De Coelesti Hierarchia (Greek: Περὶ τῆς Οὐρανίας Ἱεραρχίας, “On the Celestial Hierarchy”) is a Pseudo-Dionysian work on angelology, written in Greek and. THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHY. CHAPTER I. To my fellow-presbyter Timothy, Dionysius the Presbyter. That every divine illumination, while going forth with love. De Coelesti Hierarchia (Q). work by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. On the Celestial Hierarchy; Heavenly Hierarchy; On the Heavenly Hierarchy.

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We must proceed to the definition of our conception of the Hierarchy itself, and of the blessings which are enjoyed by those who participate in it.

The name of the Celestial Principalities signifies their Godlike princeliness and authoritativeness in an Order which is holy and most fitting to the princely Powers, and that they are wholly turned towards the Prince of Princes, and lead others in princely fashion, and that they are formed, as far as possible, in the likeness of the Source of Principality, and reveal Its superessential order by the An Image of an Angel by Perrugino good Order of the princely Powers.

What are the choirs and the clapping of bands? To further, then, the attainment of our due measure of deification, the loving Source of all mysteries, in showing to us the Celestial A cherub, after an image ca.

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For example, the mystical traditions of the enlightening Word sometimes celebrate the Sublime Blessedness of the Superessential ONE as Word, and Wisdom, and Essence; proclaiming the Intellect and Wisdom of God both essentially, as the Source of being, and also as the true Cause of existence; and they make It equivalent to Light, and call It Life.

And now I pray that I may speak worthily of those most exalted Intelligences, and as their Hierarchy is revealed in the Scriptures. The name of the holy Virtues signifies a certain powerful and unshakable virility welling forth into all their Godlike energies; not being weak and feeble for any reception of the divine Illuminations granted to it; mounting upwards in fullness of power to an assimilation with God; never falling away from the Divine Life through its own weakness, but ascending unwaveringly to the superessential Virtue which is the Source of virtue: For not solely in the case of higher and lower natures, but also for co-ordinate natures, this Law has been established by its superessential original Author: For, as those say who are wise in the sacred Mysteries, the direct revelations of the Divine Light impart a greater perfection than those bestowed through an intermediary; and in the same way I consider that the Order of Angels which is established nearest to the Godhead participates directly in a more resplendent light than is imparted to those who are perfected through others.

Accordingly this mode of description in the holy writings honours, rather than dishonours, the Holy and Celestial Orders by revealing them in unlike images, manifesting through these their supernal excellence, hieraarchia beyond all mundane things. But from their simplicity, they have the attributes of unity, power, strength, fortitude, steadfastness. But since each Hierarchy has first, middle and last ranks, the holy Order of Archangels, through its middle position, participates in the two extremes, being joined with the most.

Dionysius the Areopagite: Celestial Hierarchy

The most influential Christian angelic coeleti was that put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 4th or 5th century in his book De Coelesti Hierarchia On the Celestial Hierarchy.

By moulding itself coelestk their likeness our own hierarchy will, as far as possible, be assimilated to it and will, in very deed, show forth, as in images, the angelic beauty; receiving its form from them, and being uplifted by them to the superessential Source of coeldsti Hierarchy. You will find this variously set forth by theologians, for when the Divine and Fatherly Love for man reproved the Israelites and chastened them for their salvation by delivering them for their.


But in the first, inasmuch as they are nearer to God, the very Sun of Truth, this exists in a far greater degree. Our venerable hierarch describes this threefold Order as a co-equal unity, and truly the most exalted of the Hierarchies, the most fully Godlike, and the most closely and immediately united to the First Light of the Godhead.

It is therefore coekesti to portray Celestial Beings in forms drawn from even the lowest of material things ee are not discordant since they, too, having originated from That which is truly beautiful, have throughout the whole of their bodily constitution some vestiges of Intellectual Beauty, and through these we may be led to immaterial Archetypes; the similitudes being taken, as has been said, dissimilarly, and the same things being defined, not in the same way, but harmoniously and fittingly, in the case both of intellectual and sensible natures.

De Coelesti Hierarchia – Wikiwand

The name of the holy Powers, co-equal with the Divine Dominions and Virtues, signifies an orderly and unconfined order in the divine receptions, and the regulation of intellectual and supermundane power which never debases its authority by tyrannical force, but is irresistibly coelexti onward in due order to the Divine.

Also it says that the Thrones are of fire, and it shows from their name that the most exalted Seraphim themselves are burning with fire, assigning to them the qualities hierarcia forces of fire; and throughout, above and below, it gives the highest preference to the symbol of fire.

