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Ariel (angel)

Ariel (angel)

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Ariel is an archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

 found primarily in Jewish and Christian mysticism and Apocrypha. Generally presented as an authority over the Earth and its elements, Ariel has also been called an angel of healing, wrath & creation.

The Hebrew name "Ariel" means literally "Altar" or "Lion of God", and occurs in the OT, e.g. Is 29,1-7, where it is used as a label for Jerusalem. "Ariel" has been called an ancient name for the leontomorphic Gnostic Demiurge
The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics...

 (Creator God). Historically, the entity Ariel was often pictured in mysticism as a lion-headed deity or demon with power over the Earth, giving a strong foundation for Ariel's association with the Demiurge. It is possible that the name itself was even adopted from the Demiurge's Zoroastrian counterpart Ahriman (who is likely the predecessor of the Mithraic "Arimanius"). According to the German occultist Cornelius Agrippa: "Ariel is the name of an angel, sometimes also of a demon, and of a city, whence called Ariopolis, where the idol is worshipped."

Ariel is often associated with the better known Judeo-Christian Archangel Uriel. The name "Auriel" is commonly used to denote the combined, However, Elizabethan court astrologer John Dee
John Dee (mathematician)
John Dee was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy....

 called "Ariel" a "conglomerate of Anael and Uriel
Uriel is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions...


In Mysticism

Ariel is generally presented as an angel with authority over the elements, or else the Earth itself. In Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood was a prominent English playwright, actor, and author whose peak period of activity falls between late Elizabethan and early Jacobean theatre.-Early years:...

, Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels Ariel is called both a prince who rules the waters and "Earth's great Lord." In several occult writings, Ariel is mentioned with other elemental titles such as the "3rd archon of the winds," "spirit of air," "angel of the waters of the Earth" and "wielder of fire." In mysticism, especially modern, Ariel is usually conjured as a governing angel with dominion over the Earth, creative forces, the North, elemental spirits, and beasts

Ariel is known as an angel of healing and is associated with the Archangel Raphael in the curing of disease. [Rf. Moses Gaster
Moses Gaster
Moses Gaster was a Romanian-born Jewish-British scholar, the Hakham of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation, London, and a Hebrew linguist. He was also the son-in-law of Michael Friedländer, principal of Jews' College. The surname Gaster is taken from Spanish Castro, indicating his Sephardic...

, Wisdom of the Chaldeans.]

In Wrath

Ariel has been portrayed as a destructive spirit of retribution. In the Coptic Pistis Sophia, Ariel is in charge of punishment in the lower world, corresponding with Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

 of the Mandeans. (Possibly due to Ariel's association with the Archangel Uriel
Uriel is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions...

 who is often equated with Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

 and said to serve the same role.) Both Ariel's leonthromorphic and destructive attributes have led to associations with the deities Nemesis
Nemesis (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Nemesis , also called Rhamnousia/Rhamnusia at her sanctuary at Rhamnous, north of Marathon, was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris . The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess: the goddess of revenge...

 and Sekhmet
In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet , was originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert...

, among others. However, Ariel's position as a spirit of wrath seems to be more in keeping with Judeo-Christian tradition of heavenly servitude. Ariel is usually depicted as a controller and punisher of demons or wicked spirits rather than a general retributive force. [Rf. The Testament of Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...


Perhaps due to this darker nature, Ariel has been portrayed (particularly in fiction) as a malicious spirit. According to John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

's Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse...

, Ariel is a rebel angel, overcome by the seraph Abdiel
Abdiel is a biblical name which has been used as the name for a number of fictional characters and as a given name for several notable people...

 in the first day of fighting in Heaven (during the War of Heaven
War of Heaven
War in Heaven is a concept in Christian eschatology. The term occurs only once in the New Testament at . Though the term does not occur in the Hebrew Bible, parallels have been drawn from various passages regarding Fallen angels in the Book of Genesis, and the Book of Isaiah. Some also suggest...

). Ariel has also been associated with demon Arioch
Arioch is a Hebrew name that means "fierce lion". It originally appears in the Book of Genesis chapter 14 as the name of the "King of Ellasar", part of the confederation of kings who did battle with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and with Abraham in the Battle of the Vale of Siddim...

, who shares the same destructive qualities, and is considered a fallen angel. [Rf. Schwab, Vocabulaire de l'Angélologie; De Plancy, Dictionaire Infernal, 1863 ed.]

Hierarchy and Role

Ariel is generally regarded as originally of the order of Virtues or Archangels in the Hierarchy of angels
Hierarchy of angels
The most influential Christian angelic hierarchy was that put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 4th or 5th century in his book De Coelesti Hierarchia . During the Middle Ages, many schemes were proposed, some drawing on and expanding on Pseudo-Dionysius, others suggesting completely...

. As one of the Archangels, Ariel is regarded as having a high position in the hierarchy, with attachments to several orders/choirs. Ariel is called one of the seven Angels of Presence or "Angels of the Face", and believed to be a ruling prince of the Arelim (Jewish angelic hierarchy
Jewish angelic hierarchy
Maimonides, in his Yad ha-Chazakah: Yesodei ha-Torah, counts ten ranks of angels in the Jewish angelic hierarchy, beginning from the highest:- Kabbalistic angelic hierarchy :...

), all orders equated with the Thrones
The Thrones are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in and related to the throne of God. They are living symbols of God's justice and authority. According to the New Testament, these high celestial beings are among those Orders at the Christ's service...

. Ariel has also been listed as being a Cherub
A cherub is a type of spiritual being mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and cited later on in the Christian biblical canons, usually associated with the presence of God...

, Power and Principality.

Ariel has been claimed as a "guardian" spirit by several individuals, notably authors. Percy Shelley claimed to be protected by the angel, and often referred to himself as "Ariel." Modern authors have released several books which claim to channel the entity Ariel such as Julie Y. Tortora's, The way of Angels, & Interview With an Angel by Linda Sue Nathanson and Steven J. Thayer.

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