Angels in Space

By Earl Wajenberg (


The recent talk of astrological Tethers reminds me of a piece of interplanetary angelology that some folk might find interesting as a supplement to IN, perhaps for a near-future space-faring campaign. It comes from C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, and I know I've posted about it before, but I think there have been substantial additions to the list since then.

So, if you're seated comfortably...

In Lewis's trilogy, we learn that the Solar System is inhabited by a vast population of angels that are a bit like the "energy beings" of Star Trek style SF. In particular, each planet is in the charge of a particularly powerful spirit called an "Oyarsa" in the "Old Solar" language. The known Oyeresu (pl.) are:

Virtribula (Mercury) Perelandra (Venus) Satan (Earth) Malacandra (Mars) Glund (Jupiter) Lurga (Saturn)

There are presumably spirits of the outer planets, too, though they are not named. It is not stated whether there are spirits for the Moon, other moons, or the Sun.

As you see, our Oyarsa is fallen, and in fact is in a state of seige, held by the other Oyeresu. The frontier is at the Moon's orbit. This would make the Archangels of In Nomine part of a long-term seige-breaking force, and indeed Lewis speaks of the angels encountered on Earth as regarded by the trans-lunar angels as a "special military caste" -- which fits in perfectly with the whole concept of The War.

The trans-lunar angels and their rulers, the Oyeresu, could perhaps be made to correspond to the next level up of the Upper Heavens.

The Oyeresu correspond somewhat, in character, to the gods we have named the planets after. According to the tale, this is because dim impressions of High Heaven circulate in the human collective unconscious and thus color our myths. For instance, Malacandra was a great leader in the war that drove Satan into the Moon's orbit, and is thus like the war-gods Mars or Ares. Also, his world was largely stripped of life in Satan's counter-attacks, and this is likened to the Norse myth in which Tyr puts his hand in the mouth of the Fenris Wolf and loses it, so the other gods can bind the beast.

Each Oyarsa has ambassadors -- more like miniature versions of themselves -- to the worlds of the others. Thus there are, possibly, unfallen mini-Lucifers on Mars, Venus, etc. And there are miniatures of Malacandra, Perelandra, and the others on Earth, the immediate sources of those murmurs in our myths. These might, for IN, be some of the Ethereals, in which case the Oyeresu presumably took a very dim view of Uriel's Crusade -- which could be an important detail for Uriel after he was summoned to the Upper Heavens, especially if the Solar System IS in the Upper Heavens.

Contrariwise, if the ambassadors/icons are Ethereal, this means that even Corporeally uninhabited planets already have a population of Ethereals on them.

Writing several decades back, Lewis depicted Mars, Venus, and even the back of the Moon as habitable. It would be something like Space:1889 to do so today, but the angelology can still be moved bodily into the modern Solar System.



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