An angel is an ethereal creature who assists and serves God or the gods of many religious traditions. In the Christian bible, angels are portrayed as powerful and dreadful, endowed with wisdom, correct in their judgment, holy, but not infallible. When their duties are not punitive, angels are beneficent to man. When their duties are punitive, they are known as avenging angels and are mentioned inverses such as II Sam. Xxiv. 15, in which an angel annihilates thousands on God's command. These avenging angels are used by God to punish men for their sins.
A supernatural being found in Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Angel comes from the Latin word angelus, which came from the Greek word, angelos, meaning "messenger". According to these religions Angels typically act as messengers from God.
Though superhuman, angels can assume human form and according to the Hebrew Bible, often appeared to people in the shape of humans of extraordinary beauty. They are also described as pure and bright and are said to be formed of fire, and encompassed by light. Angels are thought to possess wings, and are depicted that way in Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian art where they are also commonly depicted with halos.In the Bible, angels are a medium of God's power; they exist to execute God's will. Angels reveal themselves to individuals as well as to the whole nation, to announce events, either good or bad, affecting humans.
Never say never, (...) but in my mind, angels as supernatural beings do not exist. In my opinion there are forces of evil, but the forces of good are human. There might very well be a God, but if there is, he's working in mysterious ways through a band of very imperfect humans.
Culture & Hierarchy
God appears to have been absent from Heaven for a long period, and in his absence angels manage Heaven, as well as the souls within it, according to Ash. Angels in Heaven dwell in a very hierarchical community, and are known collectively as the Host of Heaven. Much of angelic hierarchy appears to operate like a military organization, broken down into smaller units and factions called garrisons. While in Heaven, all angels can communicate with one another via an Enochian language. For millennia, angels were not allowed to manifest on Earth or take a vessel. They watched over humanity from afar.
The archangel Michael appears to have been the leader in Heaven. Raphael, another archangel, was also a powerful force. The other archangels were not involved in the Host; Gabriel left Heaven and Lucifer was cast out. Archangels are the eldest angels. They are "fierce", "absolute", and are "Heaven's most terrifying weapon", according to Castiel. Unquestioning obedience is expected of lower members of the Host, and those who question orders may be tortured to force compliance. Disobedience can be punished by death. Anna explained the situation to Dean:
Anna: Dean, do you know how many angels have actually seen God? Seen his face?
Dean: All of you?
Anna: Four angels. Four. And I'm not one of them.
Dean: That's it? Well, then how do you even know that there is a God?
Anna: We have to take it on faith... Which we're killed if we don't have.
In season six, the only archangel that remains alive and active is Raphael, as Lucifer killed Gabriel, and both Lucifer and Michael are restricted to Lucifer's Cage. Heaven has fallen into major disarray. The ongoing chaos involves a civil war, with Castiel and a number of other angels trying to prevent Raphael from becoming the paramount leader of Heaven and restarting the Apocalypse. Castiel manages to defeat Raphael by taking in souls from Purgatory. He slaughters Raphael and his followers, but Castiel cannot contain the power for long, and must return the souls. In his absence, the leadership of Heaven is unknown, though angels still appear to have a hierarchy.
Among the hierarchy is Naomi who holds an unknown rank, but works in intelligence and is clearly very high-ranking. Metatron reveals that she is a major player in fighting over for the right to rule Heaven. After Metatron expelled all angels from Heaven to Earth using a spell, he's now considered to be the sole ruler of Heaven. On Earth, at least three factions formed led by Bartholomew, Malachi and Rebecca. Both Bartholomew and Malachi wanted to unite all of the angels and retake Heaven under their leadership and Rebecca and her faction wanted to coexist with humans. Bartholomew killed Rebecca and wiped out her faction while Castiel killed Bartholomew in self-defense. Currently another faction is forming under Castiel's leadership that wants there to be no more unnecessary bloodshed between angels. Castiel's faction comes into conflict with one led by Metatron and Gadreel who kill anyone who refuses to join them including Malachi. Metatron eventually manages to unite all the angels under his command and attains God-like power with the help of the angel tablet, but with the help of Gadreel, Sam, Dean and Castiel destroy Metatron's power and overthrow him. Metatron is locked in Heaven's dungeon and all the angels look to Castiel for leadership. However, he doesn't want to be their leader so it is unclear who is now in charge.
Cupids are angels of the Cherub order, "third class," according to Castiel. They represent a lower order of angels. There are dozens of them stationed on Earth, and Castiel states that they have been misunderstood by humans. They can manipulate the nature of human attraction, allowing them to make even the most opposite of humans fall in love.
Rit Zien are a special class of angel, their name translated from Enochian means "hands of mercy." The Rit Zien functioned much like field medics, they hone in on pain and would tend to the wounded and healed the angels strong enough to be healed on the fields of battle. In the case of those who were mortally wounded and beyond saving, the Rit Zien would put them down, their way of smiting was, according to Castiel "so quick and so total that it rendered death virtually painless."
The Grigori were, according to Castiel, an elite squad of angels who went bad and were wiped out. However, some survived and began preying on humanity, trapping them in a dream state where they were in their ideal Heaven while the Grigori in question fed on them. The survival of the Grigori became known in 2015 when Claire Novak's efforts to find her mother led to Tamiel's exposure and death.
Created by God after the leviathans, were the angels and the four archangels: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel. God created humanity some time after the angels, and placed a high value on them. Lucifer refused to accept the position in the divine order apportioned to humanity, and defied God's word. After Michael cast him from Heaven, Lucifer twisted a human being to create the first demon, Lilith. For his crimes, Lucifer was imprisoned in a cage locked with the 66 seals. This conflict had lasting repercussions, including Gabriel's descent to Earth. At some point, God also departed Heaven, leaving the angels in charge.
