Celestials (天神族, Tenjinzoku), also referred to as Angels or Celeste, are a class of spiritual beings that reside in the higher planes, most notably Takama-ga-hara in Seikai.
Celestials are charged with the highest duty of any being: protecting and executing Ten'i, or Divine Will. They are servants of Ten'i, sacrificing everything, sometimes even their lives, for the responsibility of protecting the balance of the universe. This includes not only maintaining law and order throughout the realms, but also protecting the residents of each dimension. On the Physical Plane, this comes down to protecting humans, both from supernatural forces and occasionally from themselves.
The highest Celestial law states that "the individual must be sacrificed for the many." This means that, although Celestials are charged with protecting human lives, the balance of the universe is of infinitely greater importance than any life, and to maintain the balance of the forces, Celestials are charged with destroying humans as necessary and ferrying the departed souls to the next world. Thus, Celestials must make a decision regarding each life: for each life they save, they must take another. However, Celestials generally do not kill humans in most circumstances; they merely do not act to save the human. Then, following the person's death, they ferry their soul to the afterlife.
Thousands of years ago, a war broke out between different factions of Celestials. The rebelling angels, which called themselves Legion, fought for freedom against the perceived tyranny of the higher ranks of Celestials. They lost and were cast down to Yomi, a dimension below that of the physical realm, where they remain to this day.
Celestials may take many forms, but generally remain Ethereal even when in the Physical Realm. Occasionally they will take Corporeal form, usually when revealing themselves to a human.
They may alternate between different forms including those of animals or youkai and more usual human forms. They often have horns, larger ears, slit pupils, wings, and long hair which is often white. Most Celestials are taller than the average human even when taking human form; for example, it is stated that Isasu, standing at 6'1", is small for his race.
All Celestials wear robes in accordance with their rank. The standard wear is a long-sleeved white kimono with white hakama and a long obi that extends down the front of the hakama. Robe colors are frequently incorporate white, blue, and gold into their designs. White and red is also common, especially when they take the form of miko or other spiritual leader.
Celestials in the warring classes are often armed, although their weapons may remain invisible until they are needed. They sometimes carry a weapon such as a katana or a shakujou, but often keep these stored in Limbo.
All Celestials have a Blood Siget somewhere on their body, usually on their face or hand. The Blood Siget is unique to each individual and its function is much like that of the Vesperian Blood Cross.
There are several known classes, or ranks, of Celestials, which are divided into three spheres:
First Tier: This tier governs the heavenly realms and serves as the governing council above all others. Unlike the lower tiers, they don masks and wear especially ornamental uniforms.
- Seraphim (Serafu) - The most powerful rank of a Celestial. They are the leaders of all angels. There are only twelve of them, one from each tribe, and together they make up the Council of the Stars. Their law is absolute. They are highly respected and feared by all others, even the Cherubim directly under them.
- Cherubim (Kerubu)- The secondary rank of Celestial beneath Seraphim. They are the guardians and gatekeepers of the Celestial plane Takama-ga-hara.
- Ophanim (Ofanimu) - They are the guardians and gatekeepers of the Celestial Plane. They are closely affiliated to, although subordinate to, the Cherubim.
- Hashmallim - They regulate the duties of lower angels. They are rarely seen
- Erelim (singular, Er'el) - They are a warrior class of angel.
- Archangels (also referred to as Demigods)
- Malakim (also referred to as Angels) - Malakim are the lowest rank of Celestial and also the most common. They are responsible for most of the tasks relating to the human world. In this class there are many different kinds of Celestials with many different functions.
Depending on the rank, angels have different duties. Usually the protection of humans is delegated to lower-class Celestials; those of the upper echelons of the Heavenly Plain do not usually involve themselves in human affairs. This explains why Madoka, Gen'ya, and later Isasu appear clueless about many things human.
They typically reside in Takama but often make journeys to the world of the living by passing through the Ukihashi.
Celestials are servants of Ten'i, and as such hold this duty as greater importance than anything else, including the their own lives and the lives of the beings they are charged with protecting. Celestials that sacrifice Ten'i to save human lives, for selfish purposes, or for personal gain may be considered in rebellion, and therefore a danger to the order of the universe.
All Celestials use abilities based on their Hakuriki, or life force, as well as the life force of the universe. They possess both the power to use their Hakuriki as well as innate abilities that are based on their intransient state, such as shapeshifting, healing, strength, and speed. They may open Portals to other dimensions as well as manipulate spiritual energy around them.
- Speed (瞬動)
- Teleport/Apportation (瞬送)
- Regeneration (再生)
- Summoning a Godsword (神刀・神燈)
Celestials are immortal, but depend on energy around them to survive. Hence they cannot exist peacably in the Physical Realm for extended amounts of time.
Celestials in the Spirit World are immortal. They live indefinitely and through age grow more adept at manipulating their power.
Celestials in the Mortal World become mortal through being disconnected with the source of their vitality. Ochigami make up for this by draining the vitality of other creatures, mostly humans.
The term Celestial generally refers to those spiritual beings who dwell in Takama. While Ochigami and Legion consists of individuals who were once residents of Takama, they are no longer considered Celestials but Earth-Dwellers.