SOME ANCIENT COSMOLOGY
a.k.a. Amateur Angelology 4
I found this picture floating around the net and I thought it was kind of interesting because if you look at the outer ring it lists the seven layers of heaven. I did a little research and discovered that this pic represents the ancient view of hebrew cosmology. Now I don't know what every symbol means but most of them are fairly obvious. In the center is the Earth represented by the circle with the dot inside. It is surrounded by the Jewish star or pentagram. I don't know what all the symbols in the circle around the pentagram are but if you look the symbol for male and female are there so I would surmise that these symbols represent the various occupants of the Earth. Around the inner circle are the names of the seven archangels in angelic script (don't ask me who's who, angelic script is not one of my specialties) which also correspond to the seven days of the week.
The days of the Week are said to be ruled over by these angels:
Sunday - Michael
Monday - Gabriel
Tuesday - Camael
Wednesday - Raphael
Thursday - Sachiel
Friday - Anael
Saturday - Cassiel
Outwards from there are the names of the known (seven) planets (keep in mind the ancients considered the moon (Luna) a planet as well as the Sun (Sol) and they didn't know about Neptune or Uranus) and then in the outer circle are the names of the seven heavens. The planets and heavens are arranged in their (thought of at the time) distance from the Earth so it begins with the moon and goes to Saturn. The seven heavens correspond with the planets as to their distance from the Earth.
In case you can't read the elaborate script of the picture the seven heavens are:
First Heaven - Shamain - This heaven borders the Earth and is ruled by the Archangel Gabriel. This heaven being the first and closest to Earth acts as a shielding agent for the Earth. It has clouds, wind and upper waters and is said to be home to legions of guardian angels.
Second Heaven - Raquia - The Second Heaven is ruled by the Archangels Raphael and Zachariel, and according to the book of Enoch it is within this heaven that the fallen angels are imprisoned waiting final judgement in complete darkness.
Third Heaven - Sagun - This heaven is unique for many reasons. According to Enoch, hell lies within the northern region with has a river of flame flowing through a land of cold and ice. It is said to be ruled by the Archangel Anael. The southern lands are a bountiful paradise, thought to be like the Garden of Eden. Two rivers, the river of milk and honey and the river of wine and oil flow through this region. This is also where the "Tree of Life" can be found. It is said that this celestial garden is guarded by 300 angels of light and its entrance is a gate of pure gold.
Fourth Heaven - Machen - The fourth heaven is ruled by the Archangel Michael. It is the site of the heavenly Jerusalem, its holy temple and altar.
Fifth Heaven - Machon - The beautiful southern region is where God's Southern Seat can be found with ministering angels ever praising God while the northern region is said to be ruled by Sandalphon (Metatron's twin brother) and is believed to be a great void of fire and smoke where the Grigori (the Watchers) angels are imprisoned.
Sixth Heaven - Zebul - Ruled by the Archangel Zachiel (Sachiel) is a stormy, snow-ridden dwelling to seven phoenixes and seven Cherubim who sing praises to God. Most of the angels reside here and order such things as the stars, the planets, and the seasons.
Seventh Heaven - Araboth - The Seventh Heaven is the holiest of the holy heavens. It is ruled by the Archangel Cassiel and is home to God and his Divine Throne. It is also the home to the highest orders of the angels - the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones as well as Metatron keeping the "Book of Life".
Most all of this is pure legend and speculation but I find it interesting and that's what this blog is for.
In Christian theology there are only three heavens as exemplified in this pic: