There isn't one Heaven. Each soul generates its own paradise.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Internal Conflicts
- 3 See also
- 4 External links
- 5 References
God resided in Heaven with his angels until his departure sometime in the distant past. In God's absence, the archangel Michael led the angelic Host and directed the affairs of Heaven, where Raphael was also an authority. The appearance of angels in Heaven is not necessarily human, even though they may be perceived in that manner by deceased souls. For example, Zachariah says that in Heaven he has six wings and four faces, but Sam and Dean's human minds are too limited to perceive his true form. Angels draw some of their powers -- demonic exorcism, healing and possibly resurrection -- from Heaven. Those who fall and are "cut-off" from Heaven are weakened, and are not allowed to return on their own. It is still possible for the banished to communicate with Heaven. Anna and Castiel were able hear other angels speaking, even without their grace. Castiel was able to communicate with Sam and Dean through a psychic link to electronic equipment, such as a radio or TV, in their shared Heaven.
Heaven serves as a destination for deserving human souls after death. They occupy the happy memories they experienced on Earth, reliving them in their personal Heavens. A human soul is allowed salvation in Heaven based on God's decision, after he leaves Heaven the task is allocated to Anubis. Raphael said that if a person is devout, it can cover all sins when Castiel questions Ken Lay's admittance into Heaven. Souls that have gone to Hell will not subsequently be accepted by Heaven, unless God intervenes as he did with Bobby Singer and John Winchester.
Following Michael's and Lucifer's imprisonment in the Cage, civil war raged between Raphael and his loyalist traditionalists against Castiel and his angels. This civil war ended when Castiel killed Raphael along with his followers after absorbing the souls from Purgatory and declaring himself the new "God." The aftermath caused the number of angels to dwindle significantly due to frequent cases of infighting.
When Castiel disappeared after inadvertently releasing the Leviathans, a power vacuum formed which led to factions vying for control. When Metatron returned from exile, he enacted a plan of revenge, ejecting all the angels from Heaven and locking the gates, preventing anything, even souls from entry until he decided to open up a pathway, which became the only known entrance into Heaven until the arrival of the Cosmic Entity. In search of Jack Kline's soul, the Entity stormed the gates and reopened all ones that were closed by Metatron. The Cosmic Entity threatened to destroy Heaven until Castiel made a deal to save Jack in exchange for his own life. Despite all of the gates being reopened, the angels continue to use the portal in the playground for access to Heaven since they still have no wings.
After Jack takes over Heaven, he reshapes it with Castiel's help, tearing down all of the walls and allowing the souls to exist together. Bobby Singer tells Dean that Heaven is now what it should be and people no longer have to relive their fondest memories for the rest of existence, but coexist in a more peaceful version of Earth. He also made it possible for souls from Hell to enter Heaven as Sam and Dean entered heaven despite both being sent to Hell upon at least one of their many deaths.
Angelic society in Heaven is arranged into a rigid, militaristic hierarchy. Each angel is a member of an angel garrison with its own supervisors who report to higher authorities. This arrangement has been breaking down since God's departure from Heaven. Following the imprisonment of Michael in Lucifer's Cage, Castiel describes the situation as chaotic. Garrisons now seem to be breaking up due to the conflict in Heaven. After civil war ended, and Castiel disappeared, there was a void in the leadership of Heaven; though angels still appeared to have a hierarchy, there were many factions vying for control. One of the leaders of those factions was Naomi, who held an unknown rank, but was in charge of Heaven's Intelligence Division. After the Fall, and second angelic civil war on Earth, the remaining angels formed a quorum to govern, with the angel Hannah as their leader until her death at the hands of Efram.
It is later revealed that the existence of angels is what maintains Heaven, and due to the significant loss of angels through the Fall and various wars and battles only nine remain in existence to watch over the souls in the Heaven, and that once they are all gone, Heaven will crumble, releasing billions of souls on to the earth. Naomi explains that there were at most 11 angels in Heaven and Earth by 13.19 Funeralia, but a few new angels were forged by Jack Kline from a prayer group, slightly increasing their ranks and prolonging Heaven's current state until they eventually burn out.
After Jack becomes the new God, he reshapes Heaven into what it was always meant to be, possibly eliminating Heaven's need for angels to power it. What becomes of the last few angels remains unknown, though it's likely that the last of the angelic host remained in Heaven to oversee its new state.
It’s called the Axis Mundi. It’s a path that runs through Heaven. Different people see it as different things. For you, it’s two-lane asphalt. The road will lead you to the Garden. You’ll find Joshua there. And Joshua… can take us to God. The Garden. Quick. Hurry.
The Axis Mundi is a path that runs through Heaven. Different souls in Heaven see it as different things -- for Dean it is "two-lane asphalt." According to Castiel, some view this axis as a river. The road will lead the traveler to the Garden.