In 1972, the demon Azazel managed to locate Lucifer's prison and to communicate with him. Azazel then proceeded with an intricate plan to release Lucifer that required decades of work from himself, and the demons Meg, Ruby, and even Lilith. Of special importance was the effort to ensure Sam Winchester's availability as Lucifer's vessel. The plan culminated in the breaking of the 66 seals.
It appears that when the highest ranking angels discovered the plan, they decided to allow it to proceed. According to Zachariah, they intend for Lucifer to be freed so that Michael can finally battle and defeat him, bringing about paradise. However, to maintain order, the angelic hierarchy commands the rank and file angels to descend to Earth, and even take vessels to prevent the breaking of the 66 seals. Angels aware of the master plan included Zachariah and Michael. Even some of the angels who were kept ignorant of Heaven's plan decided not to oppose the breaking of the seals, but for a different reason. Uriel and his fellows wanted to see Lucifer rise so that they could follow him.
Most angels worked to maintain the seals, including Castiel. He was sent to rescue Dean from Hell, but did not reach him before he broke the first of the seals. It is likely that Heaven wanted Dean returned to Earth, not to prevent the first seal from breaking, but so that he would be available to be Michael's vessel.
Eventually all of the seals are broken and Lucifer is released. However, the ultimate goal of Michael's followers is not achieved, because the final confrontation between Lucifer and himself is prevented by the combined efforts of Sam, Dean, Castiel, Bobby Singer, Gabriel, and the demon Crowley, among others. In the end, both Lucifer and Michael are imprisoned in Lucifer's Cage.
Following the loss of Michael, Castiel speculates that Heaven will be in chaos, and intends to return to help if he can. When Raphael threatens to restart the Apocalypse, Castiel, at Crowley's urging, starts a civil war to stop him. Some of the angels chose sides in the war, while others have abandoned the fight to live on Earth. Castiel manages to destroy Raphael, the leader of the traditionalist angels, by taking in souls from Purgatory. He then declares himself the new God.
Castiel kills Raphael's followers and a variety of humans of whom he disapproves. However, Castiel finds that he cannot control the souls indefinitely because they are destroying his vessel. He also finds that he is host to Leviathans, who seem to be making his behavior even more violent. With the Winchesters' help he gives up the souls, but the Leviathans take him over, and escape into the world. Castiel becomes an amnesiac, and later mentally unbalanced. In his absence, the primary leadership of Heaven is unknown, but Hester is one of their leaders. Angels continue to perform at least some of their duties, such as the protection of prophets. Some angels resent Castiel, while others seem willing to move forward. After finding Castiel alive and getting the prophet Kevin Tran, two angels are shown to be killed by a Leviathan named Edgar. Castiel later discovers that his entire garrison was wiped out and says that if there are any survivors, they are now in hiding. Castiel later went on to help Dean kill Dick Roman and defeat the Leviathans.
The angel Samandriel attends Plutus' auction to try to get the demon tablet and stop it from falling into demon hands, especially Crowley's as he wants to throw open the Gates of Hell. Later, angels under the command of Naomi rescue Castiel from Purgatory, though many die in the incursion. Crowley kidnaps Samandriel to get the names of all future prophets, which the other angels don't even seem to notice. However, Castiel helps rescue the Prophets, and ends up breaking the demon tablet in half, stopping Crowley from getting away with all of it. Naomi later orders Castiel to help the Winchesters in whatever they need and report to her periodically on the Winchesters' activities. After Samandriel manages to get a distress call off, Naomi sends Castiel to rescue him. Though he succeeds with the Winchesters' help, Samandriel has revealed the existence of an angel tablet and Naomi has Castiel kill him as a traitor, worried about what it might mean. According to Naomi the existence of this tablet is something any angel would die to protect as with it, Crowley could cause a lot of trouble for the angels, pointing out that the demon tablet shows how to seal them all up in Hell and could conceivably do the same to the angels in Heaven. After indoctrinating Castiel to her will, Naomi sends him to get the angel tablet, which he succeeds in doing with the help of the Winchesters and the demon Meg and then tries to get him to kill Dean. Castiel manages to break free of Naomi's control and flees with the tablet, though Naomi says he is doing what he is meant to do: protect the tablet. Afterwards, Naomi presents herself as an ally to the Winchesters, claiming that she and by extension, Heaven, want the same thing they do: Hell sealed. Naomi aids with completing the second trial by releasing Crowley's hold on Bobby Singer's soul and allowing it to ascend into Heaven despite Crowley's belief that if the Winchesters seal up Hell and all its demons, they will seal up Heaven and all of its angels next. Naomi later captures Castiel, but is driven off by Crowley before she can find the angel tablet. Castiel teams up with Metatron to seal off Heaven and end the civil war going on there, but Naomi learns that Metatron intends to expel all angels from Heaven forever as revenge for his own expulsion and tries to convince a disbelieving Castiel of this. He refuses to believe her, but she is proven right when Metatron kills her and uses a Nephilim's heart, Cupid's bow and Castiel's grace to expel all the angels (except, presumably, himself) who are seen falling to Earth.
The angels falling to Earth is believed by many humans just to be a "global meteor shower." Most angels blame Castiel for what happened and want revenge. When Dean gets desperate for a way to save Sam, he sends out a prayer to all angels, pleading for one to save Sam, but while it draws in Gadreel, pretending to be Ezekiel, who is willing to help, it also draws three angels who want to know where Castiel is. Dean kills one and banishes the other two, but is forced to let "Ezekiel" possess Sam in order for him to heal both Sam and himself as "Ezekiel" was injured falling to Earth. At the same time, an angel named Hael enlists Castiel's help in guiding her on Earth, but after he decides to help Dean instead, she kidnaps him and reveals her true plan to be to possess Castiel to become stronger. Castiel incapacitates Hael by crashing her car and kills her when she threatens to reveal where to find him to all the angels searching for him.  While Gadreel allows Sam to remain in control for the majority of the time, he emerges without Sam's knowledge when his presence is needed to protect Sam or aid the Winchesters in some way. A faction of angels quickly emerges led by Bartholomew, a follower of Naomi, that uses Reverend Buddy Boyle to gain vessels and hunt for Castiel. After killing an angel that locates him, Castiel wards himself against detection with an Enochian tattoo so Bartholomew sends rogue Reapers after him. One succeeds in killing Castiel, but Ezekiel resurrects him. While Dean and Castiel deal with rogue Rit Zien angel Ephraim, ultimately killing him when he tries to kill Castiel, Sam and Kevin learn from Crowley's translation of the angel tablet that Metatron's spell to expel all angels from Heaven is irreversible. It was also revealed by Malachi, who is now at war with Bartholomew, that a whole host of angels died during the fall, among the dead he names Azrael, Sophia, and Ezekiel. After stealing Theo's Grace, Castiel becomes an angel once more. After Dean learns the truth and meeting with Metatron, Gadreel takes full possession of Sam to become his lieutenant in restoring Heaven, murdering Kevin Tran along the way. Eventually, with the help of Crowley, Sam expels Gadreel who merely returns to his original vessel to continue his work. After being captured by Bartholomew's followers, Castiel discovers that Bartholomew is using Boyle's resources to track Metatron whenever he appears on Earth, but is also eliminating all other factions, even peaceful ones such as the Penitents who coexist with humanity. When Castiel refuses to kill Eliah due to wanting no more angel on angel bloodshed, Bartholomew attacks him and Castiel is forced to kill Bartholomew in self-defense. However, Castiel's beliefs sway some of Bartholomew's followers who decide to follow Castiel in his way of thinking.
In the years since the Apocalypse, the Host of Heaven's numbers began decreasing. Through the first angelic civil war, Castiel declaring himself God and killing the Raphael loyalists, the angel fall, and second angelic civil war on Earth, by 2017 the number of angels decreased to the point they are near extinction, as no angels have been made since God created them at the dawn of time. In an attempt to save their species, the remaining angels have decided to try and use the Nephilim Jack Kline to create more angels.
According to Castiel, angels are not omniscient beings, although their knowledge, especially that of archangels, is extensive. Their angelic power exists in the form of grace. Anna voluntarily removed her grace in order to be reborn human. She describes the grace as "an energy", but this energy is somehow connected to an angel's true form. Anna said that the removal of her grace was very painful. Despite the fact that an angel's power is connected to its grace, Anna still demonstrated telekinesis and superhuman strength. Anna also heard other angels conversing in Heaven but could not respond. The restoration of grace replenishes the angel's powers and abilities.
The "physical appearance" of an angel's true form varies. For instance, Lucifer's angelic form is said by Uriel to be beautiful. His eye color changed from blue to red, probably due to his time in hell, and he also has growled, indicating an animalistic side. Zachariah's angelic form has four faces and six wings, according to him, though Sam and Dean are not able to perceive him in this way in Heaven. Castiel states that his true angelic form is the size of the Chrysler Building. Within the show, an angel's true form is often seen as brilliant white light. Psychic Pamela Barnes' eyes are burnt out when she looks on Castiel's true form. Michael's voice and true form prove fatal to several bar patrons. For these reasons, angels most often communicate with humans through dreams, or through a vessel.
An angel's true voice is often heard as an ear piercing, high-pitched sound which can shatter glass. Castiel tries to speak to Dean with his true voice and is surprised when Dean cannot understand it because he is the vessel of Michael. Some humans, in fact, can understand this true voice, but to most it is overwhelming, painful, or sometimes fatal to behold.
When angels converse with each other in Heaven, they speak Enochian. Anna, before realizing that she was formerly an angel, was able to hear angels speaking without them being physically present. Dean referred to this communication as "angel radio", and it appears to be a common method of relaying information between angels. This might be referred to as a telepathic link; angels also have some ability to read human minds.
Angels occupy a human vessel in order to manifest on Earth. The person they possess must consent to this, as opposed to demonic possession which is non-consensual. Angels and their vessels appear to be matched based on bloodlines, some of which are preserved by Cupids, which according to Castiel is a lower order of cherub. It seems that while occupied, the vessel's blood is altered by the angel's presence. Castiel has commented that he cannot use his "own" blood for a ritual, because he is "not human". See also Demon Blood.
Some angelic powers are innate, and some can be curtailed or enhanced by the hierarchy of the Host of Heaven. Castiel finds his abilities limited after he rebels and helps Dean: "I'm cut off from Heaven and much of Heaven's power. Certain things I can do. Certain things I can't.". Castiel appears essentially mortal in the alternate future in 5.04 The End, after he reports the angels have abandoned Earth. After he directly acts against Heaven in 5.18 Point of No Return, Castiel returns almost mortal. He receives enhanced angelic powers from God in 5.22 Swan Song. Abilities are also correlated with the rank of the angel. Depending on the rank, angels may not need to be connected to Heaven to use all of their power as while in Purgatory after receiving enhanced powers, Castiel displays a power he lost when cut off from Heaven last time, but is left in a weakened state from the experience when he eventually escapes Purgatory. However, he appears to quickly recover from this weakness.
Angels are extremely powerful beings with a wide range of abilities. Abilities vary with the class of the angel. For example, archangels have all the abilities of a normal angel, but they are enhanced, and they seem to have abilities that average angels do not possess.
- Superhuman strength - The physical strength of an angel in a vessel is unknown, it's possible that their strength is unlimited as it doesn't come from the vessels muscles but instead their angelic power. They also have an extreme control on their strength as they have been shown to punch through walls but also non-fatally punch humans. One has been shown to be able to lift a one-ton anvil with ease.
- Telekinesis - Angels have the ability to move and influence objects with their minds.
