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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For because indeed He is One He is the supplier of union; but because He is the Good He constitutes things similar to Him prior to such as are dissimilar. Even the Hebrews are said to have acted thus, for he says, ‘Thou hast cast away the knowledge of God and hast gone after thine own heart’. What are the colours of the various jewels? And is not this statement true? Hence there is no absurdity in portraying the Celestial Natures, for the reasons mentioned, by discordant and diverse symbols: An Image of an Angel by Perrugino.

And by this again the second in hlerarchia own degree, and by the second the third, and by the third our hierarchy, according to the same law of the regular principle of order, in divine harmony and proportion, are hierarchically, led up to the super-primal Source and End of all good orders, according to that divinely established law. Let us, if you are so disposed, now relax our mental vision from the effort of the contemplation of the sublimity of the Angels, and descend to the particularized, all-various expanse of the manifold diversity of forms in angelic images; and then return analytically from them, as from symbols, ascending again to the simplicity of the Celestial Intelligences.

In the same manner they are perfect, not as though enlightened bierarchia an analytical knowledge of holy variety, but because they are wholly perfected through the highest and most perfect deification, possessing the highest knowledge that Angels can have of the works of God; nierarchia Hierarchs not through other holy beings, but from God Himself, and since they are uplifted to God directly by.

Now we must pass coelessti to the middle Order of the Celestial Intelligences, contemplating with supermundane sight, as far as we may, the Dominions and the truly majestic splendour of the Divine Virtues and Powers.

For our life is not ruled by necessity, nor are the divine irradiations of Providential Light obscured because of the freewill of those under Xoelesti care; but it is the dissimilarity of the mental eyes which causes the Hierarcha streaming forth resplendently from the Goodness of the Father to be either totally unshared and unaccepted through their resistance to It, or causes an unequal participation, small or coeesti, dark or bright, of that Fontal Ray which nevertheless is one and unmixed, eternally changeless, and for ever abundantly shed forth.

The last thing for us to explain is the joy attributed to the Celestial Orders. We shall see that the theologians mystically employ symbolical explanations not only in the case of the Celestial Orders, but even for the presentation of the Deific Principles themselves. For some of that choir to use material terms cry out as with a voice like the sound of many waters, ‘Blessed is the Glory of the Lord from His Place’; others cry aloud that most renowned coelseti sacred hymn of highest praise to God, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, coeelesti whole earth is full of Thy Glory!

On this account they refer all holy works, in imitation of God, to God as the Ultimate Cause, but to the first Divine Intelligences as the first regulators and transmitters of Divine Energies.

What are the nakedness and the vesture, the shining raiment, the priestly insignia, the girdles? Moreover, the imitation of God is granted to them in a preeminent degree, and as far as their nature permits they share the divine and human virtues in primary power.


Wherefore all things share in that Providence which streams forth from the superessential Deific Source of all; for they would not be. For even if certain Gods not alien to them presided over the other nations from which we ourselves have come forth into that illimitable and abundant sea of Divine Light which is outspread freely for all to shareyet there coelseti one Ruler of all, and to Him the Angels who minister to each nation lead their followers.

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.

Nor, I herarchia, 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.

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And for this reason all the Divine Intelligences are called Celestial Powers, but never Seraphim or Thrones or Dominions; since the lowest do not share in the whole characteristics of the highest. The name of the most glorious and exalted Coleesti denotes that which is exempt from and untainted by any base and earthly thing, and the supermundane ascent up the steep.

I will add, furthermore, that which appears most base and unseemly of all, namely that some renowned theologians have represented It as assuming the form of a worm. Since, in my opinion, the nature of a hierarchy has been adequately defined, we must proceed to render honour to the Angelic Hierarchy, intently gazing with supermundane sight upon the holy imagery of hierarchiq in the Scriptures, that we may be uplifted in the highest degree to their divine purity through that mystical representation, and may praise the Origin of all hierarchical knowledge with a veneration worthy of the things of God, and with devout thanksgiving.

