of God, divine power and prophecy
UrielWisdom, knowledge, and peace
JophielEnlightenment, illumination and creativity
ChamuelCompassion, divine love and mercy
ZadkielPurity, justice, benevolence and mercy
MetatronSacred scribe of God who oversees heavenly records
SandalphonBringing down prayers to heaven on behalf of humans  
AzraelAngel of death who helps souls transition  
RaphaelHealer and protector of humans

Guardian Angels

Guardian angel protects a young boy.

We all have guardian angels that work with us throughout our lifetime to guide and protect us on our journey through life. These angels often appear in dreams or visions and offer guidance when we need it most.

Interpreting the Messages from Angels

When you think you may have received a message from an angel, it’s important to interpret it carefully. Pay attention to any symbols or images that may appear in your vision, and be sure to keep an open mind. Ask yourself questions like “What is this message trying to tell me?” and “How can I use this information in my life?”.


The hierarchy of angels presented as a pyramid with Cherubim at the top and guardian angels (angels) at the bottom.

Angels are spiritual beings that serve God and help guide us on our journey through life. Learning about the hierarchy of angels can help us understand the messages they send us and gain insight into difficult situations we may encounter.

By asking questions and interpreting the visions, dreams, or messages we receive, we can more easily access the wisdom of these heavenly beings.

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