- Teleportation - Angels have the ability to teleport anywhere in the world as long as the area is not protected by Enochian sigils. They can teleport themselves and other beings. Angels use their wings to teleport, as teleportation is really an angel flying extremely fast. This is why Castiel cannot teleport when his wings are damaged. Dean refers to teleportation as "beaming", and on some occasions as "zapping". The process can be uncomfortable for humans, according to Dean. It may involve:
- Invisibility - Angels, even while occupying vessels, can render themselves unseen.
- Healing - Angels have the ability to heal humans. When angels are disconnected from Heaven, they lose this power, as shown during Castiel's defection from Heaven.
- For example, Michael heals Sam, and Castiel heals Dean. Metatron also heals Kevin Tran.
- Angels are able to maintain their vessels without food, water, or sleep, and to heal them after they are injured. Lucifer healed Nick's body after he was shot by the Colt. Castiel has healed his vessel, Jimmy Novak. Their vessels also appear resistant to disease. However, when Castiel is on the verge of becoming mortal, Pestilence is able to infect him. Possessed vessels do not seem to age. Also, weakened angels in vessels can become drunk, but it takes an extremely large amount of alcohol. This was the case with Castiel. An angel's ability to maintain and heal its vessel can be used to repair fatal damage that even their healing power can't fix.
- Sedation - As displayed by Castiel & Michael, angels have the ability to make humans unconscious by placing two fingers on their foreheads.
- Smiting - Angels have the ability kill demons by placing a hand on the forehead of a possessed individual. Extremely powerful demons are immune to the touch of lower-level angels, e.g. Alastair. This works on monsters like vampires too, as displayed by Castiel in 6.19 Mommy Dearest. Humans can also be killed by this power. A special class of angels called the Rit Zien, like Ephraim, can use this to kill mortally-wounded angels and humans, but when they do, the being it is used on near-instantly explodes in a painless death.
- Supernatural perception - Angels are able to see objects and beings that are invisible to humans, for e.g. reapers, hellhounds and Enochian sigils.
- Telepathy - Angels have the ability to communicate using their minds.
- Dreamwalking - Angels can enter human dreams in order to communicate with them. They do not need to know where the person is to use this ability.
- Soul-reading - By reaching into a human's chest, an angel can read marks left on the human's soul by another angel. This procedure is very painful for the human, but leaves little physical damage. Thus far, this ability has only been used by Castiel.
- Soul-channeling - Angels can use the energy from souls to empower themselves. Castiel siphons some energy from Bobby's soul to pull Sam and Dean forward in time. He absorbs fifty thousand damned souls to declare war on Raphael. He manages to destroy Raphael by taking in the souls of Purgatory.
- Voice mimicry - Angels have the ability to sound like any human they choose.
- Knowledge of all prophets - Castiel claims that Leah, the Whore of Babylon, is not a prophet because he has every prophet's name "seared" into his brain, and it is likely that all angels do as well. Samandriel displays this ability as well.
- Time travel - Angels have the ability to go backward and forward through time, though this is difficult without Heaven's assistance. According to Castiel, "Time is fluid, and on occasion we can bend it."
- Memory manipulation - Angels have the ability to take away and restore a human's memories. Angels can also implant fake memories. Displayed by Zachariah, Michael, & Castiel.
- Revelation - Angels can implant visions into a prophet’s mind, as demonstrated when Zachariah uses Chuck.
- Resurrection - Some angels are sufficiently powerful to resurrect humans, even from Hell.
- Other Forms of Telekinesis
- Biokinesis - Zachariah gives Dean stomach cancer and removes Sam's lungs. He also injures Adam, causing him to cough up blood. Castiel uses this ability, similar to demon exorcism and the pyrokinetic power used by Michael on Anna, on Lenore to kill her in 6.19 Mommy Dearest
- Pyrokinesis - Michael has shown the ability to kill another angel by setting her ablaze. Gabriel also demonstrated this when he lighted some candles. Castiel ignited and burnt Crowley's bones.
- Electrokinesis - Raphael can manipulate and control electricity. When Raphael first appeared before Dean and Castiel, electricity arcs away from him while he was manifesting in his vessel for the second time.
- Cryokinesis - Lucifer proved capable of freezing objects by breathing on them; this occurred while he was manifesting in his vessel.
- Weather manipulation - Raphael, Michael, and Lucifer all manipulated weather at will.
- Reality warping - Gabriel has shown the ability to create living beings, creatures, objects and imaginary realities out of nothing. He also showed the ability to reshape objects and human bodies, including his own vessel, and he was able to create an exact copy of himself as well.
- Matchmaking - Certain types of angels in the Cherub class, e.g. Cupids, can bring couples together by marking their hearts with Enochian symbols.
- Destructive white light - Similar to Lilith's ability in depiction, however comes with the blue tinge that represents angelic presence, suggesting this is an extension of the angel's true form. When Castiel used this power, he ordered the humans to "Shut your eyes!" as Anna did when she regained her true form, destroying Alastair's host. The light is powerful enough to kill a diner full of Eve's "perfect creations" the Jefferson Starships in 6.19 Mommy Dearest. This may have been what the Sheriff witnessed Raphael using on demons at a gas station in 5.03 Free to Be You and Me. Naomi later used this in 8.19 Taxi Driver to try to smite Crowley forcing him to flee before she could. Metatron also displayed this in 8.21 The Great Escapist when he rescued Kevin Tran from Crowley.
- Power removal - One angel has displayed the power to remove psychic abilities from humans, but it is extremely painful and mentally-damaging to the person losing the power.
Having fallen from Heaven due to the actions of Metatron, the angels have all lost their ability to teleport due to the loss of their wings, although they appear to retain their other abilities and weaknesses, such as being held off by angel-banishing sigils or their ability to heal, as well as still requiring vessels.