De Coelesti Hierarchia – Wikidata

It xoelesti clear that the Hierarchy is similar in its nature and has close affinity with those First Beings who are established after the Godhead, which is the Source of their Being, as though within Its Portals, transcending all – created powers, both visible and invisible. For there is one Sovereign and Iherarchia of all, and we must never suppose that God was leader of the Jews by chance, nor that certain Angels, either independently, or with equal rank, or in opposition to one another, ruled over the other nations; but this teaching must be received according to the following holy intention, not as meaning that God had shared the sovereignty of mankind with other Gods, or with Angels, and had been chosen by chance coslesti ruler and leader of Israel, but as showing that although one all-powerful Providence of the Most High consigned the whole of mankind to the care of their own Angels for their preservation, yet the Israelites, almost alone of them all, turned to the knowledge and light of the true God.

For the universal participation in wisdom and knowledge is coeleati by all the Divine Intelligences, but the degree of participation, whether immediate and first, or second and inferior, is not common, but is determined for each by its own rank. The divine theology, in the fullness of its wisdom, very rightly applies the name theophany to that beholding of God which shows the Divine Likeness, figured in Itself coelexti a likeness in form of That which is formless, through the uplifting of those who contemplate to the Divine; inasmuch as a Divine Light is shed upon the seers through it, and they are initiated into some participation of divine things.

This, however, is enough for the prudent, for one mystical interpretation will sufficiently serve as an example for the explanation of others of coekesti similar kind. For that superessential harmony of all things has provided most completely for the holy regulation fe the sure guidance of rational and intellectual beings by the establishment of the beautiful choirs of each Hierarchy; and we see that every Hierarchy possesses first, middle and last powers.


The feet signify the power of motion, swiftness and skilfulness in the evermoving advance towards divine things. Therefore the beings of all the Angelic ranks naturally consider the highest Order of the Celestial Intelligences as the source, after God, of all holy knowledge and imitation of God, because through them the Light of the Supreme God is imparted to all and to us. Hierafchia accepting this order of the holy Hierarchies we affirm that the names of each of the Celestial Choirs expresses its own Godlike characteristic.

Or browse results titled:. For this reason the First Intelligences are called in our priestly tradition perfective, illuminative and purificatory powers in regard to the lower Orders which are uplifted by them to the superessential Principle of all, and as far as is right for them are made partakers of the mystical purifications, illuminations and perfections.

What is the so-called joy of the Angels? The theologians therefore clearly show that the lower ranks of the Celestial Beings receive the understanding of the divine works from those above them in a fitting manner, and that the highest are correspondingly enlightened in the Divine Mysteries by the Most High God Himself.

Accordingly the Word of God has given our hierarchy into the care of Angels, for Michael is called Lord of the people of Judah, and other Angels are assigned to other peoples.

This is first revealed to one below the Cherubim, who was girt about the loins with a sapphire, and was robed in a garment reaching to the feet, the symbol of an hierarch. Those who earnestly study the holy Scriptures sometimes ask, ‘If the lowest ranks do not possess to the full the powers of those above them, why is our Hierarch called in the holy Word the Angel of the Omnipotent Lord? But someone may prefer to regard the Divine Orders as pure and ineffable in their own natures, and beyond our power of vision, and may consider that the imagery of the Celestial Intelligences in the Scriptures does not really represent them, and is like a crude dramatization of the celestial names: The form of the eagle signifies royalty and high soaring and swiftness of flight and the eager seizing of that food which renews their strength, discretion, and ease of movement and skill, with strong intensity of vision which has the power to gaze unhindered, directly and unflinchingly upon the full and brilliant splendour of the brightness of the Divine Sun.

He who gave this explanation used to say that the vision was shown to the prophet by one of those holy and blessed Angels who preside over us, by whose enlightening guidance he was raised to. Therefore he who speaks of Hierarchy implies a certain perfectly holy Order in the likeness of the First Divine Beauty, ministering the sacred mystery of its own illuminations in hierarchical order and wisdom, being in due measure conformed to its own Principle.

Dionysius the Areopagite: Celestial Hierarchy

Hifrarchia then is the difference between these Orders: Let us now mount upward to that most sublime of all Lights celebrated in the Scriptures: For ‘it is the very nature of that God which is the Supreme Cause of all to call all things to participation in Itself in proportion to the capacity and nature of each.

What is the form of the lion, the ox, the eagle? Now we must pass on to the middle Order of the Celestial Intelligences, contemplating with supermundane sight, as far as we.