Angels are spirit beings who attend to God and act as God's messengers. They may also have other responsibilities over spirit realms, spirit beings, and physical reality including inhabitants.
Man's conventional religions seem to all agree that there is a celestial heirarchy or holy order of angels. According to the Book of Enoch and Jewish and Christian historical writings, there are 9 choirs of angels, arranged as follows:
FIRST TRIAD (#1-3 below – Always in the presence of God; never come down to Earth.)
1. Seraphim (closest to God, angels of love, light and fire). 2. Cherubim (guardians of the stars and path to the Tree of Life; provide us with protection). 3. Thrones (God’s transportation; send us healing energy via our personal guardian angels).
SECOND TRIAD (#4-6 below – Organizing and ministering angels.)
4. Dominions (management of angels; serve 1st Triad). 5. Virtues (provide strength, courage and motivation, spiritual energy). 6. Powers (warrior angels who protect heaven and uphold the laws of the universe).
THIRD TRIAD (#7-9 below – Angels most involved with life on Earth.)
7. Principalities (look after large groups of humans; transfer info to/from heaven). 8. Archangels (God’s most important messengers; 4-Islam or 7-Christianity, each with a name and role. Four primary angels – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel, followed by Sariel, Remiel and Metatron). They have great power. 9. Guardian angels (assigned to individuals and work with all the other angels in the choirs).
Below angels are teachers, master guides and spirit guides. These beings, if they wish, could choose to incarnate again.
ANGEL COMMENTARY AND REFERENCE MATERIAL
We understand that some of the positions that certain angels hold in heavenly realms are like "offices." The angel beings may change from time to time but the office being held does not itself change. This is the same for any large earth corporation that we are familiar with – which has a number of vice-presidential positions (V.P. Operations, V.P. Human Resources, etc.).
Just as we tend to describe God, our Creator, in physical terms we can identify with, we appear to do the same with God's angels. While angels can appear in any form they want, it is reasonable to assume that their chosen appearance is for our benefit, i.e. to assist our human understanding or enhance our experiences. It is also proper to believe that there is a structure or heirarchy of angels and that as one moves up the heirarchy, angels have earned/been bestowed more gifts, power and responsibility. The angels at the top are closest to God. For all intents and purposes, our conscious focus should be on the categories of archangels and guardian angels. These are the angels whom we are able to interact with while we are incarnated.
A great reference source we use is "Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians" by Richard Webster.
A fine article explaining the heirarchy of angels, guides, etc. is a blog by Erin Pavlina here.
Some of our own personal angel experiences are described here.
Below is a Swedenborg Foundation video called "How Angels Talk With Us." This video discusses how the Angels influence us and why. The angel image on the left below is linked to Joanne Sacred Scribes.