- Holy oil - This can be used to trap an angel. Castiel uses a Molotov cocktail of holy oil to temporarily banish Michael at Stull Cemetery.
- Angel banishing sigil drawn in human blood. When a hand is placed on the sigil, angels are temporarily banished from the area. It can be used by humans and angels, and the angel who uses it does not disappear with the others. Castiel uses an extreme form of this when he carves the sigil into his vessel's chest; on this occasion, he vanished with the other angels, and returned near mortal. It is powerful enough to banish an archangel as strong as Lucifer as well as regular angels.
- Exorcism chant - There is an exorcism chant to expel angels from their human vessels. It seems that the chant is not well known as only one demon, Alastair, has ever used it.
- Staff of Moses
- Salt crystal
- Angel blade - A short blade carried around by angels, can be wielded by humans.
- Angel sword - A sword that is carried by the Grigori class of angels. Has the same effect as the angel blade.
- Enochian Sigils - They can be used to disguise the location of those bearing the symbols. Castiel carved the symbols into Sam and Dean's and later Adam's ribs. Enochian sigils can also be used to keep angels from entering a building.
- Death's scythe - Crowley states that it will kill an angel.
- Cambion - Jesse has the power to transform Castiel into a toy. Castiel says that Jesse could "destroy the Host of Heaven."
- The Colt's power against angels is uncertain. It was ineffective against Lucifer, but he stated that only five things could not be killed with this weapon, so it is possible that the Colt may work on angels, but not archangels.
- Archangels can easily overpower angels, often killing or banishing them by snapping their fingers.
- Certain beings, such as Eve, can inhibit an angel from using his or her powers. It is not known if this applies to higher tier angels, such as the archangels. Eve existed before angels, and suggests that she has knowledge that angels lack.
- Leviathans can kill angels.
- Naomi's torture spike - Naomi's torture spike can be used to torture and possibly bend an angel to another angel's will. It has also been shown to be capable of killing angels, possibly as it's an implement of Heaven.
- Angel Fall - After the angels fell from Heaven due to Metatron's spell, all angels have become more susceptible to physical damage.
- Unsuitable vessels - If an angel takes a vessel that cannot hold the angel's power, it will begin to burn out unless they find a more suitable one. In extreme cases the vessel will explode upon possession.
- Vessel Expulsion - If an vessel does not want the angel in them anymore and they are aware of the possession, they can expel the angel possessing them though it seems to cause no harm besides rendering the angel bodiless.
- Pieces of Heaven - Any physical piece of Heaven itself can be used to kill an angel as shown when Gadreel uses a piece of rock from the wall of Heaven's dungeon to commit suicide.
The Winchesters' Beliefs
Prior to the introduction of angels on the show, Dean believed angels did not exist. Sam on the other hand believed in both angels and God, and prayed every day. Dean and Sam's mother is also revealed to have been a woman of faith; the last words Mary ever spoke to Dean were "...angels were watching over us."  When Dean first sees Mary during a djinn-induced hallucination, he checks to see if she is real by asking her what she would always say when she tucked him in at night. She answers, "I told you angels were watching over you." Mary is shown saying this to an unborn Dean during Season 5.
The following named angels have prominent roles in the series; for information on the Archangels Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel see the article on archangels.
Season 4 Multiple angels laid siege to Hell in attempt to rescue Dean Winchester from its pits, but it was Castiel who eventually saved him. During the process of raising Dean, a hand print is burnt into his left shoulder. As a result of his interactions with Dean, Castiel begins to develop empathy for humans. This leads to his demotion because his superiors view this as dangerous. At one point, Castiel is forcibly removed from his vessel, Jimmy Novak, and sent back to Heaven where it is impressed on him, under torture, that he must follow angelic orders. Ultimately, he does disobey and acts to help Dean escape Zachariah in order to try and stop Sam from unknowingly freeing Lucifer.
Season 5 As a result of this action Castiel is killed, but is then resurrected by God. He next embarks on a mission to find God in order to stop Lucifer. He becomes disillusioned after Joshua reveals that God will not intervene to stop the Apocalypse. After he takes drastic action against a group of angels in 5.18 Point of No Return, Castiel awakes in a hospital with his angelic powers all but gone. After being killed by Lucifer in the confrontation at Stull Cemetery, he is resurrected by God a second time with his angelic status restored and enhanced powers which he uses to heal Dean's injuries and resurrect Bobby Singer. Castiel then tells Dean that he intends to return to Heaven and take command.
Season 6 Castiel returns to Heaven following the imprisonment of Michael to help restore order. He is fighting a civil war against Raphael. After imbuing himself with the souls of Purgatory inside his vessel, Castiel rises in power, dispatches Raphael with a snap of his fingers, and claims to be the new "God".
Season 7 His reign obliterates Raphael's followers and an assortment of humans of whom Castiel disapproves. He also heals those he finds faithful. However, he becomes increasingly influenced by another group of creatures he took in along with the souls: Leviathans. They drive him to increasingly bloody acts, while the souls begin to destroy Castiel's vessel. At a prompt from the Winchesters, he accepts their help to get rid of the souls, but the leviathans remain, and seize control of Cas. They use him for his knowledge, and as a way to escape into the world.
Castiel is resurrected by God once more but as an amnesiac, and is eventually found by Dean, who is searching for someone to heal Sam of his hell-madness. Castiel remembers who he is, and takes Sam's illness on himself. His sanity is doubtful, but he remains willing to help the Winchesters. He chooses not to return to Heaven. He later helps kill Leviathan leader Dick Roman and gets pulled into Purgatory with Dean as a result.