In mythology the Axis Mundi is the path between Heaven and Earth, and is depicted symbolically in different ways in different cultures -- from the Totem pole of American indigenous people to the Pyramids of Egypt and the Bodhi tree where Buddha found enlightenment (Source).
See, you gotta stop thinking of Heaven as one place. It’s more like a butt-load of places all crammed together. Like Disneyland except without all the anti-Semitism.
In Heaven, humans occupy their happy memories, reliving them in their own, separate worlds. When Sam and Dean are killed and find themselves in Heaven, they move along the axis mundi from one happy memory to another -- although the memories that are happy for one brother are not always so for the other. When they meet Ash, he explains that everyone has their own “Heaven,” and at the center of all of them is Heaven's Garden (see below).
According to Ash, most people cannot leave their own “Heaven,” although Ash had worked out a way to do so using his practical application for string theory, he has also rigged a device that allows him to listen in to the angels. Other people Ash has met in Heaven are Johnny Cash, Andre the Giant, Einstein, Pamela Barnes and Mallanāga Vātsyāyana who wrote the Kama Sutra. Ash tells Sam and Dean that he has been unable to locate John or Mary Winchester. Nine years later, its confirmed that John made it to Heaven and is now sharing a special Heaven with Mary who had recently died for a second time and the two are at peace together. Dumah, as the current leader of Heaven, threatened that she could end their shared Heaven with a snap of her fingers, leading to Dumah's death at Castiel's hands to end this threat.
Ash also tells Sam and Dean that some people (Ash referred to these people as "special cases" because of the rarity), for example, soul mates share their Heaven with each other. Ash suggests that Sam and Dean share the same "Heaven," given that he encountered them together. Sam and Dean also being able to easily access each other's memories also suggests that they occupy the same Heavenly space. The brothers were able to crossover into each others memories by following the Axis Mundi, which took many forms of two-lane asphalt. For example, a slot car track set that Dean used to own as a child was found in Sam's memory of a Thanksgiving dinner with an old childhood girlfriend, and upon placing a car on the track, the two were transported to a memory of Dean's involving their mother, Mary.
Angels have access to people's personal Heavens. Zachariah appeared in Dean and Sam's memories, and Adam informs Dean and Sam that the angels recruited him while he was experiencing a happy memory in Heaven. Charlie described her brief time in Heaven to Dorothy as Christmas day with her parents.
When Bobby was asked by Sam and Castiel to break out his Heaven to open a portal to Heaven for Cas, it is shown that all the personal Heavens are organized alphabetically by name and numerically by year, as evidenced by Bobby seeing the names of various Robert Singer's (and Roberta Singer) that have lived and died throughout time. When one faction of them escapes, one angel exclaims "The Bobbys are fighting back. All hands, we need all hands. They're surly, I repeat the Bobbys are surly.".
Angels can choose to spend time in the personal Heavens for their own reasons. Castiel enjoys "the eternal Tuesday afternoon of an autistic man who drowned in a bathtub in 1959" Heaven, which is a peaceful park scene where the autistic man flies a kite, and Raphael uses Ken Lay's Heaven for meetings.
According to Naomi, there are currently over 46,750,000,000 human souls in Heaven. If Heaven ceases to operate, all the souls will flood the earth, unleashing mass chaos and death at the hands of vengeful spirits. 
According to Ash, this garden is located in the core of Heaven. This portion of Heaven, according to the Gardener Joshua, is perceived differently by anyone who visits the place. Some see God's Throne Room. Others see Eden. For Sam and Dean, they saw the Cleveland Botanical Gardens which they visited once on a grade-school field trip.
Virgil watched and protected the angelic weapons before the angelic civil war. During the chaos after Michael's imprisonment, numerous powerful angelic artifacts were stolen by Balthazar, including the Staff of Moses and Lot's Salt.
Naomi would hold regular "debriefings" with Castiel as well as other angels in her personal office, which had a very cold and sterile appearance to it. It's in this office that Naomi would go about brainwashing other angels, whether it was to perform a specific task or to erase their memories of any missions they were sent on. For example Castiel not being aware that he took part in the slaughter of the first born sons on Egypt when the ten Plagues of Egypt were unleashed. It was where Naomi was apparently killed by Metatron with her own torture drill and Castiel had his grace stolen. After Naomi was revealed to be alive nearly five years after her supposed death, she and Castiel met in her office to discuss the state of Heaven.
In 9.18 Meta Fiction, Metatron takes Castiel to his office after he is captured and implants an illusion in his head of Gabriel asking him to lead an angel army against him to make Castiel the "villain" in his story. He offers to give Castiel a new supply of grace in exchange, but he refuses. Their meeting is cut short when Ingrid arrives with news that Gadreel has been captured by the Winchesters. After everything is over, Gadreel and Metatron meet in his office to discuss what happened and Metatron then goes back to typing up his version of everything that happened.
