You summoned an angel ... now what?

In theory, Merkavah allows one to learn the true name of angels; Invocation (or Kabbalah) and Adjuration then make it possible to summon (and in theory even command!) them. But is it impious to summon an angel? Is it impious to command one for good or "neutral" activities - e.g. to teach the summoner, to transport him to another place, to protect him etc.? Unfortunately, Realms of Power: the Divine does not make it clear at all.

Id think you can ask, but not expect.
(and most definitely NOT demand!)

Why not? If you are sufficiently "holy" you should "outrank" an angel: after all, refusing to bow to man is considered in some instances of both Christianity and Islam the fundamental sin that caused the downfall of Lucifer. (I'm playing the ... ehm ... devil's advocate here).

Yes, but oly ONE man was ever sufficiently Holy for this. The big JC himself. Saints have some pull, but I do not imagine they would act authoritarian. A regular mortal man? Maybe if he had a Faith score of 5 or something, in which case it would be against his nature to act imperiously.

Remember that there are all sorts of angels. Not all are really that high in heaven's hierarchy or impressive at all for that matter. The lowly ones just aren't often roleplayed I think.

Personally I severely dislike the 'no summoning/compelling' of angels bit in ROP:D, though I suppose some people find it flavorful. It is a classic element of summoning style occultism etc. however.

Back on topic... I think a 'holyman' style of character definately has it in them to outrank all sorts of different types of angels. And as for the classical 'wrath of god' kind of archangels... even if they don't outrank them they, not the angels, are the main players in God's play/game. The angels are more obliged to the human, than the other way around. This only changes if the angels are attempting to act in accordance with the will of God ... then it is the will of the divine that is the authority. But not the angel.

Where's that? Can you give a page reference?

IMO you may control angels with the following provisions:

  1. God's Adjuration is higher than yours. Any command that contradicts God's will automatically fails.
  2. Weaker Angels say are temporary beings (They cease to exist beyond Sun duration so effects with a longer duration than that are pointless).
  3. Angels, lacking free will, must be closely supervised.

Where's that bit from? Last time I checked the Christian dogma, angels did have free will (being a prerequisite to Lucifer's fall, and all that).

Regardless of the theology of it, in Ars Magica, angels definitely DO have free will. They freely choose to follow the will of God.

Remember the interesting "threatening a saint" bit (rop:d 87) as well.

As for impiousness, that's situation-specific in my view.

In canon, I think, Angels have free will, but see the world in a very different way from people, and so you should act as if they did not have free will, lest you get very surprised. I think the Guardian angel merit gives an example of how angels can be hard to understand. On the other hand, you could just summon an angel and trust in God.....

if the character is indeed part of the inner circle of ancient jewish tradition, which knew and invoked, and subsequently lost, the true name of IHVH ...

then you would be able to command the Angel by giving it a missive, much like IHVH .

You would be one of the few trusted servants of IHVH to have the power and knowledge to do so. You would be granted permission by the creator of the servant (Angel) to do so, that is why the knowledge was imparted to the rabbi.

However if your character is NOT one of the trusted holy men of IHVH, you would most likely only be protected from wrath by your circle and faith. You would probably be able to talk to it and ask questions, but not command.

then again i haven't read the books, just a little on Kabbalah.

Another way to view it:

Angels have potential will. They do not exert their own as not to conflict with Gods will. For them to exert their will they must first reject god's. The instant an Angel exerts their will, they fall.

As such the only angels which truly love god, love him with their own will like humans do, are fallen.

Some good resources:

Movie: Wings of Desire
Movie: The Prophecy (not any of the sequels just the first one)

Graphic novel: Sandman