Season 8 Castiel is eventually rescued by angels working for Naomi despite not wanting to leave and is now working with Sam and Dean to find the second half of demon tablet to close the Gates of Hell forever and banish all demons from the face of the Earth. After retrieving the angel tablet and nearly killing Dean, Castiel is now on the run with the tablet, protecting it from all threats. After the tablet is stolen from him by Crowley, Castiel teams up with Metatron to do the Trials to seal off Heaven in an effort to end the civil war there. Its eventually revealed that Metatron is using him to get revenge on the angels by expelling them all from Heaven and he steals Castiel's grace to do it, making him human and depositing him on Earth.
Season 9 Following becoming human, Castiel began trying to fit into a human life, but after being captured by Malachi and Theo, he regained his angel status and at least some of his powers by stealing Theo's grace and he starts looking for Metatron to reverse his spell. After killing Bartholomew, Castiel begins leading a faction of angels who want no more angel on angel violence. With his grace burning out, Castiel defeats Metatron with the help of the Winchesters, Gadreel and Hannah and the angels regain control of Heaven. However, Castiel's grace is close to burning out and he will die if he doesn't replenish it.
Season 10 With his grace rapidly burning out, Castiel aids in the search for the now-demonic Dean. Near death, Castiel is saved by Crowley who gives him the grace of Adina, enabling Castiel to help return Dean to being human. After an encounter with the husband of Hannah's vessel, Castiel takes an interest in the Novak family, leading him to become involved in the life of Claire Novak. Castiel eventually aids Claire in rescuing her mother and killing the Grigori Tamiel. Following the Mark of Cain starting to affect Dean badly, Castiel begins working on finding a cure, searching for Cain and participating in the final battle with him. Castiel later works with Sam and Bobby Singer in a failed attempt to get a cure from Metatron. Though Metatron escapes, Castiel renders him human and regains his own grace and with it his status and power. After the Mark of Cain is removed by Rowena, Castiel is placed under a spell that causes him to attack Crowley uncontrollably.
Season 11 Castiel begins to go into uncontrollable rages due to the effect of Rowena's spell and draws the ire of the angels once more due to Metatron escaping on his watch. The Winchesters force Rowena to break the spell Castiel is under and he locates Metatron who tells him that the Darkness is in fact God's sister. Seeing Metatron as no longer a threat, Castiel lets him go. During an encounter with Lucifer, Lucifer insists that he can beat the Darkness and Castiel agrees to become his vessel in order to give Lucifer form on Earth. Lucifer poses as Castiel to the Winchesters, but he is eventually found out by Sam. Castiel briefly resurfaces long enough to save Sam's life and explain the situation, but is unable to get rid of Lucifer. The Winchesters later make a failed attempt to free Castiel from Lucifer's control, but he refuses to expel the archangel and the attempt fails, leading to both being captured by Amara. After Lucifer and Castiel's rescue from Amara, Castiel briefly resumes control to aid Lucifer in convincing the angels to join in their plan to attack Amara. During the final confrontation with Amara, Lucifer is expelled from Castiel's body, leaving Castiel in control once more. After the threat of Amara is over, Sam and Castiel return to the Bunker only to have Castiel banished by Lady Toni Bevell.
Uriel comes to Earth, manifests inside a vessel, and stands with Castiel in trying to prevent the breaking of a seal in 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. He is introduced to the Winchesters as a "specialist", and appears to be junior to Castiel, being placed under his authority. He exhibits disdain for both humanity and demons. By 4.16 On the Head of a Pin, he has been made Castiel's superior. He clandestinely breaks the devil's trap holding Alastair, intending for him to kill Dean. Uriel secretly supports the release of Lucifer so that the archangel can return to power. He is one of a group of rebellious angels with this goal, and he has been trying to recruit other angels to the cause; he kills those who refuse. He eventually reveals his plans to Castiel in an unsuccessful attempt to recruit the other angel, and they fight. Uriel gets the upper hand over Castiel, but Anna kills him with his own blade, saving Castiel.
Anna was originally Castiel and Uriel's superior, but she chose to remove her grace and become human. When Dean is saved from Hell, she begins to hear the angels speaking. Alastair wants to capture her in order to find out what the angels are doing, but Dean and Sam rescue her, and Pamela Barnes helps her regain her memories of having been an angel. Anna is under a death sentence for disobedience, but she is able to regain her grace from Uriel and becomes an angel again.
Later, Anna tries to get Castiel to join her and stop following orders, but he refuses. She kills the traitor Uriel to save Cas. After the events of 4.21 When the Levee Breaks, Anna meets with Castiel in an undisclosed location, and a group of angels take her back to Heaven for "reprogramming".
When Anna returns in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same she travels back in time to kill Sam's parents and prevent his birth. She believes this will prevent Lucifer from possessing him and end the Apocalypse. She fails, and Michael disintegrates Anna with a touch for interfering with Heaven's plan.
Zachariah is a powerful celestial that was under Michael's command. In his true angelic form, has four faces and six wings. Upon Uriel's death, Zachariah is deployed from Heaven and manifests on Earth in a vessel. He has significant authority over other angels. Zachariah is a direct superior of Castiel, and can even command Joshua, an angel who talks directly to God.
Zachariah plays a major role in the plan to allow Lucifer to be released so that Michael can kill him. Once Lucifer is freed, Zachariah takes increasingly aggressive actions to force Dean to consent to being Michael's Vessel. His failures on this score embitter him. According to Zachariah, he was greatly respected by all of his angel colleagues before being assigned Dean's case because he delivered consistent successes. His reputation is damaged by Dean's refusals, and he is 'fired' by his superiors. Michael then gives Zachariah one more chance at the task of recruiting Dean with a plot involving the resurrection of Adam, Dean's half-brother. Ultimately even this effort fails, and Zachariah is killed by Dean with an angel blade in 5.18 Point of No Return.
