How are the Angels of the Sefiroth derived from God?
To understand the personalized manifestations of the angels of the Sefiroth, we must first look at the origin, definition, and components of the Sefiroth that make up the foundation of God’s illuminating powers.
According to the mystical philosophy of the Kabala, God manifested his existence into ten creative powers. This philosophy teaches that God illuminated from himself ten basic intelligent principles, or forms, each of which represented a characteristic or attribute of himself. These ten creative illuminations govern and shape the seen and unseen aspects of the universe. They have been compared with the Platonic powers or intelligence.
Sefiroth Components that make up Personalized Angels
The following describe each component of the Sefiroth:
Kether – God’s will and his thought
Hokhmah – God’s plan for the Universe
Binah – God’s intelligence
Hesed – Divine love
Gevurah – Divine judgement
Rahamin – Divine compassion (or Tiphereth, beauty, in some systems)
Netsah – Lasting endurance or eternity
Hod – Divine majesty
Yesod – the base of every activity in God
Shekinah – the presence of God
Holy and Unholy Angels of the Sefiroth
According to Kabbalistic teachings, there are ten holy Sefiroth who issues from the right side of God, and ten unholy ones who issue from his left. God uses the Sefiroth as intermediaries in dealing with and governing all of his creation.
Who are the Personalized Angels of the Sefiroth?
The Great Sefiroth in the form of personalized angels are Metatron, archangel of the Hayworth HaKodesh; Raziel, archangel of the arelim or erelim; Zadkiel, archangel of the hashmalim; Kamael, archangel of the seraphim; Michael, archangel of the shinanim; Haniel, archangel of the tarshishim; Raphael, archangel of the bene Elohim; and Gabriel, archangel of the cherubim.
Significant Features of some Holy and Unholy Angels of the Sefiroth
Kamael, whose name means he who sees God, is not only one of the personalized angels of the Sefiroth, but is also regarded as a chief angel of the order of powers. In magical lore, he has been said to appear in the guise of a leopard couched on a rock when invoked. In esoteric teachings, he ranks as a count of the nether regions and is frequently referred to as the ruler of the planet Mars, as well as one of the governing angels of the seven planets. Kamael has also been cited by other sources as one of the “seven angels which stand in the presence of God.”
Usiel, whose name means strength of God, is identified as the fifth of the ten unholy Sefiroth. He has been considered a fallen angel and among those who intermingled among human women. According to the Book of the Angel Raziel, Usiel is among the seven angels before the throne of God, and among the nine set over the four winds.
According to the sixteenth-century commentator Isaac ha-Cohen of Soria, only seven of the ten emanations were permitted to endure. Of these seven only five have been “authenticated,” which are Ashmedai, Kafkefoni, Taninniver (blind dragon), Sammael, and Sammael’s mate Lilith are recognized.