In 9.22 Stairway to Heaven, Metatron and Gadreel talk in his office before they go to meet with Tyrus. Metatron later communicates with Castiel and his followers through a web cam from his office and is pleased when his efforts to bring them to his side with suicide bombers work. After Metatron gets a call from one of Castiel's former followers, Gadreel confronts him over this and it causes him to leave Metatron to help Castiel and the Winchesters.
In 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?, Neil helps Metatron make a broadcast on angel radio using a device in his office and he then leaves for Earth to convert humanity into following him instead of God. Gadreel and Castiel try to infiltrate Heaven to break the angel tablet and help Dean stop Metatron, but are tricked into thinking they are in Metatron's office only to be locked up in Heaven's prison. After Gadreel sacrifices himself to release Castiel, Castiel searches the office and eventually finds the angel tablet in the typewriter. After Castiel breaks the tablet and Sam swings at him with an angel blade, the now-vulnerable Metatron flees to his office where he finds Castiel sitting in his chair. Metatron binds Castiel to the chair with handcuffs and then taunts him how the angels won't believe the truth and Dean is dead. Before Metatron can kill Castiel, Castiel reveals he had switched on the broadcasting device in the office and all the angels are listening in. The angels storm the office and overpower Metatron and release Castiel. However, rather than use the opportunity to kill Metatron, Castiel imprisons him in Heaven's dungeon.
Dean: Where have you been?
Anna: Prison. Upstairs. All the torture, twice the self-righteousness.
Heaven also appears to have it's own prison/dungeon where angels are held and tortured for disobeying orders. Anna is taken there during 4.21 When the Levee Breaks and reappears in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same claiming to have escaped, though Castiel tells her no one escapes from Heaven's prison, saying if she got out, it was because she was let out to do Heaven's dirty work.
The angel Gadreel was also an occupant, having been locked-up for thousands of years in Heaven's darkest dungeon for having failed in his duty to protect the Garden from evil entering and cursing the Earth. Metatron also reveals to him that all the angels in Heaven, even the imprisoned ones were cast out to Earth by his spell explaining as to why he was released.
In 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles? Castiel and Gadreel are imprisoned in Heaven after the angels Hannah and Ingrid see through their ruse of Castiel being captured. Castiel is able to escape the prison after Gadreel sacrifices himself, which causes the cells to be destroyed. Castiel later locks Metatron in an intact cell rather than killing him.
In 10.01 Black, Hannah reveals that Metatron's cell door has been made permanent. In 10.02 Reichenbach, Hannah visits Metatron in the still-damaged prison where he is now in a straight-jacket and he offers to give her the remainder of Castiel's grace if she releases him. However, Castiel stops her and Metatron remains locked up.
In 10.17 Inside Man, Sam and Castiel make their way to Heaven's Gate to release Metatron to find a cure for the Mark of Cain, but Hannah is reluctant to release him. After making contact with Bobby through the psychic; Oliver Pryce, Castiel is able to make his way back into Heaven and reach Metatron's cell alongside Bobby. Castiel releases him and removes his grace, rendering him mortal and susceptible to gunshots. Although Metatron doesn't know how to remove the Mark, he agrees to take Castiel to the location of the remainder of his grace.
There is a portal to Heaven located in a playground somewhere in the Midwest of the United States, is an area that the angels have designated as the sole Earthly gate to Heaven after the Fall. The gate is a special sigil known as Metatron's Cube, drawn into a sandbox. The playground is typically guarded by one or two angels. The playground, located somewhere in the Midwest of the United States, is an area that the angels have designated as the sole Earthly gate to Heaven after the Fall. The gate is a special sigil known as Metatron's Cube, drawn into a sandbox. The portal is typically guarded by one or two angels.
Internal conflicts have raged in Heaven during periods of intense strife, which led to what is known as the Angelic Civil Wars, conflicts that were fought in Heaven and on Earth between the Host of Heaven. The first known Angelic Civil War was a product of the aftermath of Lucifer being re-imprisoned along with Michael during the Apocalypse. The archangel Raphael attempted to restart the Apocalypse by breaking more seals and releasing his brothers from the Cage, but the newly resurrected and upgraded seraph Castiel stood in opposition to Raphael's plans, and in an act of defiance rebelled against Raphael's rule, igniting a war that would rage for two years between the Holy Host of Heaven.
The Second Angelic Civil War was a product of the Fall, with all the angels having been ejected from Heaven, a power vacuum formed with various factions of angels seeking to lead.