Balthazar is an angel who fought alongside Castiel during the last angelic war. Castiel thought that he had died in the fighting. In fact, Balthazar faked his death, taking a number of powerful artifacts, including the Staff of Moses and Lot's Salt, with him. He has been on Earth enjoying a rather hedonistic lifestyle, and has bought at least one human soul. He becomes something of an ally to Castiel, but is unaware of Castiel's deal with Crowley until the Winchesters tell him about it. He decides to clandestinely support their efforts to stop Cas. Castiel kills him with an angel blade after he alerts them to Castiel's location in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Samandriel attends the auction held by Plutus in order to protect the Word of God. His vessel is a young man named Alfie. He asks Dean about Castiel's whereabouts, and Dean tells him how they ended up in Purgatory. Samandriel tells Dean that Castiel still has supporters in Heaven and indicates that he is one. He also decides to go by the name of his vessel; Alphie.
During the auction, Samandriel bids the Mona Lisa, and then Vatican City. However, the bidding turns to souls, and he says that angels "guard the souls in Heaven, we don't horse trade them." He later offers angelic protection to Linda Tran for her son Kevin, but she refuses it, a wish he respects.
Later, Crowley captures him and tortures him for information on the future prophets which Samandriel gives him. Crowley then orders him put "on ice" for future torture. Eventually his torture under Viggo causes him to revert to his "factory settings" and reveal the existence of an angel tablet. After his rescue by Sam, Dean and Castiel, Naomi labels him as a traitor and forces Castiel to kill him with his angel blade, planning to examine his remains to discover just how badly he broke. He is killed in 8.10 Torn and Frayed He is last mentioned by Castiel in 9.10 Road Trip.
A high-ranking angel in the field of intelligence, who exists in a part of Heaven not many have visited. According to Metatron, she is the leader of one of many factions fighting for control of Heaven and is able to order the rescue of Castiel from Purgatory and order around Castiel who is a powerful angel himself. She completely brainwashes Castiel, making him deceive the Winchesters, and commanding him to kill Dean when he finds the angel tablet. After Castiel breaks free of her control, he flees with the angel tablet saying he must protect it from both Heaven and the Winchesters. Later she introduces herself to the boys as an ally, and appears so by saving them from Crowley and helping them complete the second trial by sending Bobby's spirit to heaven. She briefly manages to capture Castiel, but is forced to flee when Crowley arrives. Naomi captures Metatron and learns of his plans to expel all angels from Heaven. This causes her to rethink her decisions and even express remorse for them. She warns Castiel of the truth and Dean that Sam will die if he completes the trials, but Castiel refuses to believe her while Dean does. Naomi returns to Heaven where Metatron kills her in 8.23 Sacrifice and later tells Castiel that she was telling the truth about his plans.
Metatron was an angel who was enlisted by God to write the tablets. After God left and the archangels started conspiring to take over the universe themselves, Metatron hid out on Earth. He gifted a Native American tribe with immortality in exchange for stories and books which he found very interesting. However, he was completely cut-off from Heaven and was unaware of things that had occurred since he had left such as the imprisonment of Michael and Lucifer and the deaths of Raphael and Gabriel. Sam and Dean locate him and convince Metatron to join their efforts by rescuing Kevin Tran and half of the demon tablet from Crowley. He then begins with working with Castiel to seal off Heaven in an effort to force the angels to stop fighting and also to keep the civil war from spilling over onto Earth. Naomi learns that in truth he wants to expel all angels from Heaven in an act of revenge for his own self-exile and he kills her and uses the items he has gathered, including Castiel's grace to successfully enact his plan. Its eventually discovered that his spell is irreversible. Using the angel tablet, Metatron gains massive God-like power. After gathering a massive following to him under the command of himself and Gadreel, Metatron is defeated when Castiel shatters the angel tablet, stripping him of his extra power and causes Metatron to broadcast his true feelings on humanity and angels over angel radio. Metatron is overthrown and imprisoned in Heaven's dungeon, but not before he briefly kills Dean who returns as a demon. He is later interrogated for information on how to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean's arm and eventually broken out of prison after the first time fails with the help of Bobby Singer. After having his grace removed and being rendered human, he is forced to reveal that he doesn't actually know how to remove the Mark. Metatron then offers to lead Castiel to the remainder of his grace in exchange for his life. However, while Castiel gets his grace back, Metatron escapes with what he really came for, the demon tablet. Castiel later locates him working as a videographer and captures Metatron once more for information on the Darkness. Following getting the information he needs, Castiel lets Metatron go, seeing him as no longer a threat and pitiable instead. Metatron is later brought in by God to help write his autobiography. In an attempt to stop God's suicidal attack on the Darkness, Metatron helps to rescue Lucifer and sacrifices himself to buy Sam, Lucifer and Donatello Redfield time to escape. He is then imploded by Amara into nothingness.
Gadreel is an angel who according to Metatron was God's most trusted, which lead to him being chosen to protect the Garden, and keep evil from entering it. Gadreel somehow failed in his task, and allowed the Earth to be cursed with evil, for which he was blamed and locked-up for thousands of years in Heaven's darkest dungeon. He was freed from his imprisonment by Metatron when he expelled all the angels from Heaven in an act of revenge.
Though injured by the fall, he proceeded to take a vessel, and when Dean prays for any angel that hears him for help, Gadreel comes under the guise of "Ezekiel," who according to Castiel, was a good soldier and is trustworthy, which is why Gadreel took his identity as a way atoning for his past. The real Ezekiel died in the fall from Heaven. As "Ezekiel" he was unable to heal Sam, due to both of their weakened states, but with Dean's help, he is able to take possession of Sam so he can heal him from the inside while also healing himself. "Ezekiel" allows Sam to remain in control of his body, but erases his memory of his near-death experience so that he won't realize he is possessed and reject Ezekiel which would be fatal to Sam. "Ezekiel" later takes control to protect Sam from three demons, but stages it so it looks like Dean killed the demons so Sam remains aware of his presence.