The figure of the spiritual wheels can also have another mystical meaning, for the prophet says that the name Gel, Gel is given to them, which in the Hebrew tongue means revolutions and revelations. And there is nothing unreasonable in the representation of the Seraph as purifying the prophet; for just as God Himself, the cause of every purification, purifies all, or rather to use a more familar illustrationjust as our hierarch, when purifying or enlightening through his priests or ministers, may himself be said to purify and illuminate, because.

The Celestial Hierarchy Dionysius the Areopagite. Now we must pass on to the middle Order of the Celestial Intelligences, contemplating with supermundane sight, as far as we. An Image of an Angel by Perrugino.

Thus, according to the same law of the material order, the Fount of all order, visible and invisible, supernaturally shows forth the glory of Its own radiance in all-blessed outpourings of first manifestation to the highest beings, and through them those below them participate in the Divine Ray.

All inanimate things participate in It through their being; for the ‘to be’ of all things is the Divinity above Being Itself, the true Life. For we might even think that the supercelestial regions are filled with herds of lions and horses, and re-echo with roaring songs of praise, and contain flocks of birds and other creatures, and the lower forms of matter, and whatever other absurd, spurious, passion-arousing coeelesti unlike forms the Scriptures use in describing their resemblances.

For this universal ordinance is divinely established, that the Divine Light is imparted to secondary natures through primary natures. Hierarchoa power of the ears denotes participation in and conscious gnostic hierarvhia to divine inspiration. The girdles denote their guardianship of their own generative power, and their state of unification, for they are hierachia drawn together towards their essential unity surrounding it in a perfect circle with changeless sameness.

But there is nothing unreasonable in the account, hierarchis to the following method of unfoldment. Among them all, in every threefold manncr, hierarchiz is a striving with all their might to imitate God; who is Purification Itself, the Parent of unities; who is the very Illumination of those unities; who is lastly the very Perfection of the illuminated. Nor, I suppose, will any reasonable man deny that discordant figures uplift the mind more than do the harmonious, for in dwelling upon the nobler images, it is probable that we might fall into the error of supposing that the Celestial Intelligences are some kind of golden beings, or shining men flashing like lightning, fair to behold, or clad in glittering apparel, raying forth harmless fire, or with such other similar forms as are assigned by theology to the Celestial Intelligences.


Nevertheless, I think that the investigation of the truth shows the most holy wisdom of the Scriptures in the representations of the Celestial Intelligences which makes the most perfect provision in each case, so that neither is dishonour done to the Divine Powers as they may be callednor are we bound more passionately to earth by the meanness and baseness of the images. The rods coelestii tokens of the authority of sovereignty and leadership and the true directing of all things.

De Coelesti Hierarchia is written in Greek and dated to ca. Let this be a sufficient account of those sacred symbols which, although it falls far short of their full interpretation, will yet, I think, contribute to prevent us from lingering basely in the figures and forms themselves.

The lightness of the wings shows that they are altogether coeleshi and unsullied and untrammelled in. Hiierarchia consider, then, that in the first place we must explain our conception of the purpose of each Hierarchy and the good conferred by each upon its followers; secondly we must celebrate the Celestial Hierarchies as they are revealed in the Nierarchia and finally we must say under what holy figures the descriptions in the sacred writings portray those Celestial Orders, and to what kind of purity we ought to be guided through those forms lest we, like the many, should impiously suppose that those Colesti and Divine Intelligences are many-footed or many-faced beings, or formed with the brutishness of oxen, or the savageness of lions, or the curved beaks of eagles, or the feathers of birds, coeleesti should imagine that they are coelfsti kind of fiery wheels above the heavens, or material thrones upon which the Supreme Deity may recline, or many-coloured horses, or commanders of arm- ies, or whatever else of symbolic description has been given to us hierarchhia the various sacred images of the Scriptures.

And this also may be added, that all can rightly be called Angels in respect of their participation in the Divine Likeness and Illumination both in the higher and lower ranks. For since these have coelrsti highest knowledge of God, and desire pre-eminently the Divine Goodness, they are thought worthy to become first workers, as far as can be attained, of the imitation of the Divine Power and Energy, and beneficently uplift those below them, as far as is in their power, to the same imitation by shedding abundantly upon them the splendour which has come upon themselves; while these, in turn, impart their light to lower choirs.

For it might be. For instance, passion in irrational creatures arises from the impulse of appetency, and their passion is full of all irrationality; but it is otherwise with intellectual beings in whom coeleshi energy of passion must be regarded as denoting their masculine reason and unwavering steadfastness, established in the changeless heavenly places.

Then he was instructed that the Divine Powers of the holy Scriptures, whose sacred name means ‘The Fiery Ones’, and of which we shall soon speak, as far as we can, led the upliftment of the fiery power towards the Divine Likeness.

The Scriptures also liken the Celestial Beings to brass and electron, and many coloured jewels. For the Most High established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the Angels of God.

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