First Angelic Civil War
Soon after the defeat of Lucifer and Michael, Castiel's return to Heaven as a new leader brought consternation from the remaining archangel Raphael, who saw what Castiel did as rebelling against God and Heaven and intended to have Castiel pledge his allegiance to Raphael in front of the entire Host of Heaven before releasing Lucifer and Michael from the Cage. When Castiel refused, Raphael displayed his power and ordered him kneel before him or he and any angel that follows him will die.
In his desperation, Castiel begins a partnership with the newly crowned King of Hell, Crowley, to find Purgatory and divvy up the monster souls between them, with a good will gift of 50,000 damned souls from Crowley, Castiel confronts Raphael in Heaven, where he declares his intention to go to war and claiming there will be no Apocalypse, before telling the angels to choose a side.
In an early incursion, Castiel led a small force of twenty angels behind enemy lines to victory against Raphael and his loyalists. News of his victory appeared to galvanize many angels into the cause, giving Castiel a reputation as a great leader. For two years Castiel would battle against Raphael, while working with Crowley to locate Purgatory.
Upon gaining the ritual to open a doorway to Purgatory from Dr. Eleanor Visyak, Castiel betrays Crowley intending to give him none of the souls, offering Crowley two choices, "flee or die." Scoffing at Castiel breaking their deal, Crowley flees, only to return sometime later with Raphael, having formed a new partnership with the archangel. Giving Castiel the same choice to hand over the blood for the ritual and to "flee or die", Castiel leaves the blood and teleports away. Crowley performed the ritual, to no effect, until Castiel appeared once more revealing the blood he gave Crowley was dog's blood and has taken in the souls of Purgatory himself, showing his new power by filling the room with a bright blinding light. As Crowley makes his escape, Raphael is unable to teleport due to Castiel's new god-like powers. As Raphael begs for his life, Castiel snaps his fingers, causing Raphael to explode at a subatomic level, killing him. Declaring himself the new "God", Castiel makes his first stop in Heaven, where he slaughters Raphael's loyalists, ending the war before turning his attention to Earth.
Second Angelic Civil War
After the Fall, many angels became desperate for vessels, and would take or attempt to take any human that would consent. This need for "housing" would eventually give rise to various factions forming, who would use their power to find suitable vessels for angels in need. Four known factions were lead by Bartholomew, Malachi, Rebecca, and Tyrus. Bartholomew and Malachi would eventually go to war with each other over Bartholomew's refusal to work with Malachi's faction in getting back to Heaven. A peaceful faction of angels known as the "Penitents", angels who sought to live humbly among the humans, would also become targets of Bartholomew, who would kill their leader Rebecca out of fear they would become a threat down the line. As Bartholomew consolidated his power, he also sought out Castiel, offering him a place at his side to locate Metatron and take back Heaven. Castiel, however refused his offer after being ordered to kill a Penitent angel, and turned the blade on Bartholomew, killing him.
Soon after the death of Bartholomew, Metatron began recruiting angels to join him in Heaven. Sending out Gadreel, who used the Horn of Gabriel to call angels to him, he made offers to the gathered angels to return to Heaven, and killed those who refused. As Metatron consolidated power through Gadreel killing the opposition, of which included Malachi. Castiel is chosen by Metatron to be the villain to his hero. Telling Castiel if he leads the rebels to their deaths, he will have a place for him in Heaven. Castiel refused to follow Metatron's script, instead galvanizing as many angels as he could on Earth, to legitimately take the fight to Metatron.
Once Castiel's ranks started growing higher than Metatron's, he devised a plan to brainwash Tessa and a group of angels and have them commit mass murder in Castiel's name to manipulate the other angels. While Castiel's followers turned against him and joined Metatron, Gadreel, unaware of this plan, turned to the Winchesters to stop him. He showed Castiel the location of the Playground, the only remaining portal to Heaven, and took him to Metatron's office to search for the angel tablet. However, the room turned out to be an illusion and the duo are sent to Heaven's dungeon. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean located Metatron, who was posing as a messiah named "Marv" -- performing miracles to manipulate the people living in a homeless encampment. Dean, armed with the First Blade, faced off against Metatron, who was empowered by the angel tablet. After Gadreel used himself as a suicide bomb to free Castiel from his cell, Castiel and Hannah searched for the angel tablet, and found it hidden in Metatron's typewriter. Once the tablet was destroyed, it broke Metatron's boost in power, but not before he was able to fatally stab Dean with an angel blade. In his office, Metatron restrained Castiel and mused out loud about the angels' weakness and uncaring nature. When he attempted to kill Castiel, it is revealed that everything Metatron just said was broadcast all over angel radio, resulting in the angels turning against him. Metatron is imprisoned in Heaven's dungeon and the second civil war comes to a close.
- Each soul generates its own paradise: Thoughts on Supernatural's heaven by outpastthemoat (February 2013); archive link
- Stars Both Infinite and Distant: the Necessity of Isolation in Supernatural’s Heaven by clpolk (December 2013); archive link