When angels are after Castiel he lets Dean know about it along with the fact that Sam is slowly healing. He aids Dean in finding Castiel by tracking the rogue reaper looking for him and resurrects Castiel when he is killed but warns that he either he or "Ezekiel" must leave because Castiel is too dangerous to be around with all of the angels looking for him. When Charlie Bradbury is killed, Dean calls upon Ezekiel to resurrect her. "Ezekiel" reluctantly does so, stating that every time he does so, it weakens him and he's barely back to half-strength. Gadreel later takes full control of Sam, murdering Kevin Tran in order to become the lieutenant of Metatron. With the help of Crowley, Sam eventually manages to expel him and Gadreel is forced to return to his original vessel.
Gadreel began working with Metatron to rebuild Heaven, killing any angel who wouldn't join Metatron and commanding his followers for him. However, Gadreel still had honor and when Metatron's unscrupulous methods got too much for him, Gadreel defected to the side of Sam, Dean and Castiel. Trying to break Metatron's power by infiltrating Heaven and shattering the angel tablet, Gadreel commits suicide in order to blow open Heaven's dungeon and free Castiel, sacrificing himself to redeem his actions and fulfill what he recognizes is the angels true mission: protect humanity at any cost. His sacrifice ultimately allows Castiel to shatter the angel tablet, reveal the truth about Metatron to his followers and defeat him. 
Bartholomew was an angel who was both a protégé of Naomi's and old friend and subordinate of Castiel's who gathered a faction after the fall of the angels. His faction used Reverend Buddy Boyle to get vessels for angels that needed them and hunted for Castiel for revenge for causing the fall of the angels, with Bartholomew calling on rogue Reapers to help when Castiel warded himself against angelic detection. After Malachi gathered a faction of his own to oppose him, Bartholomew started an angelic civil war between the two factions and started hunting down even peaceful factions such as the Penitents, seeing them as a threat to his growing power. Bartholomew later tried to recruit Castiel, believing that with Castiel at his side he would be able to unite all of the angels, but after Castiel refused to join Bartholomew due to Bartholomew's savage methods, Bartholomew tried to kill him and Castiel was forced to kill Bartholomew in self-defense. Following Bartholomew's death, some of his faction decided to follow Castiel in a less violent way of living. Dies in 9.14 Captives
An anarchist angel who led a faction of angels trying to unite all of the angels under his command and retake Heaven, something that Castiel said would be a very bad thing. Malachi is brutal, even his own henchman Theo described him as insane and violent, murdering anyone who gets in his way and going to war with Bartholomew. After Bartholomew is killed by Castiel, he presumably gains ground but is killed by Gadreel in his efforts to unite all the angels under Metatron. Reported dead by Castiel in 9.21 King of the Damned
These anonymous angels appear to serve the executive members of the Host like Zachariah and Raphael. They often accompany higher angels when a specific task must be completed. They are primarily silent.
Their first appearance may be in 4.21 When the Levee Breaks, when they come to capture and escort the fugitive Anna Milton back to Heaven. Castiel kills two angel henchmen in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil, and in the same episode Dean banishes them along with Zachariah. In 5.18 Point of No Return, Castiel kills two more at the site of Adam Milligan's resurrection, and a fifth in the subsequent attempt to rescue Adam. In the same episode, he banishes four others with an angel banishing sigil carved into his vessel.
In season six, a group of henchmen act as soldiers for Raphael in his attempts to gain control of Heaven. During 6.03 The Third Man, a henchman spying on Castiel speaks for the first time. Of the three soldiers in the episode, Balthazar dispatches one, Sam and Dean banish a second, and Castiel kills the third. Two later appear with Hester and Inias to capture the prophet Kevin Tran, but don't intervene in the confrontation that takes place. They are later assigned to protect Kevin at his home, but are killed by Edgar.
The henchmen appear in the following episodes: 4.21 When The Levee Breaks, 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil, 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon, 5.18 Point of No Return, 6.03 The Third Man, 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King, 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much, 7.01 Meet the New Boss, 7.21 Reading Is Fundamental, 8.17 Goodbye Stranger, 8.21 The Great Escapist and 8.23 Sacrifice
Angels in Lore
Angels or divine beings described as messengers of God, or guardians of souls occur in many religious traditions.
- 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
- 4.10 Heaven and Hell
- 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
- 7.21 Reading Is Fundamental
- 9.14 Captives
- 9.21 King of the Damned
- 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?
- 5.14 My Bloody Valentine
- 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King
- 7.23 Survival of the Fittest
- 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
- 8.10 Torn and Frayed
- 8.17 Goodbye Stranger
- 8.19 Taxi Driver
- 9.01 I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here
- 9.02 Devil May Care
- 9.03 I'm No Angel
- 9.04 Slumber Party
- 9.05 Dog Dean Afternoon
- 9.03 I'm No Angel
- 9.06 Heaven Can't Wait
- 9.09 Holy Terror
- 9.10 Road Trip
- 9.14 Captives
- 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer
- 4.16 On the Head of a Pin
- 6.07 Family Matters
- 5.18 Point of No Return
- 4.01 Lazarus Rising
- 6.03 The Third Man
- 5.02 Good God, Y'All
- 5.03 Free to Be You and Me
- 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil
- 5.22 Swan Song
- 5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
- 9.09 Holy Terror
- 9.06 Heaven Can't Wait
- 6.18 Frontierland
- 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much
- 3.11 Mystery Spot
- 9.03 I'm No Angel
- 9.04 Slumber Party
- 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?
- 5.19 Hammer of the Gods
- 6.10 Caged Heat
- 2.15 Tall Tales
- 5.08 Changing Channels
- 11.14 The Vessel
- 5.10 Abandon All Hope...
- 7.01 Meet the New Boss
- 2.13 Houses of the Holy
- 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be
- 4.20 The Rapture
- 4.22 Lucifer Rising
- 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?